New PLAR Assessment Service - Starting January 1, 2022

In 2018, TESL Ontario received four-year project funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) for the development of a new Competency and Credit Based PLAR process. TESL Ontario is pleased to announce that the project is now complete and the new Competency-and-Credit Based Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition service will be launched as of January 1, 2022. The current portfolio-based PLAR service will be discontinued as of the same date.

To be eligible for the new PLAR service, candidates must have the following:

Research Project: Teaching of grammar in ESL classrooms

You are invited to participate in a study on the teaching of grammar in ESL classrooms, specifically, exploring how ESL teachers are prepared and supported in developing the skills and expertise to effectively teach grammar to adults in the ESL classroom. If you are an ESL teacher and have completed a TESL Certificate or other language teacher education program, your input in an online survey would be very much appreciated! Please visit the Call for Research Participants for the study description. Feel free to contact me at

TESL Ontario Statement: London Tragedy

TESL Ontario is shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of a Muslim family in London, ON., following a hate-motivated attack this week. We are pained that so many people within our own communities feel unsafe or unwelcome as they live their daily lives.

While we mourn this tremendous loss and abhorrent act of hate, we hold in our thoughts the nine-year old survivor. We stand in solidarity and support with our Muslim friends, members, colleagues and loved ones, and remain committed to providing a community free from discrimination of any kind.

Islamophobia has no place in our society and TESL Ontario is committed to ensuring it is never allowed to take root in our diverse educational community.

National Indigenous History Month

National Indigenous Month imageJune marks National Indigenous History Month, a time to celebrate, commemorate and deeply honour the contributions, achievements, traditions and heritage of First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples across Turtle Island.

This year’s observance comes at a somber moment as all Canadians come to grips with the tragic discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at a former residential school on the territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation.

TESL Ontario gratefully acknowledges that we live, gather and carry out our work on the traditional territories of many First Nations. Our central location, Tkaronto, under Treaty 13, is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River.

TESL Ontario and our entire team have a continued commitment to promoting reconciliation and to our own ongoing learning about the history of First Nations Peoples and the continued discrimination, persecution and social issues that are faced to this day.

Pride Month 2021

Pride Month imageThis week marks the beginning of Pride Month 2021, a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements of the 2SLGBTQ+ community here in Ontario and around the world.

While we celebrate, we also take time to recognize the ongoing challenges faced by so many members of this vibrant community, particularly those in the Trans community and those who are racialized.

We at TESL Ontario commit to acting as strong allies to the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the ongoing movement for equal rights, inclusion and equity. This year, we further commit to sourcing 2SLGBTQ+ inclusive resources and curricula to share with our membership as we work toward creating safe spaces for all in Ontario’s English language education sector.

While this year’s celebrations may once again be virtual, they are no less important and should be no less vibrant!

Happy Pride Month to all members of the TESL Ontario community!

Competency Framework Information Sessions

Competency Framework image

TESL Ontario’s Competency Framework identifies the categories of competence and the competencies required of qualified adult English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers in Ontario. The framework describes the key knowledge and skills required for effective adult ESL teaching in Ontario.

TESL Ontario is offering several information sessions to educate members of the ESL community on the Competency Framework.

Click here to find the best session for your needs.

Announcement: New Executive Director of TESL Ontario

ED announcement image

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am honoured to announce the appointment of Allison Keown to the position of Executive Director of TESL Ontario beginning, January 18, 2021.

Many are familiar with Allison, as she spent ten years with TESL Ontario as Member Services Manager. She has developed bold strategies and expanded services and benefits programs to ensure more value is delivered to members like you. Allison played a key role in the TESL Ontario webinar series, TESL Blog, member and volunteer recognition programs and the ever growing social media communities.

Allison was selected following a thorough recruitment process which resulted in a field of exceptional candidates. Our board believes Allison's history with TESL Ontario, commitment to our members, innovative thinking and her skills and leadership qualities position her for success in bringing TESL Ontario into the future.

I would like to congratulate Allison on her new role and extend our deepest gratitude to Eva Csiszar for her leadership as Interim Executive Director since Renate Tilson's retirement in the fall.

Sharon Deng
Chair, Board of Directors

Dear TESL Ontario Members,

I’m excited and honoured to begin a new chapter with TESL Ontario in the role of Executive Director. It has been a privilege to serve the TESL Ontario membership for the past 10 years as Member Services Manager. I have enjoyed being a part of this extraordinary community, and as I transition into this new role one of my main priorities is to continue to foster and support the remarkable individuals who dedicate their careers to this profession.

I would like to recognize the tremendous effort put forth by the TESL Ontario staff and Board of Directors whose dedication and work has made this organization what it is today. Their collective skills and vision are unmatched and I appreciate their commitment to the success of the organization.

I look forward to working with the Board of Directors, staff, funding partners, volunteers and members to continue to advance the TESL profession and to guide the future of the organization.


Allison Keown
Executive Director
TESL Ontario

Research Project: A portfolio- based language assessment (PBLA) research project

If you are currently teaching or have recently taught a Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Literacy class, I invite you to participate in a portfolio- based language assessment (PBLA) research project. The purpose of the survey is to explore LINC Literacy instructors’ perceptions of the purpose of PBLA, its impact on teaching and learning, and the assessment processes involved in PBLA.

National Volunteer Week – April 19 – 25

The week of April 19 to 25 is National Volunteer Week. TESL Ontario would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our volunteers for their contributions to TESL Ontario and its affiliate chapters.

Thank a Volunteer

TESL Ontario volunteers make innovative contributions to the organization that benefit each and every member of TESL Ontario. By selflessly sharing their time, expertise, commitment and vision they have facilitated significant progress for language training professionals in Ontario.

Take a few minutes to thank a volunteer for their service. It can be a message to a specific volunteer or team of volunteers, or a general shout out to all volunteers.

Send a Thank you message: