The TESL Training Domains and Outcomes are intended to reflect best practices for TESL training. They are based on the presupposition that the directors and staff of the TESL Ontario accredited programs (and those seeking TESL Ontario accreditation) are dedicated to the academic quality of their programs and to graduating well-informed and resourceful instructors with the skills and training needed to work with populations of diverse learners in a range of adult ESL classes.

The TESL Training Domains and Outcomes provide a distinctive framework for TESL Ontario and a broad curriculum guide that offers flexible application for TESL programs. They have been created to encourage and support the ongoing development of curricula and syllabuses responsive to evolving trends and to shape curriculum towards further consistency across programs. In cases of program renewal and the creation of new programs, the TESL Training Domains and Outcomes provide the benchmark for the development of the curriculum and the outcomes of each TESL course.

This document includes twelve defining domains, each important in TESL. Each domain has a two-part outcome. The first part refers to what is known (cognitive) or valued (affective) in a very general sense, while the second part identifies how this knowledge can be applied.

The TESL graduate understands the principles and theories of second language acquisition and adult education, as well as the linguistic, psychological, and socio - cultural factors affecting adult language acquisition. Using this foundation, she/he draws on the learners’ experience, interests, goals, and needs to design and implement relevant, authentic, and inspiring learning opportunities appropriate for the identified requirements of the learners.
The TESL graduate appreciates the diverse cultures and the range of socio-cultural and economic communities that constitute the class, and recognizes the potential effect of these factors on adult language learning. She/he creates, with the learners, an inclusive, accommodating, yet suitably challenging learning environment that enables all learners to meet their needs and goals.
The TESL graduate understands the central concepts and conventions of the English language, including linguistic systems, organizational patterns, pragmatics, and strategic competence. She/he designs and implements accessible and relevant learning to engage language learning processes and to ensure learners’ a) comprehension of the systems needed to realize communication and b) confident engagement in meaningful and appropriate communication.
The TESL graduate recognizes the range of organizations offering English language instruction, that is, government-funded, non-profit, for-profit, or a combination. Further, she/he understands the influence of the instructional context in general (for example, government funded settlement program versus a college academic preparation course) and the unique demands of particular language programs (for example, multi-level, ESL literacy, and programs for specific purposes). She/he works with any combination of these features to best help learners to achieve their goals.
The TESL graduate is cognizant of various curricular models, as determined by the specific teaching approaches, and/or frameworks, supporting documents and resources, in a given teaching context. She/he uses various curricular models to develop appropriate plans of teaching/learning, learning materials, and activities to meet the needs and interests of the learners within the specific program/teaching organization.
The TESL graduate draws on her/his knowledge of language, curriculum, instructional context, and her/his understanding of the learners’ needs and interests to develop syllabi, lessons, activities, and assessment that support all learners in achieving their learning goals.
The TESL graduate is familiar with a wide range of teaching resources (print, digital, and realia) and technological tools, and chooses materials and tools to best meet learners’ needs and enhance learners’ engagement and motivation.
The TESL graduate selects and applies appropriate teaching approaches, strategies and techniques, and draws on her/his knowledge of language and second language learning processes to provide clearly presented, engaging language instruction. She/he uses instructional flexibility, intercultural competence and interactive skills to create stimulating and relevant learning experience, and foster a sense of community among instructor and learners to best support learning.
The TESL graduate understands key concepts and principles of assessment, as well as different types and purposes of assessment and various ways of providing feedback. She/he develops and implements varied methods of assessment to monitor learner progress and to guide both instructor’s and learner’s decision-making. She/he is able to draw on her/his knowledge to meet the assessment requirements of the organization as needed.
The TESL graduate is familiar with the commonly used technology and resources needed for online and/or blended delivery of language instruction. She/he adapts to the delivery needs of the hiring organization and the learners, with additional support as needed.
The TESL graduate engages in ongoing professional learning and reflection, through collegial discussion, action research, and dynamic interaction with her/his own learners in order to evaluate and challenge her/his own developing practice, and better meet the needs of learners.
The TESL graduate understands the role of professional development (PD) in stimulating the circulation of creative ideas, innovative techniques, and new research. She/he also understands that a record of PD activities signifies the academic currency and depth embedded in TESL Ontario accreditation and lends weight to TESL Ontario advocacy of the recognition and regulation of professional standards for the “adult ESL instructor profession” in Ontario. Therefore, she/he commits to on-going engagement in collaborative and independent professional activities as a way of contributing to both her/his professional growth and the development of the TESL field.