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Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language

Application deadline: June 15, 2014 for Fall 2014 (closed for international applicants)

This 15-credit certificate is designed as professional development for in-service teachers and for candidates with a background in education, language studies, linguistics or a related field.  This certificate can also serve as preparation for application to our MA in Second Language Education (please note the additional admission requirements for the MA in Second Language Education).


The English Language Proficiency Test is mandatory for applicants to the Graduate Certificate in TESL program.

English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT)

Applicants must register for a testing date after applying to the program.

The purpose of the test is to determine whether your level of written and oral English meets the standards we require of students in our TESL programs.  Please see information below regarding the structure and delivery of the test. 

2014 ELPT Testing Date:

Wednesday, August 20

Register for ELPT

To register for the test, click here.

N.B. Only students who are admissible to the program will be asked to sit for this test.

About the Test
The test consists of two parts: a written part and an individual oral interview. The written part includes an English editing task, a cloze task, and an extended writing task. During the written part, you will be allowed only writing utensils and an eraser. You may not use a paper dictionary, nor any electronic aids.

The written part of the test will take place from 9:00 – 11:00 AM. After the written part is graded (by 1:00 PM), a schedule will be posted for the individual oral interviews. Please plan to be available until 4:00 PM on the testing day. NOTE: If you do not pass the written part, you will be informed at the beginning of the oral interview session and will not complete the oral interview.

Payment - $30
B.Ed. TESL applicants have already paid the testing fee at the time of application.

Transfer students, MATL TESL applicants, and Grad Cert TESL applicants are required to pay a $30 fee to take the test. The $30 fee will be charged automatically to their McGill account.

MELS students are required to pay a $30 fee to take the test. MELS students must bring a money order or certified cheque made out to McGill University with them to the test. Both of these can be obtained at any bank. We apologize for the inconvenience, but our office is not equipped to accept cash or personal cheques.

Distance Testing
If you are unable to attend the test at McGill and reside more than five hours round-trip from Montreal, distance testing is an option for you. Please contact advisedise [dot] education [at] mcgill [dot] ca for more information.


    • The 5 courses which comprise the certificate provide a solid background and offer in-depth study in the field of second language education from a range of perspectives and with a focus on research and applications to teaching.
    • Certified teachers accepted into this certificate may be eligible for a bursary. Please refer to the Québec Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport website for more information.
    • This certificate does not offer teacher certification.
    • The certificate is designed to be available to students worldwide with courses are offered in a combination of online and face-to-face formats.

      The first 3 courses are offered online, and can be undertaken anywhere an internet connection is available.

      The final two courses are offered face-to-face, on-site at McGill in an intensive summer institute.

    • The courses are sequenced in such a way that students can complete the certificate in one year.
    • The maximum time for completion is three years, subject to the Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies regulations regarding residency and leaves of absence.
    • The final two courses can also be offered at off-site locations with collaborative partners, if numbers warrant. Please contact the Program Director for more information about this option.
    • Please note: ALL international students, whether or not they plan on completing the program in one semester, must apply for a student visa. Non-Canadians must obtain permission to study from the governments of Quebec and Canada. Immigration Quebec issues the Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada issues Federal Study Permits. You may also wish to contact International Student Services for assistance.
    • International students: If you intend to follow the first 3 courses (online) from your home country, and to travel to Canada only for the purpose of attending the final two courses held on-site at McGill in the summer institute, you normally do not require a study permit.
    • International students should refer the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to determine if a visitor’s visa is required. Further assistance can be provided by McGill University’s International Student Services

Click here for Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Click here for Program Requirements and Course Descriptions

FAQ: Issues of Equity and Diversity for DISE (.pdf)


Advisor Contact Info:

Andrea Nguyen – Graduate Certificate in TESL Program Coordinator
gctesl [dot] education [at] mcgill [dot] ca
514-398-7149

Dr. Caroline Riches – Graduate Certificate in TESL Program Director
caroline [dot] riches [at] mcgill [dot] ca