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Currently Registered Students - TESL

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) advising documents

Advising documents are divided by year of entry into the program. Select the advising documents relevant to the year you entered the TESL program.

Students who entered in Fall 2013

TESL Program Checklist 2013-2014
Registration Plans 2013-2014:
TESL Four Year Overview registration planTESL Three Year Overview registration plan
Official eCalendar program entry with course lists and descriptions

Students who entered in Fall 2012:


Complementary Academic Courses

Students in TESL must take 18 credits of Complementary Academic Courses.

Choosing your Complementary Academic courses:

These courses, of which a minimum of 6 credits must be ENGL subject courses, may be any course in the Faculty of Arts or any course in the Faculty of Science.

Combined with your 6 elective credits, they are best used to give you additional background in teaching subjects in order to maximize your post-graduate marketability. There are two strategies you might use when choosing them:

  1. Specialist - Concentrate your course choices in one or two areas in the rough equivalent of a second teachable subject (such as Social Studies, Geography, English, Science and Technology, Mathematics, or Ethics Religious Culture). Note that MELS will not issue a brevet (specialist certification) in a second subject, but you may mention in job applications or interviews that you have some training in this additional area.
  2. Generalist - Spread your course choices over a number of areas to give you the widest possible background knowledge, which will serve you well in teaching language, as well as a basis for teaching other subjects should the opportunity arise.

Note that of your Complementary Academic Courses, a maximum of 9 credits may be in a foreign language (not English).


Please note that TESL graduates who plan to teach in the province of Quebec are advised that they will be working in a French Language environment where English is not the language of school communication. All French-language schools boards require that new teachers pass a standardized French competency test so that their ability to professionally communicate with parents, teachers and support staff is assured. TESL students who are not yet competent at this level of French are advised to take French language courses as early as possible.


Academic Advisers:
Grace Wong-McAllister
Tel.: (514) 398-4527 - advisedise [dot] education [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)

Ryan Bouma
Tel.: (514) 398-4527 - advisedise [dot] education [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)

Tina Schiavone
Tel.: (514) 398-4527 - advisedise [dot] education [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)


Frequently Asked Questions:

I've written an English exit exam already, do I need to register for EDEC 215?

Yes, the provincial governement requires that all students in teacher education programs demonstrate their proficiency in the language of instruction.  More information can be found here.

I speak fluent French, do I need to take EDSL 215 Effective Communication in French?

For EDSL 215, depending on your level of French you may not need to take this course and can take a Complementary Academics course instead (this is the meaning of the note).  There are two ways to be exempted from EDSL 215:

  • If you attended a French Secondary School or CEGEP (not French immersion)
  • If you take the French Language Centre placement test and are placed in FRSL 321 or higher.

If you did not attend a French Secondary School or CEGEP, you should take the FLC placement test (instructions can be found on their website) and determine whether or not you need to take EDSL 215. If you are exempt from EDSL 215, you will need to take an additional complementary academics course in its place.

When do I need to start registering for courses?

Registration in Fall/Winter courses for returning students begins in late March or early April and ends a couple weeks after classes in the semester begin.  A complete list of registration start and end dates can be found here.

What should I do if I'm having trouble registering for a course?

If you are getting an error such as 'program restriction' or 'reserve closed' when attempting to register for a course, first ensure that you are selecting the section designated for your program (see the notes under the course in class schedule search on Minerva).  If you are still having trouble, contact the department offering the course (Educational and Counselling Psychology for EDPE and EDPI courses, Linguistics for LING courses, English for ENGL courses, etc.).  The calendar entry for the course will indicate the offering department.

If I am interested in taking French courses, where do I go to take the French Placement Test?

Information about French courses and the French Placement Test can be found on the French Language Centre website.


Program information is organized into three distinct groups:

Prospective Students   Newly Admitted   Currently Registered