University of Toronto TEFL Logo

Teach Away

About

OISE TEFL is an internationally-recognized TEFL certification course designed by professors at the University of Toronto OISE and offered by Teach Away. The course is 100% online, self-paced and will qualify you for a variety of international teaching jobs around the world. Upon completion of your course, you will receive a TEFL certification from the University of Toronto OISE and can apply to hundreds of teaching jobs abroad through Teach Away!

Headquarters

171 E Liberty St
324
Toronto ON M6K 3P6
Canada

Reviews

Default avatar
Lakshmi
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The course is linguistic basis and some prior knowledge in this area is an advantage. It offers some excellent teaching strategies, not only for teaching outside your immediate area or overseas, but also in any school environment from primary through to senior secondary. However, I found the blockage annoying. For example, when you have to wait to have the Journals marked and cannot move to the next module. The timed tests also posed a problem. For people like me who work full-time as a senior secondary teacher with 2 year 12 classes, a family to run and grand children. There was an occasion when I failed an exam because I had to attend a very young grand child's needs. There was also a time when I had planned to work on the course and your URL was down. This put me very behind in my schedule. You do need a very good internet connection to do the course and be able to be flexible with your time to complete the course. Overall a worth while course and for myself a very good review of what I had learnt awhile ago.

Default avatar
Mary
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have taken numerous online courses over the years, but I have no problem rating this course the best so far. The lessons were well organised and covered a lot of material (history of language, teaching theory, fundamentals of language/grammar). I wasn't expecting such an abundance of material, but know that it's necessary in order for language teachers to perform at their best in the classroom.

I liked the combination of visuals and audio components (PowerPoint, YouTube). The personal anecdotes that the professors and teachers shared helped me to understand the options that seasoned teachers have used when dealing with classroom issues and/or learning issues.

The reflections journals, quizzes and unit tests gave me the feedback I needed on an ongoing (and immediate) basis so that I could review and feel confident with my grasp of the materials.

I would strongly recommend this course for anyone who is interested in having a thorough knowledge base going into the classroom. It's a great confidence builder for new teachers.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I think it's important to learn as much as possible about the country, culture and people before you teach in a foreign country. I make a point of reading history, current events, literature etc. so that I have a better understanding and appreciation going in. This helps to enhance the experience for me and for the students.
Default avatar
KaterynaGovor
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The impression of OISE left only positive one. They reply on questions asked promptly and clear.
In general with the course, the experience has been more then good but not great.
From bright side the program has excellent study materials, I really proved my knowledge, got more confidence and made my outlook wider! That's what I am grateful for!
On another hand, course has 120 hours which has two sections, 100 hours of ground knowledge and 20 of chosen specialty. The thing is, that after some lesson (I would say roughly after 60th hour) the materials are repeating itself, it is boring. The materials have identical meaning but presented in different ways. I have got an expression that those materials made to fill up the required 100 hours. The 20 hours of chosen specialty has its advantages of being short and clear on the subject.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't get hope that after completing the course and get certificate, u will get job right the way. Yes, definitely, u would be able to apply for more job posting then before (u would be able to cross over the limit, schools set on who is able to apply) but still, if u are not native speaker, it is difficult to get through. I would say program perfectly fits English-speakers who doesn't have degree but would like to teach.
Cerro de Chipinque Mexico
Pauline Kanyiva
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Pauline Mwendwa from Nairobi, Kenya. I am a 27 years old adventurous and spontaneous teacher. I teach English and Literature both at Middle school and High school Level. I am currently teaching at Oxford School of English here in Monterrey, Mexico. I have been a teacher here for almost three years now.
This is my story. When my Best friend Flevian and I decided that it was time we diversified our dreams and move at least to a different country, I personally had no idea which country would be my destination. All I knew was that I needed to experience a new culture and learn a new language. So I went online and send out over 100 applications to all parts of the world. I received a couple of offers but some of them required huge amounts of money to move. Mexico was the option that I felt comfortable going for especially due to my financial situation. Also, it was intriguing for me because guess what, I had never thought of Mexico in my whole life and to be honest I never knew where Mexico was, and I never knew even a single Spanish word!
It wasn't the easiest decision to make moving to Mexico and I have never regretted it either. My teaching experience for the first year was not an easy one due to very many challenges such as language barrier and culture differences. After 3 months of working at Lincoln School in Guadalajara, Jalisco I was fired! Yes you read that right. That was my most devastating moment in my life. I was in a foreign country, I did not speak their language and I had no relative around. I contemplated going back to Kenya for a few days but I knew I had so much to accomplish in Mexico before I called it quits. I knew I could make it and God had better plans ahead. So I stayed without a job and with no means of survival. With my little savings that I had, I took a flight to a different State, Nuevo Leon where I am right now. This is where I learnt about the TEFL course through my online research in pursuit of understanding and solving the challenges of teaching English as a second Language. Before coming to Mexico, I had been teaching English for a couple of years in Kenya. I knew I was a competent teacher and an excellent one for that matter. Lo and behold! Teaching English and Teaching English as a second language are two different worlds altogether. With TEFL course you can easily be both. Through this course I learnt a lot that I wouldn't have known. If you are considering teaching in a foreign country you are on the right path. But, first things first. There are things that you might need to consider first. Learn the culture of your country destination, familiarize yourself with their religious believes and political views and if possible learn a bit of their language. Most importantly, take a TEFL course. This will make it easier for you to kick start your adventure. Also, you might need to be careful about the institution you choose to undertake your TEFL course. There are numerous institutions offering the course, but reviews should be your guide. After my research, I chose University of Toronto because of the positive review I read from different people, and true to the word, it was an amazing experience. The organization of the content, the constant online support and above all the prompt feedback from the tutors was my best part.Today I am proud to be one of the most outstanding graduates from OISE University of Toronto TEFL.
My most outstanding testimony is how much I learnt about classroom management. Any teacher would concur with me that this is usually the most challenging aspect of a teaching career. Being able to manage 25 to 30 different personalities with different background, interest, talents and challenges in the same room and at the same time is not a walk in the park. Since I took my TEFL course, my teaching experience has never been this exciting and lively. Lately, my students give me a reason to look forward to my next day, unlike before. I am looking forward to an even more adventurous and exciting teaching career in different parts of the world.
Lots of love to everyone and always be wild!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing that might need a bit of improvement is the quality of the practice questions and quizzes. I feel like they should be more challenging and open instead of multiple answers.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Christian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I enjoyed the content of this course as it highlighted information that I was not familiar with in an accessible and simple format. I felt comfortable learning at my pace, and was challenged to apply what I had learned by tests and reflection journals. I also found it very useful to recount earlier information that was reviewed as the course went on, further indicating which skills were the most useful while overseas. The lesson planning course I found particularly useful, as was the lesson pertaining to how different students learn. I would prefer for some more evaluation in between the beginning and the end of modules, as I feel like it would offer a better assessment of what has been learned. I felt like every lesson had something of value to take away, and I am looking forward to applying what I’ve learned in the global classroom.

What would you improve about this program?
More requests for stylized lesson plans by the teacher and some reflection journals were worded in a confusing manner.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Pauline Kanyiva Mwendwa

Pauline is a 27 years old adventurous and spontaneous middle school English teacher. She was born in Nairobi, Kenya and she is currently teaching in Mexico, Monterrey.

Why did you choose this program?

TEFL is an online course that prepares teachers and aspiring teachers, whether native or non-native speakers, to become teacher English as a Foreign Language. When I moved to Mexico, I had no international teaching experience whatsoever. However, having taught in Kenya for over 4 years, I knew that I was a competent teacher and an excellent one for that matter. Two months into my new job in Guadalajara in Jalisco I lost my job! Culture conflict and language barrier can be a real challenge.

You see, Africa and South America are two different worlds altogether. The culture, religion, food, dressing, music, political affiliation and every aspect you can think of. The school set-up, classroom management and general approach was even completely new to me. With my experience from Kenya, things were completely different. Even though I am a quick learner and very versatile, things weren't easy. Situation were coming up from time to time where students disagreed with me or I disagreed with them. This led to my termination of my one year contract only two months into it. It was an amicable agreement between me and the school administration because both the students and I were having a hard time.

This motivated me to do a thorough research on how to cope and teach in a new country, especially to English non-Speakers. That's how I learnt about TEFL course. Through my research, I learnt about the importance of taking the course since all the challenges I had faced previously were addressed in the course work.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Ontario Institute of Studies of Education of the University of Toronto came in handy to ensure that I successfully completed my program at my own pace and with all the required materials. Everything was availed on the student's platform and it was easily accessible. The University ensured that the organization of the course was suitable for both trained and untrained teacher, The arrangement from known to the unknown stood out, besides the advantage of freedom to choose the area of specialization. The immediate response from tutors and the administration helped a lot especially in the cases where I had questions about journal submission and grading.

On the other hand, I was able to organize myself since the course is self-paced and there is enough time to completely finish everything with good time management. I was able advance my activities every weekend since my weekdays are usually extremely busy at work. I used a lot of online research and referred mostly to my experiences when answering my journal evaluations. The systematic organization of the program made it easy for me to do almost everything by myself without experiencing any difficult.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

If you are thinking about teaching in a foreign country, then you are on the right track. First things first. You might need to consider taking this course whether you are a trained teacher or not. This will prepare you adequately to partake your new journey with full knowledge and confidence. This course highlights all the possible challenges and gives the solutions as well. I would also advice you to do a thorough research about your host country before moving over. What kind of language is spoken there, and if possible learn the basics, what are the political affiliations, religious believes and generally the culture.

This might sound very obvious but I will give you an example. Hand gestures are not a big deal in my country and in most countries actually. So in Kenya, you can snap your fingers to encourage someone to contribute in a discussion which is very okay. However, here in Mexico snapping fingers got me into a problem with a parent for snapping at the students during a classroom cooperative activity. Here in Mexico you cannot go snapping your fingers anyhow because it is very offensive. If I had done my research before and learnt that, may be I would have avoided such a confrontation. So it is very important to understand the culture differences that you might experience in order to avoid unpleasant confrontations and embarrassments as well.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Generally, this will depend on an individuals interests and preferences. As a teacher, my day starts at 7.30 am to 3.30 pm, from Monday to Friday. This might defer depending on different institutions or the region as well. When my day ends at work I have a whole afternoon to myself and at the end of the week I have a whole weekend for myself. This is the time I get to indulge with the culture, make new friends and go to new places.

Here in Mexico people are very social and there is always something to do. In the evenings, I sometimes go for Salsa dance, Carne Asada (barbecue night), movie night even going to the gym. Weekends are excellent for road trips, camping, weddings, quinceañera and site-seeing. As I said, all this depends on what one is interested in doing.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Moving to a new country is not as easy as it may sound. At first, I did not know how I would survive without my parents and my sisters around me. My other biggest fear was starting over. I was unsure of how things would be in a new country without family and friends. I thought I was going to lose my friends and lose contact with my family. The best way to overcome fear is to face it.

After I got here, those became completely non-factors. Now I had bigger problems like learning how to fold a taco and confidently put it in my mouth without spilling everything. Thanks to technology and this digital era, I can now Skype call and even Whatsapp call my family and friends almost on daily basis. This helps a lot when I feel homesick, even then though I miss being with them physically.

Is it worthy moving to a foreign country?

This is a question I get from anyone that I tell my story. I will be very honest. If your main reason for moving to a foreign country is solely to make money, then I would say no. Why, you may ask. First of all, moving to a foreign country is not cheap. It is like an investment or a business you are trying to test waters. It means abandoning whatever you were building on and starting over. So it is a risk which might or might not work out. What if it does not work out as you expected?

If your main reason is exposure and experience, then money might be just a bonus. Moving to a foreign country, as a teacher especially, comes along with a bunch of advantages. First, the international teaching experiences is a plus in career development. Most importantly, the exposure gives you a new way of perceiving everything and an opportunity to experience diverse cultures and practices. Even though most of these things are now available on the internet, the same internet will never teach you how to fold a Taco and put in your mouth without spilling everything.

Be wild, travel and live a thousand ways!

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Christie Van Tol

Job Title
Course Coordinator
After a stint abroad in Italy while studying for her Bachelor's of Arts in English, Christie decided to get TEFL certified and moved to Spain for a year to teach English! Christie now works as the Course Coordinator for the University of Toronto TEFL Online course, where she helps others realize their own dreams of teaching abroad.

What position do you hold at University of Toronto TEFL Online? What has been your career path so far?

colorful coastal views

I currently work as the Course Coordinator for the University of Toronto TEFL Online course at Teach Away. The most important stop on the path to my current position was my experience teaching abroad in Spain.

After graduating university I began working in an administrative position with a large company to save money to move abroad. After a lot of research I decided that teaching English overseas was the best way for me to meet my goal of long-term travel, and I quickly decided on Spain.

Earning my TEFL certification before leaving Canada, making the calculated risk to move to Spain (without a teaching job first!) and eventually landing a teaching job, lead me to where I am today. In my current position, I translate my past teaching and traveling experiences in a meaningful way to help others take the first step towards teaching English abroad, getting TEFL certified.

Did YOU teach abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

I lived in Gijon, Spain, in the northern province of Asturias for one year teaching conversational English to adults in a private language academy. Ever since studying abroad in Italy between my third and fourth years of university, I knew I wanted to live abroad long-term. I finished my final year of university and graduated with my bachelor’s degree.

A friend in my program told me about TEFL certification, and the advantages of teaching abroad as a way to travel abroad long-term, and I was hooked!

I earned my TEFL certification that summer and began researching for my adventure. After some research I considered teaching in Spain and Japan, but quickly settled on Spain.

I was inspired by Spanish culture - the food, the history, the language - and couldn’t wait to explore a part of Europe I had never seen before.

What country have you always wanted to visit?

I have always wanted to go to the Czech Republic. To me, photographs of Prague make it look as if it were first imagined in a fairytale. With its UNESCO world heritage sites, famous bridge and old town, colorful baroque buildings and Gothic churches, it is almost too perfect to visit! But, how can I choose just one?

At the top of my list are also a road trip across Iceland and a trip to Antarctica. I would love to get lost along the Ring Road in Iceland, stopping to see the beautiful volcanoes, waterfalls, icebergs, northern lights (if I’m lucky!) and National Geographic worthy landscapes.

As for Antarctica, I would love to board a cruise from the southern tip of Chile bound for Antarctica. To learn about the wildlife, history and current affairs of the southernmost part of our planet, which would definitely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What's your favorite ethnic dish?

Being one of the culinary capitals of the world, living in Spain was like being on a culinary tour e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y. One of the first things I ate when I arrived in Spain was a tortilla de patata, which is a Spanish omelette made of eggs, potato and onion, served on piece of fresh bread. I had never eaten so many starches and proteins in one dish and had never been so full in my life!

If I had to choose a favorite, however, it would have to be the fresh seafood. Teaching English in a coastal town I was spoiled with fresh seafood paella, fried chipirones and calamari, and my ultimate favorite, octopus.

Smothered in local olive oil and sprinkled with smoked Spanish paprika the octopus is traditionally boiled and lightly grilled on the outside before it’s diced and served on a simple platter in round bite-sized pieces. It is so soft and delicious it will spoil you for all future octopus.

What was your favorite traveling experience?

While living in Spain, I spent the first ten days of my summer vacation sailing around the Balearic islands. Starting in Ibiza, continuing to Palma de Mallorca and ending in Menorca, it was a trip I would never forget.

Before the trip I had never been on a sailboat, let alone for ten days with three people I had just met. I quickly discovered that traveling on water was one of the most beautiful and rewarding ways to experience a place, especially when the body of water you get to sail across is the Mediterranean Sea.

I jumped off the boat to snorkel with fish everyday, enjoyed meals on the boat with no land in view, and went to bed with the sun every night.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?​

A graduate of the TEFL Online course once told me that they would not be in their current teaching position in South Korea if it weren’t for the University of Toronto TEFL Online course.

When I hear stories like this - and I hear them often - of teachers who graduate from our course are able to fulfill their dream of teaching and traveling abroad, and that they are finding joy in making a difference in the lives of their students, I know that I am making a positive impact on the lives of others, and that I am without a doubt in the right industry.

More Interviews