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Certificate programs such as Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) have burgeoned in our globalized world. They are usually offered and/or accredited by reputable educational institutions, such as University of Cambridge, University College London, Michigan University, as well as sanctioned by government bodies (e.g., TESL Ontario and TESL Canada in Canada, National ELT Accreditation Scheme (NEAS) in Australia, New Zealand Qualification Authorities (NZQA) in New Zealand, & Accreditation UK in the United Kingdom). These accredited programs vary enormously in their design, ranging from short certificate courses to higher education degrees. The former have historically been known as teacher training courses, with the British ELT industry as a pioneer in the field, qualifying English language teachers for more than 50 years (Freitas, 2013). They generally seek to provide their student-teachers with essential knowledge and practical skills for the teaching of the English language. The latter have been typically offered by higher education institutions in the format of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees focusing on academic disciplines. However, what the ELT field has considered to be the content (knowledge base) of these programs as well as how this content should be taught has significantly changed through the years


Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


TESL Ontario Contact Magazine


November early view 2017

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
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Original Publication Citation

Frietas, D. (2017, November). Overcoming the Theory and Practice Divide : a Perspective From the TESOL Plus Program. Contact. Retrieved from