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Canada: Trent adds credits to ESL courses

Trent University in Canada has approved two ESL courses to be credit-bearing meaning they will count as elective courses towards undergraduate degrees.

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Trent-ESL has also added a new postgraduate certificate in TESL

Trent-ESL’s two highest levels – formerly Foundations for University I and II – have been recognised as academic courses after the University Senate approved each level to be worth one full academic credit.

“This is exciting because it is new and unique as far as Canadian EAP/English for University programs go,” director international at Trent University Cath D’Amico explained.

“This is a great value-add for students who can get a jump start on their degree taking ESL and adding academic courses.”

Additionally, Trent-ESL has also launched a new postgraduate certificate in TESL, partnering with the university’s Centre for Languages and Linguistics and School of Education.

“Both the ESL courses and the additional university courses are university credits, so students are not ‘in ESL’ before starting their degree,” D’Amico continued, “their courses are integrated into their degree.”

“These courses have the same academic rigor as any other language taught at the university,” she added.

“Often students perceive ESL as a barrier to starting academic programs”

“It never made sense that credits weren’t granted for learning English. I’m thrilled that we’ve reached this accomplishment for our students… often students perceive ESL as a barrier to starting academic programs, and now this removes that barrier and makes ESL part of their degrees.”

The postgraduate certificate in TESL aims to help ESL teachers who themselves are second language users to improve their English level and provide professional development.

“This program is a collaboration between Trent-ESL, the Trent Centre for Languages and Linguistics, and the Trent School of Education. This powerful trifecta of departments brings together language development, language and culture, pedagogy, and linguistics for a high-impact professional development experience.

“Further, it can be stacked with other PGCs, such as Human Resources Management for teachers who want to become administrators, or with a Marketing and Entrepreneurship Certificate for an ESL instructor who wants to run a school.”

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