With around ten million square kilometers, Canada remains the world’s largest country. Note that the country is made up of ten provinces and two territories, each with its unique character owing to the landscape and people who settled there. Canada is a country with two official languages, English and French.
Every public service is often expected to be offered in both languages, and that is why salespeople welcome their shoppers by saying “Hello/Bonjour.” However, Quebec, the largest of all Canadian provinces, is well known to be quite different from the rest owing to a high French influence.
Economically crucial in this province are hydroelectric power, logging, and manufacturing. Quebec’s commercial center is formed by Montreal. French is considered the city’s official language and is spoken by a majority of the population.
But aside from just language, the education system of Quebec is entirely different from most systems in Canada due to a supplementary college level called CEGEP after high school that comes before university. According to reports, a good percentage of these CEGE courses are taught in French, but teachers will also find CEGEPs that teach courses in English.
Quebec also boasts of a massive immigrant population that takes English classes once they get into Canada, offering willing teachers the opportunity to teach basic English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The school calendars for English-language public schools in Quebec look similar to most of the school calendars found in the United States.
The English Montreal School board outlines the school year as running from the end of August to the end of June, and this entails that teachers will have to consider seeking other jobs in the spring or beginning of summer. Currently, schools in Quebec are experiencing a massive shortage of teachers.
To rectify the situation, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education started a campaign in 2020 to recruit foreign teachers. Note that via this program, newcomers, as well as teachers in other provinces, can move to Quebec and fill the gap. In addition, Quebec has also noted that a candidate who does not have work experience as a teacher or who is not presently working as a teacher can also be eligible to become a teacher in Quebec.
Teaching English in Quebec can take various forms. Some positions require an extensive level of preparation, organization, and knowledge like making lesson plans, handling large classes of students, and taking a serious approach to grammar and linguistics.
Meanwhile, there are other opportunities for language assistants and casual tutoring at all levels and all ages like tutoring and homework help for children, community integration initiatives, and helping someone practice English over a coffee.
Requirements for Teaching the English Language in Quebec
Although not mandated by law, anyone looking to teach in Quebec is strongly recommended to learn French, especially those looking to live in Montreal. While a good number of residents in the city are bilingual, teachers with a good knowledge of French will feel more like a part of the community and will also find it easier communicating with students and locals.
In addition, to teach English in Quebec, teachers are also expected to take a TEFL certificate course in Quebec that is recognized by TESL Canada. Note that those who choose to tread this route will receive job assistance and are more likely to be placed in language schools, universities, colleges, and establishments where business English training is compulsory.
However, those without TEFL certification will have to get a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate issued by the MELS, or the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports, of Quebec. Have it in mind that getting this teaching certificate will involve taking certain courses recognized in the Quebec province education and Quebec law.
Teachers are expected to receive this certification irrespective of grade level and whether or not they are teaching English in the English-language or French school system. Certification will also be required if you intend to teach students at a CEGEP or Continuing Education/Adult Education program.
Salary Scale for English Teachers in Quebec
According to reports, the average English teacher salary in Quebec is $52,359 per year or $23.66 per hour. However, note that this number will vary depending on the teacher’s experience and specific job placement. Generally, Quebec (especially Montreal) is not a cheap place to live when compared to other cities outside of North America and Europe.
For instance, the average cost of living in Montreal is $1968 per month, and food and clothing are likely to be on the pricier end. Montreal rent prices have been on the rise for months and according to recent reports, a one-bedroom rental reached $1,300 in January.
It also means rent in the city is up to $64 since December when prices took a dip, averaging $1,236 a month. However, for more affordable housing teachers can look into home-stays, hostels, and shared housing
How to Become an English Teacher in Quebec
Teaching is indeed a very lucrative career that will allow you to build meaningful relationships with students of all ages. However, if you are looking to become an English Teacher in Quebec, here are steps to take;
Meet The Necessary Requirements
To start teaching English in Quebec, it is recommended you start by getting certified. Have it in mind that a qualification such as a TEFL or CELTA certificate will open more doors and offer you a vast range of options in terms of landing a good English teaching job in Quebec. A good number of language schools require their tutors to have such a qualification, and some may even require English as a first language.
Since most of these teaching certifications are recognized internationally, you can even get qualified before you arrive in Quebec. You can do this through a local institution or an online course. However, just make sure that whatever certificate you go for is well recognized by Canadian language schools.
Also, note that you can train as a teacher in Quebec. TESL Canada tends to outline institutions with TESL-recognized training programs. However, first, verify that your status in Quebec lets you pursue these programs. Most often, depending on how you acquired the right to come to Quebec, you may not be able to combine work with study.
Find English Language Teaching Jobs
There are numerous ways to find an English-teaching job in Canada. Organizations like TESL Canada make available job listings, while general job sites like Indeed.ca. also, post available job opportunities. Also, note Language schools may advertise positions via their sites; therefore ensure you check out schools in your target destination.
Casual online employment listings like Craigslist and Kijiji could also announce related jobs. Although this might work for people who do not have a recognized certification, but you are advised to be wary of scams or sub-standard work conditions when going through casual employment sites.
Notably, if a school requires a Canadian-certified qualification, it is a more reputable place to work – and it may also offer better pay. You can also find remote English language teaching jobs online since students around the globe value the chance to learn English from a Canada-based tutor.
However, just like any other job, take your time to prepare a detailed resume and cover letter. Although teaching English may seem like a way to pass time while also searching for a ‘real’ job, it is still very much advisable you take this job search seriously.