Post-Graduate Certificate for Internationally Trained Teachers

Preparing Internationally Trained Teachers to Teach in Ontario

The Faculty of Education at Queen's University has developed a 16-month program for internationally trained teachers who are certified to teach in another country. This unique program offers cultural, educational and social opportunities that will prepare you to teach in an Ontario classroom. Upon successful completion, you’ll receive a Queen’s University transcript and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. Our program will count toward the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) certification process. If you complete the certificate you may be eligible for advanced standing in the Professional Master of Education (PME) program at Queen’s University.

Program Overview

  This is an on-site program that takes place at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

English Language Training

You’ll begin by participating in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program at Queen’s School of English (QSoE). It consists of 12 weeks of intensive English language training designed to develop knowledge, skills and strategies for academic success.

The 22.5 in-class hours per week focus on the four main language skills:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Writing

In addition to the EAP program, you’ll take a language support course to help with academic course work and an IELTS preparatory course to prepare to meet the English language requirements (IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL iBT 103) for Ontario College of Teachers certification.

For more information regarding the EAP program, visit the QSoE website.

Additional Qualification Courses

Please note: Students are automatically enrolled in these courses as part of their program enrolment.

You’ll also complete seven additional qualification (AQ) courses designed to prepare you for professional practice in Ontario schools. Each AQ consists of 125 hours of content to be completed over a five-week period in a blended (online and onsite) format. All courses are facilitated by Ontario certified teachers. These courses will complement your existing teacher education degree and help prepare you for teaching in the Ontario school system.

AQ Courses:

  • Orientation to Teaching in Ontario

    This course will enhance the understanding of effective practices and instructional strategies in Ontario classrooms. Teachers will explore the policies and strategies underpinning the Ontario curriculum, understand the procedures related to the Individual Education Plan process (IEP) and engage in course planning integrating differentiated instructions and universal design. Teachers will apply the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession in their program planning.

  • The Learning Environment

    This course will introduce strategies for creating and supporting a safe, inclusive, learning-focused classroom – a process that begins with effective classroom management. Classroom Management examines how several different components of teaching are integral to creating and maintaining a positive, ethical, equitable, accepting, inclusive, engaging, and safe learning environment. You will explore processes that promote a collaborative community that encourages student voice, leadership, critical inquiry, and self-regulation. In addition, you will establish practices that promote partnerships that value shared responsibility, decision-making, advocacy, and leadership.

    In this course you will have the opportunity to:

    • explore and summarize different theories of classroom management
    • understand that the teacher has the highest impact on student achievement
    • investigate diagnostic assessments, which are crucial in determining who the learners are in a classroom
    • explore evidence-based instructional strategies that are the foundation for student achievement
    • discover the impact of growth mindset on educators and students
    • design inquiry-based teaching
    • discover equitable and inclusive education is central to student achievement and for creating collaborative classroom communities
    • create dynamic, safe, inclusive, and responsive learning environments
    • design classroom space and layouts
    • create surveys to collect student voice
    • plan and design rich tasks
  • Special Education Part 1

    In Special Education Part 1, candidates will gain a general understanding of how to work successfully with students who have various learning needs. This course provides teachers with early intervention strategies to identify at-risk students as well as precise steps to follow to involve the in-school team and ensure that students' needs are met through an IEP and possibly an IPRC. Candidates will explore the various learning exceptionalities in Ontario and the placement options available in their schools. Through reflection, collaboration, discussion, and research, candidates will develop a wide array of pedagogical approaches that have proven successful when working with identified students. Practical work will include developing useful plans and lessons that can be used readily in the classroom. After completing this course, any teacher should feel well equipped to better understand the needs of students with varied learning profiles and feel confident in their ability to adequately plan for them and report on their progress.

  • Student Assessment and Evaluation

    Student assessment and evaluation is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Teachers in Ontario, and elsewhere, are required to use diverse forms of assessment to support and communicate progress in learning to students, parents, and school administrators. This course will build on your current assessment practices and support you in exploring ways to enhance your use of assessment. Specifically, current assessment theory and practices will be examined with opportunities for you to critically reflect on the integration of these theories and practices into your classroom to support student learning.

    In this course you will have the opportunity to:

    • learn about Ontario policies driving assessment practices throughout the province
    • explore theories of learning to inform assessment design
    • plan assessments that complement curriculum expectations and teaching
    • understand foundational principles of assessment: reliability, validity, fairness, and bias
    • design a variety of assessments including tests, rubrics, and performance assessments
    • examine grading, reporting, and communication practices
    • learn about the purposes and uses of large-scale assessment data
    • accommodate assessments for students with exceptionalities
  • Teaching English Language Learners

    English language learners (ELLs) entering Ontario classrooms will arrive with diverse and unique needs. Every ELL will bring unique cultural, social, academic, and linguistic backgrounds to your classroom. This course will enable you to cultivate a classroom environment that embraces diversity and celebrates the identity of every student while supporting ELLs through the difficult transition to their new home. English Language Learners (ELL) Part 1 is designed to provide you an engaging opportunity to explore many of the facets of teaching and learning an additional language. You will have the opportunity to explore the stages of language acquisition and ways to meet the needs of ELLs at the different stages. You will also gain a better understanding of the principles underlying the approaches to teaching the four broad language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You will examine some of the language demands that exist in curriculum-based lessons and learn how to scaffold appropriately and set realistic and manageable goals for ELLs. Your heightened awareness and deeper understanding will help you approach situations with greater confidence, competence, and preparation. You will have many opportunities to engage with colleagues in thoughtful discussions and challenge some of your own and others' preconceived notions about language learning and teaching. Prepare to be challenged, reflective and willing to keep an open mind as you explore the many fascinating areas of teaching English language Learners (ELL) and working with ELLs.

    In this course you will:

    • critically reflect on theoretical concepts about language learning and teaching
    • collaborate and share expertise with colleagues to support student learning and improve practice
    • familiarize yourself with the policies and support documents of the Ministry of Education and Training with respect to the Ontario curriculum for English language learners
    • reflect on some of your pre-existing beliefs and assumptions about language learning and teaching
    • explore practical ways to empower ELLs and affirm their identity
    • understand assessment and evaluation of language proficiency and student progress, student approaches to learning, and the achievement of curriculum expectations
    • analyze the effectiveness of instructional and learner strategies in different contexts
    • gain insights about the affective variables that may impact language learning and academic achievement
    • research current theory about teaching and learning an additional language
    • develop an enhanced understanding of effective techniques for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking
    • learn to scaffold effectively by considering current functioning and language and content demands in the lesson
    • design lessons that integrate the skills and scaffold appropriately to increase the comprehensibility of your lessons
    • build your own cultural competence in order to better understand the impact of culture on learning and experiences in the classroom
    • explore alternative forms of assessment to accommodate an ELL's current ability
  • Teaching Students with Communication Needs (Learning Disability)

    This course focuses on the theory and practice to support students with learning disabilities. Throughout this course, you will explore the various definitions and characteristics of learning disabilities. Through discussion and collaborations, you will discover cognitive, academic, and social-emotional implications of LD and generate ways to develop a positive learning environment for students with LD. You will address how social-emotional issues affect academic outcomes, research various academic strategies, and brainstorm the implications of psychological processes for students with LD. You will be provided with the opportunity to apply your learning to developing student profiles, transition plans, and gain applicable strategies that you can use in your teaching practice.

    This course focuses on learning disabilities (LD):

    • what they are
    • implications of having a learning disability
    • learning theories and programs that help students with LD
    • creating conditions that promote and maintain an inclusive and positive classroom and school
    • importance of collaborating with school-based teams and community personnel Course 

    In this course you will:

    • explore the various definitions and characteristics of learning disabilities
    • discover cognitive, academic, and social-emotional implications of LD
    • generate ways to develop a positive learning environment for students with LD
    • investigate instructional approaches that enable you to adapt your teaching to meet the needs of students with LD
    • consider assessment and evaluation strategies that work for students with LD
    • develop professional development practices
    • compare the various definitions of learning disabilities and discuss the implications
    • discuss how social-emotional issues impact academic outcomes
    • research various academic strategies
    • describe the implications of psychological processes for students with LD
    • create a student profile and transition plan
  • Teaching Students with Communication Needs (Autism Spectrum Disorders)

    The additional qualification course, Teaching Children with Communication Needs (autism spectrum disorders), focuses on the development and the implementation of program design for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This course provides a detailed look at the characteristics associated with ASD. You will explore research-based approaches to instruction and ways to negotiate challenging behaviour. This course looks at the significance of working with school-based teams and community personnel. Creating a positive learning environment that reflects care, diversity, and equity is the foundation of this course. This course enhances professional knowledge (through lived experience, inquiry, and reflection), ethical practice, and leadership. This course is aligned with the Ontario curriculum, legislation, government policies, frameworks, strategies, and resources.

    In this course you will:

    • analyze, interpret, and implement Ontario's curriculum, district school board polices, frameworks, strategies, and guidelines
    • apply background information regarding the characteristics of ASD
    • explore theories that attempt to understand the triad of impairments
    • generate ways to create a positive learning environment conducive to the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, cultural, spiritual, and moral development of students with ASD and design ways to develop their social skills
    • develop awareness of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit perspectives and ways of knowing
    • incorporate various types of programming and therapies such as applied behavioural analysis into classroom practice
    • access and explore a variety of resources, including technology
    • discover a variety of positive behavioural supports including reinforcement schedules
    • collect information about sensory needs and ways to deal with sensory defensiveness
    • develop an understanding of how to create and sustain professional learning communities
    • develop lessons which show an understanding how to create and sustain safe, healthy, equitable, and inclusive learning environments that honour and respect diversity
    • model and adapt expectations, strategies and assessment practices in response to the individual needs of students
    • facilitate the creation of learning environments conducive to the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, environmental, linguistic, cultural, spiritual, and moral development of the student
    • identify ways to collaborate with in-school personnel, parents/guardians, and the community
    • refine professional practice through ongoing inquiry, dialogue, and reflection
    • support and model ethical practices
    • illustrate the need to respect and conserve resources in the environment
    • integrate environmentally respectful perspectives and practices

Practicum and School Experience

Experiencing an Ontario classroom is an important part of preparing to teach in Ontario. Candidates will gain school experience through either a 20-day practicum or interactive school experiences. We will do our best to place each candidate in a practicum but cannot guarantee a practicum placement due to teacher shortages. If a candidate is not placed, they will be refunded the practicum fee but will still have the opportunity to gain experience in Ontario schools.

Employment and Career Preparation

You’ll take part in workshops designed to help you apply for jobs in Ontario. Workshops focus on resume writing, job search, and interview preparation. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend a job fair and receive help with your Ontario College of Teachers application.

Experiential Opportunities

Throughout the program, you’ll engage in experiential learning opportunities, such as participating in a volunteer program, visiting local schools, and working with community groups related to education. Students will also have the opportunity to be involved in Indigenous initiatives including visits from Queen’s University Elders and other members of the local Indigenous community. These experiences will allow you to apply your learning both inside and outside the traditional school system.

Program Dates

  New dates for the 2024 — 2025 intake of this program will be released in September 2023. Please email to receive program information updates and application information.

Deadline to apply for the program Jun 1, 2023
Deadline to submit supporting documents (transcripts and English language test scores) Jun 8, 2023
Deadline to make a full payment Jul 18, 2023
First day of classes Sep 7, 2023
Last day of classes Dec 13, 2024

Program Fees


Program fees include:

  • All English language training
  • Seven AQ courses
  • IELTS preparation
  • Experiential programming
  • 20-day practicum and/or school experience
  • Employment and career preparation

Refund Policy

Students may cancel their enrolment in the program before the first day of classes and receive a full refund.

If a student is awaiting a visa approval at the commencement of the program, they may be offered the ability to begin their studies online, deferral to the next intake at no penalty, or a full refund.

If a student withdraws from the program after it has started, they may be eligible for a refund on the portion of their studies that they have not yet completed. Any completed courses are non-refundable.

Minimum Application Requirements

Please note that we may require additional documentation to support your application, as each country has different standards and regulations for Teacher Certification (formal teacher training).

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Proof of teacher certification
  • Proof of English language proficiency at the level of IELTS Academic or General 6.0 or TOEFL iBT 80*

*An exemption from this requirement may be available. Visit OCT's Language Requirements page for more information. For more information on OCT language requirements, visit OCT's Proof of Language Proficiency page.

If you are below the listed English language requirements, you might be qualified to take our English language pathway program.

If you have any questions, please contact Professional Studies at

Accommodation Options

Off-Campus Living

Queen's University has supports available to help you find a comfortable place to live while studying. The Off-Campus Living Advisor is available to provide confidential guidance on evaluating off-campus housing, tenant rights and responsibilities, and resources for moving in/out. Virtual, one-on-one housing consultation appointments are available for all Queen's students. For more information, please visit or contact

Canada Homestay Network

The Faculty of Education and Queen’s School of English have partnered with the Canada Homestay Network, which provides affordable living options for international students.

A homestay experience includes:

  • A safe and welcoming place to call home
  • Canadian cultural immersion
  • An opportunity to make friends in the community
  • All meals included in homestay fees
  • Assistance with accommodation during school placements in other communities

For more information, please contact

Learn more about Queen’s University and Kingston

English Language Pathway Program

The English for Academic Purposes (EAP) pathway program is for students who are qualified for admission into the Post-Graduate Certificate for Internationally Trained Teachers program, but do not meet the minimum English language requirement of an IELTS 6.0, TOEFL iBT 80, Cambridge English 170 or CAEL 60.

To be accepted into this program, the applicant must meet one of the following English language requirements:

  • IELTS 5.5 overall
  • Cambridge English 160
  • TOEFL iBT 58
  • CAEL Overall Band 5 or equivalent

Pathway Program Information

The EAP pathway program consists of a 12-week intensive English language program that develops knowledge, skills and strategies for academic success.

The classes will focus on integrated practice in all four language skills:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

Pathway Application Information

Please contact us at if you are interested in taking the pathway program.

Ladder Your Credentials

Students who complete the Post-Graduate Certificate for Internationally Trained Teachers will be eligible to receive advanced standing in the Graduate Diploma in Education (GDE) and the Professional Master of Education (PME) by laddering their credentials. Queen’s University Faculty of Education has designed the laddered program as a customizable graduate experience, with the inclusion of three different credentials within one program. The GDE and the PME are both course-based, fully online programs, allowing you to explore diverse topics, expand your resume and experience, and grow as a professional. Students who complete the laddered program will receive a Post-Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Professional Master of Education. Contact us at or visit for more information.