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Ontario College of Teachers to Ensure Language Proficiency

June 09 1999

TORONTO The Ontario College of Teachers will ensure that new applicants are proficient in English or in French before they are licensed to teach in Ontario, starting in 2000.

The College has asked the government to amend Regulation 184/97 made under the Ontario College of Teachers Act, which governs teachers qualifications, to include language proficiency as a requirement for registration.

The Ministry of Education, in co-operation with the Ontario Teachers Federation, was responsible for evaluating new teachers language proficiency before 1978. Since 1978, superintendents in school boards are required to evaluate the fluency in English or in French of prospective teachers trained outside Ontario. The evaluation methods vary across the province.

"The new policy answers a need for consistency and quality assurance across the province and is based on thorough research and consultation with members of the profession, faculties of education and school boards," said College Chair Donna Marie Kennedy. "As the licensing body for the teaching profession in Ontario, the College must ensure that teachers are proficient in English or in French to provide the best education possible to Ontario children."

Applicants will not be required for certification to teach in English-language schools if they completed post-secondary and teacher education studies in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, the Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, Montserrat, New Zealand, St. Kitts-Nevis, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Applicants who can provide evidence that they studied at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels in English may also be exempted from the language proficiency test.

Applicants wishing to be certified in French will also be exempted from the language proficiency test if they completed their post-secondary and teacher education studies in French in Canada, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Monaco and Switzerland.

Applicants who can provide evidence that they studied at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels in French may also be exempted from the language proficiency test.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON, M5S 0A1, P: 416.961.8800 / Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1.888.534.2222 / F: 416.961.8822 / info@oct.ca

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