Language Volunteers

Free Online Course: TESL Basics for Language Volunteers.

Stepping up for a welcoming community

At New Language Solutions we recognize volunteers can be an important part of settlement language training. TESL Basics for Language Volunteers (TBLV) is a free online course funded by IRCC. TBLV aims to offer basic TESL training and orientation for classroom volunteers and volunteers working with newcomers in informal language training, such as conversation circles or as a tutor.

The course was developed and piloted extensively from 2018-2020 and now it is available for local or regional adaptation and delivery! This multimedia course is about 15 hours in length, delivered online over a period of 7 weeks. Each week a new topic is introduced, including an introduction to the CLBs, working with lower-level learners, using realia, and volunteering in an online environment. Language volunteers receive some theoretical background, but first and foremost get lots of practical tips and suggestions on how to teach English as a Second Language. TBLV engages the volunteer with videos, podcasts and interactive quizzes, and local coaches connect with participants on discussion forums. TBLV is offered on Avenue.

If you are an IRCC-funded service provider, you are invited to partner with New Language Solutions to offer this course to your language volunteers. Here’s what we can provide: we offer free training for your own volunteer coaches on how to manage the course, and we will host the TBLV course for local SPOs. We ask that your volunteer coaches are trained TESL professionals with at least two years of experience in the field, as well as experience using Avenue. Local or regional coaches will enroll and support their volunteers through the course and can modify the course with local resources. NLS will also provide the coaches with continuing in-service support from our TBLV coordinator.

Curious to learn more? Watch our short promo videos:

Why Volunteer?


Listen to our podcast with local TBLV coach Shabana Shahzad.

Or, contact the TBLV Project Lead Marijke Geurts.

To find out if TBLV is offered in your area, take a look at our list of partnering organizations here.

Partnering Organizations

At this time, New Language Solutions does not offer TESL Basics for Language Volunteers to individuals. If you would like to take this course but are not sure if TBLV is offered in your area, here is a (growing) list of organizations that have partnered with New Language Solutions to offer this training to local …

TBLV Frequently Asked Questions

I am a LINC instructor and I would like my classroom volunteer to take the TBLV training. How do I proceed? First of all, you can check the list of organizations that are partnering with NLS to see if your program already offers TBLV. (Take a look here.) If that is not the case, feel …