Decisions, decisions, decisions…
If you want a job that will allow you to travel the world, then becoming a TEFL teacher (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) may be the thing for you. Today English is the lingua franca or common language of our world, and plenty of countries need teachers.
You can literally live anywhere these days. All you need are transferable skills and that is where CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification comes into play. With a CELTA, unlike many others applying for positions, you can be sure that your CV will get looked at.
The TEFL Job Market in the UK and Beyond
What do language schools prefer when hiring? Well, a TEFL certificate is the primary thing they want. However, all training programmes are not equal.
You want a certification that is well-known, has an in-class practice teaching component and is taught in-person by tutors. In sum, your best bet is to stay away from on-line schools and go for the CELTA.
General TEFL Certificates
Plenty of schools offer TEFL certificates. In fact, you can probably finish an on-line course in a few hours. The school will email you a PDF diploma and all is seemingly well. Yet, what did you really learn?
More than likely, the program merely tested your ability to understand grammar at the level of the average native speaker. These days, that basic level of competency is just not good enough to teach English abroad.
Governments, corporations and universities in foreign countries want teachers who can actually understand and use the best educational techniques or methodologies. The on-line TEFL certificates cannot provide you with that type of knowledge.
The CELTA Difference
The better option is to get a CELTA. This four-week program is certified and backed by Cambridge English Language Assessment, part of Cambridge University, one of the most venerable academic institutions in the world. The tutors ensure each graduate learns the latest language teaching methods. You will be prepared to handle yourself in front of a class from day one of your new job.
One of the main differences between the Cambridge official certification and those other certificates is the actual teaching element. Every CELTA student spends at least six hours practising their teaching skills in front of a training coach.
The teaching observation and feedback sessions are priceless. When it is time for their job interviews, graduates are confident that they are classroom ready.
Quite simply, the CELTA is the most widely recognised teaching abroad certification. You will find many employers who only hire CELTA holders. These schools know they will not have to waste time retraining quality graduates. The same cannot be said about the on-line TEFL classes.
With a CELTA, you will get instant respect on the job market.
Challenging But Fun
You will have to study hard to earn a CELTA. After all, Cambridge has exacting standards. Yet, it is not all work. You will be part of a cohort divided into a group of 6 students or less. Everyone is trying to reach the same goal of becoming outstanding teachers. In many cases, fellow candidates turn into life-long friends.
CELTA tutors understand that human interaction is an integral part of the educational process. The presence of other trainees is important. You will motivate each other to succeed. Consequently, you can retain more information than if you had studied alone via the internet.
Choose the CELTA
So, if you want to travel the world, work in exotic locales and enjoy life to the fullest, then getting a CELTA would be a wise choice.
For good reason, employers prefer CELTA certificate holders. It is not just the prestige of being associated with Cambridge University but largely because the candidates really learn how to teach. The time spent in a classroom setting trying out various teaching styles prepares graduates for success.
Even though every first-time teacher has a few nervous butterflies, CELTA graduates can rest assured that they have the skills to perform the job.
Learn more about the course here