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How To Become An English Language Teacher (UK)

How To Become An English Language Teacher (UK)

How To Become An English Language Teacher (UK)

Becoming an English Language Teacher is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

But it’s also quite challenging.

There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion about the best jobs and qualifications to pursue.

We’ve created this short guide to go over the 3 most common routes to an exciting career that can take you anywhere in the world.

Let’s go.

Option 1: Just get a job with no qualifications

This is the most common option you often overhear people saying in the pub or on the train.

“Sure you can just get a job anywhere teaching English because you’re a native speaker.”

Not quite.

“While it’s true there are certainly opportunities to teach English overseas without any prior experience or qualifications; there are rarely paid placements or at least well-paid options.”

As with most things in life, there is no quick-fix and to become a legendary English language teacher takes training, hard work and experience.

That’s why most people end up getting qualified before they go out into the field.

Option 2: Take a TEFL course

The TEFL course is probably the most popular option people take.

That’s because they’re often advertised on sites like Groupon, Gumtree and local community centres.

TEFL is an umbrella term for any English Language Training Courses and stands for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language.’

“It’s not an actual certification or qualification, rather the term used to describe courses of a language teaching nature…”

Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of issues such as:

  • Uncertified trainers running the courses
  • People receiving useless certificates
  • People wasting money on something they cannot use.

We think TEFL courses are ideal for hobbyists who want to learn a new skill or meet new people while learning something.

But for those looking to make an actual career (and make money while travelling the world,) we recommend the CELTA.

Option 3: Become CELTA certified (best option)

CELTA is an intensive English Language Teacher course run by Cambridge University.

It stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults’

This is the gold-standard when it comes to becoming an English Language Teacher and is the most recognised and sought-after qualification worldwide.

“Not only does the certificate carry weight globally, but it also equips trainees with the necessary skills and knowledge to become the best English Language Teachers they can be.”

What sets the CELTA apart from the TEFL is the fact that trainees teach real-life students while they are studying.

That way they can develop the actual practical teaching skills as they learn them.

It also means that all CELTA-qualified teachers have real-world experience before their first day on the job.

This is ultimately why we recommend all potential English Language Teachers to do the CELTA.

Because it’s simply the best.

Take the first step in your English Language teaching career today

Thanks very much for reading. We hope you found it helpful.

To find out more information about the CELTA course (including prices and study options) click here.

Alternatively, please feel to contact us if you have any questions.


– Paul McMullan, Director of International House Belfast

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