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New to TEFL, not to teaching
My girlfriend and I want to relocate abroad somewhere to teach English for a while so we can support ourselves with good employment while being immersed in a foreign language culture.
Mandy is a high school Spanish teacher in the US with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish education and three years teaching experience. She also taught EFL for the Wall Street Institute when she lived in Mexico.
I have my US Bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis on linguistics and have done course work in Second Language Acquisition and French (I am not fluent in French). I also have several years experience as a substitute teacher.
We both prefer to teach teenagers and young adults, but are open to whatever good work is available.
We've been researching the TEFL world and see the merit of having meaningful credentials, and it seems clear that the Cambridge CELTA and Trinity CertTESOL qualifications are the most universally recognized. But as we've investigated the CELTA and CertTESOL certificate courses, we've noticed that they are designed for people with little or no teaching experience or knowledge of language. That leaves us to wonder if they are really right for us, especially Mandy.
So, we've got some questions:
1) For our goals, does CELTA or Trinity have any important advantages over the other?
Are there other qualifications we should be looking at instead?
2) Might Mandy's bilinguism and experience teaching Spanish open more possibilities that we should look into? (She is certainly as open to teaching Spanish as English.)
3) How much of an obstacle will traveling together be in finding work?
Re: New to TEFL, not to teaching (views: 4852)Online (Online) - Wed, 15 Aug 2007
Posted by TEFL Teacher
I wanted to respond to your post because I was in a similar situation when I got into TEFL. I was a French and German teacher in the UK before taking a TEFL course. I still found the TEFL course very useful and practical because teaching English, while using many of the same techniques, is different. Also, the course I took (Via Lingua CTEFL in Crete) has a very practical approach and gives you a lot of real practice. I found that the CELTA and Trinity courses focused a lot more on teaching theory and methodology when I researched them. Because I felt I already had this basis, I chose the Via Lingua course. CELTA and Trinity are big names but the certificate from other course providers is the same (if not better) because it is still internationally recognised. I had NO trouble finding a job with the Via Lingua certificate. I also appreciated the focus on teaching English grammar. Even if you know grammar, you learn how to teach it - this is what I meant by the practical application. I found the course well worth the money and I have found a great job with my Via Lingua certificate... and you can't beat the island of Crete for a nice place to relax after long days at school! Good luck to you in your search.
Re: New to TEFL, not to teaching (views: 4802)Online (Online) - Wed, 18 Jul 2007
Posted by eigoman
If you decide to give it a go without a CELTA or Trinity certificate, please let us know how you make out. Cambridge in particular claims to work with organizations around the world to "ensure the acceptance of CELTA globally." I for one have often wondered if that campaign included informing schools of who doesn't need a CELTA in addition to who does. In my opinion, you shouldn't need a CELTA to get a job but my opinion doesn't count for much. That isn't to say neither of you wouldn't learn something on a CELTA course; you probably would. Of course the same is true of a CELTA certified teacher who took some of the courses you did during your degree.
Re: New to TEFL, not to teaching (views: 4475)Online (Online) - Tue, 17 Jul 2007
Posted by GoTeacher
My girlfriend and I want to relocate abroad somewhere to teach English for a while so we can support ourselves with good employment while being immersed in a foreign language culture. In my opinion, the most important factor in answering the questions that follow is where you want to go. When it comes to TESOL, the planet is far too big to give accurate advice against a backdrop of wanting to teach "somewhere." 1) For our goals, does CELTA or Trinity have any important advantages over the other? Are there other qualifications we should be looking at instead? The advantage of having a CELTA or Trinity certificate varies from country to country and by type of school. If you could further elaborate upon "your goals," it would help to frame and filter responses to your question. 2) Might Mandy's bilinguism and experience teaching Spanish open more possibilities that we should look into? (She is certainly as open to teaching Spanish as English.) I have seen ads specifically targeted at Canadian EFL teachers who are bilingual and able to teach the occasional French class as well. I'm sure similar opportunities exist for fluent speakers of other languages whom schools can leverage as required to meet local market demand for lessons in other foreign languages. 3) How much of an obstacle will traveling together be in finding work? I think you will find that many schools are open to and even prioritize hiring couples.