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CELTA/ certTESOL/ Teaching English as a Foreign Language

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    This is the thread for anyone doing/ thinking of starting a TEFL course such as Trinity CertTESOL or Cambridge's CELTA Certificate.
    Don’t be shy, say hello!
    This thread can be for anything. Where to apply, what the courses are like, the best information for jobs etc.

    Hi

    Im going to graduate this year and im very intrested in doing a CELTA/ or maybe an i-to-i or similar online and weekend course. Then to teach English abroad.

    What would you recommend? The mainly online course is much cheaper, though I have heared that CELTA is far better. Though the £1200 fees are high.

    I have no ESL teaching experience though do have some experience of working with children. Would this be bad?

    Also would anyone have general advice on TEFL, especially in Asia.

    Thanks
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    You could do a 300 hour course, called the TESOL Diploma, it is better than a TEFL and will have healthier job prospects, all that is important is if you can commit to it -

    You can find it at Notting Hill College. I did a course with them and they seem like the least expensive provider I could find.

    GL!

    http://www.school-of-teacher-trainin...0Diplomas.html
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    (Original post by Sun!)
    Hi

    Im going to graduate this year and im very intrested in doing a CELTA/ or maybe an i-to-i or similar online and weekend course. Then to teach English abroad.

    What would you recommend? The mainly online course is much cheaper, though I have heared that CELTA is far better. Though the £1200 fees are high.

    I have no ESL teaching experience though do have some experience of working with children. Would this be bad?

    Also would anyone have general advice on TEFL, especially in Asia.

    Thanks

    I would recommend the CELTA. I've done both (i-to-i course and CELTA) and the CELTA definitely prepares you better. I warn you though, it is intense!

    Having no experience at teaching is no problem at all. Most people who go into TEFL have little to none but the CELTA really prepares you.

    Where in Asia are you thinking of teaching?
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    CELTA is not quite as intense as many people like to say- but it is a 9-5 commitment for a month with approx 1-2 hours of additional work each evening. You don't need any experience to do the course.

    CELTA is good preparation for teaching- no online course can prepare you as well as practical experience in the classroom (which CELTA provides). It is a minimum standard though and you should (hopefully) expect to improve on the job. You don't need CELTA to get a TEFL job, but it helps. Above all, employers who require CELTA qualified applicants are generally likely to be more reputable than those who will take unqualified teachers- this is better for the students and also for you (reputable employers generally pay in full, on time, and treat their staff better).

    However, if you are planning to teach in certain Asian countries (notably Korea), CELTA isn't as useful as in other parts of the world as it is rarely a requirement for positions.
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    (Original post by standreams)
    CELTA is not quite as intense as many people like to say- but it is a 9-5 commitment for a month with approx 1-2 hours of additional work each evening. You don't need any experience to do the course.

    CELTA is good preparation for teaching- no online course can prepare you as well as practical experience in the classroom (which CELTA provides). It is a minimum standard though and you should (hopefully) expect to improve on the job. You don't need CELTA to get a TEFL job, but it helps. Above all, employers who require CELTA qualified applicants are generally likely to be more reputable than those who will take unqualified teachers- this is better for the students and also for you (reputable employers generally pay in full, on time, and treat their staff better).

    However, if you are planning to teach in certain Asian countries (notably Korea), CELTA isn't as useful as in other parts of the world as it is rarely a requirement for positions.
    I did mine part time while also working full time and doing an OU degree so perhaps that's why I found it intense!

    It really depends on where you want to go in Asia. As was said, Japan, Korea etc look for a degree above everything else whereas in Indonesia, some schools will hire you with nothing (although the law actually states that you must have a degree in English/Linguistics/Education).
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    (Original post by abbyheat)
    I would recommend the CELTA. I've done both (i-to-i course and CELTA) and the CELTA definitely prepares you better. I warn you though, it is intense!
    Having no experience at teaching is no problem at all. Most people who go into TEFL have little to none but the CELTA really prepares you.
    Where in Asia are you thinking of teaching?
    (Original post by standreams)
    CELTA is not quite as intense as many people like to say- but it is a 9-5 commitment for a month with approx 1-2 hours of additional work each evening. You don't need any experience to do the course.
    CELTA is good preparation for teaching- no online course can prepare you as well as practical experience in the classroom (which CELTA provides). It is a minimum standard though and you should (hopefully) expect to improve on the job. You don't need CELTA to get a TEFL job, but it helps. Above all, employers who require CELTA qualified applicants are generally likely to be more reputable than those who will take unqualified teachers- this is better for the students and also for you (reputable employers generally pay in full, on time, and treat their staff better).
    However, if you are planning to teach in certain Asian countries (notably Korea), CELTA isn't as useful as in other parts of the world as it is rarely a requirement for positions.
    (Original post by abbyheat)
    I did mine part time while also working full time and doing an OU degree so perhaps that's why I found it intense!
    It really depends on where you want to go in Asia. As was said, Japan, Korea etc look for a degree above everything else whereas in Indonesia, some schools will hire you with nothing (although the law actually states that you must have a degree in English/Linguistics/Education).
    Thanks for the advice guys, and good to see three people who have done CELTA courses. Glad to see also you hold CELTA in high regard. My CELTA course would be over 1 hour on the train each way, so it would be long days on top of the 9-5.

    I am quite open where to teach really, I would just like to spend a few years exploring places. Ive looked at S. Korea, Japan, China, Russia and similar (The furthest ive ever been from the UK is Spain :P). I would probably move to a different country after each contract, maybe doing a final year in the Middle East where money seems to be quite a bit better to save for coming back to the UK (Though from what people say its hard to get a job unless you have loads of experience).

    What would be your advice about getting the first job? Also is it easy to make friends in these countries who speak English, i'd be going on my own? (It seems so, but what was your experience?)

    The one thing putting me off though is my accent. I have a moderate strength South Wales Valleys accent (Think Nessa from Gavin and Stacey lol) and think this might put off prospective employers. What do you think?


    @makaveli33 That is just another online course but a bit longer. The more I look into TEFL the less worth these seem.
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    (Original post by Sun!)
    Thanks for the advice guys, and good to see three people who have done CELTA courses. Glad to see also you hold CELTA in high regard. My CELTA course would be over 1 hour on the train each way, so it would be long days on top of the 9-5.

    I am quite open where to teach really, I would just like to spend a few years exploring places. Ive looked at S. Korea, Japan, China, Russia and similar (The furthest ive ever been from the UK is Spain :P). I would probably move to a different country after each contract, maybe doing a final year in the Middle East where money seems to be quite a bit better to save for coming back to the UK (Though from what people say its hard to get a job unless you have loads of experience).

    What would be your advice about getting the first job? Also is it easy to make friends in these countries who speak English, i'd be going on my own? (It seems so, but what was your experience?)

    The one thing putting me off though is my accent. I have a moderate strength South Wales Valleys accent (Think Nessa from Gavin and Stacey lol) and think this might put off prospective employers. What do you think?


    @makaveli33 That is just another online course but a bit longer. The more I look into TEFL the less worth these seem.
    Well I'm from Swansea! The school where I worked had teachers from Liverpool, Nottingham, Glasgow, Cork, Jo-burg, Croydon and Rhyl to name but a few so I don't think your accent will be a problem. You'll find that you end up toning it down quite a bit but as long as you can be understood, you'll be fine.

    Depending on the size of the school, you should have at least some native speaker colleagues but I really would encourage you to make local friends too, it makes for a much better experience. While I did know some teaching couples, most people go on their own so you'll be ok there. You've just got to put yourself out there, you'll be fine!
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    (Original post by Sun!)
    Thanks for the advice guys, and good to see three people who have done CELTA courses. Glad to see also you hold CELTA in high regard. My CELTA course would be over 1 hour on the train each way, so it would be long days on top of the 9-5.

    I am quite open where to teach really, I would just like to spend a few years exploring places. Ive looked at S. Korea, Japan, China, Russia and similar (The furthest ive ever been from the UK is Spain :P). I would probably move to a different country after each contract, maybe doing a final year in the Middle East where money seems to be quite a bit better to save for coming back to the UK (Though from what people say its hard to get a job unless you have loads of experience).

    What would be your advice about getting the first job? Also is it easy to make friends in these countries who speak English, i'd be going on my own? (It seems so, but what was your experience?)

    The one thing putting me off though is my accent. I have a moderate strength South Wales Valleys accent (Think Nessa from Gavin and Stacey lol) and think this might put off prospective employers. What do you think?


    @makaveli33 That is just another online course but a bit longer. The more I look into TEFL the less worth these seem.
    The Middle East usually requires 5 years experience, it does vary though. The best-paid entry level positions are usually in Korea, followed closely by Japan and Taiwan. Obviously you'll need to weigh up the salary vs. the teaching hours, whether accommodation is provided, cost of living etc.

    I received all my job offers after responding to ads on the main TEFL jobsites (Dave's ESL Cafe is the best known). Your accent shouldn't be a huge issue but you could work on toning it down if you feel it might be a problem- only advanced level students can really distinguish accents anyway.

    How easy it is to make friends will depend on the work environment and the country you're in. If you go to a country which is culturally similar to the UK and you speak the local language, then you'll find it easier to make local friends. Most people do tend to socialise more with fellow foreign teachers due to shared experience. There is a big difference between somewhere like Korea (with a huge foreign teacher community as well as thousands of expats) and provinicial Russia. However, you may find it easier to befriend locals somewhere you are more of a novelty- it's difficult to generalise.
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    (Original post by abbyheat)
    Well I'm from Swansea! The school where I worked had teachers from Liverpool, Nottingham, Glasgow, Cork, Jo-burg, Croydon and Rhyl to name but a few so I don't think your accent will be a problem. You'll find that you end up toning it down quite a bit but as long as you can be understood, you'll be fine.
    Thats good, its been something ive worried about as I really do have an accent, and its hard to escape it :P

    (Original post by standreams)
    The Middle East usually requires 5 years experience, it does vary though. The best-paid entry level positions are usually in Korea, followed closely by Japan and Taiwan... (Dave's ESL Cafe is the best known). Your accent shouldn't be a huge issue but you could work on toning it down if you feel it might be a problem- only advanced level students can really distinguish accents anyway..... How easy it is to make friends will depend on the work environment and the country you're in.
    Yeah the more I think about it the better that somewhere like Korea sounds, despite the not amazing pay- as it will be easier to get a job and has many expats. When I was talking Russia I was thinking Moscow or St Petersburg rather than the provinces due to the lack of expats/ Russians who speak English.
    Ive looked on Daves ESL Cafe before. Would you recommend any good agencies that are reliable and helpful?

    Also I will be doing my CELTA certificate with Aplha Omega in Cardiff. Anyone got any reviews?

    Thanks
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    Look at tefl.com.
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    (Original post by Sun!)
    Thats good, its been something ive worried about as I really do have an accent, and its hard to escape it :P



    Yeah the more I think about it the better that somewhere like Korea sounds, despite the not amazing pay- as it will be easier to get a job and has many expats. When I was talking Russia I was thinking Moscow or St Petersburg rather than the provinces due to the lack of expats/ Russians who speak English.
    Ive looked on Daves ESL Cafe before. Would you recommend any good agencies that are reliable and helpful?

    Also I will be doing my CELTA certificate with Aplha Omega in Cardiff. Anyone got any reviews?

    Thanks
    Korea has pretty much the best entry-level salaries around. By law you get a minimum amount (believe it is 1800 Won), return tickets, accommodation etc. and taxes are quite low. You might get more money in Japan but accommodation isn't usually provided so you end up with less spare cash. On the other side of the coin, Japan generally offers better working conditions (obviously, this depends on the school you end up in).

    Moscow (and to a lesser extent, St Petersburg) are very expensive cities to live in, and Russian salaries aren't great. Unless you can supplement your income with business classes/private lessons it might be hard to get by (people do though). Personally I'd go for a medium-sized Russian city- you'll still find a fair number of expats and many Russians who speak good English. Russia still isn't cheap though. If you want a bit of the 'Russian experience' but without the visa hassles, Ukraine is a good choice. Much cheaper, but salaries aren't great. I was offered a good entry level job in Kazakhstan- Almaty isn't cheap either but would be a nice place to live.

    Tbh, you don't need a huge expat community to have fun and meet people. There were a total of 90 Brits in the whole of the country I lived in but I still met lots of people and had fun (and made next-to-nothing). I went for experience rather than money, but there's no reason why you can't have both.

    I'd avoid agencies if I were you and focus on individual schools- you can usually get a better feel for the working conditions that way. That said, there are several good agencies too.
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    (Original post by Sun!)
    Thanks for the advice guys, and good to see three people who have done CELTA courses. Glad to see also you hold CELTA in high regard. My CELTA course would be over 1 hour on the train each way, so it would be long days on top of the 9-5.

    I am quite open where to teach really, I would just like to spend a few years exploring places. Ive looked at S. Korea, Japan, China, Russia and similar (The furthest ive ever been from the UK is Spain :P). I would probably move to a different country after each contract, maybe doing a final year in the Middle East where money seems to be quite a bit better to save for coming back to the UK (Though from what people say its hard to get a job unless you have loads of experience).

    What would be your advice about getting the first job? Also is it easy to make friends in these countries who speak English, i'd be going on my own? (It seems so, but what was your experience?)

    The one thing putting me off though is my accent. I have a moderate strength South Wales Valleys accent (Think Nessa from Gavin and Stacey lol) and think this might put off prospective employers. What do you think?


    @makaveli33 That is just another online course but a bit longer. The more I look into TEFL the less worth these seem.
    Online courses according to your accreditation theory may be "worth less", however it depends on what your overall aims are.

    TESOL Dip, is an online course, generated at giving you the knowledge at teaching TEFL, if you are after the knowledge at less than 1/third of the price, then go for TESOL Dip, at the place I mentioned. If you want to do it at an "accredited" institution just for the prestige and to gain a little more knowledge (possibly the same) go for CELTA, true it will be seen by employers more highly because it is "accredited", but remember you may gain the same knowledge from the CELTA course in the TESOL Dip course. The TESOL Dip I showed you is accredited

    I hope this helped you.

    Remember knowledge does not come with a price-tag or high accreditation these are things that have been created in order for the "elitist" or bourgeoisie method of thinking.

    Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by makaveli33)
    Online courses according to your accreditation theory may be "worth less", however it depends on what your overall aims are.

    TESOL Dip, is an online course, generated at giving you the knowledge at teaching TEFL, if you are after the knowledge at less than 1/third of the price, then go for TESOL Dip, at the place I mentioned. If you want to do it at an "accredited" institution just for the prestige and to gain a little more knowledge (possibly the same) go for CELTA, true it will be seen by employers more highly because it is "accredited", but remember you may gain the same knowledge from the CELTA course in the TESOL Dip course. The TESOL Dip I showed you is accredited

    I hope this helped you.

    Remember knowledge does not come with a price-tag or high accreditation these are things that have been created in order for the "elitist" or bourgeoisie method of thinking.

    Hope this helps.
    Does the TESOL Dip involve any real classroom teaching or is it entirely online/theory based?

    The fact is, whether you agree with it or not, many/most credible employers consider CELTA to be the benchmark and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find work (outside of certain East Asian countries) without one.
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    If you're planning on teaching for a few years then I'd go with the CELTA and save yourself some of the potential hassle.
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    Hello,

    I'm currently teaching English at a public school in South Korea and I agree with Standreams. There are so many perks to working in South Korea and 7 months in, I'm considering renewing my contract for another year just to save a bit more money before heading home. Again I didn't need a Celta or Tefl to apply as the requirement is an Undergraduate degree and some experience working with children. But I have to say even with that, you have to be really enthusiastic about working with children. The key to securing a job is applying as early as you can and there is also the option of teaching at a Hagwon (Private adcademy) with similar perk to working at a public school. I hope that helps. Any more questions, fire away
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    Thanks for all the extra advice guys, sorry I didnt reply ealier been away for a few days.

    (Original post by sweetsista)
    Hello,
    I'm currently teaching English at a public school in South Korea and I agree with Standreams. There are so many perks to working in South Korea and 7 months in, I'm considering renewing my contract for another year just to save a bit more money before heading home. Again I didn't need a Celta or Tefl to apply as the requirement is an Undergraduate degree and some experience working with children. But I have to say even with that, you have to be really enthusiastic about working with children. The key to securing a job is applying as early as you can and there is also the option of teaching at a Hagwon (Private adcademy) with similar perk to working at a public school. I hope that helps. Any more questions, fire away
    What qualification did you go out with? Where would you advise going to, to get a job (What agencies are the best?)?

    As ive said also I have very limited experience working with children, only around 120 working hours, with around the same administration time over 12 months working ultra part time :P
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    Hey. I'm about to graduate this summer like you and I just handed in my CELTA application today! Although I can't speak from experience I have to say it seems like the CELTA is the best TEFL certificate you can get and if you're really seriously interested in teaching English I think it would be worth it. A lot of job vacancies in many different countries like Spain, Russia and Germany all ask for the CELTA and some online diplomas may not be widely accepted.
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    (Original post by xJessx)
    Hey. I'm about to graduate this summer like you and I just handed in my CELTA application today! Although I can't speak from experience I have to say it seems like the CELTA is the best TEFL certificate you can get and if you're really seriously interested in teaching English I think it would be worth it. A lot of job vacancies in many different countries like Spain, Russia and Germany all ask for the CELTA and some online diplomas may not be widely accepted.

    Yeah thats why I though CELTA was essential really.
    Where have you applied to?
    Im planning on doing mine abroad in Poland. Ive budgeted £1800 including accommodation, flights, living expenses, transport to and from airports etc and it seems doable if tight.
    The course at home cost £1350 (the only accessible one in my home city), plus £100 on a 1 month seasonal rail pass. So for a few extra quid im hoping to do it there. It will also give me easy access to the Polish job market which takes on quite a few people in early September.
    We'll have to keep in touch as well
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    (Original post by Sun!)
    Yeah thats why I though CELTA was essential really.
    Where have you applied to?
    Im planning on doing mine abroad in Poland. Ive budgeted £1800 including accommodation, flights, living expenses, transport to and from airports etc and it seems doable if tight.
    The course at home cost £1350 (the only accessible one in my home city), plus £100 on a 1 month seasonal rail pass. So for a few extra quid im hoping to do it there. It will also give me easy access to the Polish job market which takes on quite a few people in early September.
    We'll have to keep in touch as well
    I've applied for the July course at the Manchester Academy of English. It's £1300 here too but I really hope I get in cos it has a really good reputation and is really centrally located. As for work, I've applied to the British Council to work for a year as an English language assistant in Austria starting in October.

    Poland sounds exciting! I find countries like that and Germany, Austria etc. really interesting. Fingers crossed for us both and it would be great to stay in touch with someone else doing a CELTA Don't know if it would be worth starting an official thread for people doing a CELTA/TEFL course in the summer?
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    This is the thread for anyone doing/ thinking of starting a TEFL course such as Trinity CertTESOL or Cambridge's CELTA Certificate.
    Don’t be shy, say hello!
    This thread can be for anything. Where to apply, what the courses are like, the best information for jobs etc.

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