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A secondary teacher seeking an appropriate TEFL course

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by rickyflashjr, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. rickyflashjr

    rickyflashjr New commenter

    Good evening all. I'm posting for the first time to seek help to get to the bottom of an issue I've been having for a while.

    I began looking at TEFL courses a while back due to a desire to travel and a love for language. I currently teach RE and Geography in a secondary school in the UK but I will be an English teacher primarily from September. I intend to leave the country after that year and a job teaching English abroad seems like the natural next step.

    I've done a lot of research on TEFL qualifications and there is a lot to choose from and I've read most are not genuine and most genuine employers will not recognise them.

    I suppose the main questions I have are:

    I have 3 years experience working in a secondary school having achieved a BA in education and QTS status. Would most schools abroad still expect me to have TEFL certification or will experience/degree be enough?

    Will having TEFL certification give me a significant advantage when applying for jobs abroad?

    Which providers of TEFL courses can be trusted and which are recognised internationally? I've heard that the cheaper courses may not be recognised even when accredited.

    Any support/advice with this would be much appreciated, I'm sure there's someone out there that has shared this dilemma at some point.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I am glancing up at my bookshelf and on top is perched a book titled Teaching English as a Foreign Language For Dummies. I suggest you buy or borrow a copy since all the questions you ask are in the book. If you don't want to buy it, you might be able tomget it from the library. I bought it with the view of training to teach EFL in the future in Spain. If you look on Amazon, you can have a look inside the book tomsee if you think it would be useful.
  3. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Find a course that offers the CELTA qualification - it's usually about 4 weeks full-time with lots of teaching experience within. Since you already have teaching experience, that part should be easier but it involves a great deal of English grammar and a variety of different skills as well. It costs about 1, 500+ but definitely worthwhile.
  4. rickyflashjr

    rickyflashjr New commenter

    Thank you so much for your replies.

    I've heard that CELTA is the best and most recognised course but it'll take a bit of saving before I can afford it. Does CELTA offer any help with finding jobs abroad upon completion do you know? If I have a years experience teaching English here would it be possible to get a job in an international school does anybody know? Is TEFL to good route to go down for a young teacher in anyones experience?

    My main aim is to be able to leave the country and I've got a year to prepare. Any advice at all from anyone who has done this or has friends/family who have would be much appreciated.
  5. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Do you want to work in an international school, teaching your subjects within the UK curriculum, or do you want to teach English as a foreign language at a language school?

    If you want to teach EFL then definitely do CELTA, because it teaches you how to teach language to non-native speakers, and the terminology and grammar points non-natives learn are different to what we teach British kids.

    The actual requirement for CELTA will depend on the country you want to teach in, but it is very useful regardless.

    I spent more than 4 years teaching EFL before I did my PGCE.
  6. rickyflashjr

    rickyflashjr New commenter

    Thanks for that, I am looking to work in any educational capacity outside of the country, preferably in Europe but I'm open to other options. I will have 1 years experience teaching English and 2 years teaching Humanities in a secondary school by the end of the next academic year. Would it be best to seek an international school or would I have a better chance of securing a job abroad going down the TEFL route? Obviously £1,500 is a lot of money for the CELTA course so I need to be sure this is the right thing to do before pursuing it.

    Does anyone have any advice/experience with what would be the best way to do this? Does anybody know anybody who has found a job in education abroad successfully?

    Thanks again for all your help and advice it is very useful and much appreciated.
  7. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    You could always do the CELTA course during the summer holidays (it'll take 4 weeks).

    International schools offer better salaries and benefits than language schools, plus in language schools you'll be working evenings and weekends.

    Post on the 'teaching overseas' forum for advice on teaching in international schools.
  8. Bumblebee435

    Bumblebee435 New commenter

    Why not use your existing experience and qualifications to get a job overseas in an international school instead? Pay and benefits will far outstrip TEFL and you won't need a TEFL certificate if you already have a PGCE, for e.g.

    I taught TEFL as a stepping stone into teaching proper. Going from proper teaching into TEFL seems a backwards route personally but that's just my opinion :)

    If you do intend to try TEFL, the other internationally recognised TEFL qualification is Trinity TESOL, essentially Trinity TESOL and Cambridge CELTA are the same but for the different accredition bodies. TESOL was also a few hundred quid cheaper when I did mine a few years ago. They didn't help with job hunting, at least mine didn't.

    Depending on where you intend to teach English abroad, some countries will take any TEFL certificate (there are loads to suit every and any budget i.e. one day course, weekend course, online certificate, 4-week course incorporating 120 hour teaching experience etc) but others will insist on a 4-week TESOL or CELTA. So start by looking at job boards for TEFL jobs in countries you are considering and see the requirements they ask for (like here http://www.eslcafe.com) and go from there.

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