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Dear Theo, I am an EFL teacher looking to make a career in independent schools - which qualification would make more attractive to employers: the Inde

Discussion in 'Independent' started by SWB206, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Hi Theo,

    I'm not sure if the schools you have led have had large international contingents, and the resultant need for teachers of EFL (also known as EAL/ESL/ESOL), but I'm hoping you can help regardless.

    I am about to embark upon my third year in EFL teaching, and my second in a British independent school. I feel very fortunate to be in this postion as the levels of professionalism, prestige and pay are so much higher than typical EFL jobs. I am conscious, however, that my qualification - Cambridge ESOL's CELTA - is relatively lightweight. Not an issue if I stay at my current school for the rest of my life but if I were no longer needed here, or wanted to move elsewhere, I'm not sure it would be enough to find a similar position.

    As such I am looking to improve my qualifications and my employability. As far as I can see I have two options: the Independent PGCE or Cambridge ESOL's DELTA. My own impression is that the DELTA would be more academically challenging: it is obviously more subject-specific and involves a written exam and writing a research paper. I think the Independent PGCE, however, is more suited to the secondary school environment I want to remain in. What's your opinion, Theo? If you were a headmaster looking to employ an EFL teacher which would you be more impressed by?

    For info here are the specifications of each course:

    Independent PGCE - http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/humanities/pgce/independentpgce

    DELTA - http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/delta/index.html
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Are you saying that you are not a holder of QTS?
    This is not obligatory in the indy sector (although it is in a maintained school). Indy schools will vary in what they require of their staff, but actually having positive experience of carrying out the job effectively is a very important factor.
    I haven't had time to look at the details of each course, and to be honest, I doubt if a Head that you are applying to will bother to find out the difference either.
    What I would like to see in an applicant for EAL support is what they have achieved in their current post. May I suggest that you think what initiatives it would be appropriate to indtroduce in your school to encourage and support your pupils? How about setting up a Drama Club for them, and have them do a small play for the rest of the school? This would also raise their profile within the school community. Or get them teaching other pupils to cook their national dishes?
    This sort of creative thinking about meeting needs would impress me more, I think.
    Good luck!
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I am timetabled for the October seminars - see you there!

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