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Level 5 Subject Specialism ESOL and Literacy

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by annajane66, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. Hi

    I'm graduated my PGCE in Lifelong Learning in June 2014. I was unable to find a full-time teaching position, and have been working in the external funding department of an FE college for nearly a year. As this is not what I want to be doing long-term, I am starting a Level 5 Subject Specialism in Literacy and ESOL in September.

    My question is: will this qualification enable me to teach English abroad or will I have to go on to take one of the recognised TEFL courses (i.e. Celta or Trinity) to be able to do so?

    I couldn't find any info anywhere, and just wondered if anyone here could enlighten me.

    Many thanks!
  2. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    I have never heard of a Level 5 Subject Specialism in Literacy and ESOL. It seems to be a qualification for teaching ESOL in the UK whereas you want to teach EFL abroad.

    For that you need the CELTA. Can you please do a search of this forum before asking about the CELTA as I and others have posted about it many times. I'm not sure why you weren't able to find information as there is a ton of it on the web.

    Language school jobs can be on an hourly-paid basis and often the money isn't enough to live on. I would hold on to the FE college job if I were you.
  3. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Where do you want to teach abroad, and in which context? There is very little call for FE overseas. If the course you are doing is the one from Greenwich, it does look like a good introduction - but you will be up against people with Masters in Bilingual Education / ESL etc. if you wish to teach ESL/EAL in an international school.

    If you want to teach overseas in a university, then a CELTA / DELTA is a better route.

    I like this website for info. on ESL/EAL in International schools:


    Otherwise if you prefer the EFL route then I'd suggest looking at this site:

  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Ho hum. As davidbowifan notes, quite a few people have already scribbled posts about the joys and sorrows of doing a CELTA. Yes, it might be possible to get an English teaching job overseas without one, but generally speaking the more reputable (and better-paying) schools will insist on a CELTA.
  5. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    If you are a traiiling spouse you might be able to pick up work without one but in Europe or anywhere that will require you to apply for a visa, forget it.

    yasf, if you want to teach overseas in a university you need a masters in TESOL, Applied Linguistics or English Language. If you are teaching EAP (as opposed to conversation classes) a CELTA isn't enough.

    I'm happy to be corrected but as far as I'm aware there are no masters courses in bilingual education or ESL in the UK. You would only be up against such candidates if you were applying to an American school. But for an EAL job, the OP would need to have some kind of prior experience.
  6. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    The Institute of Education used to run a masters program in bilingual education, as did a few other universities in the UK. They are meant for EAL / ESL teachers in a school situation rather than the TESOL / EFL etc. which is meant for universities / language schools. They are gradually being shut down though, and you read all about it on Maurice Carder's site (see above). NALDIC also lists some useful courses run throughout the UK that are good for EAL / ESL teachers in a school context.

    There are plenty of universities overseas that accept CELTA / DELTA, particularly in China and certain middle eastern countries. I've even heard of some prep programs in France / Netherlands that will accept people with a DELTA. I'll happily PM you some details. Obviously a masters is better.

    The certificate that the OP mentions is much more geared towards supporting students working in a school context, rather than in a language school / prep program in a university. However it isn't as well recognised as a CELTA, so might not be as useful - however unfairly.

    The OP also mentions their PGCE in Lifelong learning. From memory these FE PGCEs are also linked to a subject area, which I would suggest the OP emphasise, rather than the Lifelong learning bit. But that's because I'm a traditional old fuddy duddy.
  7. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    Thank you for the kind offer to e-mail me details. However, its the case that you need a masters in the subjects I listed for any credible university post i.e. anything other than conversation lessons. Its also the case that you won't get a visa for the middle east without a degree certificate that says English Language, Linguistics or TESOL on it. To suggest otherwise is an insult to all the TEFLers who have had to shell out for such courses.

    'Prep programmes' are run by private language schools. They act as feeders for the universities and they teach IELTS rather than EAP. Their purpose is to raise the student's IELTS score so that its high enough for university entrance. A CELTA or DELTA is enough for these as they aren't university-level courses.

    Its also the case that the qualification the OP mentions will be of no use if she wants to work in a language school abroad. No overseas owner of a language school will have heard of it. All they know about is the CELTA. A course in literacy and ESOL will train the OP to teach people who have resettled in the UK and need to pass the citizenship test. The needs of EFL/EAP students are different and such a course won't cover them.

    It should also be noted that the OP couldn't even teach in Scotland or Northern Ireland with a PGCE in FE. If she is applying to international secondary schools it would be advisable for her to stress the subject specialism in her PGCE and her first degree.

    I can't find any UK masters courses in bilingual education. The courses you mention are in-service ones and may not be accessible to anyone other than serving teachers.

    Unfortunately your link doesn't work.
  8. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

  9. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    As previously stated, these courses are for teachers already working in the field of EAL. There is a longstanding catch-22 of not being able to get a job in EAL without experience and vice versa. Apart from the expense, these aren't a viable way into EAL as any job ad I've seen in the TES states that experience is required.

    It looks as if Maurice Carder has shut up shop!
  10. Hi everyone

    Thanks for your replies - I think I knew the answer, really.

    Re. Celta etc. I know quite a lot about it already, so don't worry I won't be asking needless questions about it.

    Thanks again.
  11. yasf - there was no subject link at all with my PGCE; i.e. no opportunity to specialise in teaching a particular subject. After I graduated I found it very difficult to find teaching work, in part because many of the jobs I was interested in - I want to teach literacy - required either a Level 3 or a Level 5 Subject Specialism, which I don't have (hence my decision to do it).

    I don't know if this link will work, but this is the qualification I will be doing:



    My question about teaching abroad was just speculative, really. I would like to teach abroad, and was kind of hoping that this qualification might mean that I wouldn't have to do CELTA. But my future happiness doesn't ride on it ;-)
  12. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    The courses do look really interesting, but would unlikely lead to employment overseas. I'm sorry to say that there is little call for it.

    One thing that you may want to look at is how much longer they will be relevant, even in the UK. The govt. has only just been elected, and has an approach to education that is very unlikely to support the FE sector, or the courses that you are going to want to teach. I am sorry to say that I think that you will have a tough time finding a full-time position if you work in this sector.

    That said, if it is really a passion of yours and you can afford it . .

    I'm not sure if the link works (it does from my computer), but I would highly recommend that you read Maurice Carder's site.
  13. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    A PGCE in a secondary subject would give you far more options than a qualification which doesn't lead to employment. It might be more useful to consider how you could go about converting what you already have.

    Your prospective students are applicants for the citizenship test. There is no public money to fund courses for them so the best you can hope for when you finish your course is occasional private tutoring.
  14. I am already working in the Further Education sector and have seen first hand what is happening to it. My particular college has had to make £11m worth of cuts, so it is stripped right down and has lost a great many staff - including an awful lot of tutors. I have been very lucky to keep my job after the last re-structure, so I am happy to stay put.

    I don't think that I have been clear about teaching overseas - it isn't necessarily what I want to do, and certainly not right now. My question was if anyone knew if this qualification would enable me to teach abroad, but only really as an option - maybe for the future.

    I don't have a 'passion' - I am realistic enough to know that I have to eat and live, which therefore precludes any ideas I may have of any passion (I'm also too old to be anything other than pragmatic at this point).

    Having graduated, when I was job-hunting, I saw that I was excluded from the majority of jobs - my interest is in functional skills teaching - as they asked for the Level 5 Specialism. Which is why I am doing it, and luckily they teach it at this college so no problem.

    I have to say, though, it was never my intention to teach/work in the FE sector - it was a job I was offered after quite a long time out of work. I will definitely be moving on - as soon as I can, really. But for now, FE is providing me with a job and access to this qualification. So I'm staying put!
  15. davidbowiefan - there's no way I can do another PGCE - I haven't got the time/energy/money/age on my side.

    I am not sure why you say that the qualification wouldn't lead to employment - there are always a plethora of jobs for literacy/functional skills teaching - certainly in this area - most of which ask for the Level 5 qualification. I recognise that ESOL is a different matter, and it's very much a secondary interest of mine. I am aware of the way the wind is blowing in this field (though, of course, things change all the time). I work in the FE sector, so I am fairly well up-to-date with all of this.

    I'm afraid I have inadvertently misled here - my question really was mainly academic; I just wondered whether teaching abroad might be an option. If the answer's no then that's totally fine - my heart wasn't set on it.

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