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Needing some advice on teaching English as a second language....

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Emsbeth_89, May 18, 2011.

  1. Hey,
    I am hoping to become a qualified teacher for primary at some point, but due to an unsuccessful this year it has had to be put on hold. I am going travelling for around 8 months and I am considering teaching English as a second language to young learners after I return. With the hope that getting away ( some life experience, that at 21 I think a lack a bit of) and doing some teaching will stand me in good stead for when the lack of teaching jobs and university places sorts its self out. I am still hopeful this will happen in the next 5 years or so :S (maybe thats optimistic?)
    Anyway, my question is what is the best sort of course for this sort of thing, and how much should I expect to pa?. As I am going to be based in New Zealand for a while this year I am going to look into doing the course over there so that when I come back from travelling I can just start looking for a post and get away again! lol
    Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for any help :)
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    It's callled a CELTA. It takes about a month and costs around a thousand quid. I have heard said that the people you should contact are INTERNATIONAL HOUSE.
  3. CELTA is the one that is taught down in Cambridge?
    Thanks for the reply, I will look up international house as well.
  4. CELTA is the qualification and is taught in lots of places - not only Cambridge.
    Do a search on this forum as the topic has been covered many times and I'm sure you will find some useful information.
    Stay away from online courses and good luck with your plans.
  5. j.j

    Thanks for the reply. I had looked into online courses a while ago but felt that for the cost it wasn't worth it as I could look up grammar etc on google for free and that seemed about all they were offering lol. Thanks also for the luck as I am sure I will need it!
  6. No idea what the online courses cost but if you are looking for work in the TEFL sector, online course qualifications are often regarded as 'second rate'.
    A CELTA should cost you around £1000 pounds. I did mine part-time over several months while I was still in the U.K. Not sure if that is still possible now as this was well over 10 years ago.
    It can be done in a month full-time and from what I know it is very intense to do it that way but it's 'only' a month and then it's done. Depending on your circumstances that could be the best way to do it.

  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Online courses are usually rubbish. I would advise anyone who is thinking of doing a CELTA to opt for the real thing. The one-month course is very practical, so I am told, but hard work.
  8. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    Bloody hardwork and VERY practical. And, may I say far better at teaching you practical teaching skills that can be applied across the curriculum not just in TEFL than the PGCE I took many moons ago!
    Online courses are **** - I know people who can barely string a sentence together in English who are getting jobs on the back of them from foreign schools etc whose own English is not good enough to realise the person they are recruiting cannot in fact speak English.
    That said, whether it is worth shelling out £1000 or not depends where you are going. I have taught TEFL here and quit because I got sick and tired of having a text book shoved at me 5 minutes before the class (having spent a couple of hours preparing) and being told 'teach the speaking bits' with no knowledge of what other parts of the relevant unit had been covered by the native teachers (who are paid a lot less and therefore teach 2 out of 3 of the classes). I know people from Australia who haven't even completed high school and whose only skill is belly-dancing who have got TEFL jobs here so make of that what you will! Countries differ of course.
    And btw the grammar is HARD. In my CELTA group, out of 30 people most of us with high standard of English language usage, the only person to pass all her assignments straight off was Serbian - because she had learnt the names and uses of all the tenses which us native speakers do unconsciously and without knowing why!

  9. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    PS I did the one month intensive (and it is - 17 hours a day including preparation time and you also have to work all weekend to - forget having ANY social life for that month!) at Oxford House College, just behind Oxford Street in London. Very very rigorous.

  10. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    Of course, that should have said 'all weekend too' [​IMG]

    You do know everyone will be watching your grammar like a hawk now, don't you [​IMG]

  11. To the OP - I would strongly recommend brushing up on your grammar before you do any course.
    Don't make mistake I have seen many times before where native speakers assume that because English is their native language it can't be all that difficult to teach.
    You will need a good grasp of the names of different tenses and (where possible) certain rules that apply in the language which you can use and pass on to your students.
    They WILL ask questions that you have probably never even considered before because as a native speaker you have never needed to know the 'whys' of the language.
    I'm not trying to put you off. Just don't underestimate how challenging the CELTA could be if you haven't prepared in advance, particularly if you do the one month version.
    Good luck :)

  12. Thanks everyone for the replies.
    I understand the CELTA is a very intensive program, but it does seem the best alongside trinity. Think that I will look into it a bit better in a couple of months once I am settled in New Zealand to determine whether to do it this year or wait until I am back in the UK nad have saved up some more moner.
    j.j. thanks for the grammar recomendation. I hope you didn't take what I said in an earlier post about the TEFL focussing almost soley on grammar as me implying that grammar is not important, but just that I felt I could learn that in books and online for free and not pay a couple of hundred pounds for it. Also that the TEFL's that I looked at didn't seem to look that much into classroom management, but focussing on the grammar alone.
    Emsbeth :)
  13. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    "You also have to work all weekend (in order) to forget having ANY social life," also makes perfect sense.
  14. Good TEFL courses shouldn't focus only on grammar. That's why you should stay away from the online ones. You are correct when you say you can brush-up on grammar on your own - you certainly don't need to be paying for that.
    That is why people will recommend the CELTA to you. The course won't teach you the grammar. However, it will enable you to teach your students.
    As before, good luck with whatever you decide to do :)
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The CELTA is the best. It's a month's hard graft, I am told, but well worth it in the long term.
  16. Hey everyone,

    I know I am renewing an old thread but I have taken a very long hiatus (SP?) from the site so hadn't noticed the replies. Thank-you all very much, I am going away for the summer to teach horse riding and then wil be looking into the course again when I get back in the autumn :)

    Thanks again

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