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Which PGCE for teaching abroad?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Zeppo6, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Zeppo6

    Zeppo6 New commenter

    Hi Nelly,


    I just found out I could also stay with other family in Bristol. And I contacted Bristol's education department and they told me I would not have to pay international student fees there, which is a big difference.

    HOWEVER university of bristol does not offer the salaried SCITT, at least if this website is the right one?

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  2. CocoaChannel

    CocoaChannel New commenter

    Is the CELTA viewed favourably for other subjects? I’m about to start a science PGCE/SCITT (and plan to teach abroad in a few years, at least after the NQT years) and I did the CELTA and taught English for 5 years back in the day. This is on my CV, of course, but I’ve been somewhat hiding my CELTA. Whilst I can see its value, I don’t want people thinking I’m a know it all or backpacker.
  3. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    Depends on the school. In the UK it is indeed, not generally valued but abroad, it can be useful. If it has a lot of local pupils, they’ll appreciate you have an understanding of EAL and know what difficulties they may face. At least that has been my experience.
    CocoaChannel likes this.
  4. Zeppo6

    Zeppo6 New commenter

    The CELTA is a respected qualification. It's not just some random online TESOl cert. And considering you have one, and spent the time and money attaining it, I'm a little surprised you even ask this question.

    Just be proud of your achievements for what they are. Don't overplay them but no need to downplay it to 'backpacker' - which it just isn't. I'm insulted considering I worked hard to get my CELTA and I did not find it easy.
    Ne11y and CocoaChannel like this.
  5. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    Great news about the fees! Even though you'll need to front the money, you should get a bursary over the year which will help.

    It looks like you're right about that link and it seems they don't offer a salaried version, which is a shame.

    Keep doing your research, look into your options.

    SCITT is tough - I've seen people do it in schools and it's full-on - and as you're coming from outside the UK, you'll face challenges during selection I suspect. I don't really know how it works in secondary, but in primary, a lot of the SCITT candidates were current TAs (teaching assistants) and the selection process is essentially interviewing for a job at the school.

    The traditional PGCE is tough, but you get eased in a bit more.

    If you're looking at paying tuition fees for both (like at Bristol), you might find the PGCE a bit easier in some respects - easier to get into and it gives you time, especially at the beginning, to prepare yourself.

    Good luck!
  6. CocoaChannel

    CocoaChannel New commenter

    Well, I certainly didn’t mean to downplay the CELTA. As you say, it’s not an easy course, and it gives a tremendous amount of skills. I was lucky enough to observe a number of classes in UK secondary schools before COVID-19 came along, and I could see similarities from my English teaching days.

    You might have to recognise, though, that not all PGCE/SCITT providers will be familiar with the CELTA. It wasn’t mentioned in my application. My subject mentor has advised me to go in there as a novice. I can’t deskill myself, and some of the classroom techniques I had before will inevitably be transferred, but it might be wise to keep the CELTA tucked away during PGCE training.
  7. Zeppo6

    Zeppo6 New commenter

    I have given this some more thought and am considering primary now. I enjoy teaching kids.

    Is this any more difficult than a regular PGCE?

    I am really terrible at Maths and can barely do the basics. How much will this be a problem?
  8. CocoaChannel

    CocoaChannel New commenter

    Having now done nearly half a term on a PGCE/SCITT and taught a whole 20+ lessons , I’ll reply to my own reply above about the CELTA and it’s relevance to UK secondary teaching.

    I did CELTA years ago and then worked in TEFL for 5 years teaching kids and adults.

    I thought CELTA would be relevant but kept it pretty much under wraps in my PGCE application. That was the right decision.

    Teaching in a secondary school has snippets of similarity with TEFL, but they are small. Straight away in a SCITT, you’re teaching classes of 30+ kids albeit with a reduced schedule. There’ll be pastoral duties to do such as registration and reading groups. Often you have to come out of one of these, walk across the school site and teach a two-hour lesson. A lot of planning ahead and then you get people wanting to talk to you en route! Then there’s the discipline. Who do you let go to the toilet? Which kid spends ages in the toilet? And then there’s the SEN kids.

    The biggest eye opener comes last. Every kid I taught TEFL to overseas had well off parents. The kids here come to school without breakfast or even a pen and paper. That’s not an issue as it’s expected and we have spares of these to hand out, but anyone from a CELTA/TEFL background needs to recognise that it’s not that similar to secondary school teaching.

    To be honest, from what I’ve seen so far, I’d much rather be teaching my subject in secondary school than English overseas.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    There have already been some very well-informed and helpful comments, so I am not sure that I have a lot to add. However, to go back to the title of this thread, "Which PGCE for teaching abroad?", I would say that anyone doing a PGCE in the UK must bear in mind that international schools come in many different shapes and sizes. Having taught in quite a few international schools, I would say that there is no "one size fits all" formula and therefore it is very likely that different international schools will not approach this question in the same way.

    Yes, I have had friends who have done a CELTA and they all say pretty much the same thing. It is a very worthwhile qualification to get, if you are planning a future in international education. The course usually only lasts about a month, but it is terrifically hard work and very much "hands on".

    Zeppo6, if you are struggling (or have struggled in the past) with Maths, then that could help you to become a much better teacher. It will mean that you will have more patience and more determination to help your students who are finding Maths difficult. Great mathematicians usually make lousy Maths teachers, in my experience, because they do not understand why anyone should find their subject hard to grasp.

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