Certificate In Teaching English As A Foreign Language To Adults Advice for Becoming Certified to Teach English Before You Leave for A Foreign Country

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Advice for Becoming Certified to Teach English Before You Leave for A Foreign Country

When a reader wrote in to ask, “I’m wondering what you have to offer in the way of advice on getting certified to teach before I leave for another country in the US?” I couldn’t help but take the time to respond a little to a person standing on the brink of such a potentially life-changing event as this. The reader further added: “Do you think an online TEFL course would suffice, or would it be better to do a CELTA course?” What a loaded question that is. Can’t you just imagine the trouble I could get into answering that one? Here is some of what my response contained plus some additions.

CELTA or TEFL?

While a good TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course from a reputable school or institute can be a huge boost in preparing you for the rigors and challenges of ELT (English Language Teaching) abroad, my preference for the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). The quality of TEFL certificate courses can vary considerably and great care should be taken in choosing a TEFL certificate course. Personally, I recommend an official CELTA course first while in the US, Canada or the UK for more than a few good reasons.

First – CELTA training will equip you with well-grounded teaching tools and skills that will stand you in good stead once you start teaching. The CELTA course is strictly monitored, so quality is highly consistent across a range of different schools, institutions and organizations that offer it.

Second – The CELTA is globally recognized as a solid EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teaching credential, which means that your English level is high and that you have proven knowledge of English language teaching techniques. It also indicates that you have actually practiced to satisfactory levels and that you understand learner needs and how to approach them, among other essential ELT basic skills.

Third – Almost all officially recognized CELTA programs have job placement services for their graduates, which means you can find your first job before leaving the US. You will provide local contacts for you and also the reputation of the school behind you. You can even get leads on a second or even third position from your CELTA course provider as time ticks on if you need a change. It provides an excellent introduction to teaching while helping to reduce elements of the “culture shock” often experienced during your first overseas job.

Fourth – a CELTA course is designed to prepare you for the realities of teaching EFL abroad to learners who may know little or no English. Having the confidence and ability to teach English to foreign learners without knowledge of their L1 is an important skill that will often put you head and shoulders above many other “local” English teachers who often rely heavily on the use of the learners’ L1 (first) Language).

Fifth – By taking the CELTA in the USA, an English-speaking country, you will begin to prepare your own “care package” of materials before you leave for your new job. It happens that many places where we find ourselves teaching English simply do not have an extensive variety of materials available. At home in the US, however, virtually any material you want to use is not only abundantly available, but usually dirt cheap.

If you need more information, you can check out my article series on English language teaching at EzineArticles.com. I sincerely hope this offers you some guidance. Best wishes for a great career in a place that interests you

… and good luck, you’ll need it.

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