ESL Certification: Teach Around The World
This week Alisha Robertson told us her tips on how to incorporate teaching ESL into your career break travels. She mentioned that she actually got certified to teach ESL while she was still living in America; but what does that certification entail and is it really necessary?
[singlepic=1863,275,,,right]First of all, certification normally comes in a couple different forms – CELTA (Certificate for English Language Teaching to Adults) is the most known and recognized. It’s a certification offered by Cambridge University and known throughout the world. Most places require that you have a certificate in order to teach at an English Language school. Keep in mind that certification is not necessary for volunteering, however it does help your effectiveness!
CELTA certification is the same all over the world. It consists of 4 weeks of learning content. It can usually be done in an intensive one month of classes or in night classes over the course of a number of months. It’s not a cake walk – there are homework assignments and instructors are grading & constantly critiquing you.
What It’s Not
You won’t learn grammar rules! The certification is simply learning how to manage the classroom, plan a lesson, and teach a range of grammar lessons. It basically teaches you how to analyze grammar so that you can implement it in the classroom.
Real Life Experience
Implement what you learn immediately…that afternoon! You get experience teaching by instructing students of various levels and being critiqued by the instructors. You have to plan the lesson and deliver it just as you do when you are teaching abroad.
Is It Necessary?
Sometimes. It certainly can’t hurt and it’s actually a great learning experience. With a university degree and a CELTA, you can pretty much get a job anywhere in the world. That’s a powerful combination. However with no CELTA, it’s still possible to get a job – but much harder. Most schools will require a certification no matter what your background is (unless you are already a teacher!). But in person networking is always best; more often than not once they see your career background they will probably give you a second look.
However, why not consider certification while you are in the planning stages of your career break – it’s something that can be done while you are working and will simply expand your options while on the road for working or volunteering. Places like Teaching House, with 4 locations in the US, offer night classes that can fit your schedule. Plus – as an added bonus you meet a lot of great international people who love to travel and live abroad – so you’ll immediately bond with them!
Teaching House has locations in New York City, Boston, Miami, and San Diego.