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.

Other comments

4 Comments on "ESL Certification: Teach Around The World"

  1. Tweets that mention ESL Certification: Teach Around The World | Briefcase to Backpack - Travel Advice for Career Breaks or Sabbaticals -- on Wed, 11th Aug 2010 12:49 pm 

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sherry Ott, Pamela MacNaughtan. Pamela MacNaughtan said: RT @ottsworld: What is #ESL certification and do you really need it to teach/volunteer abroad? #careerbreak […]

  2. Michael on Wed, 11th Aug 2010 4:17 pm 

    Luckily the school I’ll be teaching out didn’t want any certification at all. Regardless though, I’ve been researching and learning what to do in the classroom.

  3. Sherry Ott on Thu, 12th Aug 2010 3:39 am 

    Wow – you are lucky considering its China – many of the Asian countries prefer certification! Let me know if you have any questions or need any tips Mike – I’m happy to share any CELTA tips with you!

  4. bruce jones on Tue, 2nd Nov 2010 3:25 pm 

    One of the best places to be trained to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is International TEFL Academy.

    They train and assist thousands of people to teach in all corners of the globe.

    Though some schools in developing countries may not require a TEFL / TESOL / CELTA certification, most do. Either way, it’s your job to be a professional English teacher to paying students who count on a trained teacher to help them learn a vital language.

    A great day living abroad is doing a good job at work and then enjoying the rest of the day in another culture.

    A bad day is floundering in a job with paying customers looking at you with blank stares 5 hours a day and then going home after work looking up information on the internet trying to learn how to do your job before you are fired or quit in frustration.

    Just the reality of teaching abroad

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go