CELTA stands for “Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults”. It is the original certificate course in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) or teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), and it has been running for four decades. It is highly respected and recognized globally, with 7 out of 10 employers worldwide asking applicants to have it.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Do a CELTA Course

OK, so you’ve been teaching a language for a while, you’re comfortable with the job, you’ve got good feedback from your employer and students – overall, you’re getting on. Why bother doing a language teacher training course?

The short answer is, because it makes the difference between an alright teacher and a good teacher: it’s amateur versus professional, unskilled versus skilled. There’s also a long answer, of course. But before we get to look at it and the 5 good reasons why you should consider getting a TEFL* certification, let’s see what the options are.

* Teaching English as a Foreign Language

There are short, online, and long courses available for language teachers who want to get professional-level certification. While short/weekend and online courses take about 20 hours to complete and might seem like the handiest (and cheapest) option, they provide merely basic coverage of the methodology, with a rather limited curriculum, and include no teaching practice. As such, they don’t meet the international standards for either length of training or student practice, which are at least 100 hours of coursework and 6-20 hours of practicum.

Instead, long courses are highly recommendable: they are intensive, typically last for 4 to 5 weeks and include at least 6 hours of teaching practice with a real class made up of non-native speakers. Besides, their curriculum is accredited by a respected independent organisation (e.g. The University of Cambridge) and they are recognised by official bodies and employers worldwide (e.g. British Council, International House, etc).

Three such courses stand out as noteworthy and popular, including

Ÿ  IHC – International House Certificate, an initial training course recognised throughout International House World Organisation, with a curriculum covering receptive and productive skills, lesson planning, classroom management, analysing language, evaluating teaching materials and teaching young learners

Ÿ TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, providing initial qualification for teachers of English as a foreign language and resulting in a certificate issued by Trinity College London and internationally recognised

Ÿ CELTA –Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, an initial training course lasting 120 hours, affiliated with Cambridge University and internationally recognised, with a curriculum covering the teaching and learning context, planning and resources, language skills, language analysis, and teaching skills

Of the three options, CELTA is arguably the most respected TEFL qualification in the world. So let’s now focus on the 5 good reasons why you should consider doing your CELTA:

1) The CELTA is sound proof of your ability to teach English professionally. While some employers are happy with university degrees in languages, most of them require a CELTA, which they undisputedly take as clear evidence of your professional capability. CELTA is, beyond a doubt, the accreditation respected universally by language schools and institutes worldwide. In short: you hold a CELTA, they know you’re a good teacher!

2) The CELTA increases your self-confidence as a teacher of English. The CELTA course is intensive and terribly demanding. Completing it successfully not only makes you better able to use a variety of teaching techniques, plan your lessons, design teaching materials and handle all sorts of learner specifics, but it also makes you feel confident about your capabilities. In short, you know you’ve gone through a tough course, you’re hard to beat!

3) The CELTA gives you access to the worldwide English teaching job market. It is recognised and respected by language schools and institutes all over the world, from South America to Asia. It is your “international passport” to securing a job wherever in the world you fancy working and living. In short, holding it opens doors for you anywhere and everywhere in the world!

4) The CELTA may result in better payment. Teaching with no specialised qualifications is one thing, teaching as a CELTA-qualified teacher is another. Holding this certificate guarantees that your work is better, more professional and more efficient, therefore you deserve better remuneration. In short, holding a CELTA means more money in your teacher’s pocket!  

5) The CELTA expands your network of teaching contacts. Throughout the course you work closely with a tutor and your fellow trainees, as well as the non-native students in your teaching practice groups. As on any intensive course, bonding happens and relationships get forged. At the end of the course you can count with a network of tutors who can vouch for your teaching ability and peers who’ll get jobs all over the planet. In short, doing a CELTA takes you places: you can crash at fellow teacher’s places around the world, and ask tutors to give you recommendations for jobs around the world!

So you’ve been teaching a language for a while, you’re comfortable with the job, you’ve got good feedback from your employer and students – overall, you’re getting on? Why, take a leap in your career and challenge yourself to do a CELTA in order to unlock a world of opportunities for qualified language teachers!


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