What do I need to do to get started being an IELTS Teacher?

Even if you are an experienced teacher, learning how to teach a new type of English can feel daunting, whether that’s your first Business English class, experience with Young Learners or teaching an IELTS exam preparation class. If you are anything like me, you will no doubt prepare for how to approach this new challenge by speaking with colleagues, reading up about the learners and material and of course spending too long planning your first lessons!

Helping students to prepare for an external exam can feel more crucial than a General English course because the outcome can have a life changing effect for the students. This is especially true of the IELTS exam, which most candidates take so that they can move to a new country and start a whole new life – pretty important stuff to feel partly responsible for! To add to the new IELTS Teachers’ stress bucket there are academic and general papers, and often IELTS classes have students with different levels of English.

It is exciting to start to teach a new kind of class and use new materials, but it can also feel overwhelming to be out of your comfort zone, whether you’re a new teacher, or have been in the classroom for a while. For the IELTS exam there is a vast array of material out there with a multitude of videos, books and blogs to help new teachers in this area but it can be difficult to know which websites to go to and what information is useful at the beginning of your IELTS preparation teaching career. What would be really great, is if a professional development expert had trawled through that material and cherry picked some of the best and most reliable resources, and put them together in an easy-to-access format for the new IELTS teacher….

Your need look no further! We here at OTTI have a new suite of four short, practical asynchronous courses for teachers who are new to delivering IELTS courses. Our courses will broaden your knowledge of the IELTS exam (building on all that research you did before you started teaching it!) and give you the skills you need to feel confident in the classroom.

Each course focuses on one of the skills papers (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and they all follow the same structure:

  • An overview of the paper(s)
  • Common difficulties faced by students and teachers
  • Activities to help students develop the skill
  • Different ways for students to prepare for the exam

The speaking and Writing courses also include a section on different ways to give feedback to students for these skills.
One of the best things about these courses is that they are extremely accessible, only 4 weeks long and requiring about 5 hours per week to work on the material makes them easy to accomplish. They are fully online and asynchronous so you can attend them from anywhere in the world, and are useful for before as well as at the start of your IELTS teaching.

Registration is flexible in that you can sign up for just one or two courses (which is useful if you’ve noticed some specific gaps in your skillset or needs that your students have) or all four at once and take advantage of the bundle discount price.

The course is full of tips and techniques from a broad range of experienced IELTS teachers and examiners which you will be able to immediately put into practice in your own classroom. Trying out the activities and sharing with your peers on the course is an integral part of the learning process. Each weekly module is designed to allow you to work through it on your own while knowing that you have the support of the tutor when needed as well as your cohort to share and bounce ideas off.

In fact, another excellent feature of the courses is the opportunity to build an online community to share your problems and experiences with. I’ve often found that it is when I’m reflecting with colleagues on how a lesson/activity went, that I discover a new solution to the problem; as well as having your online tutor you will have a whole cohort of teachers who are in a similar position to you, but in different contexts, to share feedback with.

So what are you waiting for? We have a launch offer price of £95 per course, and a bundle fee for four courses of £350.

The dates for our inaugural set of courses this year are:
• 31st July – 28th Aug – How to teach IELTS Speaking
• 4th Sept – 2nd Oct - How to teach IELTS Listening
• 9th Oct – 6th Nov - How to teach IELTS Writing
• 13th Nov – 11th Dec – How to teach IELTS Reading
• 13th Nov – 11th Dec – How to teach IELTS Speaking