Have you recently finished your studies and are wondering what to do next? Are you trying to figure out what the right career is for you? Or perhaps you’re interested in a career change and trying something completely different and more rewarding?
You may have heard of the term TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language. If you’re interested in people and different cultures, are seeking a new challenge, exciting opportunities and the possibility of a lifelong career, a teacher training certificate could be the thing for you.
One of the most widely recognised TEFL qualifications is the CELTA – first developed by IH London in 1962 and now certified by Cambridge English Language Assessment. In the first of our 'Teachers' Room' blog series, we’re here to offer you some insights into why a career in teaching English as a foreign language might just be perfect next step for you!
Internationally Recognised Professional Qualification
One of the big draws of teaching English as a foreign language is the opportunity to find work overseas. Employers however, will want to know that teachers applying for roles at their schools are properly trained. Language teaching is a skill and a responsibility, and not something that should be done simply on the basis of being a speaker of English – this doesn’t automatically qualify you to teach, far from it. New teachers need some core skills to make them effective in the classroom and should initially be observed and advised by experts in a supportive environment before going it alone in their first job. But if you’re going to invest in a TEFL qualification, you’ll want to know that the course you’re taking is fully approved and accredited by a respectable body. The CELTA is an internationally recognised qualification and an industry leader in terms of teacher training courses. As you start to apply for teaching posts, you’ll see that many employers around the globe specify the need for the CELTA (or a similar equivalent) in their job adverts.
Once you’ve completed your CELTA you’ll be in a great position to be able to apply for teaching jobs around the world. You’ll soon see how rewarding a career in teaching can be – no two days are the same, and the work is very people focused with lots of interesting interaction and sharing of ideas. Helping someone to learn a language can mean you have a direct role in them changing their lives for the better. It might allow them to do a job they couldn't do before or pass an exam that allows them to study abroad. Better still, after the CELTA, you will get to learn and grow too, there are plenty of opportunities for further development and improvement as a teacher as you gain experience.
Future Career Prospects
The world of TEFL doesn’t start and end with the CELTA – the qualification is an amazing springboard into a lifelong career in the industry and numerous different areas and roles within it. You may discover you’re interested in teaching methodology, academic management, writing materials, teacher training, marketing, business development – there are no end of long term prospects.
Taking the CELTA and standing up in front of a class will also help you to develop some transferable skills. Whether you continue in the world of education, or ultimately move on to another area, being able to deliver a class and present to an audience will certainly help you in the future.
Teaching abroad is also brilliant for developing good communication and intercultural skills, which are increasingly sought after by employers today, regardless of the industry. The ability to communicate with people from different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds is not only hugely beneficial, but personally very rewarding too. The experience of living and working abroad will certainly give you the capacity to be more adaptable, flexible and able to work in different circumstances.
The incredible life experiences associated with the CELTA and teaching abroad shouldn’t go without a mention. A CELTA qualification allows teachers to apply for work in many different countries and experience the lifestyle and culture that goes with each place. The certificate trains new teachers to be able to teach classes both in situations where there is no common tongue amongst students, and where the teacher is unable to speak the local language. Of course, we would certainly recommend teachers learn the local language and integrate themselves in the local culture once arrived in their adopted country, but there aren’t so many jobs out there that don’t require being fluent in the local language to start with.
Making new friends and meeting people you wouldn’t otherwise have met, taking yourself out of your comfort zone, trying new things, exploring new languages and cultures – these are experiences that will enrich your life and that you'll remember forever. The CELTA and teaching abroad is full of these experiences!
Interested in doing a CELTA course?
Find out more about the qualification and our teacher training centres here.