I’ve had a few people ask about my ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching qualifications. I have a BA in English and Creative Writing, and I also have my Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA). The CELTA program is administered by Cambridge University and it’s the best internationally recognized TESOL training program in the world.

There’s a few other credible ESL teaching programs available, but the CELTA is the one I see as a requirement in most job advertisements. I don’t know much about the other credible teaching program (Trinity). I chose CELTA because it’s accredited, it’s well-known,  it’s a standardised program, it regulates the selection of candidates (you can’t enter the course if you don’t pass an interview and a test), and the teacher trainers who conduct the courses have undergone extensive training and have substantial teaching experience.

Don’t do an independent TEFL or TESL certificate program:

If you’re looking for work as an ESL teacher DON’T  get your qualification through an independent TESL or TEFL certificate program. ANYONE can set up a a pretty website and a program to teach you to teach. ANYONE. Those types of courses are geared toward young travelers who want a quick qualification which enables them to teach for a few months and then move on. The problem with those types of programs is there’s no oversight from an external body, there’s no accreditation, and they cost as much as the CELTA (or they give you a job and they don’t pay you for your first month). They’re a prettily packaged marketing exercise geared to make money for some schlub somewhere.

My advice is to research, people. Think critically! There’s a tonne of dodgy operators in the ESL industry. They glut up all the job placement boards they make the industry a shittier place, and all they’re after is your money.


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