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.



I’ve had a sore throat for the past couple of days and when I woke up this morning I had no voice.On the weekends I teach three classes a day. Unfortunately, today was my turn to do ‘open classes,’ meaning my student’s parents came along to observe. It was pretty silly because we had to go to this tiny, tiny ‘demo’ classroom and do half an hour there, and then go upstairs to the normal classroom for the rest of the lesson. I didn’t really give a rat’s arse, I was all prepped, so I just ignored the parents and the manager, but by the end of the day I was completely exhausted, and honestly, my voice was ridiculous.

I was  surprised the manager was OK with me giving lessons in front of the parents sounding like that. I’ve never heard anything like it before, it was ludicrous. Anyway, by the end of the day I was pretty buggered and I was hanging out for it to be over, and no parents showed up for my last class. I was like, ‘yussssss’ thinking I’d just be able to go straight upstairs with the students. But the manager was like, ‘no, no’ and got all my students to PHONE THEIR PARENTS! What?

I had no voice, I sounded like a squeaky-freak, the kids looked terrified of me (wtf is she saying??), and the manager calls parents to come in and watch. The good news was,  I  got to sit there and not talk for half an hour while we waited for the poor parents to come back to the school. The bad news was, somehow it threw my timing out and I almost sent the students home half an hour early. I had them lined up at the door ready to go and everything, and then I was like, ooooopsie! Still have half an hour left!