What is the difference between a CELTA and a CertTESOL and between TEFL and TESOL?
Yes, it's a bit confusing, isn't it! There are 2 main validating bodies - Trinity and Cambridge (both very established examining Boards). Cambridge call their qualification the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), while Trinity call theirs the CertTESOL (Certificate in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages). TESOL/ESOL have been adopted quite widely in order to drop what some consider the slightly pejorative F for Foreign in the acronym TEFL (teaching English as a Foreign Language), especially when by extension the reference is made to "Foreigners". However, people (including us) still refer commonly to TEFL, as it's such an established expression.
But don't worry! All you really need to know is that the TrinityCert TESOL is recognised and accepted by reputable English schools abroad and the British Council as an initial qualification for English teachers. The higher level Diploma (taken by a relatively small "elite" of English language teachers, and, again, offered by both Boards) is something you might look at after gaining substantial experience, and if you wish to progress to senior teacher, DoS (Director of Studies) level or if you became involved in teacher-training yourself further down the line...
I am worried that I don't know enough about English grammar to teach it
Don't worry. As long as you speak and write English correctly and clearly, we will teach you about grammar.
I don't have a teaching background
The CertTESOL is designed for those with little or no experience of teaching English. It provides the skills and knowledge needed to take up a first post as an English teacher.
What are the course requirements?
You must speak and write excellent English, but you do not need a teaching qualification.
Am I too old for the course?
Our applicants range in age from recent graduates in their twenties to people in their thirties and forties who would like a change of career or country, to retired people who would like to supplement their income or explore the possibility of living in a sunny climate
Do I have to be a native speaker to do the course?
No, we have candidates whose native language is not English, but you do need an excellent level of English.
The idea of standing up in front of a class scares me
Of course it does! That's why our course includes 420 minutes of teaching practice with a class of foreign learners. You will build up to teaching solo and you get lots of constructive, confidence-building support.
How is the course assessed?
Trainees must attend all the training sessions and complete all assignments and tests to the standard we set, which has been agreed with Trinity through the validation process. In order for a trainee to be awarded the CertTESOL, they must pass five unit courses as follows:
Teaching Skills) which has has three elements: Teaching practice, Teaching Practice Portfolio and Guided Observation Journal. Passmark to be obtained for all elements.
Language Awareness and Skills: (assessed by exam)
Learner Profile: passmark to be obtained for all sections of written profile
Materials assignment: Passmark to be obtained in line with Trinity external assessment (written work and face-to-face interview)
Unknown language: Passmark to be obtained for all sections of Unknown Language Journal.
How long does the course last and what is the timetabling?
There are two course modes: full-time (lasting 4 weeks) and part-time (lasting 16 weeks). The full-time course takes place every day, weekdays. Scheduling may vary (some courses may start and finish late - eg 1100-2100, so you need to keep the whole period free and not have other commitments. The part-time course consists of two evenings a week, from 1800-2100, plus alternate Saturdays.
What kind of job can I expect to get?
A career in TEFL is very flexible and the industry is growing, giving you a great choice of professional opportunities. If you decide to stay and teach in England, you will probably work for a language school, local further education college or run private classes. Many schools offer summer residential camps and ask teachers to live in. Teaching online is now a popular option too.
If you decide to go abroad, having a CertTESOL will qualify you for work in serious language schools with proper working conditions. There is demand for English teachers throughout Europe, including Eastern Europe and former communist countries like Russia. The far East also now has a great demand for teachers and many teachers do a stint in countries like South Korea or China.
I don't live in Winchester and so will need accommodation
We have an excellent network of host families you can stay with, or we can help you to find self- catering accommodation if you prefer.
I work full-time. Can I do this course in my spare time?
The part-time course is designed to fit around a typical working trainee's schedule. The two evenings a week start at 1800, hopefully allowing you to finish your working day before coming to class. In addition there are alternative Saturday morning sessions. However, be advised that the course is demanding, so please avoid additional serious commitments.
I'm not sure if I am capable of this course. What sort of support can you give me?
The course is challenging and a lot of work. We know how demanding it is (having done it ourselves!) and will provide you with masses of advice and support. You will have two very experienced tutors who will be on-hand with advice, constructive criticism and practical tips. If we feel you are slipping behind we will flag it up straight away to make sure you get any help you need.