5 reasons to do a CELTA

Are you unsure whether or not to do a CELTA? Concerned about spending between £800 and £1000 for a course when you don't know if you want to be a TEFL teacher? You’re not the only one. Here are five reasons why you should do a CELTA.

Get the best jobs
A CELTA is the University of Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages and is the most highly regarded TEFL qualification throughout the world. TEFL is a growing industry and there is a lot of competition out there. If you’re serious about becoming a TEFL teacher, want to travel the world teaching English while working for the most established language academies, then a CELTA is vital.

If you look on www.tefl.com you’ll notice that the majority of employers ask for a CELTA. The reason that a CELTA is the most highly regarded is because it is recognized by the British Curriculum Authority as a Level 5 qualification and all the teacher centres are authorized and moderated. In other words, to get the best jobs you need to be taught by the best. (Photo by Photologue_np)

Some great tools, tools, get it? Okay, crap joke.
A great tool
Can anyone teach? Yeah, I guess they can. After all, everyone has been to school and been taught by someone at some point in their lives, but is it easy? No. Teaching is not for everyone. Standing at the front of a class and trying to engage a group of learners who don’t speak your language is not as simple as it sounds; that’s why doing a CELTA is a great tool to have. Not only do you learn the theory behind teaching, classroom management, and grammar rules and terminology, but you also have experience actually teaching real live (well most of the time) students. (Photo by pennuja)

It’s a hard four or five weeks. You will get swamped with theory, have to write complex lessons plans, and be criticized on your lessons, but when you finally step into real classroom then you’ll realise how much you have learnt and how important the CELTA is.

Gain Confidence
Teaching has a lot to do with confidence. The longer you teach, the more confidence you gain, and the better teacher you become (in theory). A CELTA will give you the confidence to become a TEFL teacher. After learning different methodologies to teach and being grilled by examiners and other students on the course then your confidence will grow.

No one likes observations, I still have observations in my language academy and get nervous beforehand, but I always learn something and become more confident after. At the start of the course you may find it difficult to grasp all the new concepts and grammar explanations, but when you put the ideas into practise you’ll feel more able to teach.

Test the water
When I did my course I never expected teaching English would turn into my career. I just wanted to travel the world and it seemed like a good way to earn some money along the way. The only reason I did a course was because a mate pointed out that I’d probably spend all my savings on the piss within two months and that I’d need an extra income. (Photo by Brian U)

By doing a CELTA you’re testing whether you’re really capable of being a teacher. I know it’s an expensive test, but if you want to travel the world and earn a living then it’s worth doing. You don’t have to commit to a full CELTA straight away. I phoned a few local language academies and asked if I could sit in on a couple of lessons to get an idea. You can do online courses too to get an idea before you commit.

Cambridge is the way forward
When you get into the world of TEFL you’ll see that teaching English is a business. English is an essential qualification to many people around the world. English students aim to either improve their level of English for school, or get some type of qualification. Cambridge have a variety of exams where students can get a qualification, have a look at this detailed list of examinations. This year I am a PET Cambridge Examiner and will be examining in May.

Cambridge have a massive influence over the world of English. Whether you like it or not, a CELTA is an excellent qualification to have if you want to teach English as a foreign language.

Cambridge has not paid me to write this by the way (I wish), it’s my opinion. I’m not saying that it’s not worth doing other TEFL qualifications such as TESOL, or online courses, just that CELTA is an excellent choice.

You might disagree, bring on the comments and let me know how you feel. Had a bad experience with Cambridge and want to tell the world; leave a comment.  

Useful links

Official page of CELTA on Cambridge website

CELTA on wikipedia

List of CELTA course locations and websites

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