TESOL Qualifications

Assuming you’re interested in being a professional teacher – as opposed to a backpacker that has no actual interest in teaching but needs to pay off student loans back home – then here are a few thoughts on different TESOL qualifications and how useful they may be. First up, I may as well point out that to work in a lot of countries your don’t technically need a teaching certificate and just a BA/BSc will do… but you do intend on being professional right? The most basic qualification and one of the most common is Cambridge’s CELTA or Trinity’s TESOL. These are both intensive certificate courses and prepare someone with no experience for the classroom… giving them a good foundation to work from and develop their skills. There is a practical element involved showing you some of the reality to come. Both the CELTA and TESOL build into Diploma level courses for down the road and enhance institutional management skills. BA (TESOL) or similar is obviously a specialised undergraduate degree that gives you a good basis to grow from. It would be better if you find a course with a practical element to test your skills and develop confidence. So this perhaps opens the door for a BEd with a TESOL major. Down the road and when you get more serious there are post-graduate options. MA or MEd (even PhD)… These will vary from university to university but may include Applied Linguistics, TESOL,TEFL, etc. Through these you show your professionalism and dedication to your career within ELT. There’s a strong research element when you can further your understanding within the areas of ELT that you believe are lacking. As a general rule… don’t do online courses! The only two certificate level courses that have credibility across the globe are the two above. There are a few more out there, but they aren’t as widely known. There are other routes to becoming a serious teacher and this doesn’t pretend to be exhaustive, but it gives you a few ideas with regard to the major...

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