The Best Way to Start Your ESL Career

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					The Best Way to Start Your ESL Career
What qualifications are needed to secure that ESL job in the country of your dreams?
Well in many cases, no formal qualifications are needed at all! However, the hours you
are expected to work, the pay you receive and even the legality of your stay in the
country could be questionable and most likely will not be attractive.

Many ESL teachers, particularly in the higher paying/better working conditions posts will
most likely have a string of qualifications under their belt. Where to start? How do you
decide which qualifications you need, and ultimately which qualifications will help you
to secure the best possible job?

The basic courses for entry into ESL teaching are TEFL certificate courses which are
offered by many course providers around the world. Often these courses will be based in
a country where the applicant wants to work and they usually provide a "guaranteed job"
at the end of the training. If you don't pass the course, your "guaranteed job" and course
fees will probably be a thing of the past. This type of course will usually run for 30 days
or so and provide theory as well as classroom practice. However, some courses will
provide you with a certificate after a weekend or one or two week course. There are no
formal qualifications required to take the courses and after completion, you will most
likely have your first ESL teaching job! That's the positive aspect, the negative is that you
will be on the bottom rung of the ESL ladder with low pay and long hours. In addition,
it's unlikely that the certificate you receive for completing the course will be endorsed by
one of the major ESL benchmarks - Cambridge or Trinity for example. If you're in the
market for this type of qualification, do your homework. Find out if the course is
considered good or not. The internet is full of discussion forums that can help you make
your choice, just Google the name of your course provider and see what information is
out there.

Next up are the certified TEFL courses. Cambridge offer the CELTA (Certificate of
English Language Teaching to Adults), whilst Trinity offer the TESOL (Certificate in
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

If you're serious about wanting to teach ESL, these are the courses you should be looking
at doing. Training providers must be verified by the certificate providers and standards
are checked regularly. You can also be sure that your instructor will hold at least the
qualification that they will be teaching and that the centre will meet the standards for
teaching and learning laid down by Cambridge or Trinity. These courses tend to be
intensive four week courses focusing on lesson planning, best practice in the classroom,
grammar and teaching practice. To gain the certificate will generally involve 120+ hours
of instruction and classroom teaching practice with at least 6 hours of teaching assessed
by an examiner.
If you're thinking about taking that first step towards becoming an ESL teacher, choose
your course wisely. There are lots of courses out there, just make sure you choose the
right one and start your ESL career on the right path!

By Jane Simpsonlala

				
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posted:8/26/2011
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