TEFL without a safety net
Been teaching for some time without a TEFL qualification?
You’re not alone. Some of us started out teaching English without the right bit of paper, and guess what? It worked. Didn’t it. Or did it? That’s the nagging doubt when you’ve built up a certain amount of experience, feel fairly confident in what you do. But then maybe you hear other teachers talking about things you’ve not really thought about, or maybe you just want to consolidate your knowledge before moving forward. Jenny Johnson explains the options available to practising TEFL teachers who never took a formal course. Sometimes, even though you’re completely capable, schools abroad and at home will only employ you if you have an accredited qualification such as a Cambridge CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL. In the UK, for example, schools which are a part of the British Council accreditation scheme can only technically employ teachers with a 4-week qualification.
If you’ve got rather a lot of experience, it may be worth enquiring if you can go straight on to diploma level qualifications, such as the Cambridge DELTA and the Trinity Licentiate Diploma in TESOL. Both can be taken as either face-to-face or distance learning qualification. For the latter, you’ll need to stay put, to try out your new found knowledge on your own students. You may want to kill two birds with one stone and train for both EFL and ESOL at the same time. You can follow a new Level 5 Diploma qualification which starts you off with CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL and takes you on through all the other areas you need for work in ESOL. These solutions can all ease the transition back into UK teaching, where the barriers to entry are higher. The Diploma also paves the way to Director of Studies (DOS) roles, and with the Dip, you can also theoretically set up your own school, if that’s something that interests you.