Before the course
Do you need to have teaching experience to enrol?
No, though if you do, it obviously helps you to cope with being in the ELT classroom. However, it's interesting to note that some past trainees who did have previous classroom experience (usually in other fields) have said that they sometimes felt it was more difficult for them because they had to "de-program" and "re-learn" quite a lot. The course assumes that the majority of trainees have no experience, so nothing to worry about!
Do you really need to do a TEFL course in order to gain employment?
Most reputable schools, not only in Europe but also in most other parts of the world, will expect their new teachers to be trained to teach English. The Cambridge CELTA is probably the most respected and well-known training course, and the one which the majority of people refer to when they ask "Have you got the TEFL?" or "Are you trained to teach English?" The second consideration here is your own confidence. Starting to teach English is made a great deal easier if you have some idea of what you are doing, why you are doing it and how to go about teaching. The course gives you this confidence and means you can walk into a classroom as a prepared teacher.
What is the application / interview procedure?
In outline, the application procedure is as follows:
- Complete the application forms and pre-interview task (see next question) and email them back.
- You'll receive a message setting up a time for you to call us for an interview. You are told during the interview if you have been accepted.
- Wait for the acceptance letter with details for payment. Nerina will send you this electronically within 24 hours.
- Payment: four weeks before the course begins, or immediatly if the interview is less than six weeks before the course.
- You will then receive the pre-course task (see below) to do before your course starts.
What does the interview consist of?
This usually lasts up to 60 minutes and we ask you some questions about yourself and the pre-interview task you have done. We also tell you about what you are letting yourself in for, i.e. the course. You can also ask any questions you may have.
The pre-interview task is not a test - obviously you don't know all the answers without having to think hard about them and even having to look them up in reference books (which is what teachers do all the time). It's more a test of your attitude and instinctive approach to teaching, your inner resources and, where language is concerned, how you would react if a student asked you this type of question. This gives us a good idea of your skills and qualities and, therefore, of how you will respond to only four weeks of training - whether it will be enough to bring you up to pass standard and allow us to award you the Certificate.
What are the deadlines for registration for the course?
The real deadline is when the course is full. To be sure of a place, we recommend fees are paid four weeks before the start date or as soon as you have been accepted.
What level of knowledge of English grammar is expected prior to enrolment?
Rather than "level", we prefer to look at it as "instinct". Our pre-interview task helps us to see whether you can instinctively analyse grammar, i.e. whether you have a "feeling" for language so you can help students with their problems. Your learning of the grammar really takes place when you teach it, because you have to research it when planning a language lesson. But we also include some input sessions on the course to help you develop this area.
Once you have been accepted...
What is the pre-course task? How much time and preparation is involved?
The pre-course task involves about 12-15 hours of work. Although it isn't assessed or marked, it's very useful as initial preparation for the course, especially the sections on Language Awareness and Phonology. We'll send it to you as soon as you've confirmed your place with payment.
Should I get a TEFL/TESL certificate, or go for a masters degree?
It depends a bit on where you want to teach. A masters degree is sometimes required in the USA but other countries, particularly European, look for a course which has a strong practical element with at least 6 hours observed and assessed teaching practice. This is exactly what the CELTA course supplies. There are other countries of course which will employ you simply by virtue of you being a native-speaker graduate. However, this is not a serious option if you want to do justice to your learners and yourself.