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Best Certification?
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thirdeyeopen



Joined: 26 May 2011
Posts: 33
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:09 am    Post subject: Best Certification? Reply with quote

I plan on teaching soon but I wanted to know which certification is the best, as in every country would take me.

TEFL, TESL, TESOL, CELTA? From what I've heard so far, people have been saying CELTA.

If so, what programs are the best?

Someone told me that in-country is better than online.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CELTA is the name brand. SIT and Trinity also are well-known. No, online certs are not recognised everywhere, because they do not include supervised teaching practice with real students - considered the key by reputable employers in many places.

In-country certification has some advantages: training centres are a good help in getting settled in a country - they usually arrange for things like airport pickup, local orientation, and housing during the course. Your practice teaching students will be really representative of those you'll work with when you start, and your fellow trainees can become your first social network. The centre will also be able to put you in touch with reputable local employers.

Where are you from? If UK, all of the EU is open to you. If you are from somewhere else, you'll be limited to the 'new' EU member countries, like the Czech Rep, Poland, and etc. Western Europe is pretty much closed to newbie teachers who are not from the EU, regardless of what certification you have.
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thirdeyeopen



Joined: 26 May 2011
Posts: 33
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for being so helpful. You were the one who actually brought the importance of certification to me in my Spain post.

I just researched a few of the CELTA programs in Italy and Spain, but the cost is extremely high! And accommodations aren't included...

Would I be less certified if I did the CELTA program somewhere else, such as in Latin America?

Are SIT and Trinity = CELTA? What do you mean by "brand-name"?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.accredited-tefl-courses.com/courses/teachingreqs.htm

There are a lot of generic TEFL/TESL courses out there. Not all meet the international standards. The three I mentioned do, along with generics which

1. are 100+ hours on site
2. include supervised teaching practice with real students
3. have qualified trainers

There are some generics that meet the standard in Prague, for example. And other places, of course!!

A CELTA is a CELTA, regardless of where you take it. So long as it's a CELTA (or other course that meets the standards).

Do keep in mind that your passport is also an issue....
to work legally in Western Europe, you need certification and a passport from an EU member country.
To work legally in the 'new' EU member countries (Central Europe) you need certification and a bit of luck to find an employer that will jump through the legal hoops to get you a work permit.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8972
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think CELTA is probably the most recognised. That and SIT and Trinity. Usually job adverts say CELTA or equivilant.

If you want to teach in Europe, go for the CELTA.
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mtrenkova



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many small private schools in Europe would hire just any English native speaker. I had a friend from US hired by a private English school in Fribourg (Switzerland) who has never done anything else than modeling (the School was named Wall Street Institute of English). If you go for that kind of school any teaching qualification may do.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8972
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mtrenkova wrote:
Many small private schools in Europe would hire just any English native speaker. I had a friend from US hired by a private English school in Fribourg (Switzerland) who has never done anything else than modeling (the School was named Wall Street Institute of English). If you go for that kind of school any teaching qualification may do.


Wall Street is pretty well known. Did your friend have a work visa for Switzerland?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Many small private schools in Europe would hire just any English native speaker.


NOT generally true. In some remote/less travelled areas at times, yes, but in the bigger cities, without a certification (and eligibility to work) this is simply not the case. It would be misleading to suggest that a native speaker (particularly an American or Canadian) can count on simply walking into a job.

I also think you've forgotten to tell us the other vital bit of info: that your friend is married to a Swiss citizen, or has a Swiss passport by ancestry, or has a study visa for a Swiss university.
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mtrenkova



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, my friend did have a working visa and NO qualification whatsoever. And the town is anything but remote - it is County center (Canton Fribourg), the school was in downtown. Fribourg is some 50 miles away from Bern and a little more from Lausanne. It takes about 30 min train travel to get to Bern and about 1h to Lausanne, if I recall correctly. Some school won't accept such "teachers" but many do, though not always full time - you may have to work part time or as a freelancer.

As for her situation - she was married to an American citizen, engineer in aircraft industry - nothing to do with teaching English as a foreign language. Maybe I should mention the fact, that she was not working out of necessity, but because she got bored of housewife life...
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
she was married to an American citizen, engineer in aircraft industry - nothing to do with teaching English as a foreign language. Maybe I should mention the fact, that she was not working out of necessity, but because she got bored of housewife life...


It's quite normal that international companies arrange for visas for the spouses of their staff abroad. This means that if the husband is working in Switzerland with his company, she will likely be given work permission as well - it doesn't matter what his field is. This is also true, for example, for air traffic control. The staff at Eurocontrol also get working visas for their non-EU spouses, regardless of field or qualifications.

The fact that she already had a work visa was the key in her case. What I'd like to avoid is the implication that any American, whether certified or not, can walk into such a job - if your friend had not had the visa, the school would not have tried to get her one.

Also, do keep in mind that one story doesn't set a precedent. The job market in Europe is still generally very competitive and an uncertified newbie (particularly American) really does have extremely limited opportunities.
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 447

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Also, do keep in mind that one story doesn't set a precedent.


It is always surprising to me--although it shouldn't be!--that anecdotal evidence is so often biased toward the unusual. I suppose it is human nature to want to tell a dramatic tale. We're much more inclined to want tell about an exception, or an unusual, dramatic, or otherwise interesting event. Which does tend to skew anecdotal evidence when you don't hear about the thousands of uninteresting, unexceptional cases.
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mtrenkova



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting the job is only one part of the story. Getting a work permit is another. Most employers in any field in Europe won't bother to do all the paper work if there are applicants with permits waiting on the door...

So there are 2 probable situations, where the employer may apply for work visa:

1. Your qualifications and skills are way beyond the usual. That's very rare
2. There is no local applicants with appropriate qualifications and skills

and 3. You got into an affair with the Principal Laughing

I wouldn't count too much on #3
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1213

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Italy, at least, Wall Street will hire pretty much anyone (with / without quals or experience, or native-level ability of English). It's not exactly the sort of place to which you'd aspire with a CELTA.
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mtrenkova



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, my story is confirmed and it is likely to be more than just a local exception
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So, my story is confirmed and it is likely to be more than just a local exception


There are always a few dodgy schools around that will hire without any certification - sorry if I wasn't clear about that earlier. My presumption was that we were discussing the kinds of jobs that actually pay on time and at a decent rate.

Berlitz also hires without certification, for anyone who's interested (though they won't get work visas for non-EU member citizens). They pay at the bottom of the local scale, and require newbies to take their own training course - which is unpaid. Further, experience at Berlitz and similar schools does not enhance one's CV - not a plus for later jobs. But they do tend to hire teachers who didn't pass CELTA and equivalent courses, and are a relatively legit fall-back for those who can't be bothered (or who can't afford) to get certified.
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