Can anyone suggest any professional development program for teachers ? ?What do you think of CELTA?
I keep seeing your unanswered post, and don't consider myself very well-informed in this field. However, I can say a little about CELTA. I would say that most teachers could benefit from a CELTA course. I had been teaching for eight years when I did mine and still learnt quite a lot from a great team of trainers. The extent to which it is useful for employement depends on where you are and what you teach. It should be borne in mind though that it teaches a very specific approach to teaching, and involves doing things that you will probably never do again in your teaching career (the detailed lesson planning in particular). I don't know if there is a distance version available now, but I would strongly recommend doing a full-time, full-contact (if you know what I mean) course where you get the intense feedback and practice.
Hope that helps a little.
What do you mean by it is useful for employment depends on where you are and what you teach. Isn't it an international certificate for teaching English?
I was never asked for any qualification during eight or nine years of EFL teaching. Only when I moved back to the UK was anybody interested in qualifications, and the CELTA I had got three years previously became of practical use for employment. It is useful internationally, but not necessarily everywhere. It probably also depends whether you are a native or non-native speaker in some countries too.
I imagine you are a native speaker and could probably pick up world anywhere in the world. But in general, if you have a recognised qualification, the work you get will have better pay and conditions.
Which is why I mentioned that bit :-) But actually, in Germany and Austria, they didn't even appear to know what CELTA was. On the other hand, in the UK, there is no way I would have got work without it, despite my experience. Can't speak for anywhere else.
On the Cambridge ESOL site, it doesn't actually use the word "international". The page about recognition (which applies to both the CELTA and the language exams) is very carefully worded:
"It is recognised as proof of your language abilities by more than 11,000 employers, universities and government bodies around the world."
"Thousands of organisations choose to recognise Cambridge ESOL exams"
Cambridge ESOL is a business with a great reputation for providing top notch language exams (and teaching qualifications, including the DELTA), but is in competition with other providers of courses and exams. Same goes for Trinity. In other parts of the world, such as the States, I suspect these brands have less impact. Any US members that can confirm/deny this idle speculation?
I've recently moved back to the States after years and years abroad. All of my teaching qualifications are 'British', and this didn't do me any favors when applying for jobs here in the USA. When I had my degrees evaluated for US equivalency (which was necessary for every job application I made), they transferred without a problem. The CELTA, DELTA and ESOL Subject Specialist Cert and Cert in Teaching Further Ed (DELTA extension) were all listed as 'non-credit vocational courses', however. (I did feel slightly insulted!)
Although I'm no expert (yet ;-), I think the CELTA is gaining some credibility here in private language schools, and CELTA courses can be found on the east and west coasts - for people who wish to teach abroad.
I've only been back in the US for about 8 months..... others who know better or more may wish to weigh in.
Thanks for your input, Roxane. That must have been a bit of a blow to discover that all your work in achieving those qualifications was not going to be recognised.
Roxane, do you know what the equivalent teaching qualifications would be in the States? Just wondering.
Totally agree with Kevin, although I would add that there is also the Trinity CertTESOL, which is similar in many respects - saying this as someone who did the CELTA but then later worked as a trainer on a CertTESOL course. I'm sure someone else reading this forum will be able to clarify the (subtle?) differences between the two... and it's perhaps worth trying to find out which of the two is more respected in the part of the world in which you teach or intend to teach.
I also think its worth doing research to avoid getting over-qualified. I have a friend who was told that he needed a Master's degree to teach English in Spain, which isn't true. In fact, many schools here seem to prefer the more practically-focused Cambridge or Trinity courses.
I'd like to add that, once you've been teaching for a while, whether it's a requirement to have teaching qualification or not, it's a very good idea to get one. Aside from being a great learning experience (and it's easy to get set in one's ways), it's also a sign of professionalism and commitment to the profession.
I absolutely agree (though as a CELTA tutor, that it hardly surprising!)
But I've seen several experienced teachers take this course and they have all - without exception - felt that they developed positively as a result (even when their initial motivation was simply to get that "piece of paper"
The issue of professionalism is a difficult one. Is it necessary to have a qualification to be a professional or just to be seen to be one? Do I feel that it is necessary and that those who don't hold one but work in ELT anyway are "sullying" the profession simply because I have one and want to protect my own interests?
I wonder what you all think. Maybe this is another thread, though...
I think one aspect of being a professional is keeping your skills and knowledge up-to-date. Not only do new ideas, approaches and methods appear, but it is very easy to take things a little too easy without actually noticing the change. CPD helps to keep up and also to stay sharp.
Whether this is for another thread, I will leave that up to the moderators!
I'll start another thread on the topic of certification.