TEFL courses in London


#1

Have you done one? Where did you go? Will I go insane trying to do the evening class on top of my day job?


#2

I’m currently working my way through a £50 Groupon 150hr Tefl Course, I’m not dead set on doing it as a career change, but i thought for £50 there isn’t much to lose, and it might work as an alternative to my mundane job.

Question is…how vital is the classroom experience? Would the fact i’ve given numerous lectures and presentations, as well as formal training for colleagues at work be good enough to satisfy potential employers?


#3

Do the CELTA. It’s the qualification decent employers want. There are a load of shysters operating in the language school business, because it’s essentially unregulated.


#4

Yeah do CELTA - it is a bit rubbish that it is cornering the market but increasingly the only qualification that is recognised.


#5

Another vote for Davidoff Cool CELTA.


#6

Yes, CELTA. Those online courses are like throwing your money away, nobody (well, nobody reputable and who’s actually going to pay you) will hire you with them. Sorry, guy up there^^, yes classroom experience is necessary.


#7

The normal way to gain classroom experience is to teach at summer camp. There’s loads in the UK and abroad. The quality varies dramatically.


#8

Oh also, buy this book. It covers everything you need to know. Make sure to get the main blue one, not the supplementary ones for beginners or academic english:


#9

Cheers folks, does anyone have any recommendations on places to do the CELTA? The prices seem to vary wildly.


#10

Can’t say I do. I did mine 10 years ago. I did it in Budapest to save a large chunk money, but my teachers were terrible. They were basically two long-term EFL teachers who had got sick of teaching, but instead of leaving became teacher trainers instead. They were rude and impatient and had this really scornful attitude to their students. They hated being asked questions and would make you feel like a time waster by brushing it off as “that’s not important”.

They also didn’t really know their stuff properly, which probably explains the questions thing. For example one of them was showing us an IPA chart from English File (a really popular textbook, and most classrooms will have this poster). The IPA basically has a symbol for every possible sound, so you can represent pronunciation exactly. It’s used in dictionaries as a pronunciation guide, and it’s something teachers need to know. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phonetic_Alphabet

Anyway, for this poster, the textbook publishers picked out the sounds used in a generic Southern English accent, and made a poster with some helpful pictures. If you’re a native English speaker from somewhere else, you might have a different set of sounds, especially the vowels.

There were students in the class from Ireland and Canada, and they realised that they they were saying something different from these pronunciations and asked the teacher what the symbols were. She denied the existence of any other symbols (total nonsense, there are hundreds of the things), and then it turned out that she couldn’t even hear that these people had different accents as she wasn’t a native speaker and kind of implied that they were making up that they were speaking differently, leaving them confused and feeling vaguely insulted.

(The other students were pretty nice though).


#11


#12

If you do it through a college, they’ll usually have access to ESOL students and will also be a source of potential work after you qualify.


#13

I can’t vouch for it personally but International House has a good reputation


#14

I might be able to advise here. Work in the TEFL industry on the recruitment side.

Agree (mostly) with what everyone else has said about the CELTA course. It really is excellent overall and offers loads of practical experience. The course is well recognised and the standards are consistent too but it’s reasonably pricey compared to alternatives, is a longer commitment and can be very intense. It also focuses purely on teaching adults which is not ideal if you want to teach younger learners.

If you’re just interested in doing it for a year I wouldn’t necessarily say that the CELTA is a must as there are other courses (150+ hours) that give you a taste of TEFL with a short weekend practicum. These often have a wider approach to TEFL and are considerably cheaper.

As others have said, International House do a lot of CELTA courses as do many colleges and universities, the experience you get at any of these should be broadly comparable.

Send me a message on here if you want to talk further. Cheers.


#15

Forgot to say - if you haven’t done so yet take a look at the British Council website. They run an accreditation service, so you can check any colleges you are considering. I think most serious places will be signed up to that.