Five myths about the CELTA course

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The CELTA course is something of a legendary qualification when it comes to learning how to teach English. But with every legend comes a bunch of myths which need busting!

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CELTA is the leading initial teacher training qualification for people hoping to work in English Language Teaching and there are many people’s ideas that seem to have become embraced as truth. Like with our world and lifestyle choices, there are many myths about the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults that obscure reality! If you are someone who likes clarity about their choice of teacher training courses, then read on!

Myth #1 – I need to have English as a mother tongue to join the course.

Where you were born, your accent, your race, your gender, none of these things are barriers to taking part in the course and pursuing a career in English language teaching. What you need are good levels of spoken and written English enabling you to participate in the course and complete the assessments. Many English teachers who have learnt English as another language find it extremely beneficial when it comes to teaching the English language.

Myth #2 – My knowledge of English grammar needs to be good.

You‘ll need to be able to research aspects of the English language for teaching purposes. This awareness of language will develop as you participate in the course, prepare lessons and do assignments. At the start you are expected to have an interest in language and to have basic language knowledge.

Myth #3 – The CELTA course is just for new teachers.

Many experienced teachers find the CELTA a useful additional qualification to pursue. It’s a great course for novice teachers too. Experienced professionals from a variety of subject areas or who teach different age groups than adults will find the CELTA course engaging and refreshing! Candidates who do have experience as teachers may have to work extra hard to “untrain” some elements of their existing practice that are not suitable or effective for teaching the English language to adults.

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Myth #4 – You will learn the CELTA method.

There isn’t a single CELTA method. In adult language education currently, the communicative approach is the overarching key idea, but there’s no single method. What you will develop are simple strategies and basic skills to teach language and skills focused lessons. You should leave the course with a basic toolkit to begin your life as a teacher.

Myth #5 – I’ll be able to walk into any job, anywhere in the world with a CELTA.

The job market varies from country to county so it’s a very sensible idea to make sure you do some research into where you want to work post-course. In some settings visa requirements may dictate that an undergraduate or post graduate degree is required. In the UK, there are usually plenty of opportunities for work in summer schools immediately after the CELTA.