CELTA or TESOL to teach in the USA?

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CELTA or TESOL to teach in the USA?

Unread postby onetrickpony » 20 Jul 2007, 17:19

Hi, I would ideally like to teach English in the USA, ideally working in a language school or teaching community groups. I know there are some differences between CELTA and TESOL but would one particular qualification be better in this instance?

Many thanks.
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Unread postby Alex Case » 17 Aug 2007, 11:14

There is so much information on this out there if you try looking, but to give a very brief summary to a too-often-asked question:

TESOL is not a qualification. Maybe you mean an MA in TESOL. As far as I am aware, you need an MA to teach in the USA and a CELTA is of no use whatsoever.
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Teacher Certification...

Unread postby shlee » 21 Aug 2007, 06:41

FYI...

Before you can receive teaching certification in the USA you must go through a teacher education program from a University. That is unless you are simply planning on working through a community ed. program which allows for lesser qualifications...I know, since I have been certified and licensed to teach in the USA for more than 20 years.

Regrading your EFL-ESL certification, neither TESOL or CELTA alone will qualifiy you to even be considered unless they are through a university as part of a teacher education program. You can be certified with a BA and some post graduate coursework (if your BA is not in education), but most likely you will need to work on your MA/MS/M.Ed. before you would meet the licensing requirements for teaching in any public and most private school situations.

Not to burst any bubbles here, but people thinking they are receiving teaching certification as regular public school teachers when they take EFL-SEL training courses as stand alone training are sadly mistaken. Unless your program is part of a teacher education program in a university, you are being trained to work in a specialization area that was created because the need demanded it...

I value TEFL/TESOL/TESL/CELTA and the rest of the training programs, but let's face it, our programs should not be telling people they are receiving the same teacher training that people receive at university in full-blown education programs which result in degrees...As a public school teacher for 23+ years I see this one area of marketing EFL-ESL training programs as a big concern, and feel whole heartedly that more truth in advertising should be practiced...
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Unread postby Alex Case » 21 Aug 2007, 07:32

Good point, although I'm not sure any course providers do try to pretend they are an equivalent to a one or two year state teacher education- that would be so obviously stretching the truth that even the dodgiest TEFL certificate provider (and there are some dodgy ones) would realise people would laugh them off the stage.

Although it is smaller in absolute size and much smaller in terms of its effect on the economy in the USA than it is in the UK or Australia, there is also a private language school sector in America. For example, big chains like EF and Shane Global have schools there. I imagine there are no legal restrictions on these schools employing people with just the CELTA, but as America and Canada tend to have more university educated English language teachers than the UK (even though usually TESL rather than TEFL), I would imagine there is too much competition for jobs for that to be a practical reality.
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