As you don't mention it, we are probably assuming that you already have a university degree. If you don't, you are in for a bumpy ride, the prospects of getting good employment will be practically nill, and there will almost certainly be no opportunities for advancement - as Harvey-Gormullah has found out much to his distress, dismay, disillusionment, and depression.
Do bear in mind that TEFL is not restricted to teaching in schools - there are plenty of opportunities for teaching ESP to adults on in-company training programmes, particularly in the hospitality industry.Here is my POV on a couple of your questions:
Matthew wrote:1.) Regarding the reasons I give above, am I considering the right things or are there others I should be looking at regarding choice of course?
At £500 you may wish to consider whether the extra expense for a PTTLS is worth it for a TESOL job. Although recognised by the British government, and will be required for teaching in state schools and on government sponsored courses it is almost totally unknown outside the UK where it would be irrelevant. Practically all the skills you need for teaching English will be acquired on your CELTA course.
The PTTLS replaced a [url]City & Guilds[/url] course, which sites it academically as a sort of upper level vocational school qualification, although some levels may equate to a degree. The PTTLS is available at 5 levels. Level 5 is claimed to an equivalent to the PGCE, although how that works without a degree is unclear.
Do note that it will be extremely difficult to convince a foreign school or immigration authority into accepting any qualification that may well have a recognised degree equivalence.
For more information on the PTTLS you could try to obtain a copy of Achieving Your PTTLS Qualification: A Practical Guide to Successful Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector
by Mary Francis and Jim Gould
Matthew wrote:2.) Has anyone taken their CELTA at New College Nottingham and/or does anyone have any knowledge of the quality of the course there?
As others have stated, a genuine CELTA is a CELTA, wherever you take its course, or your certificate on job hunting with you. With well known courses offered by multiple providers, the only checking recruiters will do is on the authenticity of the certificate.
I once interviewed a candidate for a job who proudly claimed to be a CELTA graduate. he had been duped by a Canadian scam. The acronym on the certificate was indeed 'CELTA' but closer examination revealed that it stood for something else. The course is advertised as 'guranteed delivered to international CELTA standards.'
Matthew wrote:4.) Although I have travelled a lot, I have lived in Nottingham all my life (I am in my mid 30’s). Is this considered a ‘negative’ in any way to prospective employers as opposed to someone who has shown more extensive ‘mobility’ in their life?
The short answer is No. Employers are generally far more interested in what
you have done rather than where
you did it. However, when seeking employment in the UK, previous foreign experience may be conidered an advantage.And here are some expansions and additions of other elements that Alex has introduced:Japan:
Alex is most qualified to provide further information on working in the developed countries of Asia.Thailand:
I quote Thailand because it's where I live and work, and it's fairly representative of the situation in the region. A degree is required by law here. TEFL certification is additionally required by many schools, but certainly not all. Salaries range from 25,000 - 35,000 baht full-time or around 300 - 450 per teaching hour. Teachers without degrees (illegal) might be offered 17,500 - 25,000, or from 200 - 250 per hour part-time in back-street cram schools that often don't care who they employ.
At the better schools, private, international, or charity (such as those governed by the St Gabriel's Foundation), the salary scales start at around 60,000 baht. A great many schools, even those with as many as 2 - 3,000 student will only have resources to pay one or two native speaker teachers. Only the schools and institutes with a substantial foreign staff will employ a DoS, and then still some schools don't have one. The salary for a Western DoS can be anything from 40,00 - 120,000.
A job in a private mainstream school, will certainly provide the spin-off for well paid private one-to-one tuition, but only for teachers who are well liked by the students and who appear to perform well. The students choose the teacher whom they wish to approach for private lessons. In government schools, the parents can rarely afford private tuition.
I have had a long career in education, much of which was permanently concerned with TESOL. I started my life in a very different (and better paid) industry, but never regretted going back to college as an adult and opting for an academic profession. For the last ten years in Thailand I have earned as much, if not more, than I would have done in equivalent positions in the UK or Europe, and enjoyed a cost of living of around a quarter. At conferences around the world, I have been offered better paid jobs by people I have met, but I am quite happy to stay in Thailand where I have built my own house and constructing a small seminar facility.
A degree and a CELTA will also often get you a job in a university abroad where the work and hours are less demanding, but where the basic salaries may be less interesting. Extra work is however well paid - in Thailand I found myself doing extra lectures for part-time students for three hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings for 1,000 baht per hour, almost doubling my basic salary. There are also opportunities for offering your own courses to the university programmes, that will gain extra pay, and private tuition. University contracts pay the salaries through the whole year including the long vacations. Many schools don't.