Note: We mainly use the term TEFL on these pages but in most cases the terms TESOL/TESL could equally well be used.

Frequently Asked Questions

ELT Management Courses

What qualifications should I get if I want to become a Director of Studies/Senior Teacher/School Manager?
The most important thing for such posts is to have a higher qualification in TEFL, usually a diploma or an MA. Qualifications specifically for or about ELT management are usually taken by people who already have such jobs (if then).

What qualifications are available for ELT managers?
If you don’t have a diploma or MA in TESOL, then that is probably the most important thing for career progression. There are also specific qualifications in ELT management, perhaps the most well known of which is the International House Diploma in ELT Management Skills, which is only available online. There is also the International Diploma in Language Teaching Management (IDLTM) awarded jointly by the Cambridge ESOL Examinations (UK), SIT Graduate Institute (USA) and University of Queensland (Australia). English UK also offer the Diploma in ELT Management (DELTM), but that is specifically for managers working in the UK. The other options are to take a whole MA (or, more commonly, an MA module) in ELT management, or a general qualification in business or management such as an MBA.

Which qualification is the most recognised?
None of the diplomas in ELT management are particularly well recognised, especially as they keep changing name and format, but the organisations mentioned above are well known and well respected.

Should I take a qualification in ELT management or a general management qualification such as an MBA?
Especially when you first start climbing the ladder, your job is likely to be more about academic things than business matters such as cash flow and advertising. An MBA is therefore a bit irrelevant until you get to at least the level of School Manager. An MBA might be more worthwhile, though, if you are using ELT management as a way out of ELT and into management in other fields.

Do I need to be working as a manager to take a course in ELT management?
For most courses it is only recommended, but you will find the coursework much easier if you are actually able to try out some of the ideas and relate them to a real-life context.

Can I take shorter courses in ELT management?
Yes. For example, the IH course is modular and you can choose any modules you wish.

Is it worth taking a course in ELT management?
Yes, if only to do your job well. It is also increasingly difficult to get good management jobs, especially in the UK and in the larger chains, particularly as schools now recruit people from other fields for the top jobs.

How much time will the course take up?
Six to ten hours a week, depending on the course.

Can I get credit for an MA with a diploma in ELT management?
Yes, depending on the university. For example, the IDLTM (see above) is offered in conjunction with two universities that give credit for that qualification.

What are the entry requirements for a diploma or MA course in ELT management?
It depends on the course, but usually a first degree and considerable experience in ELT.