Where do I start?

Discussion about courses, qualifications etc

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Joined: 23 Nov 2014, 19:08
Status: Prospective Teacher

Where do I start?

Unread post by Lozikinz » 23 Nov 2014, 19:13

Hi guys! My name is Lauren and I've been thinking about taking an online TEFL course for such a long time. Well, the plan is now to move to Lisbon with my husband at the end of January, where I'd like to work for a few months, or longer if we settle in well there. So I think it's time I took a TEFL course. The problem is - which company, and which specific course should I take?

I'd like to work ideally in a school in Lisbon, teaching children/teenagers. What would you guys recommend? I really need help!

Thank you in advance :)

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Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 20:33
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Re: Where do I start?

Unread post by Briona » 25 Nov 2014, 10:10

Hi there,

In mainland Europe, most schools require you to have a face-to-face intensive qualification that includes a minimum of 6hrs of observed and assessed teaching practice, in other words a CELTA (http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teachin ... ake-celta/) or Trinity CertTESOL (http://www.trinitycollege.com/site/?id=201). There are some other courses that fit the bill, but these two are the most widely recognised.

Once you have passed the course, you should have few problems finding work, assuming you meet the criteria. You haven't said where you're from or what your husband's nationality is. Unless one of you is an EU citizen, you will not be able to find legal work in Lisbon or elsewhere in the EU - employers in the EU cannot just hire a non-EU citizen, they first have to prove that there were no EU citizens who could do the job, which is not a very likely proposition.

If you (or your husband) are an EU citizen, you should be able to find work. However, timing will be a problem Arriving at the end of January is bad enough, but by the time you've finished a course, it'll likely be March, which is pretty much the worst time to be looking for work.

The academic year runs from late September through to the end of June, so the jobs will long since have been filled. The peak hiring time is early September and there is a smaller hiring peak in very early January to replace the teachers who jumped ship at Christmas. After that there's precious little around until the next academic year.

Finally, you say you want to work in schools. If by this you mean primary/secondary schools, you're out of luck as TEFL certificates alone don't qualify you to teach in state schools. Instead you'd be looking for work in private language academies and you'd need to be prepared to teach all ages groups and levels. The youngest children are 6, but the bulk of the work is with teens and adults who come to classes after school or work.

Hope that helps, and if you have any more questions, please ask.

Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar

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