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  1. #1
    shroob is offline Member
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    Default CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    Hi all,

    I've always wanted to travel and only found out about TEFL in my last year of university, now that I have graduated (1 month ago) I am becoming more serious about undertaking a recognised TEFL course, either CELTA or Trinity TESOL. I'm edging towards the CELTA as it seems from what I've read on thsi forum the past few days to be the recommended one.

    I'm in the situation where I would like to study a PGCE in September 2011 while gaining experience in schools needed for the PGCE in the meantime. This would be alongside a part time job (maximum 20 hours a week). Both the course provides around me have part time and full time intensive courses running, though the full time ones start in summer 2011, part time courses this October.

    My question is, what in your opinion would be the best option to choose, the part time courses or wait and go on a 4 week intensive course?

    Also, where I live there are quite a number of people who are not English speakers in the city where I live, I have emailed some course provides seeing if I could possibly volunteer or observe a lesson to get a better idea of what is involved (I've also asked if I can do the same for the CELTA/TESOL course) but have had no reply yet - do you think volunteering would be beneficial, or what are your opinions on it?

    Sorry if that sounds a lot to ask but I have so many questions and I think its a fantastic opportunity - travel, see the world and get paid.

    EDIT: Thanks for reading and have a good day

  2. #2
    flapdoodle is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    Hello there!

    Obviously it's entirely up to you as to whether you do your CELTA full-time or part-time; it makes no difference to the qualification that you get at the end of it. Personally, I would go for the full time course. From what is supposed to be quite a stressful experience, I think it's better to get it over and done with in a month, rather than being stressed out for three months! I also think there's something to be said for the pressure actually bringing the best out in you. But it also depends how you learn - if you think you would be better learning at a slower pace, then go for the part time option. Go for the option that suits you best.

    Volunteering is an excellent way to see if it's for you - if you have the time, try and get as much experience as you can. I worked in a primary school helping non-native speakers with their reading. Any additional experience you can grab is definitely worth it, considering there is a rather growing glut of CELTA graduates with no experience.

  3. #3
    shroob is offline Member
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    Default Re: CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    With regards to volunteering - thats what I was thinking too. The situation is at the moment I've just graduated, and wont get on a P.G.C.E. course until september 2011, so in the mean time volunteer in schools to get experience. I'm looking for a part time job but have been unsuccessful (so frustrating) so I have a lot of free time basically. The earliest full time course I could get on is summer 2011 - by that time schools will have broken up and I could quit my meaningless part time job (if I ever get one)

    On full time vs. part time I thought the benefits/drawbacks were:
    Full time
    Benefits - over and done with, no time to forget anything
    Drawbacks - VERY intensive/demanding
    Part time
    Benefits - More time to practice/understand things
    Drawbacks - Takes longer

    Though obviously as I've not been on a course I don't know if these are realistic perceptions.

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    rx-f is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    I'm a little confused about your plan. You're (thinking about?) starting a PGCE in Sept 2011 and have just finished uni. What national curriculum subject will your PGCE be in? Are you interested in this TEFL qualification because it will allow you to travel for a year or because you want to use it in a UK school?

    Be aware that a PGCE is for teaching the UK national curriculum at secondary school level. TESOL is not a national curriculum subject. Actually, all teachers are potentially expected to fulfill some duties helping non-native speakers with their English, and in that situation, an EFL qualification would be of some use to you. On the other hand, you might not find yourself doing anything like TESOL in a UK secondary school. That depends where you end up.

    If your plan is to travel on the back of your CELTA, that's fine. In that case, I'd do the full-time course so you can get moving sooner.

    Just do some research into whether, upon returning, British schools would prefer you to have EFL experience in some foreign country, or classroom assistant experience in the UK education system. You might find combining travel with EFL isn't the optimum way to get your foot in the door of the British school-teaching system.

    Something you should look into is the extent to which the QCDA/LEAs/schools value CELTA or EFL experience when recruiting. They might not recognise the qualification. They might think it's great. I don't know.

    I'm not saying CELTA isn't a great course. It's perfect for getting into the EFL industry - but if your heart is set on teaching in a UK secondary school, CELTA might not be the most beneficial way to spend your time and money. Whatever kind of teaching you go for, getting some experience through things like volunteering will be useful.

  5. #5
    shroob is offline Member
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    Default Re: CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    Quote Originally Posted by rx-f View Post
    I'm a little confused about your plan. You're (thinking about?) starting a PGCE in Sept 2011 and have just finished uni. What national curriculum subject will your PGCE be in? Are you interested in this TEFL qualification because it will allow you to travel for a year or because you want to use it in a UK school?

    Be aware that a PGCE is for teaching the UK national curriculum at secondary school level. TESOL is not a national curriculum subject. Actually, all teachers are potentially expected to fulfill some duties helping non-native speakers with their English, and in that situation, an EFL qualification would be of some use to you. On the other hand, you might not find yourself doing anything like TESOL in a UK secondary school. That depends where you end up.

    If your plan is to travel on the back of your CELTA, that's fine. In that case, I'd do the full-time course so you can get moving sooner.

    Just do some research into whether, upon returning, British schools would prefer you to have EFL experience in some foreign country, or classroom assistant experience in the UK education system. You might find combining travel with EFL isn't the optimum way to get your foot in the door of the British school-teaching system.

    Something you should look into is the extent to which the QCDA/LEAs/schools value CELTA or EFL experience when recruiting. They might not recognise the qualification. They might think it's great. I don't know.

    I'm not saying CELTA isn't a great course. It's perfect for getting into the EFL industry - but if your heart is set on teaching in a UK secondary school, CELTA might not be the most beneficial way to spend your time and money. Whatever kind of teaching you go for, getting some experience through things like volunteering will be useful.
    Hi, Sorry about the confusion let me try and clear things up. I've just graduated from university (History - First Class) and intend to study a Primary P.G.C.E. starting September 2011 (as I've missed the deadline for starting one this September). In the mean time I will volunteer in local primary schools to gain experience to get on the P.G.C.E. course.

    With regards to TEFL I would like to do this as I want to travel and wouldn't at all mind spending a year or two abroad. The 'plan' is to get CELTA accreditation to allow me t do this. The courses realistically available to me are either part time starting October 2010 or full time Summer 2011. At the moment I'm thinking of doing the course part time while volunteering in local primary schools/part time job. Therefore I would have hopefully passed the CELTA course by summer 2011 allowing me to travel in the summer. Then start the P.G.C.E. - finish that summer 2012, 1 year teaching in england as a primary teacher means I have QTS (qualified teacher status).

    The way I see things - please correct me if I'm wrong - but by say 2013 I will be a fully qualified experienced teacher, have CELTA accreditation, experience of TEFL. All this means that I could potentially get a job teaching english anywhere in the world. I've always said my future is not in this country (UK), I think that this scenario is the most realistic way to achiev this. With regards to full time vs. part time - as I'm in the fortunate situation that I could do either, I was wondering if theres any benefit of one over the other or what would people choose and why.

    Hope that helps clear things up, I'm in abit of a muddle about it all as well.

    PS. I have also emailed my local college as they run english summer schools to see if I could volunteer or observe a class, partly to gain experience and partly to see if TEFL is for me. I am also going to watch part of a TESOL course next week, so I will have the opportunity to ask the students/actual TEFL teachers about aspects of the job.

  6. #6
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    Given the time frame, doing it part-time makes sense to me as you will be getting teaching experience, and any classroom experience is useful.

  7. #7
    shroob is offline Member
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    Default Re: CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    Yes, part time is starting to sound like the better option the more I think about it.

    I know other people will probably leap on me for saying this....but I'm also thinking that part time will be more 'relaxed', still intensive don't get me wrong, but I'll have a part time job (max 20 hours a week) and be volunteering in schools, so I won't have the pressure of a full time job and I'll be free most weekends/evenings to work on the assignments.

    I've also tried to find out information on the critea material they use to weed out the candidates eg. example questions, but haven't found much yet. As theres no guarantee I would even be accepted on the course.

    Also, are there any books/materials you would recommend - I've bought 'Teaching English Abroad' by Susan Griffith, but anything which deals with actually teaching eg. example situations, hints etc.?

  8. #8
    rx-f is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    Thanks for the clarification, and congrats on your First. Let me see if I understand your current plan:

    1) now-summer 2011: work p-t, take a p-t CELTA, and volunteer p-t in a school;
    2) summer 2011: travel;
    3) Sept 2011-summer 2012: take PGCE
    4) Sept 2012-summer 2013: one year in a school --> QTS
    5) summer 2013 on: teach abroad

    Just a few things it might be worth considering:

    a) If you only travel over the summer, I'm not sure what EFL work you'll be able to find. My experience is pretty limited, but I'd expect reputable schools to be generally offering longer contracts than that. There are summer schools in the English language, of course; but I'm not sure how many of the good ones will hire teachers without EFL experience.

    On the other hand, if before taking your PGCE, you travel for longer than just that summer - say for a year or two like you mentioned - then you'll find CELTA really useful.

    b) If you want to teach abroad, be clear on what subject you want to teach. If you're teaching the UK national curriculum in a private school, potential employers might only care about your QTS. Having done CELTA wouldn't do you any harm, but it might not do much to get you a job either.

    If it's English as a foreign language you want to teach, CELTA will help you find a job - but you won't be teaching the UK national curriculum, and a lot of employers might value two years of EFL experience over your QTS.

    Then again, other private schools only hire qualified teachers, even if it's for an EFL post. That would be the market you'd be aiming at, with both CELTA and QTS.

    c) If you're not going to be teaching English as a foreign language until gaining your QTS, you might be better off doing your CELTA once your initial teacher training is complete, rather than before it commences. The reason is that you won't be using what you learn on CELTA over your PGCE and you'll forget a lot. If you do your CELTA (full-time) immediately before going abroad, it'll be fresh in your mind.

    ---

    As for your questions about the relative merits of doing CELTA full- or part-time, you nailed it in your second post in this thread: f-t is faster but more intense; p-t is less stressful but takes longer. Which is better depends on your personal circumstances; neither is more or less valuable. It just depends which fits into your life better. I went for the short, sharp shock because I wanted it out of the way quickly. If you do your CELTA before the PGCE, it sounds like part-time would be better for you.

  9. #9
    shroob is offline Member
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    Default Re: CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    Yeah you've got the time scale right. Its confusing isnt it :P I've always been indecisive/unsure of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew I wanted a career that helps people (ideas included policeman, medical jobs and of course teaching) but it wasn't until recently I really started thinking about it, and teaching seems to be suited to me.

    The idea with a P.G.C.E. / CELTA is I've always wanted to travel, couple this with my intention of being a teacher seems a logical combination. I figure that if I get QTS theres always the fall back of teaching in the UK, equally if I get CELTA I can go abroad. I know that with either I could potentially get employment, its just I want to be a good teacher and I figure having both wouldn't a bad thing.

    I've been in contact with a TESOL provider, and they invited me to observe a lesson next week. Additionally I have emailed a charity that teaches basic english to immigrants / conversation coach to new students. Hopefully they will get back to me. So hopefully, that will give me some experience I can put on a potential C.V. - the TESOL teacher also says Spain/Italy might be a summer option, I will know more when I go to the lesson hopefully, I plan on grilling them about it :P

    I want to do the P.G.C.E. ASAP as I'm not sure if you're in the UK, but the government are considering cutting back university funding, meaning tuition fees could rise much higher than they are currently. It probably wont be until later I'm able to travel for a year or so, but if I pass CELTA I could keep up my skills teaching/volunteering occasionally so that when I do decide to travel, I would have CETLA, QTS and teaching experience, meaning could potentially cherry pick where I wanted to go, and be less likely to be exploited by unscrupulous employers that I've read some horror stories about.

    Thanks for the advice.

  10. #10
    rx-f is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: CELTA Part time vs. Intensive course

    It sounds like you're in the same position I was in a couple years ago. I went for the CELTA --> EFL school route, and am considering returning to the UK for my PGCE sometime in the future.

    I don't know if you've already looked into it, but there are certain ways of being paid through your ITT. Here's a link from the TDA:

    Employment-based teacher training - Types of course - TDA

    I've been thinking about doing Teach First for several years now. The Graduate Teacher Programme is also worth thinking about.

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