My girlfriend and I want to relocate abroad somewhere (probably Europe) to teach English for a while so we can support ourselves with good employment while being immersed in a foreign language culture.
Mandy is a high school Spanish teacher in the US with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish education and three years teaching experience. She also taught EFL for the Wall Street Institute when she lived in Mexico.
I have my US Bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis on linguistics and have done course work in Second Language Acquisition and French (I am not fluent in French). I also have several years experience as a substitute teacher.
We both prefer to teach teenagers and young adults, but are open to whatever good work is available.
We've been researching the TEFL world and see the merit of having meaningful credentials, and it seems clear that the Cambridge CELTA and Trinity CertTESOL qualifications are the most universally recognized. But as we've investigated the CELTA and CertTESOL certificate courses, we've noticed that they are designed for people with little or no teaching experience or knowledge of language. That leaves us to wonder if they are really right for us, especially Mandy.
So, we've got some questions:
1) For our goals, does CELTA or Trinity have any important advantages over the other?
Are there other qualifications we should be looking at instead?
2) Might Mandy's bilinguism and experience teaching Spanish open more possibilities that we should look into? (She is certainly as open to teaching Spanish as English.)
3) How much of an obstacle will traveling together be in finding work?
1 While both the CELTA and Trinity are recognised, I would say that the CELTA is the industry standard and would be the best if you are going to be travelling around as everyone has heard of it. While you would probably be able to find work without it as you already have teaching qualifications, I would still advise getting it as it opens doors in the better paying places, which can be a bit snotty about non-ESL qualifications.
2 Quite possibly.
3 I know plenty of couples who have done it. You might not walk into jobs on the same day or in the same place, but you should both be able to find work. In a previous incarnation as a DOS, I employed a couple of couples.
The only issue that might come up is your nationality within the EU as EU teachers from Britain and Ireland are legally easier to employ, though many Americans do work there.