Tasha in the midst of Ubud, Bali.

Tasha in the midst of Ubud, Bali.

Teaching Traveling: Tasha Hacker is an ESL teacher, CELTA Trainer and the co-owner and co-founder of Teaching House, and the English language schools, IH New York and IH Boston. She has been traveling and teaching ESL abroad for 15 years and writes about living the dream by chasing adventures at TurfToSurf.com

Tasha, tell us more about yourself!

Tasha: Originally from Upstate New York, I graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1999 with a degree in Creative Writing and an intense fear of cubicles. So, in order to avoid desk jobs of all kinds, I joined the Peace Corps and shipped off to the Russian Far East, where I taught English in Nakhodka, near Vladivostok.

Ganesh is a common sight in spiritual Ubud, Bali.

Ganesh is a common sight in spiritual Ubud, Bali.

I then spent the next 7 years traveling abroad and teaching English when I needed money, which took me to England (where I got my Trinity CertTESOL in Windsor, UK); Doha, Qatar (where I met my British husband, who is also an ESL teacher and CELTA teacher trainer); Barcelona, Spain (where I did my Cambridge DELTA) and Seville, Spain, where I taught for two years and got married to my husband Ryan. For those who don’t know, CELTA is a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and is an internationally recognized credential for teaching ESL.

In 2006, Ryan and I moved to New York City so I could do my MA in English education at Columbia University and go abroad again to teach in international schools with my public school teaching certification in hand (or at least that was the plan).

Meanwhile, Ryan worked as a CELTA Trainer at Embassy CES in New York, but within a few months of our arrival, Embassy shut down their CELTA training department.

Which is when Ryan and I began to wonder if we – two experienced and qualified ESL teachers and CELTA trainers – could fill the ESL teacher training void in New York. We established a relationship with Cambridge University, built our first web site, rented conference room space from St. John’s University and – voila! – Teaching House was born.

Since our opening in June 2007 in New York City (Manhattan), Teaching House has opened CELTA centers in 12 more cities in the U.S. and will open two more this summer in Salt Lake City and Portland. Amazingly, Teaching House is now the largest CELTA training center in the world, sending thousands of teachers abroad to do exactly what Ryan and I have done – travel and teach and live a life that inspires us.

As of now, Ryan and I spend our time traveling, establishing relationships with schools seeking CELTA-qualified teachers, and doing work online marketing for Teaching House and our English language schools, IH New York and IH Boston.

Currently, we are working online from Bali, Indonesia and taking a rest from having recently raced in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race from London to Rio de Janeiro, and from Cape Town to Western Australia, after which we drove a camper van across Australia.

Tasha and Ryan celebrating their arrival to Albany, Australia after 3 weeks at sea in the Clipper Race.

Tasha and Ryan celebrating their arrival to Albany, Australia after 3 weeks at sea in the Clipper Race.

TT: Absolutely amazing! Tell us more about your adventures.

T: After several months of racing yachts and driving a camper across Australia, I’ve now shifted down a few gears and have landed in Bali, Indonesia, with the goal of traveling around Bali while also having a base from which to work online with Teaching House, our TEFL teacher training school.

The problem with fast-paced travel is it’s hard to do work at the same time, which was true of our trip across Australia. So now that we’re in Bali, we can sit still and get some work done, which at the moment is building a new website and getting ready to launch the Teaching House Nomads blog, a site aimed at inspiring people to get their TESOL Certification and follow their dreams to teach English wherever they want to go.

With our TH Nomads teaching English and writing blogs from all over the world, the mission behind the blog is to inspire people with these teachers’ stories so others can see what opportunities there are. Whether it be volunteering at a local community center for immigrants or teaching ESL in Japan, there are so many options out there for qualified English teachers, and there are so many schools looking for high-quality passionate teachers who can inspire students.

Right now I’m working on the Teaching House Nomads Blog from Ubud, Bali. We have rented a little Balinese house with fast internet (necessary for online work!), a cleaner and a pool overlooking the rice paddies. Life in Bali is so affordable it takes the stress away from travel so you can get some work done, see some beautiful places and even get a daily massage for under $5. How’s that for a luxurious (and affordable) life abroad?!

Tasha's house in Ubud, Bali. Low rent for beautiful housing in Bali means living in luxury!

Tasha’s house in Ubud, Bali. Low rent for beautiful housing in Bali means living in luxury!

TT: Mmm… Sounds heavenly. How did you find this Bali opportunity?

T: While we were traveling through Australia and practically going broke (Australia is expensive!), we knew that we needed to get somewhere cheap to relax and get some work done for Teaching House. And we knew Bali would be cheap. So we turned up in Ubud with a few days booked in a cheap hotel and just hit the streets looking for a house to rent. There we met a local shop owner who introduced us to another local who rented only by word-of-mouth. At the cost of $600/month for a house with a pool, $2 for a good Indonesian meal, $40/month for a gym membership, $5 for a half-hour massage and $60/month to rent a motorbike, we could live like kings while we completed our work projects.

TT: Zowie! How do you find the money to fund your travels?

Ryan photographing a grotto in Australia. (Ryan is the master photographer in their traveling relationship.)

Ryan photographing a grotto in Australia. (Ryan is the master photographer in their traveling relationship.)

T: I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to work and travel, and to have built a career from traveling, teaching and helping other students and teachers go abroad. And because I own my own companies – two English language schools and over a dozen teacher training centers – and because I have staff on the ground running the day-to-day operations for me, I can travel, meet with schools who want to hire my CELTA graduates and focus on the online marketing from any remote location. There are many ways to make a living as a nomad, but English language teaching is what opened the doors for me to build my nomadic lifestyle.

TT: Brilliant. Tell us one moment from your travels that was particularly funny.

T: When I was trying to learn Russian, I had a difficult time keeping my grammatical cases straight – genitive, nominative… I won’t bore you with terminology – not to mention vocabulary and grammar combined. And I often found myself inadvertently saying the weirdest things by inserting the wrong vowel or consonant here or there. For example, every day for 3 months, I apparently asked the security guard at my school, “Can I eat the key?” instead of “Can I have the key?” He was too polite to correct me, so I just kept saying it.

And on another occasion, before I went away for the weekend to a “Winter Base” with my Russian friends to go hiking in the woods and do some cross-country skiing, I bought myself a lovely, warm pair of mohair mittens from a babushka in the market.

When my Russian friends saw my fuzzy mittens, they all fawned over them, saying how lovely and soft they were, asking, “What are they made of?” in Russian. My Russian being a little shaky, and not knowing the word for “mohair,” I tried a little circumlocution and explained, “They’re made from the hair of a…um…zanyitsa?”

To which my friends responded by dropping to the floor in hysterical laughter. It turns out the word for rabbit in the genitive case is “zayitsa.” So, what I said was, “They’re made from the hair of my ass.”

Tasha on her boat during the Clipper Race from South Africa to Australia.

Tasha on her boat during the Clipper Race from South Africa to Australia.

TT: Hah!!! How have your travels impacted you as a teacher or in your current career?

T: With every country I visit, I learn a little more about the many languages, cultures, religions, customs and idiosyncrasies that make up this vast world we live in. It not only helps me keep an open mind towards cultures that are different from my own, but it also helps me connect with students because, chances are, I studied their language once, or I’ve eaten food from their country, or I know something about their religion or culture. And it helps me build rapport quickly, which helps me learn more about my students and cater my teaching to things I know they’ll respond well to, or hit on a topic that I know they’ll be interested in. This helps to motivate students and get them excited about language learning. When they’re having fun, they don’t notice how hard they’re working!

TT: How have your travels impacted you as a person?

T: Without travel, I wouldn’t be who I am today. It has been my life for so long now that I don’t even remember who I was before. But I know that with every new country I travel through, I grow a little more curious; with every new person I meet, I become a little more tolerant; with every hardship I witness, I become a little more sympathetic; with every new lifestyle I experience, I rethink what is “normal”; and with every new challenge I take on, I redefine my limits.

Tasha with a koala in Australia with the look of someone who is disappointed the koalas aren’t awake.

Tasha with a koala in Australia with the look of someone who is disappointed the koalas aren’t awake.

TT: What advice do you have for teachers who are dreaming of travel, or travelers dreaming of teaching?

T: Get your CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL certification. You won’t regret it. And here’s why:

As a qualified traveling teacher, I have never had trouble finding a job in any country immediately. And I always got the best jobs at the best schools because my qualifications beat out the many teachers who either didn’t have a teaching certificate or had done an online course that didn’t include real teaching practice.

Take Tasha's advice... She's an expert!

Take Tasha’s advice… She’s an expert!

Now, as a language school owner, I only hire teachers who have, at minimum, the Cambridge CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL, and I pay for my teachers to get their Cambridge DELTA. I do this because I believe in the training teachers get from the Cambridge CELTA and DELTA and I’ve seen the positive impact it has on the quality of education. Also, my students have invested a lot of time and money into getting the best English language instruction and I owe it to them to provide teachers who have the qualifications and expertise to meet their needs.

Just as you would not tolerate handing over a fortune in college tuition to take a class with an English Literature professor whose only qualifications are “can read books,” your students do not want to give their hard-earned savings to an English teacher whose only qualifications are “can speak English.”

Not to mention, you don’t want to walk into a classroom of eager students feeling like you have no idea what you’re doing. You want to walk into class every day feeling confident in your skills and your ability to help your students reach their goals. Your job is a big part of your life abroad – make it as rewarding and enjoyable as possible by preparing yourself as best as possible.

TT: Thanks so much, Tasha! Readers, what questions or comments do you have?

* So far, this article has been read by 42,168 fans, with 6 visits today. Share it around! *

Posted by Lillie

Lillie started TeachingTraveling.com in 2010 to share the infinite ways to combine education and world exploration. Lillie has been a Boston teacher since 2003, and chronicles her own travels at AroundTheWorldL.com.

126 Comments

  1. I’m an experienced teacher of English language with a university degree and I am a CELTA holder. I’d like to teach English language abroad. Please I am in a bad need of your advice, most employers require native speakers.Thanks.

    Reply

  2. This is an amazing article, I have been thinking about doing a CELTA course for ages, reading this has made my mind up!! Thank you

    Reply

    1. Glad to help! Do feel free to report back after your course. It’s always good to get multiple experiences!

      Reply

  3. Hi! This article was wonderful, thanks! I have a question that no one has asked yet: do you know anything about teaching English in PUBLIC schools abroad? I am American, and I am enrolled in the Public Service Forgiveness Program to forgive my student loans after 10 years. I’m really interested in teaching English but I would need to work in a public school…. I want to get a CELTA certificate. I have education experience (I am a school psychologist for 6 years) I’m flexible on the country I teach in. There’s not much info about this topic that I can find. thanks!

    Reply

  4. Hey there. Great article! There are so many comments, I find it hard to sift through each one. I also appreciated your personal responses to each question.

    If you’re still receiving updates on this page, and have a few moments to respond, I was hoping you could help push me in the right direction.

    I am college educated in the carpentry trade. Immediately after school, I traveled to a remote community to teach the woodshop basics to youth. I have no formal education in teaching (including any time spent in a university). I taught for three years. 9 months post employment (present day), without seeking further work as a teacher, I was offered a short term (1 week) position substituting at a University teaching English to French speaking immigrants.

    As a result of this, I began looking into ways to further my education, with hopes of finding consistent work, with higher hopes of going abroad to teach English.

    My question is, as a 30 year old, would you recommend CELTA through my local University, or to pursue my B. Ed? My preference is to pursue CELTA, as I do not wish to be a teacher in any other capacity than to teach ESL; it’s also a shorter course, and cheaper.

    What would your advice be?

    Thank you for your time!

    Reply

  5. Hey there. Great article! There are so many comments, I find it hard to sift through each one. I also appreciated your personal responses to each question.

    If you’re still receiving updates on this page, and have a few moments to respond, I was hoping you could help push me in the right direction.

    I am college educated in the carpentry trade. Immediately after school, I traveled to a remote community to teach the woodshop basics to youth. I have no formal education in teaching (including any time spent in a university). I taught for three years. 9 months post employment (present day), without seeking further work as a teacher, I was offered a short term (1 week) position substituting at a University teaching English to French speaking immigrants.

    As a result of this, I began looking into ways to further my education, with hopes of finding consistent work, with higher hopes of going abroad to teach English.

    My question is, as a 30 year old, would you recommend CELTA through my local University, or to pursue my B. Ed? My preference is to pursue CELTA, as I do not wish to be a teacher in any other capacity than to teach ESL; it’s also a shorter course, and cheaper.

    What would your advice me?

    Thank you for your time!

    Reply

  6. Hey,

    I was wondering if you guys know if there is any likelihood of finding work in Bali after taking a CELTA cert? 🙂 It is my dream to work there tecahing English!

    Reply

    1. Hi Tilly,
      There are lots of ESL teaching jobs in Bali. Check eslcafe.com and tefl.com to see what you can find there. But, for sure, the CELTA will help you get a leg up on the competition for ESL jobs there!

      Tasha

      Reply

  7. Hi Tasha,

    I wanted to ask whether or not it would be of any use doing the CELTA as a non graduate. Would I indeed have any employment prospects without a degree and just the CELTA alone?

    Reply

    1. Mohammed Iqbal July 20, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Hi Nadia,

      I am in the same boat as yourself, I am in my mid forties now and look for a change of career. I have taught ESOL but many moons ago. I do not have a degree but have been voluntarily teaching adults for almost a decade (various subjects).

      Eagerly awaiting a reply from Tasha to your question as my question is exactly the same

      Reply

    2. Hi Nadia (and Mohammed),
      Getting an ESL teaching job without a degree is not impossible. You don’t need a BA to do the CELTA or the DELTA, so there are plenty of ESL Teachers and a few Teacher Trainers who don’t have a BA.

      In some countries, not having a degree will prevent you from getting a work visa there, but in many countries this is not a factor. So you need to do your research to find out the best countries for you to work in.

      I hope that helps.

      Tasha

      Reply

  8. Hi Tasha,
    Can I teach children with the CELTA qualifications please.
    Kind regards,
    Mandy.

    Reply

  9. Hi Tasha,
    Definitely a creative, informative and a motivational blog. I am planning to do my CELTA but the institute and a location is not decided. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, 4 years of professional experience, Certified Trainer and Skills Assessor for Workforce Development and Training with Elementary Knowledge of few European Languages. By using my CELTA qualification, I hope to travel and gain more teaching experiences, eventually completing my DELTA.

    I need a genuine advice if this qualification will help me in the realization of my professional dream? (Travelling+Job+Money+Skills). I do understand every person have some restrictions and even though your story may feel motivational, some may find it difficult to relate. It is possible, I may end up applying my whole savings to gain this certification. I would really appreciate if you could provide me with the challenges that one may have to cope up (chances of unemployment even after CELTA) keeping in mind that the primary aim of doing CELTA is a promise of a job that allows personal growth with financial independence.

    Reply

  10. I just want to tell all of you who are considering taking the CELTA that you’d better spend the money on something else because this course serves for nothing at all. I took it with expectations to find a teaching job immediately but it has been a year since I took it and I still haven’t had this luck. Moreover, I’m graduated and have the CPE but still, it seems that employers will always prefer the unqualified native to the qualified non-native. All the CELTA teachers that went with me have experienced no change in job or salary at all…So, my advice is you will really be throwing your money away and wasting your time.

    Reply

    1. Mary Beth Taylor May 31, 2016 at 10:50 am

      I think it depends on where you’re living and job searching. I teach at a university language school in Ireland, and nine of our staff (5 English teachers and 4 administrators) are non native speakers. They have excellent language skills and qualifications, that’s what matters. In my former places of employment, we also had non-native speakers as English teachers. So I don’t think your comment is applicable to every situation.

      Reply

  11. Hi Tasha, I love this article!

    You are living the kind of life that I want. I am currently teaching in Beijing, China and taking the CELTA course. I think I’d like to move somewhere with a bit slower pace of life and cleaner air after CELTA, though.

    What do you think about ESL jobs in Indonesia? Do you have suggestions for success on the CELTA course? I’m about halfway through the blended course now and it is very intense, but I am learning a lot. Thank you for any advice you can offer, and thanks for such a fun, informative article!

    Reply

    1. Hi Kayla,

      I absolutely adore Indonesia, and particularly Bali. There are definitely good ESL jobs to be had there, or at least I have coveted a few myself before I started my own schools in New York. From what I’ve heard, the market is good in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta. I don’t know how good the money is, but my understanding is that it pays well in terms of affording a good lifestyle in Indonesia.

      As for succeeding on the CELTA course, here is a post I wrote on that very subject, which might be of help to you:

      http://www.teachinghouse.com/blog/5-secrets-to-success-on-celta-course/

      Good luck and enjoy the growth you’re undoubtedly experiencing.

      All the best,
      Tasha

      Reply

  12. Hey Tasha,

    I really appreciate you taking time out and informing other aspirants about the opportunities. Heartiest congratulations to you. I wish you lots of success and adventurous experiences in the future.

    I had a small query though. I see your compassion and dedication to helping others embark upon the journey and I have trust in you to answer mine as well.

    I am from India. I am thinking of doing the CELTA course from British Council. Post that, I plan to move to a Latin America country, Ecuador and work teach English there.

    Do you think it is a good idea? Different people tell me different things about finding jobs for CELTA holders in Ecuador. I would be very grateful if you could share some information on the same.

    Waiting for a response!

    Best Wishes!
    Sahil Verma.

    Reply

  13. Hi Tasha,

    I really enjoyed reading this interview, along with all of the questions and answers. Thanks for taking the time to reply to so many queries.

    I’m American, with dual Irish citizenship, and have been living abroad for many years. I’ve been teaching English for nearly 13 years now, mostly in Dublin, but I’ve taught in Wellington, NZ and in NYC as well. I also run an Irish dancing school, http://www.irishdancedublin.com, and travel a good bit with that, too 🙂

    Although I’ve been teaching for a loooong time, I only recently did my CELTA (I had an older EFL qualification that was OK at the time, but I needed an upgrade!) I really had a great experience on the CELTA course, and it inspired me to do more with teaching.

    I’m considering doing a DELTA, with a goal of going on to be a CELTA trainer.

    Questions for you:

    1. Do you think it’s possible to do a DELTA as an 8-week intensive, or it that insane?

    2. Are there any Intensive DELTA centres that you would recommend?

    3. Are all of the DELTA courses in the USA taught as a Blended DELTA programme?

    4. Are there many opportunities for CELTA training in the USA?

    5. Do you think the DELTA would give me better options, career-wise, rather than an MA in TESOL? (I have an MA, but it’s in Irish Literature)

    Thanks so much in advance for any advice you can give. I really admire you and your husband’s drive, focus, and business sense!

    All the best,

    Mary Beth Taylor

    Reply

    1. Hi Mary Beth,

      I’m sorry this reply is arriving so late…I somehow missed this comment. I hope this isn’t too late, and if it is, I hope it can be helpful to someone else!

      First of all, how handy to have dual American and Irish citizenship! As an American traveling in my twenties, I often wished I had dual citizenship with a passport to working legally in Europe.

      Also, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed doing your CELTA even after years of teaching — I think anyone who works in any kind of education can benefit from doing the CELTA. It really does offer building blocks to grow and thrive in education as a teacher and a learner.

      As for your specific questions:

      1. Do you think it’s possible to do a DELTA as an 8-week intensive, or it that insane?

      – It is an intense, insane experience, but it is definitely possible to do the DELTA in 8 weeks. I know because I did my DELTA in 8 weeks at IH Barcelona. I loved every minute of it, but I didn’t sleep for at least 8 weeks, and was still working on completing some of my DELTA assignments after the course and before the exam, which was also very intense. How you do your DELTA really depends on you and what kind of environment you thrive in. I’ve always thrived on cramming a lot into my schedule so that I’m forced to get a lot done in a short amount of time. If I took longer to do my DELTA, I’m not sure I would have worked harder…I would have just procrastinated more. But that’s just me. You may decide you’re the kind of person who wants to study at a slower pace…everyone is different.

      2. Are there any Intensive DELTA centres that you would recommend?

      There are a lot of fantastic DELTA centres around the world — particularly IH London, IH Barcelona, Teaching House New York, IH Madrid…there are lots of great centres around the world, but these centres have always maintained a core of incredible teacher trainers on their DELTA courses.

      3. Are all of the DELTA courses in the USA taught as a Blended DELTA programme?

      Not all DELTA courses are Blended. You can do the DELTA in person as an intensive course, but there are much fewer of these courses than there are intensive CELTA courses, so it’s good to do your research and find out who is offering intensive courses throughout the year, as they may fill up quickly.

      4. Are there many opportunities for CELTA training in the USA?

      At the time I owned and ran Teaching House with my husband, we had CELTA centers in 14 different cities in the U.S. and were the largest CELTA teacher training center in the world. The school that bought Teaching House from us (we are no longer the owners) have maintained that growth and status, so I know they have as much need for qualified CELTA teacher trainers in the USA as we had. So, yes, there are many opportunities for CELTA training in the USA.

      5. Do you think the DELTA would give me better options, career-wise, rather than an MA in TESOL? (I have an MA, but it’s in Irish Literature)

      That really depends on the path you want to take, but having done the DELTA and gotten an MA in English Education myself, I have found that these degrees and courses of study very much complemented each other. The DELTA allowed me to become a much better teacher in practice, and it allowed me to pursue a career in teacher training and even to open my own Cambridge-accredited schools. My MA gave me a much broader depth in theory and allowed me to pursue a great deal of academic experimentation, which could have led on to a career in academia if I wanted it to. But I took another entrepreneurial path, and I am happy with that choice. The courses and avenues you explore will hopefully reveal to you what your passions are and, as you follow your passion down a certain path, you’ll know what step you want to take next.

      Maybe you’ll end up doing your DELTA and still wanting to combine that experience with an MA in TESOL and pursue a career delving deep into academic pursuits, or publishing or research… who knows? But the DELTA for sure I would say is a great stepping stone to anything you may want to pursue in education. It will mold you into an amazing teacher, if nothing else.

      I hope that helps 🙂

      Tasha

      Reply

  14. Hi Tasha, your article is very insightful to say the least! However, if possible, could you expand more about how difficult or easy (unlikely) the Trinity/Celta courses are?
    I have read many comments from the internet (bear in mind that the internet shouldn’t be taken as gospel) stating he Celta is extremely difficult, and in some cases too demanding. Could you shed any light on this?

    Hope to hear from you soon

    Henry

    Reply

    1. Hi Henry,

      There is no doubt that the Trinity/CELTA courses are not easy. But then, in my opinion, nothing actually worth doing is easy.

      I can think of dozens of courses I took in college that I snoozed through, aced tests in, and can remember nothing about. They affected me in no way whatsoever and they took very little effort on my part to pass.

      That is not true of the Trinity/CELTA/DELTA, courses which wrought sleepless nights as I researched and crafted lesson plans that sometimes succeeded and sometimes failed miserably as I put them into practice in the real-world classroom. I sweated nervously, wrung my hands, hung on my trainer’s every piece of advice, and I remember every single shape-shifting moment on those courses. Those courses molded me into a better teacher, a better learner, a better listener and, in many ways, a better person.

      Yes, the Cambridge and Trinity courses demand a lot. They also give a lot in return for those who are willing to invest themselves. There are lots of courses you can spend your money and time on that will change you in no way whatsoever. Whether your fail or succeed on a CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL, there is no doubt you will be changed.

      And that’s exactly what I demand of any course I spend my hard-earned money on. For those who are looking for the easy way out of anything, the CELTA is not for them. And I would argue, perhaps, neither is teaching or a lifestyle of self-sufficient travel and adventure.

      There are easier ways to live for those who are in pursuit of an “easy” life.

      I hope that sheds light on some of what you asked 🙂

      Tasha

      Reply

  15. loved the article…and the replies you wrote to the other questions. however firstly. have an awesome 2016… I have a few questions bout Celta. 1) I know Celta is mainly for teaching adults but is it suitable for teaching children and teenagers. 2 ) I am 30, from South Africa and interested in teaching mainly in Europe like Spain, Italy or France there or in Asia such as Vietnam, Thailand and maybe China…. ‘maybe’. I don’t have a degree in anything, would i still have a shot in the above countries? A fear of mine is doing (and loving) the course and leaving my stable job but not finding work overseas…3) Regarding the elder trainees you taught (50 years plus)… were they able to find work overseas…? The reason why I am asking is i might know someone over 60 who might be interested in doing this as well. Thank you for your time and happy yachting!

    Reply

  16. Hi,

    Great article.

    1. Would a MA TESOL out rank a CELTA?

    2. Do people ‘age out’ early of a career in teaching English?

    Thanks,

    Shaun.

    Reply

  17. Hi Tasha!

    I appreciated your article a lot and I just have a few questions.

    1. As far as completing a CELTA certification domestically (in the U.S.) vs. abroad how does that influence the chance of quickly getting a job/where are the areas that teachers are currently in high demand?

    2. Financially, how feasible is a career in teaching while living abroad? I know it probably varies, but from my experience living abroad, and I am sure you can relate, the money does go quickly when living in Europe. This kind of goes with question number 1 because I am wondering if the funds I take abroad can sustain me while job hunting if that makes sense.

    3. I have researched the difference between the CELTA and the Trinity TESOL certifications and they don’t seem to have a ton of differences aside from the age level from what I understand. Do you have any recommendations on how to choose which is better?

    Thank you so much! I am envious of your lifestyle and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Emily

    Reply

  18. Hi Tasha, thank you for your great website
    I have a few questions, I am a 33 year old Iranian English teacher and I try to attend in a TEFL or CELTA courses in Thailand so I can peruse in a career in teaching afterwards. but as far as I read through the job vacancies in Thailand and Malaysia, Many schools or teaching posts require native-English speakers, and I wonder if I have a chance of landing a teaching job there. I studied Bachelor and Master of arts in art studies in Iran . I have 3 years of experience in English teaching in 2 different institution in Iran. my first question is which certificate or diploma( TEFL or CELTA) and what country(Thailand or Malaysia) would you suggest to get the job based on my condition?
    and Will the immigration office grant a working visa to a non-native teacher such as me?

    Reply

    1. Hi Peymun,
      The answer to your questions depends on so many things that I can’t really answer with any specificity.

      That said, it is true that some countries value native English speakers more than others. Having not worked in Thailand or Malaysia myself, I can’t speak to those countries.

      Your ability to get a job as a non-native speaker will depend greatly on how good your level of English is, along with what age group and what level of English a school wants you to teach.

      For more specific country information, you should ask these questions on forums like eslcafe.com or TEFL.com — people working in those countries now can give you better answers.

      As for immigration, I cannot answer that because I don’t know the immigration and visa laws for Iranians in the various countries around the world. But, again, asking these questions on forums to people who have experience in these areas will help.

      I wish you the best of luck.

      Tasha

      Reply

  19. Hossein Shavandi August 27, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Hi
    I’ve been teaching English for about 6 years and now I am planning to take celta course. It would be very nice of you to help me get some answers for the questions in my mind. I really need your help.
    You can contact me through the given email address . please help me.
    Thanks in advance

    Reply

    1. Hi Hossein,
      Only I can see your email address, so perhaps you can leave your question here?

      Reply

    2. HI Hossain,
      Feel free to ask some of your questions here and be sure to read the comments of readers before you — they may have asked some of the questions you have in your mind already. Sorry, but I don’t have your email address to write to, but feel free to message me here.
      -Tasha

      Reply

  20. Hi Tasha! And greetings from Sausalito/San Francisco. I enjoyed reading your article! Congrats for all your achievements!

    I wonder whether you can give me some advice… ‘any’ opinion with regard to my situation as per the details below, would be greatly appreciated. And I do mean ‘any’ 🙂 , because it seems like you did a hell of a lot of things, therefore, out of your experience or whatever you heard in the past, I feel that your views would be most useful.

    Let’s start: for a number of unfortunate reasons, I haven’t got a degree (I did only a few exams at engineering, wrong choice). I am now 42.

    I just passed CELTA with ‘A’ (in London). It took me quite a few years to make up my mind to enroll for CELTA because I thought it would be too hard… erm, actually it wasn’t too hard at all, although, I must say, extremely time-consuming).

    After 17 years in London, I am in the process of getting the papers from the Home Office so as to become a naturalised Briton; I was born in Italy, therefore in a few days I will have dual nationality and, as a result, two passports. I hope that my top grade in CELTA and a British passport will be deemed suitable to get a decent job with a respected school.

    I haven’t got a British accent (neither is it Italian, no-one has ever thought I am Italian, they can’t believe it when I say it 🙂 ) : it is possibly a mixture of accents, probably owing to my having befriended Aussies, Kiwis, Brits, Irish, Americans, Northern/Eastern European etc over the past 17 years).

    I would like to go for DELTA one day, perhaps after one year or so of teaching (presently, I am looking for work in Barcelona and London, starting in September/October – btw, I speak good Spanish).

    Question 1: if I were to get DELTA as well, do you reckon I would be entitled to credits towards a degree? And if so, how long would a degree take, once considered the credits (distance learning would probably be ideal)? I am especially concerned about the costs involved!

    CELTA is considered at level 5 and DELTA is considered at level 7 (hence, the same level as a Master -albeit, not a Master in itself, obviously- so… : question 2: do you think my CELTA pass A, and perhaps DELTA would suffice, without a degree, in order to progress in my teaching career (once I start teaching that is).

    I look forward to receiving your reply and again: great article!

    Many thanks in advance! Take care and enjoy.

    Alex

    Reply

    1. Hey Alex!
      My sincerest apologies that I did not reply to this comment sooner — I have been sailing with my husband and have not had solid access to internet for quite a while to check this site. So if I say anything that you’ve already got answers to here, I apologize!

      First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on getting a Pass A on your CELTA!!! I’m sure your trainers have already told you how very difficult that is to achieve. Less than 2% of CELTA candidates get a Pass A, and not every course sees a Pass A on it. So that is really something to be proud of, as you must have wowed the socks off your trainers with your teaching and your adaptability. As a teacher trainer myself, I have only ever given out A’s to the most impressive candidates, so I am immensely impressed by your achievement.

      As per your question about accents, they don’t matter. I’ve taught in mostly British English schools with an American accent and no one has blinked an eye. And my accent now can’t even really be identified as American in most places, as I’ve worked with English speakers, native and non-native, with so many different accents that my own accent has morphed into something else. That is what happens to most English speakers living abroad 🙂

      As for the DELTA, I know there are Masters programs in the UK, particularly in Applied Linguistics and TEFL, that count the DELTA as credit towards a Masters. That is not true in the U.S., sadly, but you should contact universities in the UK about these opportunities. I believe King’s College has a distance Masters program that counts the DELTA for credit.

      The DELTA is a wonderful thing to strive for, especially as you seem to have a knack and a love for education. It is one of the most intense and most rewarding courses I have ever done. It is certainly the most rewarding course I have ever done in the field of education — I value my DELTA achievement even higher than the Master’s degree I did at Columbia University, mainly because it was such a hands-on practical course that dug into the nitty gritty of HOW to teach, and not just a lot of written theory about education that some professor hasn’t necessarily even tried themselves in the classroom.

      It was a wonderful experience and I’m sure once you have your DELTA under your belt, no one will blink an eye at the fact that you didn’t get that BA. After all, you’ll be an expert teacher by then, so who cares about some liberal arts degree you could have done in philosophy or art history or some other subject irrelevant to teaching English as a second language 🙂

      Good luck to you and enjoy doing the DELTA. You won’t sleep, you’ll probably take up smoking, and you’ll be tearing your hair out trying to put together engaging lessons, but from the sounds of it, you will love it and cherish the experience. It pushes you to be better than you ever thought you could be 🙂

      Tasha

      Reply

      1. Thanks again. And enjoy you two, you guys seem like a fantastic couple! And inspiring to boot 🙂

        Reply

  21. Hi there,

    I greatly appreciate all your insight regarding the world of TEFL/TESOL teaching and the CELTA certification. I only wish I had this advice when I started teaching. I have a corporate background in information technology however I am 62 years young and want the nomadic life style of a international teacher. My options are a 2 year free degree from a university to complete a BEd. To become a licenced teacher or the blended learning CELTA / DELTA path. Given my age which is the better way to proceed. Which in your view will open more doors.

    I look forward to your response.

    Reply

    1. Hi Norihito!
      I’m sorry I didn’t catch this comment sooner — I hope someone was able to give you the following advice: do your CELTA. It will teach you a lot more than a BA in Education could. And it’s cheaper. A LOT cheaper. And it takes four weeks, as opposed to four years. But trust me, you’ll learn more in those four weeks than you every will in two years on a theoretical course path on a BA. The CELTA will mold you, through practical experience, into a good teacher.

      That would be my recommendation. And, you know, it is never too late to learn a new skill. The oldest trainee I’ve ever taught on a CELTA was 72 years old. And she was wonderful — she soaked it all up and loved the experience of learning something new.

      Embrace that spirit and know you’re never too old to be curious or to learn something new 🙂

      Tasha

      Reply

  22. Great article! Thanks Tasha! 🙂
    I did my CELTA in February and it was fantastic.

    I will soon move to Bali and undertake a teaching position in a language school.

    Reply

    1. That is so exciting! What school are you working in in Bali and what is it like? Has your experience been good, bad or mixed? I’m curious to know as I absolutely would love to live in Ubud one day 🙂

      Reply

  23. Dear Tasha,

    I would like to know how easy is it to get a job as an English teacher for who has no university degree in English teaching and no experience in teaching as well. Is it possible to find a job after getting the international certificates such as CELTA and the other ESL certificates?

    Reply

    1. Hi Feri,

      Thank you for your comment and I apologize for not getting back to you sooner — I have been sailing with my husband and have had poor access to internet.

      With no degree and no experience, I would say it is very very difficult. But you do not need a degree to do the CELTA, and schools around the world recognize the training and qualifications that come with the CELTA, which are assessed by the University of Cambridge — it is the most recognized ESL teaching certificate in the world.

      If you don’t have a degree, I would say you would do best to have the best qualification out there and to work your hardest to get a good grade, as that will impress the people looking to employ good teachers. Schools don’t necessarily care about the degree — they just want a well-trained, well-qualified, dedicated teacher to work for them. If you can show them that, you can get a job.

      Be aware, however, that there are some countries that cannot issue visas for importing teachers who do not have degrees. I know the Middle East is one of those places. You should look into where you would like to teach and research the opportunities there for people who don’t have degrees.

      I hope that helps!

      Reply

  24. Dear Tasha
    First of all congratulations for all that you have acheived and wishing you loads of luck for the things/ endeavours yet to come.
    I have graduated in BA english (honours) from Delhi University and got to know about CELTA which is being offered by British Council (India)
    If you can brief me if that is beneficial after my BA English , Job opportunities and the Pay.

    Reply

    1. Hi Priyam,

      Sorry for such a late reply to this message. I’ve been at sea sailing for quite a while and it’s been difficult to get on the internet! Congratulations on your BA.

      Your question is extremely general, so I really can’t answer it with any specificity. The pay and opportunities that come with teaching English vary by country, type of school, type of job and how many hours you do.

      But there are many forums available where people are happy to answer your questions from experience about the pay and conditions in specific countries.

      ESL Cafe is one — http://www.eslcafe.com

      TEFL.com is a site that advertises jobs around the world, so that will give you an idea of pay.

      And also you can visit http://www.teachinghouse.com to find out more from the blog about experiences of teachers living abroad.

      I hope that helps.

      Sincerely,

      Tasha

      Reply

  25. Hi Tasha,

    Could I ask you how easy it was to set up your own school?It could be something I’d be interested in in the long term in Spain but I’m not sure about the steps towards it. I’m looking at returning to Spain and do the DELTA but don’t know how much money I could earn,how much experience I would need to be an owner.I know these are personal questions but I’d really appreciate your opinion and advice.Thank you. Leanne.

    Reply

    1. Hi Leanne,
      Sounds like you’ve got exciting plans! Good for you!

      The short answer to your question is “not easy at all.”

      The long answer to your question is that it depends hugely on where you are trying to set up your school. I only have experience in building a business in the United States and I have no experience building a business in Spain. So you would have to do your research to find out how easy or difficult it is there.

      Spoiler: Building your own business is never easy. But then people don’t go building their own schools because they want the easy way out. It’s hard, sleepless, gut-wrenching, dedicated work to build your own school from scratch. But if you love what you do, every drop of your blood, sweat and tears will be worth it.

      If you don’t love what you do, it will suck. Like anything in life. Because if you don’t love what you do, all you have is stress, long hours in the office, time away from family and friends, no real weekend off for years and not very much money in your pocket, especially in the beginning. But that is the price for building something that could change other people’s lives, including your own.

      Some things to consider in the logistics of where and how you’re building your school… you need to know the answers to some of these, as well as many more, but here’s a start:

      1) How do I register a business in this country? (How much does it cost, who do I register with, am I eligible to register a business?)

      2) Where will I hold my classes? (What is the space you have to give classes in? Will you start in your home, rent a space? How much will it cost to rent a classroom and can I cover those costs with student tuition or do I need money to start with until I can get to a point where student tuition covers these costs?)

      3) How will I market / sell my classes? (Can you build a website? Do you know someone who can? Who will you attract to take your classes? Where else can you advertise? How much advertisement or Google paid ads can you afford?)

      4) Do I have the expertise to understand what a school needs? If not, where can I find that expertise?

      Certainly, being a trained teacher and working for other schools for a while will greatly help your understanding of how a school is run. My husband and I worked for other schools for 8-10 years before we opened our own. I’m not saying that is how much experience you need, but I do think working for other schools, especially good schools, helps you understand the systems that need to be in place to run a good school.

      I hope this helps answer your questions.

      Good luck! It’s wonderful work, if you love it. But again, that’s like anything in this life 🙂

      Sincerely,

      Tasha

      Reply

  26. Hiya Tasha,

    I have no degree what so ever and was thinking about taking the CELTA in Morocco this summer.
    I never thought about teaching but I am currently unemployed and am giving English lessons in France to get by. I discovered I actually really enjoyed it but feel I m lacking some skills, like you said in the interview i speak English that is all !
    I was wondering if you had any recommandations on the quality of centers worldwide ? And also I am very curious about your point of view on education and teaching in general and if you were following a method in particular, and if so, could you recommend any book on that subject ?

    Reply

    1. HI Anita,
      I know about many CELTA centers across the world, but I don’t know much about the CELTA course in Morocco or which school hosts it. I know all the CELTA courses run by International House schools are very good. And all Cambridge University CELTA courses are assessed by Cambridge Assessors who visit every single course that is taught. Having said that, there is always a difference in quality between centers because the quality of teacher trainers differs, depending on the center.

      You could ask your question on a forum for ESL Teachers, like ESLCafe.com and someone might be able to share their experience doing the CELTA in Morocco.

      As for education and teaching in general, I believe a great many things which are hard to distill in just a comment. But the CELTA teaching methods are based around the communicative approach, which is basically learning a language through real communication. As in, you are most motivated to learn and remember language when it applies to something you have a real need to use, or something you try to say or communicate in your every day life, either personal or at work. So the communicative method basically tries to capitalize on these real-life situations so that language will be more memorable, practical and more likely to be used when you next need it.

      There are a number of great books you can reference, including Learning Teaching by James Scrivener and any book about language learning written by Scott Thornbury — he is kind of a guru of the communicative method.

      Tasha

      Reply

  27. I too am a non native speaker of English. And as such, am interested in knowing more about the practical prospects of a qualified Indian getting a job as an EAL/ESL teacher. I currently work in an international school but would like to move out of India and travel. Would you be able to suggest countries that are more likely to be “friendly” to non native speakers? How much salary could I expect at least? Another concern I have is whether I’ll get a lower salary as compared to native speakers.

    Reply

    1. HI Sherin,
      This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on your visa/passport. I don’t know any specifics about the difficulties of getting jobs abroad with an Indian passport. But if you visit the forums of ESLCafe.com, you could ask this question and I’m sure other Indian teachers in ESL would be happy to shed some light on this.
      Tasha

      Reply

  28. Hello Tasha,

    I am a non native Indian English speaker. However I have a masters degree in English. But I have heard that schools abroad don’t want to hire a non native English speaking teacher. Can you tell me whether this is true? And if this is the case how do I approach schools and business companies? I will be waiting for your reply. Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Hi Indrani,
      Thanks for your questions and my apologies for not replying sooner. It is true, it is harder to get work abroad as a non-native English speaker. But if you are flexible about where to work and what level students you teach (Are you open to teaching kids?) there are definitely opportunities for non-native English speaking teachers who are very proficient in English.

      I have trained non-native English speakers as TEFL teachers and all of them have gotten jobs somewhere as teachers, some of them abroad and some of them in their native countries. I have also trained and employed some of these CELTA grads to become CELTA Trainers and being a non-native English speaker at that level certainly doesn’t hurt your job prospects.

      I hope that helps.

      Tasha

      Reply

  29. Hello, Tasha!

    I’m Wunna, hailing from Myanmar(Burma), and I’d like to ask you about teaching prospects in Eastern Europe! I’m still in college (going to obtain my BA in math next May!), but I’ve already obtained a CELTA (Pass B) from IH Paris and I’d like to hear your thoughts about where to start looking for jobs and if there are any cultural norms I should be wary of, especially for someone fresh out of college with no job experience aside from campus tutoring and the hours of instruction provided during the course in Paris. I’d also like to know how feasible it is to support myself for a good number of years with a teaching profession before I progress on to the DELTA and/or graduate school in math?

    Thank you very much in advance!
    Wunna

    Reply

    1. Hi Wunna,
      My apologies for not replying sooner. There are lots of great places to look for good jobs. You can either go to schools door-to-door when you’re in a country, or if you’re browsing for jobs online, my two favorite job sites are TEFL.com and ESLCafe.com

      As for teaching in specific countries, you’ll have to do some research on what your passport would allow with regards to getting work visas for other countries. As an American, for example, I couldn’t work legally in Europe.

      If you can get a job, you can support yourself for as long as you like. I worked abroad teaching English for 7 years and I made enough money to travel with, as well as pay for my CELTA and DELTA without any financial help.

      I hope this answers your questions!

      Good luck!

      Tasha

      Reply

  30. Hi Tasha, it’s great to read about your adventures and achievements. I live in New Jersey and I am originally from India. I want to be an ESL teacher and have successfully passed the WPT & OPI tests of ACTFL. I have been trying to figure out which will be a better course to take, CELTA or TrinityTEFL. Is there a way to do the Trinity TEFL online, and how much does it cost? Sorry, the websites does not answer my questions. Can I do CELTA online and attend the practical classes only at their New York campus? What is the difference between those centers of CELTA, like St.Giles or Teaching House or International House.? Does taking the course through either of them mean the same or anything is different? I am new here, don’t have anybody who can help and have a lot of questions those have no answers on the websites. It will be great if you please answer my questions. Thanks so much.

    Reply

    1. Hi Sudebi,
      Great to hear from you and to hear that you’re looking into the CELTA or Trinity courses. The Trinity CertTESOL is not available anywhere in the U.S. and it’s not very commonly available outside the UK and Europe.

      There is no way to do the Trinity or the entire CELTA online, but Cambridge has just introduced an “online” CELTA which requires both online study and in-person teaching practice on-site. So though you can’t complete your entire CELTA online, you can study for a majority of the out-of-classroom components online and then do the required amount of in-classroom teaching practice on site. Teaching House is now preparing to offer the online CELTA and this is the sister school to International House New York and International House Boston. St. Giles is a different institution altogether – they offer only the intensive course with fewer course dates than Teaching House, and they’ve just started teaching the CELTA so they’re much less known in the industry than Teaching House, which is the largest CELTA training center in the world.

      I hope that answers your questions. If you want to find out more about dates of the online CELTA or intensive/extensive CELTA, feel free to email info@teachinghouse.com and we’d be happy to help you with any questions you might have.

      Tasha

      Reply

  31. Kia Ora!

    Great article and so much learning

    Coincidentally I was looking at the Teaching House website to do my CELTA in New York and it happened to be yours! Positive signs indeed

    I am a Kiwi citizen and planning on doing the course from the Teaching House. Do you take international students on student visas? Are you SEVP certified?

    Much appreciated

    Cheers,
    Tenzin

    Reply

    1. Hi Tenzin!

      I thought I already replied to you, but I must have not hit the submit button! Sorry if this info is too late to be useful – we can offer student visas through SEVP for our CELTA courses in Boston but not at Teaching House New York. Saying that, though, the intensive course is only 4 weeks and can be done on a tourist visa.

      I hope that helps! If you need more info, feel free to email info@teachinghouse.com any time to find out more about CELTA courses in the U.S., DELTA courses and online modules for CELTA and DELTA.

      Good luck!

      Tasha

      Reply

      1. Hi,

        I’ve booked to do the CELTA at Teaching House in LA. As it’s only 4 weeks, I thought I could do the course without undergoing F-1 or M-1 Visas, but now I’m concerned that I will have to obtain a student visa rather than study on a tourist visa.

        As I know the course is intensive and I want no distractions; it would be nice to get some positive confirmation as I’m reading and getting a lot of complex advice!

        Reply

    2. Hi Tenzin!

      Did you find out whether you could do a CELTA at teaching house on a tourist visa?
      I’ve not got time to have a student visa processed! eek

      Reply

  32. hello am very much impressed about all that i read from Ryan and Tasha site. i think Tasha some more people need this training like myself and others try and consider a country like Ghana West Africa. thank you and very happy with your site.

    Reply

    1. Thanks for the comment, Kofi. Certainly, bringing the CELTA to Ghana would be wonderful! We’re not yet in any countries abroad, but I will certainly think about it. Or better yet, you could get trained up and work your way up through Cambridge and open your own CELTA center there one day! How’s that for an idea?

      Reply

  33. Kia ora from NZ!

    How are you Tasha?

    I’m planning to do CELTA next year – any study tips or text recommendations for prepping for it? It’s been a long time since I had to know the difference between a past or present participle lol 🙂 cheers Jan

    Reply

    1. Kia Ora, Jan!

      I wouldn’t worry too much about studying up on grammar before the course starts as you will have PLENTY of time to study and analyze grammar as it pertains to what you’re teaching on the CELTA, which will be much more memorable anyway because you’ll be applying what you study immediately.

      But if you’re looking for resources, I do recommend books like Murphy’s English Grammar in Use (http://www.amazon.com/English-Grammar-Use-Answers-CD-ROM/dp/052118939X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417462022&sr=8-1&keywords=murphy%27s+grammar) on the course because it offers wonderful diagrams and concise grammar explanations, which are useful for both students and teachers.

      If you’re looking to read up on some digestible second language acquisition theory as it applies to teaching, both Jim Scrivener’s Learning Teaching (http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Teaching-Essential-Language-MacMillan/dp/0230729843/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417462082&sr=8-1&keywords=learning+teaching) and Scott Thornbury’s The CELTA Course (http://www.teachinghouse.com/blog/5-secrets-to-success-on-celta-course/)

      And, finally, if you’re looking for an overview of the course and how to succeed, here’s a blog post I wrote on the topic called 5 Secrets to Success on Your CELTA Course: http://www.teachinghouse.com/blog/5-secrets-to-success-on-celta-course/

      I hope this helps! Good luck and have fun with it!

      Tasha

      Reply

      1. Awesome! Thanks Tasha 🙂

        Reply

  34. Dear Tasha,

    Lovely to read your article, as yours is a lot more positive than a lot of other posts on the web these days… We are a couple and have recently completed a CELTA certificate in Perth, WA. We have secure full time jobs in another field here in Aus, but would like to settle in Europe to be closer to family. Although we have both degrees in Environmental Management, we didn’t find work there last time, so we have embraced teaching English as a possible new career. We have both loved teaching as part of the course and are already looking for jobs overseas, however reading all the warnings about how this is a saturated field, and preacrious teaching jobs are garanteed, we are having second thoughts. What do you think about this? What is the likelyhood of actually finding a secure job? Many thanks, S & J

    Reply

    1. Hi Silvia!
      Congratulations on completing your CELTA in Perth! Did you by any chance train with Debra Lunt? She’s amazing and we bring her over to New York once a year to work with us in NYC for a few months every year. I absolutely adore her energy, positivity and dedication to teacher training.

      Anyway, I’m not sure where you’ve heard that English language teaching is a “saturated” field – it has continued to grow immensely since I was traveling and teaching English. For those who are CELTA certified, the field is most certainly not saturated. The countries where the jobs are increasing may change regularly, but as far as the world goes, there are always LOTS of jobs to go around – the language education industry is constantly and continuously growing. And it is a transient field, so teachers are constantly entering the field and also leaving the field to go on to other things.

      As for your mention of a “secure” job – no job is secure, per se. English language teaching in private language schools don’t come with tenured contracts or retirement packages. One may move on to teaching English in universities in developed countries and find that they can get a tenured or secured job. But on the whole, English language teaching is a field where teachers often don’t stay in a school for more than 2 years, so people who are looking for jobs in the field, are looking for a job that will allow them to pick up and move easily, but they’re not really looking for “security.”

      Having said that, no language school is going to boot a good language teacher out if they are doing a good job and they like working with them. So if you’re professional and good at what you do, you can often stay as long as you like in a job, and maybe even move up to a Director of Studies position or become a CELTA Trainer once you’ve done your DELTA. There are lots of teachers who are secure in their jobs in the field, in the sense that they will always have employment. So if that’s what you mean, then yes there are plenty of secure jobs to be had. Many of my colleagues have worked in English language teaching and ESL Teacher Training their whole lives.

      I hope that answers your question!

      Reply

      1. Thank you very much Tasha,
        Yes you have answered my question really well, thank you. I know Debra because she has interviewed me before the course but she was teaching on the full-time course, while I’v done a part-time. I agree, she is lovely and an inspiration. I will keep applying for jobs then, I am actually getting some interviews already and so far the only obsticle for me has been the fact that I am not a native speaker…C’est la vie 🙂 All the best, Silvia.

        Reply

  35. Hi Tasha

    I really enjoyed your article, especially the mentions and photos of Bali. I was an ESL Instructor in Japan for the last 12 years and took the opportunity to travel extensively around SE Asia. 5 seemed to be the magic number, as I visited Seoul, Bali, and Thailand 5 times! They are all amazing in their own way, yet Bali undoubtedly has a special place in my heart. I managed to check out monkey forest in Ubud, where I was lucky enough to escape any serious injury, lol. (“Here are some bananas to take into the forest.”) Uluwatu is my favorite location in Bail– next time you are there please have a look, especially as the surfing entrance has a grotto quite similar to your husbands photo in Australia. Breathtaking!

    I have recently returned to the United States but have the itch to resume my globetrotting. I have a MS in Education as well as 12 years experience, but am finding that most jobs (the decent ones at least) now require some type of certification. After a bit of research, CELTA seems to be the best for my needs. Things certainly have changed since 2002-after answering an online ad from the GEOS language corporation I was in Japan a short 10 weeks later!

    As a fellow world traveller, I wanted to ask your advice on where to go to get my CELTA certification, as my concerns may be of interest to others as well. Teaching House certainly looks excellent for the continental US, but perhaps it would be cheaper, in the long run, somewhere else? I have been to the CELTA location search page, as you recommended:
    http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/celta/
    but it is a bit overwhelming.

    I live near Washington DC, but not THAT near, and would also need accommodations. The Teaching House Washington DC Cambridge CELTA course is $2,695 and once you factor in the Hostel ($800-$1,300) it’s almost $4K, and I haven’t even had a bite to eat yet. And I’m a big eater! Is that cost pretty standard for the US based courses?

    Perhaps, even after airfare, somewhere like Thailand, with International House (any affiliation?) would be cheaper? http://knowledgetrotter.com/find-courses/thailand/tefl-courses-thailand/
    Especially once you consider the cost of living of the locale– as some of us taking the intensive course will subsequently be looking for jobs…..so, essentially jobless. I know from experience you could probably live in Thailand on a shoestring budget for quite sometime. Sorry, I guess my question is, after factoring in all costs, would you happen to know some cost-effective alternatives?

    Lastly, if you ever do get something up and going in Bali, I would absolutely love to be considered. I fell in love with that little piece oh heaven as well and would love to give back!

    Travel on,

    Roger

    Reply

    1. Hi Roger,
      I like that you’re thinking outside the box in order to find the right course and location for you to do your CELTA. You’re absolutely right in thinking that there are cheaper alternatives to doing your course in the U.S. or the UK – the prices for CELTA in the U.S. are pretty much the same everywhere and based on the overhead costs. So a cheaper country, like Thailand, will have cheaper overheads and therefore their price courses will be somewhat lower.

      IH Bangkok is, in fact, one of our affiliate schools and I understand they run a reputable teacher training center.

      Also, if you already know where you’d like to teach abroad, you could consider doing your CELTA in that country, as the teachers there may give you some insight into the job market there while you’re doing your course.

      I wish you the best of luck and if we do open something in Bali, I’ll certainly let you know! And I absolutely love Uluwatu as well – between the surfing and nights out at Single Fin, there is a lot of fun to be had there 🙂

      Tasha

      Reply

      1. Thank you for your time. Onwards and upwards! Namaste.

        Reply

  36. Hi Tasha,

    I have been teaching IELTS since one year. I am thinking of teaching English as my career. I cam to know about CELTA and is thinking to do it. I do not have an undergraduate degree. So does it matter if I am a CELTA graduate?

    Reply

    1. Hi Jas,
      Whether or not you need an undergraduate degree very much depends on the country you’re looking for work in. There are some countries that require you to have a degree to get a work visa. Having said that, I have friends who work as ESL Teachers and CELTA Trainers and don’t have an undergraduate degree. It depends on the job and the country. Good luck to you in your search!
      Tasha

      Reply

      1. thank you so much …Tasha

        Reply

  37. The above article was really good. I am currently working as a trainer for the past 9 years in India and am so eager to do CELTA. I am looking for financial assistance or an opportunity abroad to earn on my own to do Celta.. Please help.

    Reply

  38. Hi, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading this. I am currently teaching in Japan but would like to get CELTA qualified and teach in America. I found a course that looked great and then read this blog, as luck would have it yours was the school I was looking at. I felt the stars align.

    Reply

    1. That is fantastic! Which city are you doing your CELTA in and when? Good luck on the course and if you want some insight into what the course is going to be like, I wrote this post on the “secrets to success” on the CELTA: http://www.teachinghouse.com/blog/5-secrets-to-success-on-celta-course/

      Happy teaching!

      Reply

  39. Hi Tasha,

    I sent an e mail to you at Teaching House last week about Ubud. I would like to know if you would be interested in working with me to establish a learning centre there? I am happy to finance it..no funding required from your side.
    hope to hear from you soon,
    Joseph McKeever

    Reply

    1. Hi Joseph! Sorry for the delayed response and thanks for writing this comment as it reminded me to go back and find your email, which was buried under a ton of work emails 🙂

      I’m not actually in Bali anymore, as I’m in New York City teaching a CELTA course and working on opening other CELTA centers in the U.S. I’m certainly interested in your plans for a learning center, however, and would certainly be interested in hearing more! (I’m also secretly looking for an excuse to get back to Bali 🙂 )

      Anyway, I have sent you an email response – let’s talk!

      Sincerely,

      Tasha

      Reply

      1. Hi Tasha,
        Wanted to ask your advice on online TEFL courses. I have an MA in ESL k-12 and am a public school teacher in NYC. But, am now living and working in Borneo for as a teacher mentor for primary school ESL teachers. My employer offers a grant for professional development and i was interested in doing an online TEFL program (Celta or Delta if possible) since it would give me more practical ideas and perhaps help in future job searches. Online would be the only option since it would be during my current employment.

        Would you also consider this a waste of time and money? I have over 7 years of classroom experience but like the practical tools you can (hopefully) learn in some TEFL courses that my MA didn’t offer.

        Lastly, if you open a center in Ubud, PLEASE HIRE ME!!!!! (Just came back from a trip there, and fell utterly in love). 🙂

        Reply

        1. Hi Jenny,

          There are components of the DELTA that you can do online – for example, we offer Module 1 online and you can do Module 3 online if you are already teaching in the classroom, as this is like action research – you do your research on the class you are teaching. Module 2, which is the practical teaching component, can’t be done online with us, but there are “distance DELTA” courses offered where you can do Module 2 with a distance tutor if, like with Module 3, you are teaching in the classroom and have the ability to film your classes for assessment by distance. Most distance DELTA courses still require you to come to the center in person for 1 week of the course, though, which I believe is true of the DELTA at IH London.

          With regards to the CELTA course, this can’t be done online, and there aren’t any online TEFL courses whose certificates are worth anything to employers because the main thing employers look at is the hands-on in-classroom training, which you can’t do online. There are teacher training and ESL theory courses that can be done online, which might be of interest to you development-wise and IH World offers a number of reputable online courses for teachers.

          And, absolutely, if we open a center in Ubud, I will let you know! I absolutely adore Ubud, so who knows?!

          Tasha

          Reply

  40. Hi Tasha,
    I’m Joe from India. After completing my M.A. and B.Ed., in English Literature, I’ve been teaching English for five years to age group of 10-17. Presently planning for my life long dream, teaching English in abroad . I discovered your excellent blog which has so many details I was looking for. In India, the highest course for teaching English is CELTA from Cambridge through British Council. Will you advice to go with CELTA or any other higher online courses? Should I take IELTS along with CELTA to show my English proficiency? I have chosen to work in two countries where I make little savings – either in Singapore or UAE. Kindly advise.

    Reply

    1. Hi Joe!
      How great to hear about your passion for teaching! With regards to advice, if you have access to the CELTA course through the British Council, this is absolutely the best course to take. Online courses don’t have any weight with employers and they don’t include hands-on teaching practice, so they are often a waste of time and money. With regards to English proficiency, you will need to prove your proficiency through the CELTA application process. They don’t usually ask for standardized test scores, but they will interview you and ask you to submit a written task, which they will use to judge your English.

      Certainly the CELTA will increase your chances of getting a good job in the countries you’re looking to work in, but you will also need to research the work visa requirements for these countries. Some countries only open work visas to certain nationalities. I have known Indian teachers in both Singapore and UAE, so I believe these are countries where work is available to Indian passport holders. But it would be a good idea to get on TEFL.com and find some schools that are advertising teaching jobs and write to them about applying for a job. This will give you a better idea of the challenges for Indian passport holders, if there are any.

      I hope this helps!

      Sincerely,

      Tasha

      Reply

      1. Hi Tasha,

        Many thanks. Your advice was a great relief for my confused mind. Kindly advise with software or website to improve grammar and vocabulary

        Thanks,
        Joe

        Reply

      2. Hi Tasha,

        I enquired British Council for the admission of CELTA course. As they have closed the admissions for this year, I have to wait till January 2015 for the admission dates. Kindly advice with the steps that I need to be prepared to take the course. Please list the books that I need to refer. I’m taking listening and grammar tests daily, where my score lies from B2 to C2 levels. Suggest some practical ways to improve my writing and vocabulary skills.
        Tasha, do you admit that everyone cannot sound like a Brit? Should I sound native speaker to get jobs in abroad? Will I get jobs once I complete CELTA? Does my experience as an English teacher before CELTA course will be counted? Kindly answer, because I have planned to spend half of my savings for CELTA.

        Thanks & regards,
        Joe

        Reply

        1. Hi Joe,

          January is not too far away, so that’s good news.

          With regards to books to prepare you for the CELTA course, this is a very good book by Scott Thornbury, a highly respected expert in the field of TESOL:

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-CELTA-Course-Trainee-Book/dp/0521692067/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411948640&sr=8-1&keywords=celta+scott+thornbury

          And Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener is also a book we use a lot for ESL Education theory on our CELTA courses:

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/Learning-Teaching-Students-Teachers-MacMillan/dp/0230729843/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411948707&sr=8-1&keywords=learning+teaching

          As for improving your skills in writing and vocabulary, do you have a language school nearby? Improving your writing is something that requires a lot of error correction and work with a teacher – it’s very hard to improve writing on your own. If you are able to find an ESL teacher in your town who can work with you a few times a week, or someone who can work with you by correcting your work online, this would help.

          With vocabulary, reading in English is often a great way to improve. Get a book in English and earmark the vocabulary you don’t know and look them up after you’ve had a guess at the meaning.

          As for sounding British, that is a funny question for me, an American – certainly I agree that not everyone can sound like a Brit. I certainly don’t sound like a Brit! English proficiency is needed to be able to teach higher levels in English. But there are also many English teaching jobs in primary schools and for low-level learners. If you are a non-native English speaker trying to get an English teaching job in an English speaking country, you will have difficulty.

          But there are plenty of teaching jobs in the many countries that don’t speak English as a national language, and most of the English teachers in those countries are not going to be native speakers.

          Your biggest challenge for work abroad, though, will be your passport and where you are eligible to get a work visa with an Indian passport. You should definitely look into this more before spending all your savings – certainly ESL teaching forums like Dave’s ESL Cafe (www.eslcafe.com) will have people asking the same questions as you. Post your question about working abroad with an Indian passport on the forum and see what other Indian ESL teachers out there have to say!

          I hope this helps. Good luck!

          Sincerely,

          Tasha

          Reply

          1. Hi Tasha,

            You are my guiding star in the world of TEFL. Many thanks for the help and guidance.

            Thanks & regards,

            Joe

  41. Hi Tasha,

    I am planning to take a CELTA course in Bangkok this coming January. I am a Filipino, and from my research, I found that most, if not all, English teacher job openings require a native English speaker. Will getting a CELTA certificate help me find a job despite being a non-native English speaker? If not, what do you advise I do to pursue my dream of teaching English?

    Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Hi Nica,
      Thanks for commenting and congratulations on getting on a CELTA course! It is true that many jobs prefer a native English speaker, especially if the job is in an English-speaking country. But in reality there are more non-native English teachers in the world than there are native English-speaking teachers. Being Filipino in itself is not prohibitive to getting a good job as an English teacher abroad, but there are a number of factors that you will need to consider when looking for a job. Here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head:

      1) What is your level of English proficiency? The more proficient you are, the more desirable you will be as an English teacher, regardless of whether you are a native speaker or not. And non-native English teachers are very common outside of English speaking countries.

      2) How well did you do on your CELTA course (this is to be seen, of course). I know many non-native English-speaking teachers who are much better English teachers than their native English-speaking counterparts – strive to get a Pass B or Pass A on your CELTA and no one will be able to deny your skill and dedication as a teacher. It is very difficult to get above a Pass, so that certainly is a mark of excellence.

      3) Having a CELTA will certainly help give you the credentials to get a job because it will show that you have the training as an English Teacher and you know what you’re doing.

      4) You’ll need to know what countries your Filipino passport will and won’t allow you to work in. Work visas are an issue for working abroad, so you need to find out which countries are willing to hire Filipinos and give work visas. For example, Americans cannot legally work in Europe unless their employer applies for a work visa for them (which is very uncommon) or they marry a European.

      I hope this helps!

      Sincerely,

      Tasha

      Reply

      1. Hi Tasha,

        This is very very helpful!!

        Thank you very much! Safe travels!=)

        Reply

  42. Hello. I would love your advice on a decision I’m making regarding getting the DELTA. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer (Univ. Eng. Training) in Morocco in the ’90’s. I have an M.A. in Eng. Literature and over a decade of experience in the classroom teaching French (B.A. in French), Literature and ESL. I currently work part-time teaching ESL in New Zealand, and I’m feeling the lack of certification in terms of future job prospects. I considered getting the CELTA, but since I currently have a job that isn’t requiring it, I’m not sure I’d feel that I would get my money’s worth pursuing that route since it is training designed for people who have never taught before. Therefore, I’m considering getting the DELTA and I’m in the process of ascertaining that, indeed, I can skip to this next step. I have no interest in working as a DOS, but would like to continue in ESL, perhaps eventually at a university or as a teacher trainer. What do you think?

    By the way, I was just in Ubud last month. Gorgeous place. Cheers!

    Reply

    1. Hi Annabelle,
      Great to hear from you! I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Russian Far East from ’99-’01 and I loved it.

      That’s a good question about the DELTA and your experience. Even with your amount of experience, you wouldn’t be allowed to skip the CELTA and do the DELTA. The CELTA (or Trinity CertTESOL) is a pre-requisite for doing the DELTA.

      This can be hard for those who haven’t done the CELTA to understand, but the CELTA and DELTA are a different kind of course than a university course. And it isn’t necessarily only for people who haven’t taught before. Most of my CELTA trainees have varied levels of teaching experience before they do the CELTA.

      As a practical hands-on course, the approach used on the CELTA to develop a teacher’s skills requires honing those skills in the classroom itself with an experienced trainer giving you specific feedback on what to improve in your teaching. That works incredibly well for teachers with experience, as well as teachers who are just starting. Everyone is learning at their own level. And I’ve never met an experienced teacher on the CELTA who didn’t learn a great deal of new skills and techniques.

      If you are looking into doing training because you want to develop your skills, that is absolutely the best reason to do the CELTA… and later, the DELTA. The DELTA qualification doesn’t necessarily bring oodles of money. But it is the best ESL teacher training there is – you will learn so much and you’ll become a much better teacher. (When I got my DELTA in Spain, my teaching salary went up 50 Euros a month. At that rate, it would take about 7 years for me to make back my DELTA course fees, so I certainly didn’t do it for the monetary gain!)

      So, I hope that answers your question. You won’t be able to skip over the CELTA to do the DELTA. But I would be very surprised if you didn’t find the CELTA to be an incredible learning experience.

      Tasha

      Reply

  43. Hi Tasha, I’m presently researching my life long dream, teaching english abroad and discovered your excellent blog. I’m a life long traveler for business and pleasure with 39 counties under my belt, having also lived in Morocco for 9 months. I have a BS degree in Organizational Management and have 100’s of hours as a classroom corporate trainer. I was also a private school administrator for 6 years. Now being single, 62 years old, in great health, and retired, I would love to teach english abroad. Is there any hope for me? What would you advise?

    Warm regards

    Reply

    1. Hi Marc,
      Great to hear that you’re pursuing your dreams! You certainly aren’t too old to learn, particularly if you’ve been as active as you seem to have been in developing your skills over the years. The oldest person I’ve ever trained on a CELTA course was a 73-year-old-woman and she was fantastic! It really depends on how eager you are to learn.

      Now, there may not be jobs for you in every country around the world, but there are certainly countries where age is not a problem.

      If this is something you are dreaming of doing, then I would say go get certified and see what happens! If you’re flexible about where you want to work, there will be a job out there for you.

      I hope that helps – good luck!

      Tasha

      Reply

  44. Hello, I had just finished reading about a CELTA course in San Fran when I came across your article and realised it was the same school. I am TEFL qualified but also have a Further Education City of Guilds certificate due to teaching Physical Education covering KS3 to KS5 and training students in Health & Fitness of which I hold a Health & Fitness Teachers Diploma. I lectured for Westminster Sports England for a few years. I volunteered in Cambodia for one month to teach ICT to primary and secondary year students, which is loved.

    After a long career in teaching Health & Fitness, then in the civil service on environmental issues and migrant exploitation I wish to travel from April 2015 and teach for the next five years abroad.

    I also have a Diploma in Psychotherapy.

    I am going to be 49 years old and I wondered if you would be kind enough to give your view on three aspects 1) Am I considered to old to gain teaching work abroad 2) Am I able to take your course in the USA and 3) would your school be able to find paid work for me abroad with CELTA but no degree.

    Thank you for your time and I loved Bali, oh so long ago now (1990).

    Best wishes, Lucy.

    Reply

    1. Hi Lucy,

      Thanks for your comment – you certainly have an interesting and varied background in teaching, so teaching English will fit nicely into your resume!

      With regards to your questions:

      1) You are certainly not the oldest person to get CELTA certified – 49 is young! There are some countries that will not hire teachers older than 65 for work visa reasons, but you have a lot of years ahead before you reach that age, and that is only a few countries.

      2) Yes, you can do the CELTA in the USA – Teaching House has 14 locations in the U.S. you can choose from. To find out more about the centers and dates we offer courses, visit http://www.teachinghouse.com

      3) With a CELTA and no degree, there are certain countries that you’ll be restricted from working in, but this is by no means the majority. We have a very comprehensive network of schools that hire around the world, and Teaching House offers help in applying for those jobs. Unless you are extremely specific about what country you want to work in, there is plenty of work out there for teachers with a CELTA and no degree.

      I loved Bali so much – I would love to get back there for a while 🙂

      All the best and good luck!

      Reply

      1. Hi Tasha,

        Is Spain one of those countries that would expect you to have a degree? I’m interested in doing a CELTA as I’ll be moving to Spain but didn’t finish my degree.

        Thanks.
        Marco

        Reply

        1. Hi Marco,

          Spain doesn’t require you to have a degree to work as an English teacher there. But your passport/nationality will dictate whether or not you can work there legally. I am an American who was married to a Brit, so I was able to get a work visa because I was married to an EU citizen.

          Tasha

          Reply

  45. Hi Tasha,

    I love the way you have presented your idea:

    ……… English Literature professor whose only qualifications are “can read books,” your students do not want to give their hard-earned savings to an English teacher whose only qualifications are “can speak English.”

    …..you don’t want to walk into a classroom of eager students feeling like you have no idea what you’re doing. You want to walk into class every day feeling confident in your skills and your ability to help your students reach their goals.

    Can you let us know the difference between an English Teacher and an English Trainer (CELTA). What makes a CELTA qualified trainer a better professional?

    Reply

    1. Hi Clement,
      That’s a really good question. The thing that makes CELTA Trainers extremely effective at teacher education is the training and quality assessment structure of the University of Cambridge ESOL department, which is who accredits and assesses all CELTA courses.

      To be a CELTA Trainer, who trains teachers who enroll on CELTA courses, you must have, at minimum:
      – CELTA Certification
      – Either the Cambridge DELTA (Diploma of English Language Teaching to Adults – which is a higher level certification than the CELTA, which has a rigorous in-classroom training component as well as Master’s-degree-level theoretical study) OR Master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
      – At least 5 years’ experience teaching ESL to adults in a variety of settings (it can’t be 5 years in one school or country) and at least 2 of those years must be post-DELTA or MA TESOL.
      – Successfully completed the Cambridge Trainer-in-Training program at an authorized CELTA center.

      So, as you can see, an English teacher can’t just decide after a year they want to go train teachers on the CELTA. Cambridge ensures that all teacher trainers have the practical experience as well as the theoretical knowledge to support teachers in their development.

      When I did my MA at Columbia University Teachers College, I was rather shocked that there were professors of education who had spent most of their time studying education theory, but had only taught students in an ESL classroom for maybe a year or two. These professors had a great deal of knowledge of theory, but their practical experience was lacking in a way that meant they couldn’t support their trainee teachers in the classroom.

      With the CELTA and DELTA courses, the focus is on the combination of theory and practice — unlike other TEFL courses and degree programs, the ration of trainees to trainer is 6:1. This is because the trainees are in the classroom every day, either teaching or observing teachers, and the CELTA Trainer evaluates every minute of every lesson their 6 teachers teach, giving oral and written feedback on what to improve in the next day’s lesson.

      This is extremely effective at developing a teacher’s skills in the classroom, using the theory they are learning, but putting that theory into practice every day.

      Because of the intensive nature of the course, the CELTA Trainers have to be at the top of their game – they need the qualifications, experience and theoretical knowledge, plus training as a Teacher Trainer, in order to be most effective at developing skills in other teachers.

      That’s the long version of why CELTA Trainers are so good at what they do, but I hope that answers your question! There is no better practical teaching course in the world, and I know this because I have done a lot of teacher training courses and though I appreciate the theory I got from my MA, and the many professional development sessions I have been to, it was the CELTA and DELTA that made me a good teacher, and not just in ESL.

      Does that explain it? Whew! I feel like I just wrote a book!

      Thanks for your comments and questions!

      Tasha

      Reply

  46. I am looking into TEFL/CELTA and am wondering if the difference in a much higher cost for the CELTA pays off for someone who wishes to travel and teach? A particular course I looked at was the Via Lingua but it does seem to be more of a gimick -paying higher prices to be in a beautiful setting. It also only offers TEFL. I did however appreciate the fact they offer both classroom and online experiences. With most TEFL and CELTA courses I have found, they have either a short weekend course in-house or a much longer 120+ hours online course. I cant see how a purely online course can prepare someone for the whole classroom and teaching experience? What are your suggestions on this? Maybe a teaching course to compliment it?
    Also, could you suggest some of the better teaching institutions of TEFL and CELTA in Greece (Or the Midlands, UK – but assume the price will be higher in the Uk)
    Many thanks, and I enjoyed the read!

    Reply

    1. Hi D,

      Your instincts are right – a purely online course absolutely cannot prepare you for teaching in the classroom. It can offer you some theoretical background, but it’s the teaching practice on your course that will prepare you for the classroom.

      I don’t know anything about the Via Lingua course, but you should know that TEFL is an acronym that stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and it is not in itself a certification. The CELTA is a type of TEFL certification.

      If you want to increase your chances at getting a job, you really want to do the Cambridge CELTA or the Trinity CertTESOL – there are many locations around the world for both. But without the accreditation or structure of CELTA or Trinity, I would be very wary of the value of the course you’re doing. Because remember, you also want to make sure your employer knows the value of your qualification – if they’ve never heard of the certificate you’ve done, they’re not going to be sure about what kind of training you’ve had.

      International House schools all over the world, for example, will only hire teachers with the CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL. Any other type of qualification will be rejected. And you don’t want to rule yourself out of working for the good schools, as they also offer the most teacher support and usually a good work environment.

      As for Greece and the UK, I don’t know the centers specifically, but there are tons of CELTA courses in the UK and I’m guessing some in Greece.

      Cambridge has a web site where you can find CELTA centers around the world: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/find-a-centre/find-a-teaching-centre/

      You can check there for specific locations you’re interested in.

      Reply

  47. Hi Tasha,

    Thank you for this article. It was incredibly insightful! I decided to reach out because my goal is to teach abroad, again. I completed my Master’s in TESOL and Childhood Education in 2011 and taught through the Fulbright program as an English Teaching Assistant in Malta in 2012-2013. I really enjoyed it and feel it is the teaching avenue that is right for me as I enjoy teaching ESL and love to travel but I feel in order to give me more options at the best or most reputable language schools, I may have to complete a CELTA or an additional certification, especially being an American and wanting to allow myself as many options as possible. I am interested to know what the investment would be for the certification and what the salary ranges are based on regions, if possible to give an idea of what to expect to make (like an average). Any advice you can offer, is truly much appreciated.

    Reply

    1. Hi Kelly,
      Definitely having a CELTA will expand your opportunities for work in TESOL – particularly with your MA in TESOL, it could allow you to later become a CELTA Teacher Trainer, for example, which you wouldn’t be eligible for without your CELTA. It will also give you some different insights into ESL teaching from what your MA has given you – the two together complement each other wonderfully.

      With regards to work around the world, this varies greatly with English-speaking countries paying less in terms of living standard buying power than most other countries. An ESL teacher (not a CELTA Trainer) in New York makes $18-$21/hour, for example.

      In South America, the wages vary greatly by country with Argentina being one of the hardest places to make a living at the moment because of the economy and inflation rate, thought Brazil, Colombia and Mexico being places where teachers make a comfortable wage and live well.

      Korea, Japan, the Middle East and parts of Southeast Asia, like Cambodia and Vietnam are also popular places to teach because the living standard is good on a teacher’s wage.

      For exact, up-to-date wages in each region, you would want to find out what teachers are making there now. You could post this question to the Teaching House Nomads on their respective blog posts about teaching in their region here: http://www.teachinghouse.com/blog – Whitney is teaching in Korea, Fran is teaching in Brazil, John teaches in Sevilla, Spain, Kate teaches in Italy, Brycie and Lauren have recently taught in China, and Sherry taught in Vietnam. If you leave a comment on their post, they’d be happy to tell you what currently prevailing wages are 🙂

      I hope that helps!

      Tasha

      Reply

      1. Hi Tasha,

        Thank you so much for your insightful information. I am seriously considering going for my CELTA certification and cannot thank you enough for the recommendations and references. I am curious to know if you could speak to teaching in the Middle East. I have had a couple of teaching offers there but I am torn as to whether it is a place I should consider because there is such a vast cultural difference. It would be nice to get some perspective from someone who has actually taught there. Any info is much appreciated and thank you, again for all of your help and information.

        Best,
        Kelly

        Reply

        1. Hey Kelly,

          My apologies for the long delay on answering this question – I must have missed it when it came in. With regards to teaching in the Middle East as a single female (I was 25 when I first arrived to Qatar to teach), it had its challenges and its rewards. I was very motivated to go there because I was fascinated with the Middle East and the culture and I wanted to experience it for myself (rather than rely on the biased coverage of the culture in the news because of the Gulf War at the time).

          Personally, you couldn’t pay me any amount of money to go work in Saudi Arabia – the restrictions on my freedom of movement and lifestyle as a woman would be too much for me to tolerate there. But, in Qatar, I understood what restrictions there were on my lifestyle, but I was willing to compromise a bit because I wanted to get to know the culture. In Qatar, my life and my movements weren’t restricted much – I just had to be aware of my clothing and my behavior more than I would back home in the U.S., but I could still drive my own car, go to bars and do what I pleased, within reason.

          How comfortable you are in a new country has a lot to do with what you’re looking to get out of living in that country and what expectations you have of living there. If you move to the Middle East expecting to find life as it is back in the U.S., you will be sorely disappointed and somewhat infuriated. But then it would be silly to think that life in the Middle East would be like it is back home – so you have to ask yourself what do you hope to get out of your experience of living in the Middle East, and weigh what you’re willing to compromise and what you aren’t and then decide whether a country is a good place for you to go.

          I hope that helps.

          Reply

  48. Hi Tasha, it’s really great and inspirational to read your article on teaching and travelling. Myself and a friend I met travelling are thinking òf getting qualifications – though thí í a bit ò an investment for me. I am curently in vietnam – though would relocate anywhere in SE Asia – would you mind reccommending where would be bét ỏ slightly easier on the wallet – á well á hÆ¡w long móst teaching positions like you to stay?

    Also I have heard that ít posable to get a qualification through a work placement – do you know anything about thís?

    Sory for they typo’s – viet keyboard!

    Jas

    Reply

    1. Hi Jas,
      In Vietnam, the most reputable places to get your certification are ILA Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City – I found a link to their page here: http://www.discovereltvietnam.com/page.php?p=20. And there’s also Apollo, which runs CELTA courses in both Ho Chi Minh and Ha Noi – you can find them here: http://teachatapollo.com/courses

      Both courses cost $1600 (US dollars), which is a bargain. Course costs vary all over the world, but it can be cheaper to do the course in countries like Vietnam.

      The CELTA is the most widely recognized certification anywhere, which will give you eligibility to apply for the best jobs in the best language schools. You mentioned an investment that’s easier on the wallet – there are other somewhat cheaper courses out there, but it’s very much a case of getting what you pay for. The best schools to work for (and the best paying schools), like Apollo and ILA, will not hire teachers who don’t have a CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL, so whatever you pay for a lesser course, you’ll be eliminating all the good schools as job options.

      There are schools that will hire without qualifications, or with unknown certifications, but there are drawbacks to those jobs (poor organization, lesser working conditions, no training), other than the lesser pay.

      There are some companies like Berlitz and EF, which are known for doing their own training and offering job placement, but this is changing as well. Most Berlitz and EF schools now require the CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL before getting a job, as they’ve replaced their in-house training in many countries with the CELTA. But if you get a job with them, they have locations to work for all over the world, and that can be a big plus if you’re looking for an immediate network to travel within.

      International House also has 150 schools in 50 countries, so getting a job with them will give you access to jobs within their network of schools. They also have a strict policy of not employing any teaching staff will less than a CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL – it’s a part of their quality standards charter.

      I hope this answers some of your questions. I hate to see people spend money on taster courses like online courses, thinking that this is providing them with a valid certification. I get a lot of people who come to me after spending $1100 on a weekend i-to-i or Oxford Seminars course only to find that they can’t get the job they want. Despite the money spent on an online course, most people who want to pursue teaching abroad end up doing their CELTA anyway because not only did they not get the teacher training needed to do the job well, but their online course didn’t get them a job.

      There are CELTA centers all over the world, and right near you in Vietnam, so my advice is to go get your CELTA!

      Tasha

      Reply

      1. wow, that’s loads cheaper than in the uk! hÆ¡w Ä‘id you find thóse links and do you know ìf it’s posable to find something similar in either malaysia ỏr indonesia!? I would rather be by the beach than in a city ì posable..

        it sếems thểre’s loads òf information and courses out thểre, it’s just a case of finding the right place. Also what ís the diference between a celta and a tesol / tefl, which would you say ís the best course?

        Jas

        Reply

        1. Hi Jasmine,

          Lol. EVERYWHERE is cheaper than the UK! I’m glad to help you with links – I know most of the CELTA centers around the world because we assess other centers, too – we’re the world’ largest CELTA training center, so we have a lot of interaction with other teacher training schools.

          But to help you out, here’s what I’ve found out through Google searches – there are CELTA centers with The British Institute in Java, Indonesia – they have several locations, but it looks like you need to contact them for more information – here is a link to them: http://www.tbi.co.id/celta

          And the British Council runs CELTA courses in Malaysia – their link is here: http://www.britishcouncil.my/teach/courses/celta

          Cambridge’s web site is confusing because CELTA is lumped in with loads of exams they offer for ESL students, but I know there are 329 CELTA centers around the world and you can use their drop-down menu to find a center in a country you’re looking to go to: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/find-a-centre/find-a-teaching-centre/

          With regard to the best course, the CELTA and the Trinity CertTESOL are the best – and they are a type of TEFL/TESOL certification. TEFL merely stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The acronym is not a certification itself. There are lots of TESOL/TEFL courses out there that will sell themselves as certifications, but not all of them are recognized by employers around the world and most of them don’t provide in-classroom teaching practice. If you want to get the best certification with the best training and worldwide recognition, you want either the Cambridge CELTA or the Trinity CertTESOL. Both are assessed and accredited with universities in the UK – Cambridge and Trinity.

          I hope that helps! Basically, wherever you want to go, you’ll probably find a CELTA center (apart from in Cambodia… but I’m working on that!)

          Sincerely,

          Tasha

          Reply

  49. Muhammad Saboor April 2, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Tasha,

    This article is a great reminder of how earning a CELTA can free you and create interesting and exciting opportunities. I am proud to have completed my CELTA with your institution in Boston in 2010. It was definitely a high quality program that I recommend to all of my interested friends.

    Reply

    1. Aw, thanks for that comment, Muhammad! Congratulations! And where are you teaching now?

      Reply

      1. Muhammad Saboor April 3, 2014 at 12:00 am

        I should be thanking you!

        I am teaching in Hail, Saudi Arabia. BTW, I recently completed an MA-TESOL with the IOE, and I am strongly considering doing a DELTA with you.

        Reply

        1. Muhammad,
          That’s great news! The format of the DELTA has gotten so much more flexible since I did it in 2004. You can do two of the three modules online and even the teaching component can be done by distance, if you have a class you can video where you are in Saudi. If you need any more info on the DELTA, feel free to email us at info@teachinghouse.com!
          -Tasha

          Reply

  50. Great interview! I learned a lot about teaching overseas and why it is worth the time and expense to get certified. Thanks for sharing these expert tips and advice.

    Reply

    1. No problem, Mary. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply

  51. Tasha has been a great help to me in defining my goals for teaching abroad. Great article!

    Reply

  52. Hi Tasha,

    As a TEFL qualified teacher myself in Seville, I was immediately drawn to the article title. I run a small academy in Nervión and send unqualified teachers straight into the bin. Unfortunately, with the economic crisis here and the boom in English language academies (often run by people from outside of the teaching realm who don’t speak English themselves), they’ll take teachers who are native with no experience or qualifications simply because clients want native speakers. I’m not interested in getting a CELTA myself (I haven’t needed to because of my other teaching experience, languages and social media knowledge), but it’s great to hear from someone who is also a teacher trainer.

    If you meet anyone in Bali during the next two weeks from Seville, mention my name. It’s not that big of an island!

    Reply

    1. Hi there, Cat of Sunshine and Siestas!
      Funnily enough, I taught for two years in Nervion, at ELI in Sevilla. And I lived near La Alameda in Macarena. It was a wonderful two years and, as an American, I never would have gotten that job if I didn’t have my CELTA and DELTA because of the trouble the school had to go through for me to get a visa (Brits are more commonly hired in Spain because they can work in the EU automatically). More opportunities are definitely available to people who have qualifications, not to mention that as I began to take teaching seriously as a career, my qualifications allowed me to advance quickly to becoming a CELTA Trainer, which led to me opening my own CELTA centers and language schools. I absolutely adore Seville – I hope to get back there one day 🙂
      -Tasha

      Reply

      1. I’m right down the street running Escuela Marly! I was turned down by ELI originally because I didn’t have my CELTA (I do have work papers though), but I think my experience would give me a better shot – and I now know many teachers there! Sounds like it’s a great place to work.

        If you ever are in Seville, please look me up!

        Reply

  53. Way to spotlight what looks like a great organization! I hope the Boston school is doing well

    Reply

    1. Thanks Adam! The Boston school is doing great! It’s in a superb location in Faneuil Hall (right above the ever-tempting Godiva chocolate shop) and it’s just gotten approval to offer student visas to students wanting to study English abroad in Boston, which means we’ll probably be expanding. And the CELTA center is thriving as well. If you live in the Boston area and are interested in the CELTA, drop in some time! It’s a great place to study with great staff trainers there 🙂 You can speak to Dan Schulstad, he’s a lovely guy.
      Sincerely,
      Tasha

      Reply

  54. Dear Tasha,
    What a joy to know that you have experienced so many wonderful adventures!!
    Congratulations to you and your husband on a life well-lived:):)
    With a big hug,
    Connie Melone
    English

    Reply

    1. Thanks Connie! I feel very fortunate 🙂
      Tasha

      Reply

  55. Hi Connie!
    Thanks so much for your comment. We’ll be posting our dates for the Salt Lake City courses up on http://www.teachinghouse.com. But you can always apply now (there’s no fee or obligation) and let us know you want to do your course in Salt Lake City. The application process takes time, as there is a task to complete and an interview is scheduled with one of our trainers. Summer courses fill up the quickest, and course enrollment is limited to 12 trainees, so it’s best to get your foot in the door as early as possible. Also, no promises, but I may actually be teaching the course in SLC this summer. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet in person!
    Good luck!
    Tasha

    Reply

  56. Connie Woodland March 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Loved this article! I have taught in China, Thailand and Vietnam. I am highly interested in the new centre Tasha is opening in Salt Lake City. That is where I live and I am very motivated to earn my CELTA certification. How. can I get in touch with her to get more info?

    Reply

    1. Great! I’ll make sure she sees these comments and leaves her contact info.

      Reply

  57. Great article! My curiosity is now satisfied. 🙂

    Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *