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Anyone with experience of teaching English as a foreign language?

(10 Posts)
Greenandmighty Sat 24-Dec-16 10:17:55

Hi, I am considering taking a CELTA course to teach English as a second or foreign language. Am early 50s and I have an English degree to Master's level. Currently working in education (non academic) but don't have a PGCE. What are people's experiences of firstly, the CELTA course and also the work as an ESOL tutor (salary, flexibility, employers, job availability)? I am looking to build this as my main source of income. Any tips? Thanks.

Isabelle112 Sat 31-Dec-16 23:34:53

ESOL tutor salaries vary hugely - until recently I was paid about £23.00 per hour, including holiday pay. But the work is more often than not part time - perhaps a few hours a week, working for an adult education service or FE local with ESOL provision. There are f-t positions occasionally, often advertised in the TES and the Guardian. Worth looking at and and its FE jobs sister site. Some people start off by volunteering in classes - probably a good idea to see if it's the kind of teaching that you'd like to do.

I'd advise you, if you have the time, not to rush a CELTA course. I think mine lasted about 3 months and that, looking back, was pretty rushed. It's possible to do one in a matter of weeks. It's very portable - but shop around. Whilst there's a common framework (the CELTA Cambridge Uni website would give you the syllabus), courses differ a lot, not least in how much they charge.

An alternative to CELTA is a Trinity Diploma:
I did a Trinity Diploma in Lifelong Learning course (in addition to CELTA and a PGCE) and it was, by far, the best course I've even done. Specialising in ESOL but able to explore teaching literacy and numeracy. With a MA, you'd be able to undertake an Advanced Diploma course.

In addition to teaching, you could consider moderating/examining for boards that offer ESOL examinations to boost your income.

Good luck - if there's anything else I could possibly let you know about ESOL qualifications and teaching, feel free to PM me.

Greenandmighty Mon 02-Jan-17 10:13:23

Thank you so much, Isabelle, for the generous sharing of your knowledge. So helpful to read all that! I would like to PM you if possible at some point. I work in FE and have observed a couple of our ESOL classes out of interest. Will take a look at the websites you recommend and get back to you. Thanks again and Happy New Year!

RRic3pud2017 Fri 06-Jan-17 19:25:10

I have seen a few jobs where people offer teaching remotely eg via Skype to people who are based in other countries

You have to take into account time zones and classes must be regular

These are for classes of children or private tutors

Seems an easy way to teach with modern technology also look on Youtube

If you are going abroad to teach, some job adverts that I have seen have an upper age limit that I found surprising. However some countries have no age limit

Dappledsunlight Fri 06-Jan-17 21:00:34

Thanks RRic3pud2017 for the useful information.

muttimalzwei Sun 08-Jan-17 22:42:27

It is definitely worth pursuing especially if you could use it to teach abroad where you woudl find varied and intersrting roles. For more secure posts in this country (ie in FE or HE) you would ideally need the Diploma in TESOL (often taken after two plus years after the CELTA). The CELTA is more for short term contracts over summer in the UK but it depends on your other experience and the area you live in as there will be demand in colleges in larger cities.
The CELTA course is a great course and often you can take it abroad at (for example) International House and have a bit of a holiday too.
Happy to advise you further.

Haffdonga Sun 08-Jan-17 22:51:39

TEFL or ESOL? Different courses, different careers.

TEFL is mainly needed abroad and in summer schools in the UK. (Very difficult to get a full time job that pays a decent wage in the UK with no career progression).

ESOL teaching has been decimated with govt cuts and again difficult to find full time work but with your FE background it's perhaps do-able. You'd need to work towards a PGCE. Could you also teach functional skills English too to boost a timetable?

pombal Sun 08-Jan-17 22:57:30

Ex TEFL teacher here - it really pays peanuts - if you enjoy it fine, but IME the pay is sooo bad it's more of a hobby than a job.

Dappledsunlight Mon 09-Jan-17 21:22:04

Thank you all for your replies which have given me much food for thought. Yes, pombal, I was concerned about salary.

Many thanks.

ladyquince Sun 15-Jan-17 22:39:29


I took a CELTA course in 2009. Following this I worked in a couple of UK summer schools and then worked in a primary school for a year as an EAL Teacher which was a really lovely job.

Since then I have undertaken a PGCE course in Primary education although I never worked as a primary teacher and have pursued other jobs in education.

I really enjoy teaching ESOL and EAL, however I have found it very difficult to get work where I live which is quite a rural area.

You may find it easier if you live within a large town and city. As other people have said, the pay can vary. However what I would say is that is can be very enjoyable work if you can get it.

Best of luck.

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