Teaching English as a foreign language, or TEFL, is a popular choice among graduates who want to go travelling or people wishing to change career. “There are many courses out there,” said Mary Grennan, director of International House (IH ) Galway, “but you need a course which is recognised worldwide, such as the University of Cambridge CELTA — it’s the most recognised ELT qualification in the world.”
Why is the CELTA so prestigious? “It has been in existence since 1962, when it was written by the founder of International House, John Haycraft, and it’s now run by the University of Cambridge,” said Ms Grennan. The CELTA is accepted at the best language schools and colleges worldwide so having a CELTA makes all the difference when applying for a good teaching job. “It’s amazing,” she added. “There can’t be many courses where someone finishes up on a Friday and finds themselves teaching in Barcelona the following Monday, as happened recently to a CELTA trainee — and without a word of Spanish.”
Roisin Kirwan is the academic director at Atlantic College in Galway. She completed a CELTA at IH Belfast, which led to a position at IH Dublin and then to the director position at Atlantic. “The CELTA really helped me teach English with confidence,” Ms Kirwan said.
Another CELTA holder, Sara Fawsitt, taught at IH London. “It's a great course,” she said. “It's so highly regarded in the English teaching world that you feel super confident when applying for teaching jobs at good schools.”