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.
"The most recognised TEFL qualification in the world is the University of Cambridge CELTA," says IH Galway director Mary Grennan. "It’s been in existence since 1962 when it was designed by the founder of International House, John Haycraft, so there’s a lot of history and intellectual knowledge there. Unlike other TEFL courses, CELTA tutors are highly qualified teacher trainers and each course is externally assessed by a nominated Cambridge assessor, who comes to the centre to assess each course we run. This makes the CELTA a highly reliable qualification that schools and universities worldwide can trust. For this reason, 87 per cent of the English language teaching positions advertised around the world request the CELTA qualification – and no other one."
CELTA courses are run at universities and colleges worldwide and are offered by prestigious universities such as King’s College London as part of its master’s degree in English language teaching.
Lecturer in English at Princess Noora University in Saudi Arabia, Clare Holohan, says the CELTA completely changed her life. "After completing a master’s degree in human rights, I decided to train as a teacher. Looking at employment websites, I noticed that a CELTA was required for every teaching job. I googled 'CELTA' and it led me to the International House website. Once I read what the requirements and outcomes were, I was quite shocked. How could it be possible to gain so many skills and an internationally recognised qualification in just one month? With no prior teaching experience and having a slightly shy personality, I was unsure of how I would manage this course, but the CELTA gave me these skills and so much more, such as learning to communicate effectively and overcoming a slight public speaking phobia. It has taught me skills for life and it has given me enormous confidence. Upon completing the CELTA, the doors to teaching jobs opened quickly. After receiving multiple job offers, I decided to accept a position in Riyadh. I am continuously building on the skills I learnt at IH and hope to pursue a further teaching course, the diploma in English language teaching to adults [DELTA]. I definitely recommend the CELTA to anyone who is serious about teaching English."