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Do I need training? If so, what kind?

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  • orandnor
    11 July, 2014 at 20:18
    • Total posts: 2

    I always knew I wouldn’t be spending my retirement on a golf course, but after taking a break from work for a couple of years and more recently teaching an EFL class as a volunteer, I’ve surprised myself with a new goal. I want to travel in Europe and learn more languages. I’m looking into teaching English on a part-time basis to supplement my income and to become more involved in the communities I’ll be living in. My first choice would be Scandinavia as I’m mostly interested in North Germanic languages, but any base in Europe would work. I have no interest in teaching outside of Europe.

    I have a couple of years to prepare for this. My dilemma is that my profile doesn’t match that of a typical entrant to the TESOL/TEFOL field. I’m a native English speaker (Canadian English). I speak a little French. I have a Masters in English Literature and taught a first-year course in university-level English for two years. An obsession with personal computers during my last year in grad school resulted in a sudden career change. I spent twenty years working in IT (ITC). During that time I gained more teaching experience – I’d estimate maybe 300 hours per year – teaching others to use computer software and IT staff basic network technologies.

    Although I have experience in a variety of teaching situations, my preference is for teaching one-on-one and in small groups. I’m not a fan of hierarchies or the all-knowing teacher in front of the class. I encourage students to use technology because it has played a dominant role in my language learning. I’m only interested in teaching adults and part-time work. Tutoring and teaching business English seem like viable options.

    My questions are – do I need certification? If so, which one? The CELTA program seems to be designed for those with no teaching experience or background in grammar, but I don’t have enough recent teaching hours for the DELTA. I’m thinking of taking some university-level linguistics courses out of general interest and because I’ve forgotten the IPA symbols. The same institution offers a TESOL diploma, but the emphasis is on teaching K to 12. I’m in Quebec right now so there are many opportunities for teaching English as a volunteer. I’m not sure where to start. Any comments for this TEFL/TESL beginner?

    13 July, 2014 at 8:47
    • Total posts: 52

    Reply To: Do I need training? If so, what kind?

    Hi there,

    There are two major flaws with your plan. First, as a non-EU citizen, you can’t simply come to Europe and work. In fact, you can’t even travel in most of Europe for more than 90 days in any 180-day period. Assuming you can somehow overcome the first issue (ancestry visa perhaps?), the second is that there is very little need for EFL teachers in Scandinavia.

    While much of my advice guide to teaching in Europe is unlikely to be of any interest to you, it does include some information on the Schengen rules, which you may find useful: http://thirtysomethingteachertraveller.-.-.urope.html

    If you did manage to overcome the above issues, and you wanted to go the route of teaching business English, you would need some certification. This could be in the form of the CELTA, or perhaps the IH Certificate in Teaching Business English (http://ihworld.com/teachers/course-details/ih_certificate_business_english). If you wanted to teach one-to-ones, a certificate might not be necessary. Nonetheless, you might find it helpful to have one. In which case, the CELTA is as good an introduction as any.

    Finally, it would be worth thinking about how this new career would fit with possibly wanting to return to Canada in the future. You’ve mentioned that there are opportunities available in the Quebec. It might be worth finding out what kind of qualifications schools there might want. I’m pretty sure the CELTA is a pre-requisite.

    Hope that helps,


    14 July, 2014 at 1:36
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: Do I need training? If so, what kind?

    Thanks, Bri. The information you provided is very helpful. I would prefer to freelance so Germany is a possibility. Poland and the Czech Republic interest me as well. I could make frequent trips to Scandinavia from all three. It also looks that I already have enough monthly income (pensions – I’m an early retiree) to meet the requirement for residency in most, if not all, countries in Europe.

    While the extra money would be nice, it’s not the reason I want to work in Europe. I’m looking for a truly immersive experience in whatever country I’m living in which to me means not just living there, but also working, learning the language and giving something back to the community. I might investigate starting with Britain, volunteering to teach English to immigrants and do the CELTA or DELTA courses there.

    Thanks so much,


    25 July, 2014 at 17:53
    • Total posts: 1

    Reply To: Do I need training? If so, what kind?


    if anyones interested in doing a tefl course, I have a code that can get you a discount on the 120 hour advanced TEFL course, meaning you pay £99 instead of £339. All you have to do is use the buddy code ‘Buddy1591588210’ its that easy.

    Thanks :)


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