I’ve just finished my BSc Econ degree and I’m (hopefully) going to take-up Exeter’s PGCE course in citizenship and geography in a year or so. I assume that being a qualified teacher in the UK with experience would automatically rate me as acceptable as being able to teach in a TEFL environment abroad. Am I correct in assuming this?
18 June, 2007 at 14:42
Total posts: 86
Reply To: TEFL and PGCE
Am I correct in assuming this
Not necessarily. Your PGCE and experience teaching in the UK will certainly help, and in some schools in some countries, will be sufficient for securing TEFL work.
However, many schools will require a TEFL qualification in addition to this, especially as the PGCE is not in language teaching.
Where are you thinking of teaching abroad?
19 June, 2007 at 6:24
Total posts: 26
Reply To: TEFL and PGCE
Your PGCE will qualify you for three things – firstly to teach a certain age group, secondly to teach the specific subjects which you specialise in, thirdly to teach in the British State system. Move out of any of those categories and you’re not necessarily qualified.
It will depend what and where you want to teach. If you’re looking for a state school position, an overseas country may or may not recognise the British qualification – you’d need to check in each case. If they do, then you might meet the academic requirements (I’m ignoring experience for the moment) of say an international school, teaching your subjects to the age group you specialised in.
But if, for example, you’re looking for a job teaching EFL to adults in a private language school, then you’re not qualified. Which doesn’t mean you won’t get a job – there are schools which aren’t bothered about qualifications at all. But as a professional teacher do you want to work for them ??
Or you may find you are "partially qualified". For example, if your PGCE is in primary teaching and you’re applying for a job teaching kids in a private language school, then you’re far more than half way there. You will have the knowledge of child psychology, classroom management and lesson planning skills etc which are relevant to the age group and just need to "top up" your knowledge to include language teaching methodology, the psychology of language learning, language analysis etc – which say a one-month CELTA course would give you. Again, ignoring lack of experience, the combination would make you highly employable.
So, basically you need to decide specifically what you want to do and, presuming you want to do it professionally, make sure you’re specifically qualified – for the place you want to work, the age group and the subject. You can find a few relevant articles – expanded in the Comments which follow them – here : http://eltnotebook.blogspot.com/search/label/Career%20Development