Exams X Courses: Where to start?

Hello Exam Seekers,

The past few weeks have been hard on me. Well, this is because the life of an English teacher is indeed really hard: classes to prepare, tests to prepare, classes to deliver, tests to correct… There is so much to do, leaving me with little time to create some new content and post it to you. I am really glad you guys keep following the content either way! πŸ™‚

Keep calm and Keep Reading
Keep calm and Keep Reading

Well, this week, someone asked me about the types of courses teachers should take. The question was about the kinds of certification one could have to get recognition as a teacher. As this is really relevant content, I’ll be talking about it today!

At this point, you must also be asking what kind of certification you should have to get better jobs; well, there are a couple of things you should know/do:

  • 1st – you need to have a certification showing your proficiency level in English. To be a well-recognized English teacher, you need a good basis in the English language.

Some English teachers know that they know quite a bit of English, but they don’t know how to measure their level of knowledge. This is actually one of the requirements of many schools when looking for an English teacher. Schools look for candidates who hold a B2, C1, or C2 CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) level of English.

Moreover, holding a proficiency certificate is not only needed when looking for a job but also in educational environments; I mean, if you plan to get an English methodological course along your pathway to teaching, you do need a good level of English to be able to read articles and write assignments.

Sometimes, you don’t actually need to have a certificate showing your current level, but you need to show that you know English enough. So during an interview for a course or for a working position, you will be required to speak with your interlocutor in English to show that you have a good sense of the language. On the other hand, having a certificate will help a lot and avoid situations like that. For example, if you want to take a master’s degree at some universities, you are required to reach at least a B2-C1 level or equivalent and show the certification. However, if you are taking the CELTA Course, just showing that you have a C1 level by talking to the interviewers is ok.

In these cases, if you already have a certificate, that’s ok, but if you don’t, try and take the TOEFL or IELTS, which are faster and easier to take than the C1 Advanced (CAE) or a C2 Proficiency (CPE). So, before sharing your CV or checking out a course, ensure you have the required English level. Most of these courses/schools ask you to have a B2, or a C1 level at least, so go after this certification to guarantee your position.

Notice that it is not that easy to get such a certification. You do need to study for most of the certifications, especially if you are aiming at higher-level certificates. However, you can try and study by yourself by finding the materials online or at a bookstore, or you can find a school and study for the specific certification you are looking for, which is very good.

  • 2ndown certifications that prove that you know how to deal with a classroom, that is, courses/tests focused on teaching you methodology.

If you already know that you have a good level of English, the next step is to get certification in methodology. Try and take the CELTA Course, the DELTA, or the TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test).

As you know, the CELTA is a course different from the TKT, which is a test; it teaches you techniques to teach better and how to teach under the Cambridge Assessment methodology. Both talk about methodology, but one teaches you how to teach, and the other only tests you. So, taking both are valid and make their holder an asset for a company.

If you already have them both, you can go to the next level and take the 3-module DELTA, which is denser than the CELTA Course. You can also take other courses related to methodology or watch workshops to improve your skills as a teacher.

There are also other types of courses like the Train the Trainer, which prepares you to assess other teachers. This is a great certificate if you are looking for a coordinator position.

  • 3rd – go after a graduation certification. If you want to teach in regular schools, having an Arts & Language (& Literature) graduate certificate is a must.

Many teachers miss opportunities to teach in regular schools because they don’t own university-level methodological certificates. So make sure you have a certificate stating that you are able to teach at regular schools and that you have a university-level of knowledge in the subject.

Summing up, it is very important that you have a certification showing your current level of English and showing that you know how to teach. Therefore:

  1. Try taking a C1 – Advanced (CAE) or a C2 – Proficiency (CPE) certificate;
  2. Take the TKT and the CELTA Course; after that, go for other courses: the ICELT, and the DELTA, etc.
  3. Aim for a university course like Arts & Language.

This is a basic schedule for you to follow. Try to take these in this order (or together), and you will do just fine in the ELT pathway.

Well, I hope that this content was useful, but if you want more tips about this subject, comment in the comment section below.


That’s it for today! Please like the post and follow the blog on:

You can also listen to this post at Anchor!!!

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura


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