I knew I wanted to change my career, and having decided on teaching English as a foreign language, I was keen to choose the option that would provide me with the most potential for success.There are a lot of qualification options advertised online to become a an ESL teacher. After researching them and reading some of the opinions people had on the different courses, I decided on Lexis TESOL Training Centres’ CELTA course in Seoul, South Korea.
The key points that stood out for me about this specific course were for starters the location; Gangnam is a vibrant area with easy public transport, and food options available from early in the morning until late at night. Second was how safe South Korea is; as a young female studying in a foreign country, I knew I’d be fine no matter what hours I had to travel to and from the course. Thirdly, I liked that it wasn’t an online course; having done online courses before where I found them to be generally a poorer experience to being there in person, I wanted to make sure I would be in a productive learning environment.
This course had everything needed to ensure true teaching skills were being developed through assignments, in class learning, tutor support, and real teaching starting from day one. Lastly, by learning how to teach English as a foreign language in a country where it really is a foreign language, it appealed to me as a more authentic experience of what I would be doing with the qualification itself.
The application process was extremely straight forward with prompt replies from the course organiser and assistance with any queries. The interview stage was slightly challenging; personally I felt this was a good thing as it set the tone for the expectations of the course.
I loved the course from start to finish. We were told it would be intense, and it was. Personally I prefer that kind of environment as I found it stimulating, and moved at a great pace to keep you constantly on your toes. My classmates were what made it so special for me as we supported each other through the low times; in this type of high pressure environment its easy to get left behind and feel overwhelmed. Instead we all had each other’s backs, and I believe this was only possible due to the intimate class size. The information was excellently taught, with relevant handouts where needed. Both tutors showed a genuine interest in our progress, and were extremely good at supporting us to find the answers for ourselves. The fact that we started teaching from day one put the material into context right away; too often I believe its easy to think you understand something, but only truly find out if you do when you need to produce it for yourself. By having the course operate out of an language school, it meant we were in the perfect environment to teach real students. Personally I think this is the strongest element that sets this course apart from any of the others out there.
I’m now applying for English teaching jobs in South Korea as I feel confident in the skills I developed during the course; prior to starting this had been one of my biggest concerns. I was worried I would finish the course, and despite having the qualification, not feel confident enough to go straight into a teaching environment. For anyone thinking of taking an TESOL course I would highly recommend CELTA as it is a truly comprehensive course and will put you in a stronger position to start teaching or upgrade your skills as an ESL teacher.