This is not going to be an in-depth discussion of the merits of the Diploma (DELTA) and/or MA or which one is better. It’s a very short account of my teaching career based around the qualifications I have gained over time to show how, in my case, getting formal qualifications has affected my teaching career.
Original training and work
- Photographer (apprenticeship)
- Bilingual secretary (French, English – German)
- Co-founded and manager of a digital imaging studio
1. No formal qualification
I gave private lessons to people of different ages and levels in Germany. I also taught at a language school in Brazil.
If you want, my qualification was based on having being a learner of English myself for many years observing how others teach and were taught, and how students feel about being taught in different ways.
After I did my CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), Immediately got opportunities to work as a freelance in-company language trainer in Germany.
I’m sure there are still many English teachers around the world whose only qualification is to be a native speaker or “good at English”, but I believe the CELTA or similar formal qualifications are really the minimum if one wants to be taken a bit more seriously as a teacher.
3. DELTA/MA (student)
The DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and MA in Educational Technology and TESOL opened doors to University language schools in the UK and Turkey.
What also played a role, though:
- My experience in developing and teaching ESP (English for Specific Purposes) courses including some that where similar to EAP (English for Academic Purposes);
- It also helped that I myself was an MA student at a UK university and knew what was expected of international students;
- It definitely helps to have taught a variety of courses, different levels, and ages;
- My overseas teaching experience — a plus for EAP jobs at universities; something that seems to be highly valued or even required by BALEAP.
… job offers and opportunities have been based on a combination of my formal qualifications plus my teaching experience (informal qualifications). Other factors, such as speaking several languages, nationality, etc., might have played a role but have never been specifically mentioned to me.
I’m wondering whether this is a very typical career development for English teachers who came to their teaching profession later in their lives. Did getting the CELTA, DELTA, or MA had an effect on your career?