iQ1. What kind of people take the course?
A wide range of people. Some are recent graduates, whilst others are looking for a career change, have been made redundant or are moving overseas. In Hong Kong, a large proportion of candidates are spouses of expatriate workers, who find they have the freedom and resources to pursue English Language Teaching as a new vocation. Some people are already mainstream teachers who are working within ESOL departments in the state sector and are looking to develop their classroom skills.
iQ2. How is the standard of quality training maintained?
Each course is internally assessed and this assessment is verified by an external Trinity moderator. In addition, trainees are interviewed as part of the moderation process and their suggestions are incorporated into future course design as appropriate. The courses are conducted by a specialist team of Trinity-approved trainers with a wealth of international experience in many fields of ESOL teaching.
iQ3. Why are some trainees unsuccessful?
We are pleased to say that the majority of our trainees pass the course. Occasionally, however, there are people who do not, either because they do not successfully complete the assigned tasks or are unable to demonstrate the principles of communicative language teaching. It is only fair to outline the principal reasons why this very small number of people do not pass.
Insufficient time to commit to the course: Some people have not appreciated the time commitment needed and have not been able to devote the necessary time to the course.
Inability to handle pressure: You will have to be resilient under pressure and stress and be able to work to deadlines. Your learning style has to be such that you can take in information rapidly and then organise your time effectively in order to assimilate it. Returning to the role of student can be a difficult adjustment. This is something to bear in mind in preparation for this course.
Lack of self-reflection: For success on this course, you must be able to both self-evaluate and accept constructive criticism about the teaching skills that you demonstrate in the classroom. Being objective, taking praise and criticism on board and acting on it is essential for success.
Undisclosed conditions: In rare cases where trainees have failed to disclose important information regarding their mental, physical or emotional well-being, the intensity of the course combined with their pre-existing symptoms has affected their performance on the course. It is important to emphasise that the TESOL Certificate course is not going to be an escape or distraction from known problems. Instead it may be an additional burden.
iQ4. Are jobs readily available?
Good TESOL teachers are in constant demand in Hong Kong. English teaching posts are available at private language schools, international schools, local Chinese schools, universities and institutions such as the English Schools Foundation and the British Council. Some excellent jobs are advertised in the Thursday and Saturday editions of the 'South China Morning Post', the 'HK Magazine', and 'jobsdb.com'.
The demand for teachers rises in the summer holidays as many institutions offer intensive courses for children in Hong Kong. These summer courses are often very well paid. But part-time and full-time positions can also be found at other times of the year, especially around September and February when the school terms begin. It is important for those seeking work to maintain availability for relief and supply work. Successful part-time contracts often lead to a permanent full-time post. With the introduction of many grant schemes for the Chinese schools in Hong Kong, additional posts for Native TESOL teachers within the schools are certain to arise. We often have part-time vacancies here at English for Asia, tutoring classes to primary and secondary level students. Many successful candidates will be offered the chance to begin their teaching career almost immediately after the course.
There is a terrific demand for native English teachers throughout Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Keep an eye on international educational supplements such as 'The Times Educational Supplement' or the British 'Overseas Job Gazette' and Tuesday edition of 'The Guardian', as well as websites such as 'tefl.com'.
At the end of the course we offer guidance in applying for jobs both overseas and within Hong Kong. We have a network of contacts and are regularly informed of vacancies, so we will keep in contact with you after the course should you need extra help or advice.
iQ5. What is the difference between TESOL and CELTA?
There are only two international certificates recognised by the British Council and by employers worldwide: the Trinity Certificate in TESOL and the Cambridge Certificates in English Language Teaching (CELTA and CELTYL). The Trinity CertTESOL is equivalent to the Cambridge CELTA. Both train you to do the same job. In addition to the minimum requirements as outlined in the Trinity syllabus, the course offered by English for Asia also features:
sessions on one-to-one teaching as well as teaching whole classes
sessions on teaching young learners
pre-course study material
iQ6. What is the difference between TESOL, TEFL and TESL?
TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, TEFL Teaching English as a Foreign Language and TESL Teaching English as a Second Language. TEFL is mostly used in the UK and has traditionally been applied to the teaching of English to people for whom English is a foreign language and who will use English largely for short-term study, work or leisure purposes. TESL has traditionally been applied to the teaching of English to people for whom English is a second language in their home country, or people who are settling in an English speaking country. TESOL is an umbrella term that now usually incorporates the other two acronyms.
iQ7. Can I do the certificate by distance learning?
No. Trinity stipulates that the course must contain at least 130 hours of contact learning. Online courses do not allow trainees to practise teaching real classes under guidance, and cannot meet the requirements of good EFL institutions.
However, you are required to complete the distance learning 'Starter Pack' component and start researching areas with which you are not so familiar before the beginning of our CertTESOL course. In addition, areas for your personal focus will be highlighted at interview prior to starting the course.
iQ8. Do I need to have taught before to be able to do the course?
The course is designed for those with little or, more usually, no experience of teaching English, but is also useful for qualified, in-service teachers who wish to teach English to Speakers of Other Languages.
iQ9. Can I do the course if English isn't my first language?
English does not have to be your first language but you must be able to demonstrate a high level of English language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, whether it is a first, second or other language for you.
iQ10. Is the CertTESOL a recognised course?
Yes, it is recognised as a qualification for English language teaching in the UK and internationally. It meets the specifications set by the Qualifications Curriculum Authority (QCA), the statutory body authorised to approve qualifications in this field in England, and the British Association of TESOL Qualifying Institutions in establishing a national framework of specifications. It is also accepted as an initial qualification by the British Council in the English language teaching organisations accredited by the Council in the UK and in their own teaching operations outside the UK. Many other state and independent sector teaching organisations also accept the qualification.
iQ11. Where can I buy ELT books?
ELT books can be bought from the following retailers:
iQ12. Will I be qualified to teach children as well as adults?
For teaching in private schools, the CertTESOL should be sufficient. However, should you wish to teach in state schools you may need to have a PGCE qualification. You should check with government representatives in the country where you are planning to teach. In Hong Kong, the Education and Manpower Bureau accept a degree plus a Trinity CertTESOL for Primary Native English Teachers (PNETs).