Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Which qualification?

Melanie Butler explains further educational possibilities

Many EFL teachers who love their jobs but are fed up with near minimum wage salaries and/ or zero-hour contracts, look to improve their career prospects by taking a further qualification. But which to do? There are three options: one is mainly aimed at the private language schools (PLS) sector; one at the international school sector (but not accepted in English-speaking countries) and one which can be used in most sectors, including universities.

Diplomas in ELT (for PLS sector)

Delivery mostly online or blended.

Cost Cambridge DELTA, £4,000 − 5,000 + around £500 for Cambridge fees;

Trinity College London DipTESOL, £2,000 − 2,500 + around £00 exam fees.

Time Cambridge DELTA 7-12 weeks full time, 9 months online.

Trinity College London 150 hours input, 450 self-study.

Advantages Accepted in most English-speaking countries’ PLS (except USA and Canada) as conferring qualified teacher status (QTS), also a prerequisite for PLS academic management and teacher training. Recognised by most PLS in Europe and Latin America. In the UK it’s the minimum requirement for university pathway programmes, university language centres and accepted by some further education colleges.

Disadvantages Not widely recognised by most mainstream education systems and international schools.

International PGCE (for international school sector)

Delivery mostly online or blended.

Cost £3,000-5,000.

Time 1-2 years part-time.

Advantages: Accepted by British international schools worldwide, some mainstream bilingual systems and many UK Independent schools. Increasingly accepted by non-UK curriculum schools, eg, IB schools. Pay levels similar to or higher than university language centres. Gateway to well-paid international career.

Disadvantages: Does not give QTS in Britain. Not widely known in PLS.

UK Master’s degree

Generally recognised everywhere, except UK PLS, as conferring QTS and qualifying the holder with previous teaching experience for academic management. Accepted as a teaching qualification by most mainstream education systems and a prerequisite for teaching in some countries.

Delivery mostly face to face.

Cost For UK home students generally £8,000- £12,000, international fees £16,000 -22,000.

Time required 1 year full time, 2 years part-time or online.

Advantages Recognised everywhere (except UK PLS) as conferring QTS. Accepted by most mainstream education systems (including many international schools). Minimum necessary for most university jobs outside language centres.

Disadvantages: time and cost.

Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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