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English as a foreign language teacher: Training

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For short-term jobs, the initial certificated courses are acceptable. However, if you want to stay in the career and progress, you'll need to take further qualifications. This will usually involve completing a diploma and the most common are:

  • Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (DELTA), offered by Cambridge ESOL  
  • Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (DipTESOL), offered by Trinity College London  

Candidates for these qualifications will usually need to have a certificate-level qualification in teaching English as a foreign language as well as one years' work experience. The courses can be offered on a full-time (taking around eight to ten weeks), part-time (taking one academic year), or flexible basis. A distance learning DELTA is also offered through International House and the British Council and is validated by Cambridge ESOL. 

It is also possible to go on to study for an MA in subjects such as teaching English as a foreign language or applied linguistics.

The National Association for the Teaching of English and Other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA) and the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC)  produce newsletters and journals and offer conferences and events, all of which can help with continuing professional development.

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Written by AGCAS editors
December 2013

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