A Reader Question: CELTA South Korea
“At the moment I am seriously considering a teaching job in Korea-preferably in or near Seoul and preferably in a university or public school. I have teaching credentials but no ESL Certification. Do you think I should get the Celta?”
What is the CELTA?
The Cambridge Celta is the gold standard in the one-month ESL teaching programs. Of course, having a Masters degree in TESOL, TEFL or something like that is better, but if you don’t have the time, money, or inclination then this is the next best thing.
Is the CELTA Recognized in Korea?
That is, the CELTA is the next best thing if you want to go teach in almost any country besides Korea. I cruise the ESL Cafe international jobs board periodically and it seems like almost any job in Europe, South America, the Middle East, many parts of Asia want a Celta certificate along with a university degree.
Koreans, even English teaching professionals generally don’t even know what the Celta is and will often hire people based on appearance vs. actual qualifications. So my advice for you? Spend the Celta money to hire a professional photographer to take the picture that you will attach to your resume and you’ll be better off if your only goal is teaching in Korea and no place else. Only kind of joking.
That said, if you do end up in public school, a CELTA will often bump you up into the next pay scale so you’ll often make an extra 100,000 Won per month, so it can be a worthwhile endeavour, even for that alone. If you’re looking for cheaper, quicker and completely online, check out these TESOL certification courses. But, be sure to check whether or not your school district or country will recognize whatever course you ultimately decide to do.
Want some solid advice about getting a university job in South Korea? Lots more details about what employers are looking for in terms of qualifications: How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreams
Is the CELTA Effective?
If you’re serious about teaching, then the Celta is a very good thing to do. You will learn how to teach adults in a very effective way and I credit the course I did with basically refining my teaching style so that I’m now a well-oiled machine. Seriously, it was one of the best courses I’ve ever done and I can’t say enough good stuff about it. If you have the time and money and want to be an ESL teacher for at least a few years, it’s worth it.