O'Connell Advanced Training Solutions

flexibles und individuelles Englischtraining in Sachsen

Why ESL Certification Counts

I recently became aware of an online course purporting to help and advise aspiring ESL trainers to find ESL work abroad, without the trainer requiring TESOL certification or experience.

I was shocked. How utterly and incredibly irresponsible, and what a disservice that does to the profession.

Teaching ESL isn't a lark, something to giggle and hoot your way through a gap year with, or bumble and stumble through when you don't know what else to do with your life, and the attitude that it is, is - quite simply - insulting.

How do I know this, you might ask? Because I started training without certification and experience, believing as I'm sure many do that simply being a native English speaker suffices. And apart from some experiences in my misspent 20s I've never been more wrong.

Learners of English need more from you than your innate ability to converse in English. Learners of English need structure, a plan, an awareness of their individual learning needs and difficulties, of the myriad ways in which English can trip one up with its rules and infuriating exceptions and often counter-intuitive pronunciation. Learners of English need you to be at the top of your game, guiding them through tricky grammar, complex structures, strategies for learning and retaining vocabulary and the social and cultural mores of the various forms of English.

Learners of English need you to be proficient at designing a comprehensive, on-point training program; to be flexible and go off-track when the situation requires it (such as those left field questions which can knock us around a little); to be a friend and mentor; to stay positive; to motivate; to know when a correction is necessary and when to sit back and let them explore English and create, communicate.

Cowboy ESL operators and fly-by-night ESL trainers - those operating without certification, knowledge and experience - don't deserve the business and operators employing uncertified trainers ought to be shut down. Would you go to a school where the teachers weren't qualified? A doctor without an MD? An accountant without a CPA? No, I didn't think so.

So if you're interested in ESL training do yourself and your future students a favour and take the time to learn what it's all about. Need any help? Ask me! I'm an advocate for ESL trainers having as many quality resources at hand as possible, and for developing support networks.

I've created an online course to assist trainers who are recently qualified further develop their skills and confidence - as well as their Teacher Toolkit. And as for ESL training without a qualification? As they say in the classics - forget about it.