I did a CELTA course.
I don't have any experience with other courses (including online ones), but I think CELTA is absolutely worth the expense. I'd taught before in South Korea and Palestine, but I learned a huge amount during the course and came out of it with vastly increased confidence, not to mention a much wider range of employment opportunities. I'm not an authority on this, but I do get the strong sense from browsing job ads that CELTA IS preferred in many countries across the world, not just in Europe.
I'd recommend two things:
First, unless you have your heart set on working in a country which requires certification, I'd give it a shot in one that doesn't first and see if you like teaching enough to justify the expense of a course.
Second, when it comes time to choose between CELTA or another alternative, do your research- for example, pick out three or four countries you'd really like to teach in and see what employers are asking for there. Whatever you pick, do one with observed teaching practice. It's invaluable. Not only do you get personalized, professional, non-judgemental feedback on your own teaching, but you also get to see other trainees in front of their classes. That last part is rarely advertised as a big benefit of these courses, but I found it to be one of the real highlights- seeing how other beginning teachers interact with the students and getting the opportunity to give THEM constructive criticism really made me think differently about my own teaching in a way that observing experienced teachers somehow doesn't.
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Teaching english as a second language. Yay or nay?
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