Watch two teachers talk about starting out in English language teaching. You can watch Laura, a CELTA trainee and Sharon, a CELTA trainee and PGCE qualified Modern Foreign Languages Teacher.

Laura, a CELTA trainee
Sharon, a CELTA trainee and PGCE qualified Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

At this stage, you’re studying and planning your first job in English language teaching. You may have some of these characteristics 

  • You are studying for an initial teaching qualification
  • You are intending to become a teacher of English as a foreign language in the private language school sector in the UK or overseas
  • You have limited teaching experience so far – most of your experience of teaching has been as a learner of English

You may have some of these needs:

  • Help with course assignments
  • Help with observing teachers
  • Help with teaching practice
  • Examples of good teaching
  • Help with confidence in your English as a teacher
  • Contact with peers

Typically, you progress by learning about the principles of effective teaching of English, about effective techniques for teaching particular aspects of the subject, by observing other teachers and by putting what you have learned into practice in the classroom on organised teaching practice. You will be learning about principles and practice in these aspects of English language teaching:

  • planning lessons and courses
  • understanding learners
  • managing the lesson
  • evaluating and assessing learning
  • knowing the subject
  • managing professional development

Here are some ideas to help you develop:

  • Learn from experienced teachers
  • Learn from learners
  • Learn about resources available
  • Discuss teaching issues and problems with colleagues and experienced teachers
  • Ask for feedback on your performance and use feedback to improve
  • Find extra resources to support your teaching and learning
  • Find lots of ideas and suggestions on the British Council’s TeachingEnglish website.