Becoming a TESOL trainer is a rewarding career progression for those already certified and experienced in teaching English. This role involves guiding aspiring teachers through their TESOL certification courses, providing both knowledge and practical insights into the field of ESL teaching. To embark on this path, start with these steps:
- Gain Experience: It is essential to have substantial experience in ESL teaching. This not only enriches your understanding of the field but also provides practical insights you can share with trainees.
- Advanced Qualifications: Consider pursuing advanced qualifications in TESOL or a related field. This might include a master's degree in TESOL, Applied Linguistics, or Education.
- Develop Training Skills: Beyond teaching English, training new teachers requires specific skills. Engaging in professional development courses or workshops focused on teacher training can be beneficial.
- Seek Opportunities: Look for openings in TESOL training programs or language institutions. Networking within the ESL community can also uncover opportunities.
- Mentorship and Observation: Gain insights by shadowing an experienced TESOL trainer or engaging in mentorship programs.
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First and foremost you will need to have completed a TESOL certification course as this will give you an insight into what the job involves. You will also need all the skills and knowledge that the course covers in order to pass that on to your future trainees. While successful completion of the course is essential, it is not necessary to be at the top of your class as many of the best teacher trainers will have had some problems with the material at some stage. These struggles are what provides the empathy required in a training role and the solutions for helping the trainees over these hurdles. Once you have completed your initial TESOL course it is essential that you continue developing your skills and knowledge by working as a classroom teacher.
In your role as a TESOL trainer you will need to teach lessons for your trainees to observe, help them with their own lesson plans, observe them teaching and provide constructive feedback, and teach sessions on grammar and phonology. In order to fulfil these different roles it is essential to be diplomatic, have the ability to get on with people, be able to give clear instructions, show sensitivity in feedback sessions, offer encouragement, tolerance, patience and empathy, and be able to identify positives out of negatives.
If you want to be able to teach other people a specific topic, you need to know that subject in-depth. As the English language is such as vast and complex subject, few people know all there is to know about it. However, as a teacher trainer, you will need to have a good understanding of a range of grammar subjects, as well as other topics such as phonetics & phonology. There are also a number of general teaching skills that are essential for new teachers to learn from their trainers. To give yourself the level of understanding required, an advanced level course such as a TESOL Diploma would be recommended if not essential. A broader understanding of different areas of ESL teaching can also be acquired via specialist courses such as a Certificate in Teaching Business English (CTBE) and a Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners (CTEYL).
If you are serious about becoming a teacher trainer, a solid background of classroom experience is very important. Ideally this experience should cover a wide range of different scenarios including different age groups, language levels, and class sizes. While working as an ESL teacher, it is a good idea to put yourself forward to help mentor new teachers as they find their feet at the school. Any kind of training or mentoring work will help you understand the role of a trainer and look good to future employers on your CV/resume.
Jobs as a TESOL trainer can be found all over the world, but you will probably need to settle in one position for a reasonable length of time to gain the experience needed to make it a long term career. Although it is common for ESL teachers to change jobs quite frequently, a longer commitment is typically expected of trainers as people often choose their course location based on the stability of the training staff. Future employers will be wary if your CV/resume shows only short-term jobs and no period of commitment to any individual role.
The biggest problem facing anyone who wants to become a TESOL trainer is finding vacant positions. This type of job doesn?t come up as often as other ESL jobs as they are highly sought after and people do not give them up lightly. Possibly the best approach is to draw up a list of all the training centers you can find online and contact them directly with your details and work history. If there are any in the immediate area you will be in a better position as you can pay them a visit and hopefully make a good impression. In many cases, training centers will start you on a part-time basis until a full-time position opens up.
Another tried and tested method of getting into this field is via networking. You can sign-up to online teaching groups and forums, go along to seminars or conferences, or even frequent bars and restaurants where you know the right people often congregate. Typically, there is no straightforward route into becoming a teacher trainer. It will often take persistence, a willingness to work hard, and maybe a bit of luck, but ultimately the right job could be out there waiting for you.