How do I become a TESOL trainer?

If you are TESOL certified and have worked as an English language teacher for sometime, you might be thinking about branching out into another area of the ESL teaching profession. One possible option is to become a TESOL trainer who is responsible for guiding the next generation of teachers through their certification courses. This can be a very rewarding job that is often well paid, and it can even be a route into higher management positions or even a step on the way to setting up your own language school.

What are the basic requirements for becoming a TESOL trainer?

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.

What are the characteristics of a TESOL trainer?

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.

Do I need advanced qualifications to become a TESOL trainer?

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).

How important is classroom experience for a TESOL trainer?

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.

Where can I work as a TESOL trainer?

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.

Who are the main employers of TESOL trainers?

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.

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