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On the subject of the CELTA, I would say it is not a hard course to pass, provided you are a bright, educated English speaker. You would indeed want to study up on formal grammar before hand, not because this is a major focus of the course, but because knowledge of it is assumed and, since the course is so intensive, there isn't really time to learn it along with all the other stuff you have to learn. You would also need to be a confident public speaker used to speaking to medium-sized rooms full of people. (This was why a guy on my course had to withdraw - he was a professional musician and so used to being in front of people, but he didn't know how loud to talk, what kind of body postures to use to a room of that size etc. Eventually he would have learned, but there just wasn't time.) You also have to accept the instruction of the trainers and do things the way they say to. This can be hard for experienced teachers. The other thing to remember is that it is a very intensive course, so you will literally dream about concept check questions and such, and can't expect to do anything else during the time you are doing CELTA.
I can confirm everything that Cornfed says. CELTA taken in 4 weeks is very intense and stressful. It's the most concentratedly difficult academic task I've ever undertaken, and I have a PhD. Also, Xiongmao is correct about studying a bit of grammar before you start if you never learned it formally or are rusty, like I was.
Oh, and a proposition is "Would you like to stroke my trouser snake?", whereas a preposition is "on" or "at" or "in" and so on. Sorry XM, couldn't resist it.
"As long as you make an identity for yourself out of the pain, you cannot become free of it." Eckhart Tolle
Ha ha ha, yeah the Celta thing was a real shocker for me. Who knows what a proposition is, I learnt this stuff from my mama!!!
The only thing I remember learning in school is apostrophe usage and having to write whole pages of "b's"... b b b b b b b b.
I did do a few of the oDesk English grammar tests, but I didn't even get 100%. Thing is that most Brits speak a particular dialect of English with its own particular quirks innit.
English teaching is still good if you want to work in China. However, I have enough savings that I can go down the education route instead. English teaching is not the only way of going to China, and it's only really worth considering if you like the idea of teaching and all that entails. At the end of the day, Asian parents put everything into educating their kids, and they won't tolerate half-assed teachers.