Learning English and Living in Brighton Video

Do you want to learn English in the UK?

If you are interested in learning English, watch our Learning English and Living in Brighton Video, in which Cactus student Mélanie, from Paris, tells us why Brighton is the best place to take an English course in the UK!

brighton english

Watch > Learning English and Living in Brighton Video

“I would recommend Cactus any day – the team is great and the school is amazing!”







Cactus recommended Brighton as it is a popular city on England’s south coast, and it is clear that Mélanie had a fantastic time learning English in Brighton. She improved her English for her Cambridge Proficiency exams, she took part in fun activities and excursions, and she lived with a local family and met students from all over the world.

If you want to know more about learning English in Brighton, or want advice on the best English course for you, please visit the Cactus website or call us on +44 (0) 1273 830 960. You can also contact us by Facebook or by Twitter, or contact us here.

Find your Dream English Teaching Job

So you’ve passed your TEFL course – congratulations! You are now qualified to teach English and the world is your oyster.

The next step is finding your dream teaching job – but this isn’t always as simple as seems. To give yourself the best chance of finding work teaching English, we’ve put together our top tips for finding a TEFL job:

1. If you have yet to book your TEFL course:

  • It’s good to read up on TEFL jobs even if you haven’t yet qualified! The first piece of advice we would give is to train in the location where you wish to work; this will give you good access to local job vacancies that arise and means that you’ll be there for interviews (sometimes even before your course has finished).

2. If you already have your teaching qualification, but have not yet decided where you want to work:

  • Now’s the time to do some internet research: a good starting point is to check how many English language schools there are in your chosen destination (tip: there are often more opportunities in rural locations than in big cities, where competition is high).
  • Expat forums are a great way to find out what it’s really like to live in your chosen country, and they are a good opportunity to do some early networking; some also show local job posts.
  • Consult the many TEFL recruitment sites that advertise TEFL jobs all over the world. Some people feel more comfortable contacting potential schools and employers prior to their arrival, and these sites are a great way to line up meetings and interviews in advance.
  • Cactus TEFL offers post-course careers advice and support, as well as free access to our very own TEFL jobs board and job alerts. Here you will find potential employers from all over the world, gain an understanding of what it’s like to live and work abroad, and receive expert advice as to the right path for you upon course completion.

3. If you already have your teaching qualification, and are in the location where you want to work:

  • Job searching in-country is the best way to find your dream teaching job. You are already on the ground to read local press and find out about newly-available positions, plus you are readily available to visit schools, attend interviews and meet staff before committing to a job (as it is, after all, just as important that it is the right environment for you).
  • Again, check out Cactus TEFL’s job board for jobs in your area. English language schools in Asia regularly seek ESL/EFL teachers, so sign up for job alerts if you are looking for work particularly in Japan, Taiwan, China or Korea. There are also usually jobs available through Cactus for English teachers in major European cities.

Good luck! If you require help or advice at any point, don’t forget you can contact Cactus TEFL on or 00 44 (0) 1273 830 960.

CELTA Galapagos: Qualify to teach English and volunteer

Would you like to qualify to be a teacher and make a difference to a precious community?

If you want to do something different, memorable and truly rewarding, Cactus has two new programmes in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Galapagos Islands that will change both your life and that of the locals.

Located off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands form a biological marine reserve that is known the world over for its unique flora and fauna – famous examples being the giant tortoise, the marine iguana and the blue-footed booby.

People have visited the Galapagos for many years to enjoy its stunning and remote natural environment. Few, however, have the opportunity to give something back to this protected archipelago of volcanic islands – the so-called ‘land of craters’ as it was described by the naturalist Charles Darwin. This is where our two fabulous courses on Isla Santa Cruz change things.

Course Options:

1. 4-week CELTA course

For the first time in the Galapagos, teacher trainees can gain their prestigious CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) certificate and, if they wish, go on to participate in important sustainable development and environmental protection projects.

Cost = USD $1,700 (currently £1,133)

2. 4-week CELTA course + 4 weeks volunteering

A set programme combining the 4-week CELTA course and a 4-week volunteer project. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand teaching experience directly after completing your course. The price includes the 4-week CELTA course, a 4-week volunteering programme and acccommodation for the whole duration.

Cost = USD $1,980 (currently £1,320)

How can you help?

Helping to educate the local population is an integral part of the CELTA course, and our new CELTA & Volunteering programme is a unique opportunity to volunteer on the islands once your course is complete. Much of the population of the Galapagos is Spanish speaking, so recently-qualified teachers can offer valuable assistance in teaching English to the locals. At present there are about 25 teachers, only one of whom meets the required level of English to do the CELTA. They really need qualified volunteers to stay on after the course and help educate the local community, whose main source of income is the tourism industry.

The municipal authorities in the Galapagos are particularly keen to help with this project as they see it as a win-win situation for both the volunteer teachers and the native population. It is a chance to spend time in this precious environment as much more than a tourist and do something truly rewarding and memorable.


The CELTA course

The Cambridge CELTA, along with the Trinity CertTESOL, is the most respected English language teaching qualification worldwide. CELTA Galapagos is a specific project under the broader training structure. As a Cambridge English Language Authorised Centre, it is their mission to provide you, the students, with the highest quality teacher training that will give you the experience and confidence you need to teach English anywhere in the world to non-native speakers.

The CELTA Galapagos staff are passionate professionals from the UK, Ecuador, Australia and Canada, who have come together to design this CELTA course to address the specific needs of their candidates in one of the most exotic locations on Earth.

Apply to CELTA Galapagos now or contact Cactus TEFL at / 0845 130 4775 for more information. Good luck, and enjoy!

The 10 best places to learn English in the UK

The UK is a consistently popular destination when it comes to learning English. With a wide variety of landscapes, people, cultures and accents within a relatively small area, you get a lot for your money when you book an English course in the UK.

With so much on offer, it can be hard to know which is the right location for you. With this in mind we’re bringing you our 10 best places to learn English in the UK, to help you compare, choose and plan your trip. These are also the locations where you will find the best IELTS exam preparation and business English courses, which you will see links to below.

1. London


An English course in London or an IELTS exam course in London is an experience you will never forget. England’s vibrant, historic and multi-cultural capital has so much to offer students of all nationalities that it is unsurprisingly our most popular location to learn English in the UK. The large number of schools in London means that there is a course for everyone, no matter your age, level or budget, and the activities on offer outside class are infinite, ranging from cultural and sporting to entertainment, shopping, nightlife and more. Your London English course is the perfect way to experience one of the world’s most exciting cities. And for those wanting to take the reputable IELTS test, we offer a choice of long, short and part-time IELTS preparation courses in London.

English course London

IELTS exam preparation course London

Business courses in London for executives and professionals

2. Brighton


“London by the sea” is what they call Brighton, and if you take an English course in Brighton or an IELTS exam course in Brighton you will certainly be getting the best of both worlds. Buzzing city life accompanied by fresh air and great views – the sea in one direction and the picturesque hills of the Downs in the other – is a unique and enviable combination. On top of this you can expect a laid-back atmosphere, an emphasis on an outdoors, sporty lifestyle and top notch arts and cultural events. Come to learn English or take your IELTS preparation course in Brighton and you’ll realise that it’s a city unlike any other, and one that year after year attracts British and foreign students for courses and holidays.

English courses Brighton

IELTS exam preparation courses Brighton

Business courses in Brighton for executives and professionals

3. Oxford


Oxford has earned itself a reputation as an academic centre of excellence, as much for students attending its prestigious university as for foreign students wanting to learn English or take an IELTS exam course at one of its many language schools. Wherever you come from you will have doubtless seen images of the city’s historic architecture, rising spires and attractive cobbled streets, and in real life it is every bit as beautiful. Take an English course in Oxford or an IELTS preparation course in Oxford and you can proudly be part of the city’s flourishing student life, with plenty of opportunity to practise your English outside class, be it to rent a bike or have a pint in one of the city’s traditional pubs.

English course Oxford

IELTS exam preparation course Oxford

English mini-group executive course Oxford

4. Manchester


One of our most popular UK cities, Manchester offers a good dose of British northern life mixed with first-class entertainment facilities, abundant sporting opportunities, excellent shopping and no end of places to eat and socialise. As a place to learn English, it is modern and exciting, with a rich historical and cultural heritage. Take your English course in Manchester and you will quickly get caught up in all that there is to do, yet should you ever want a slower pace of life, the scenic Pennine Hills are just on the doorstep waiting to be explored.

English course Manchester

Business English course Manchester

5. Cardiff


Here’s a little secret: if you are looking for a place to learn English that is a little different, a place of stunning river valleys, pristine sandy beaches, rugged landscapes dotted with castles and supremely warm, friendly people, you must come to Wales. This small but magical country will steal a little piece of your heart before you know it. Take your English course in Cardiff and you can enjoy all that a thriving capital city offers, with the stunning Welsh countryside easily explored on weekends with friends that you make in class. The Welsh accent is often described as melodious, with a distinctive musical intonation – and although English is spoken everywhere, you may even find you pick up a few words of Welsh!

English course Cardiff

6. Cambridge


Cambridge is famous the world over for its prestigious university, unique traditions and active student life, meaning you are just as likely to see a student with his or her nose in a book as you are punting down the river beneath bridges and willow trees. For a place so well known, Cambridge is surprisingly modest in size, making it easy to get around and lending a friendly, intimate feel to the city – ideal for practising your English with the locals. As well as learning English, taking your English course in Cambridge will give you a great insight into the British culture and, with its central location, easy access to the rest of the UK.

English course Cambridge

7. Liverpool


It’s not just the innovative language school in the heart of the city that attracts students to learn English in Liverpool – although this could be reason enough if school and course are paramount to you. With contemporary learning facilities, quality teaching and outstanding value for money, you are in excellent hands if you take your English course in Liverpool. And this is without even mentioning all that Liverpool has to offer. Whether you’re after music, culture, legend or sport, you can’t help but be swept up in Beatles mania, football frenzy and cultural utopia, making this lively northern city an unforgettable place to learn English.

English course Liverpool

8.  Bristol


Located in England’s picturesque south-west, Bristol is a wonderful – but often overlooked – location for students wanting to learn English. Known as the cultural centre of the West of England, it has struck the perfect balance between a buzzing student life, attractive surroundings (leafy Georgian streets, meandering waterways and a thriving waterfront) and a fantastic nightlife. As a student taking an English course in Bristol, you can expect to be treated as an individual at the supportive, family-run English language school, but not have to vie with hoards of foreign visitors as you might in other UK locations.

English course Bristol

9. Bath


With picture-postcard views everywhere you turn, you can’t help but fall in love with Bath, a beautiful city in England’s south-west. Perfect sand-coloured rows of Georgian houses, wide tree-lined crescents and quaint boutiques line the cobbled streets and the sparkling River Avon winds gently through the centre. It has an upmarket, wealthy feel, but the large number of students at its university add a young and lively element. If you take an English course in Bath you will inevitably visit the famous Roman Baths, but there’s plenty more to do here and you’ll soon discover why it’s such a popular place to learn English.

English course Bath

10. Edinburgh


Scotland has a distinct identity that shines through in its history, culture, traditions and accent, all of which combine to offer the most fascinating language learning experience. Take your English course in Edinburgh and you’ll soon see that it’s best discovered on foot, with attractive Georgian streets, impressive statues and countless cafes leading you to famous landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street and The Royal Mile. Time your trip in the summer to catch the dazzling Edinburgh Festival or join in the unmissable Hogmanay celebrations at new year. Whatever you do, life north of the border certainly won’t disappoint.

English course Edinburgh

Cactus offers a variety of English courses across the UK and in other countries worldwide. Courses include General English, Business English, Academic Year programmes, exam preparation courses and Under 18s summer camps.

Five reasons why you should do an Online TEFL Course

Cactus TEFL’s online English Language Awareness course is a great option for anyone about to embark on a TEFL course. The ideal CELTA and Trinity CertTESOL preparation course, it will give you solid, all-round knowledge of English grammar and save a lot of time when it comes to planning lessons.

If you don’t have time to take the course before you do your TEFL training, there are still plenty of reasons why it’s beneficial to complete it before you start your first teaching job:

1. Knowledge

There are certain countries where much of the English language teaching is based around conversation lessons, but the vast majority of TEFL jobs will involve as much emphasis on grammar as on conversation. Having a good working knowledge of the ins and outs of English grammar will help enormously when it comes to lesson planning – having to revise your grammar before you plan your lesson will add hours to your preparation!

2. Confidence

Making sure your English grammar is up to scratch before you step into the classroom will give you the confidence to deal with tricky grammar questions that students (particularly in high level classes) might have for you. You can avoid those embarrassing silences and any unnecessary stress when eager students quiz you on the differences between the past simple and the present perfect!

3. Reputation

Our ELA course was produced in conjunction with respected ELT teacher, teacher trainer and course book author, John Hughes. John is a highly influential figure within the TEFL industry, running ELT writing courses for Oxford University, consultation for language schools as well as his own popular ELT blogs and columns for The Guardian. The ELA course was also nominated for the British Council Innovation Award after it was launched, a wonderful and well-deserved accolade!

4. Employability

Doing the ELA course as a CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL preparation course, or prior to any other TEFL course, will look impressive on your CV and show that you are both keen and knowledgeable.

5. Value for Money

At just £95, ELA is great value for money. However, if you book your TEFL course through Cactus you will receive a discounted English Language Awareness course, at £50 reduced from £95 – plus a FREE English Language Methodology course.

Find out more about the English Language Awareness course and search TEFL courses worldwide with Cactus TEFL.


Can I teach English without a CELTA?

If you want to teach English, it pays to arm yourself with the best qualification you can get

You can teach English without a CELTA (or equivalent) but it is advisable to obtain some kind of English teaching qualification if you are intending to earn a proper living as a teacher for a decent amount of time.

The Cambridge CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) is one of the two most prestigious and internationally recognised teaching qualifications – the other being the Trinity CertTESOL – and it is these two certificates that will open the door to the most competitive teaching jobs the world over. Read more information on the CELTA and CertTESOL here.

After these two certificates you have equivalent and online ELT (English Language Teaching) courses. Equivalent courses include certificates such as the TESOL, the SIT TESOL and the TEFL certificate and they cover teaching skills, language awareness and teaching practice much like the CELTA and CertTESOL. They are generally cheaper and are sufficient for teaching jobs in parts of the world where there is less competition or if you intend to teach on a voluntary, informal or temporary basis.

Online courses are a flexible and convenient way to learn about English Language Teaching (ELT), but as they do not provide teaching practice they are more appropriate if you already have teaching experience.

In summary, you don’t necessarily need a CELTA to teach English: a CELTA (or CertTESOL) will give the best chance of finding work upon completion of your course, but other qualifications and factors such as teaching experience and previous education (see Do I need a degree to do an ELT course?) will also affect your job prospects.

Visit Cactus TEFL or call 0845 130 4775 for advice about any aspect of ELT courses or jobs.

Cactus TEFL is an admissions and advice service for quality teacher training courses worldwide. We work with the majority of well-known course providers to offer CELTA, Trinity CertTESOL, equivalent and online courses in over 90 locations across 36 countries. Cactus TEFL also offers free post-course careers advice and support, as well as access to our very own TEFL jobs board and job alerts.


Do I need a degree to do an English Language Teaching course?

ELT Course Requirements

Although the Cambridge CELTA and Trinity CertTESOL are classified as Level 5 qualifications within the national framework (university level), you do not need a degree to apply.

Applicants are usually university graduates or have attained a standard of education that would allow entry to higher education in their country. That said, each applicant is judged on his or her individual merits. Factors taken into consideration with every application include motivation, language awareness and previous work or teaching experience.

ELT Job Requirements

A degree is not essential to obtain work teaching English upon completion of your course. It may, however, help – for example in locations where competition for jobs is high, or in obtaining a work permit.

If you don’t have a degree, you have better chances of finding work in locations where there is less competition and at a time when teachers are needed. Equally, if you don’t have a degree but have some teaching experience on your CV, your job prospects will improve dramatically.

For further advice and support on ELT courses and jobs, visit Cactus TEFL or call 0845 130 4775.

Cactus TEFL is an admissions and advice service for quality teacher training courses worldwide. We work with the majority of well-known course providers to offer CELTA, Trinity CertTESOL, equivalent and online courses in over 90 locations across 36 countries. You will receive free, impartial advice every step of the way, and you can trust us to help you choose the right English language teaching course for you.


Is the CELTA or TESOL difficult?

Challenging, yes, but very rewarding

To complete the Cambridge CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL successfully, you need to be committed and devote your full attention to the course. The 4-week full-time course is intense and demanding, with lessons and teaching practice during the day and several hours’ homework on the evenings and weekends. You are unlikely to have much free time or be able to think of much else apart from English language teaching!

You will feel challenged, tested and also immensely rewarded. You will see the hard work pay off and you will thrive on the support and friendship of your fellow students, who are likely to become and remain good friends. The sense of achievement you feel at the end, combined with the ability to find decent, paid work in far-flung corners of the globe, will far outweigh any late nights studying or initial trepidation at standing up in front of your peers to deliver your first lesson.

It is a difficult course, but many people pass each month and it is certainly within the reach of the majority of people who have an interest in people and language.

Good luck, and for further advice and support visit Cactus TEFL or call 0845 130 4775.

Cactus TEFL is an admissions and advice service for quality teacher training courses worldwide. We work with the majority of well-known course providers to offer CELTA, Trinity CertTESOL, equivalent and online courses in over 90 locations across 36 countries. You will receive free, impartial advice every step of the way, and you can trust us to help you choose the right English language teaching course for you.

language skills to succeed

Is it better to do a full-time or a part-time ELT course?

Train to teach English when and where it suits you

A full-time ELT (English Language Teaching) course is of equal value to a part-time course, as the content, teaching practice and end qualification are all the same. The only difference is the time over which you take the course, so it is completely up to you as to which course suits your schedule better.

If you are not working, have the time and/or want to gain your qualification quickly, a full-time course makes sense. This is also the obvious option if you are planning on taking your course overseas, as you will complete your training within 4 or 5 weeks.

If you are in full-time employment and living in the location where your course will take place, a part-time CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL course gives you the means to keep working and attend lessons in the evenings and on weekends. It is exactly the same as the intensive course, except it is stretched over a longer period of time.

Features Full-time TEFL course Part-time TEFL course
Total hours Min 120 hours incl. 6 hours’ teaching practice Min 120 hours incl. 6 hours’ teaching practice
Duration 4 weeks intensive 12-20 weeks
Timetable 9am-5/6pm, Monday to Friday
Lesson preparation & assignments at home
Evening & weekend classes
Lesson preparation & assignments at home

For advice on all full-time and part-time English Language Teaching qualifications, visit Cactus TEFL or call 0845 130 4775 to discuss the options available to you.

Cactus TEFL is an admissions and advice service for quality teacher training courses worldwide. We work with the majority of well-known course providers to offer CELTA, Trinity CertTESOL, equivalent and online courses in over 90 locations across 36 countries. You will receive free, impartial advice every step of the way, and you can trust us to help you choose the right English language teaching course for you.

How much does a CELTA or TESOL course cost?

The price you pay to qualify as an English teacher will vary enormously from course to course and country to country, so what is the average CELTA or TESOL course cost?

As a general rule, you will pay more for the two most prestigious courses, the Cambridge CELTA and the Trinity CertTESOL, as these are the key qualifications recognised by the British Council and reputable English language schools worldwide. If you intend to make your living out of teaching English abroad, you should aim for one of these two qualifications.

Prices for the Cambridge CELTA and Trinity CertTESOL vary substantially from school to school, according to:

  • The location of the centre
  • The facilities available to trainees
  • The level of prestige associated with the school

There are also equivalent TEFL courses (e.g. TESOL and SIT TESOL) that do not hold the prestige of the Cambridge CELTA or the Trinity CertTESOL, but which are usually cheaper.

It pays to do your research as prices can vary even within the same city: in London, for example, a 4-week TESOL in Bloomsbury Square costs just £845, while a 4-week CELTA in Covent Garden is almost double the price, at £1,635. Don’t just take the prices at face value, though: if you really want to train in a particular city, look at all the courses available and you may see why some are more expensive than others. Depending on your preferences, it might be worth paying a little more. If budget is important to you, it’s useful to know that there is sometimes a cheaper option, even in the bigger cities.

Sample prices of ELT courses worldwide

Course / Location Price
4-week CELTA in Sydney, Australia £1,755
4-week CELTA in Covent Garden, London, UK £1,635
4-week CELTA in Manhattan, New York, US £1,604
4-week CELTA in Barcelona, Spain £1,314
4-week TESOL equivalent in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica £1,188
4-week Trinity CertTESOL in Prague, Czech Republic £1,129
4-week TESOL equivalent in Phnom Penh, Cambodia £1,042
4-week Trinity CertTESOL in Eastbourne, UK £997
4-week CELTA in Chiang Mai, Thailand £952
4-week TESOL equivalent in Quito, Ecuador £893
4-week CELTA in Buenos Aires, Argentina £857
4-week TESOL in Bloomsbury Square, London, UK £845

NB. Prices valid at time of publication and are subject to change. Please note that there may also be alternative options in these locations.

Cactus TEFL enables you to compare courses and prices of CELTA, Trinity CertTESOL, equivalent and online courses in over 90 locations across 36 countries. We offer free, impartial advice every step of the way, and you can trust us to help you choose the right English language teaching course for you. Visit Cactus TEFL or call us on 0845 130 4775 to discuss the options available.