Staff Spotlight: Nicky Cullen

Partnership Manager


What position do you hold at CCELT? What has been your career path so far?

I'm the partnership manager which is a lot of fun because I get to work with really cool companies like yourselves to help promote our course. In terms of career path, I fought the traditional path for a long time with lots of travel, having the time of my life.

I then worked as a consultant with the focus on creating amazing customer experiences for different clients. I then moved from Ireland to Canada and was lucky enough to find this job working for a great company with really cool colleagues.

Did YOU teach abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

You would think so, I am one of a few in the office that has never taught ESL. I was an avid traveller when I was younger but I didn't even know TEFL was an option then. I obviously speak with people on a daily basis and hear all about their amazing adventures, all of which they attribute to their TEFL experience.

Never say never, I'm certified through CCELT so who knows. I'm always inspired to travel for endless reasons - adventure, experiencing new cultures, meeting great people, the list goes on....

How does CCELT help prepare teachers to teach abroad? What's unique about your course?

I'm obviously biased :) but, having worked in the industry for several years now, I don't believe other courses offer the quality CCELT offers at our price point. Many courses consist of PDF's and webpages to read where CCELT is fully interactive.

As you progress you will be asked to interact with and manipulate the content on screen, as well as view videos and work through interactive assessments.

All this provides for a great student experience ensuring they are as prepared as they can be when stepping into a classroom for the first time, ensuring the teacher can allocate their time to getting adjusted and enjoying all the amazing experiences teaching abroad provides one.

What do you think about the future of TEFL courses? How has it changed so far? How will it change?

Barring a major shift in teaching methodology, I don't think we'll see too much change in the way TEFL courses are taught. Academics are a slow moving bunch!

In the past decade or so, we've seen both in-person and online TEFL courses adapt course content to become much more specific and focused. New teachers in training want to focus on their areas of interest (teaching children, teaching with technology, English for Academic Purposes, etc) and now even introduction courses provide education in these areas.

The future is a very interesting prospect. I think we'll start to see online TEFL course become much more social, with experienced teachers acting as moderators rather than instructors to new teachers in training. That means less top down instruction and more idea and classroom activity sharing, encouraging discussions around classroom management techniques and professional development.

The other big area we're excited for is the advancement of technology that will allow students of online TEFL courses to get classroom practice in a smooth and seamless way. Giving access to education directly to teachers in remote areas will have a huge impact on students and open up lots of doors to people around the globe.

Which teach abroad destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

Wow, that's a tough one! It's extremely subjective, China is definitely underrated as many peoples' experience tends to eclipse their expectations. I think I might pass on the second half of that question - a colleague says South East Asia due to heavy tourism, but I love it there! As I said, it's subjective so it's important to do your research on the different destinations available.