Comprehensive training necessary?

Like trying to work as a doctor while actually only having skills as a house painter?
Or are you admitting that teaching English does not take any skills?

Practicing medicine and teaching English are two different things: medicine is a rather objective profession while ELT is very subjective. Some teachers here are English majors or history majors or chemistry minors. My major was in theoretic linguistics with a specialization in TESOL, and my short-term minor was in music. My observations of my students reflect my linguistics background as I am great at judging grammatical and syntactical errors of learners as it reflects their native language’s grammar and syntax rules (also how I am picking up Chinese grammar through these transferred mistakes of my students). Through my musical background, I make up songs to help the children learn useful formulaic expressions and mnemonics for everything from tying shoes to writing a lower-case ‘f’ and am great at helping them learn songs from their regular classrooms. Others are in sociology and make observations based on their students’ social behavior and interaction with peers and might focus more on that in their teaching. I work with a dramatic arts major who is great at running plays and getting his students to become better at reading aloud with expression and fluency. They all bring their own interests (which tend to reflect their background training if they hold a degree in a different area) and incorporate them into teaching their students.
I am not saying that teaching English doesn’t take skills. It takes many important skills to be a good teacher in my opinion. SOme of those skills include being patient, empathetic, generous with praise, and great at listening to others and showing interest in others output. You have to know when to be the cheerleader and when to be just the spectator. I think one of the great ways that programs rarely teach you (but my wonderful ELT prof and mentor did) is putting yourself into the shoes of a second-language learner to understand how they feel learning your language. I think sputnik is head on about how someone who speaks another language can make a better teacher because they have probably struggled through everything that their students are facing in learning their chosen language.
If you are referring to whether or not teaching requires training or not, however, I can give you two examples of teachers who have been at both ends of the spectrum:

Arjun was earning his MA in applied linguistics/TESOL. He had already graduted from an Albanian teacher’s college in Tbilisi and was a Fulbright scholar studying in the US with prior English teaching experience. He spoke with a strong Albanian accent, but studied British English and could speak with RP English when he made recordings. When he taught his students through a practicum he never bothered to learn their names, claiming they were too difficult for him to learn and instead referred to all 12 of them as either “hey, you” or just “you” for short. When he was to do peer observations of his co-teachers, he would show up late, read novels, and leave in the middle of the class to do something else after announcing this to the teacher trying to conduct class. When his co-teachers came to observe him, he would complain that he didn’t want them to write anything down or talk to the students because it made him uncomfortable. He would single out his American English-speaking colleagues and insult them in front of their pupils by claiming their dialect was invalid and that his way was correct despite it being a ESL course in the US. In the first supervisor evaluation with all three co-teachers, he pointed out that the students took too long to learn and were hopeless because they were too stupid. He never seemed to change this outlook as he continued to mock their accents, berate them for not understanding his vague instructions and difficult lessons, and talk down to them as if they were children instead of a class of advanced English-speaking adults.

Rhonda had only a crash course as required by the government of the state of Florida for teaching a subsidized preschool program for low-income families, particularly of hispanic and african-american heritage. She only had completed high school and took two years at a junior college with a few years of studying Spanish, but was the mother of three young children which she used to help her be sympathetic to the needs of children that age. She worked hard as a preschool teaching assistant and, using her artistic and creative writing skills, created books for her students reflecting their heritage and cultures because their book-buying budget as well as the selection of such books was very limited during those years. Her students adored her and one has even contacted her to say thank you after all these years.

The first story was of one of my co-teachers my first time teaching English.

The second teacher’s story was about my mother.

The question of what kind of qualifications an English teacher should have is an oft debated question here. Here it is again. Feel free to join in the debate.

(This topic is split from another thread