As the name suggests, TEFL basically involves Teaching English as a Foreign Language to individuals in countries where English isn’t the primary language. There are other acronyms that are often used to describe TEFL, including ESL (English as a Second Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). TEFL is among the fastest growing education sectors worldwide. It offers learners the opportunity to speak the world’s language while teachers get the chance to enjoy a rewarding career almost anywhere in the world.
How to Become a TEFL Teacher
Typically, you need a TEFL certification to become a qualified teacher. TEFL certification is an internationally recognized qualification that allows you to teach English abroad. Different institutions offer different training hours to get TEFL certified, however, the international standard is at least 100 hours.
The coursework requires you to study the methodologies, principles, and theories of teaching English, including how to teach language skills, managing your teaching environment, structuring and delivering lessons, building effective learning materials, and much more. You’ll also become familiar with an established methodology for TEFL; the 3Ps. The PPP method is popular among new TEFL teachers as it’s more straightforward and easy to implement.
Getting TEFL certified is simply the first step to a successful career. While it’s not compulsory, the majority of employers recognize courses that incorporate at least 6-20 hours of practicum as well as an accredited curriculum in the field from a recognized institution.
Where to Get TEFL Certification
There are several options when it comes to getting TEFL certification. You can take the courses in-person, online, or a combination of both. The traditional classes are full-time and require you to attend training in-person at a specified location and time. On the other hand, online courses can be completed at a self-determined pace, making them more flexible. Both options cover the same materials. Some employers may require online verification, therefore, choose a reputable institution and confirm whether the certification is verifiable online.
How to Choose a TEFL Course
There are several providers that offer TEFL courses. It’s important to not settle for the first one you come across. Research on the different available programs to ensure you land on the best fit. There are several accredited programs out there, all of which have different perks and benefits to aspiring teachers. Here’re a few tips to help you choose the right course:
Consider Your Class Location
Choose a program that fits into your lifestyle. Thankfully, you can either go for online or in-person programs.
- In-person programs
These programs are taken in a traditional classroom format. They are ideal for individuals looking to get some teaching experience and would also like more support throughout the training period and getting a job. Also, if your goal is to teach somewhere where onsite training is preferred, you may want to consider in-person programs. In-person courses can be covered in an intensive one-month program or conducted over multiple weeks. On the downside, these programs are a bit more expensive, and the full-time schedule isn’t ideal for busy people.
2. Online programs
These programs are affordable and more flexible. They allow you to work at your own pace, making them ideal for busy professionals. The best online courses will often offer live tutors to provide real-time feedback.
3. In Country Programs
Another option would be to consider in-country programs. These programs are the ultimate bundle. They offer courses in theory and teaching practice, all in the same cultural setting you’ll be working in, at a later stage. They also allow for easy cultural immersion, which may come in handy during your teaching period. In addition, most in-country programs have partnered with tutoring companies and local language schools, making it easier for you to land a job.
Consider the Country You Want to Teach in
Do you have a specific destination in mind? Well, this is a huge determinant when it comes to choosing a TEFL course. There isn’t a single formula for teaching English abroad, as a matter of fact; requirements vary quite a bit from one region to another. Some programs are more acceptable in certain countries, and as such, can guarantee better employment opportunities.
Review the Requirements
Different English teacher training programs require applicants to have different base qualifications. Some programs have no prerequisites to enrol, and as such, only require you being over 18 years of age. Others have admission requirements such as a high school diploma. And, while a college degree isn’t always needed, it can boost your employability in the job market.
Where Can You Teach with TEFL?
Thanks to technology, the world is becoming a small space, increasing the need for the world’s language. There are several emerging markets all over the world for you to teach with TEFL. The strongest job markets for teaching English as a foreign language include China, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, Czech Republic, Nicaragua, Colombia, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, Russia, France, Greece, etc. Let’s take an example of teaching English without a degree in Chiang Mai, Thailand. While you may not be able to make a fortune teaching here, the low-key attitude and the relaxed environment make it a great place to start your TEFL career. Plus, Chiang Mai is a pretty cheap place to live. With friendly foreigners and locals, and an abundance of surrounding places to visit, you are bound to have the best teaching experience here. Having your TEFL teacher training in Chiang Mai is a great way to easily integrate with the people and the area’s culture.
Hopefully, these basic steps to teaching English will help make a successful TEFL career. So, get TEFL certified and enjoy an adventure across the globe.