TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. TESOL is the acronym of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Both of these terms are connected with one of the fastest growing educational fields in the world. TEFL and TESOL are a worldwide standard qualification for teaching the English language, which give native and fluent English speakers the opportunity to pursue international employment while teaching English around the globe.
When it comes to professional certification, the terms “TEFL” and “TESOL” are interchangeable. Technically speaking, TESOL applies to the teaching of English to non-native speakers in native English speaking countries, and therefore to those who intend to study or work in the USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Either of the certificates are accepted by the vast majority of employers worldwide.
Before you start your career abroad as an English teacher, TEFL certification should be high on your list of things to consider. While in the past it may have been sufficient to be a native speaker or speak English with a clear accent, nowadays, due to rising supply, schools and other language institutions require teachers with proper training.
Most schools and governments will require a TEFL certificate when offering you employment or issuing a correct type of visa. Furthermore, this type of certification is helpful to the candidates that haven’t completed a degree in education or don’t possess at least 2 years of prior teaching experience, as it provides them with appropriate training for teaching positions. Last but not least, schools and parents are paying for a trained educator that can deliver effective lessons to their children and therefore demand professionally skilled candidates.
Not every employer will insist on a teaching certification, however, the advantages of being a professionally trained teacher do not lie only in this aspect. You should also bear in mind the following:
1. Length of the course
In general, at least 100 hours of training and coursework are required (equivalent to a full-time 4-week intensive course). In China, most schools require at least a 120-hour teaching course. Obviously, shorter courses come with a smaller price tag than the longer ones, but in the end, the better value for your money will be a certificate that will be actually recognized.
A good quality TEFL course will provide you with a sound understanding of the structures of the English language as well as the skills and confidence to deal with issues, such as lesson planning, needs analysis, and discipline in the classroom. When choosing your course, look out for the provider’s accreditations. Accreditation body is a 3rd party institution that assessed the quality of the course you are about to follow.
3. Style of classes
Most providers offer three types of TEFL training: online, onsite and a combination of the two. The institutions do their best to cater to the candidates’ needs and offer multiple options to choose from. Generally speaking, an in-class course would be the best option to prepare a novice teacher for the demands of working in their own classroom. If you have sufficient finances and time to take an in-class, on-site TEFL course in the country or region where you intend to live and teach, then the onsite classes will be the best choice for you. However, if you lack the funds or time to commit, a 120-hour online course operated by a well respected provider will still give you all the fundamentals to a great start to a career teaching English abroad.
ITTT has been at the forefront of providing high quality teacher training programs since 1993. In that time they have produced thousands of graduates every year through their extensive range of online, in-class and combined training courses. As a market leader in the TEFL industry, they are continuously striving to improve their products and services to ensure that they maintain their position as one of the largest and most highly regarded providers of TEFL training worldwide. Register here for a 10% discount.
Set in China has partnered with International TEFL Academy, one of the world’s largest TEFL certification schools to become professionally trained as an English teacher. ITA trains more than 3,500 English teachers annually and offers internationally accredited TEFL-TESOL certification courses online and in 25 locations around the world. All students and graduates receive lifetime job search guidance and graduates are currently employed as teachers in more than 80 nations in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
For a $50 USD coupon on the online TEFL course as well as more information about TEFL certification & teaching English abroad, click here to download a free brochure now.