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What is TEFL Certification, and why?
What is a TEFL certificate and why do I need one? That is the question of many teachers who want to teach English as a Foreign language. That is what TEFL stands for.
In the world of teaching English worldwide, there are many acronyms that, for the uninformed, can be confusing.
English teachers will come across many acronyms like TEFL, TESOL, TESL, and CELTA, to name a few. The most popular are TEFL / TESOL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language / Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults).
TEFL/TESOL is just a term and doesn’t apply to any particular course, certificate, qualification, or organization.
What is a TEFL / TESOL Certificate?
A TEFL/TESOL certificate is the major qualification required to teach English abroad. There is a huge demand for teachers worldwide, with opportunities in almost every country. It can be the start of your English teaching career. You don’t need other qualifications, but you need to be fluent in English. No previous teaching experience or specialist qualifications are required. There are thousands of jobs abroad for certified TEFL/TESOL teachers. Some countries need a degree and a TEFL Certificate, but some countries do not require a degree. However, a TEFL certificate is required. You will find teaching job opportunities worldwide, from China, Taiwan, Japan, Spain, South Korea, Thailand, and Turkey.
What courses are available?
Many Institutions provide comprehensive, intensive four-week in-class training courses. As the cost of living can be considerably lower abroad than in many western countries, the centers at many course locations can offer their training courses at very competitive prices. The four weeks’ savings on accommodation, food, drink, and entertainment are additional benefits of attending the course overseas.
Trainees have the opportunity to experience the feeling and atmosphere of living and working abroad. The centers are housed in the same buildings as language schools. Trainees have an excellent chance to see how a language school operates and meet and talk with experienced teachers working in the industry.
Trainees are ‘on the spot’ for any job vacancies (of which there are usually many) at language schools in the country.
The center provides a comprehensive career advice service and helps find that crucial first teaching position.
The training center offers accommodation at a low price to trainees who require this service. The
Accommodation will usually be in a hotel, an apartment shared with other teacher trainees, or teachers close to the training center.
The course has a practical, ‘hands-on’ format and provides the trainees with the essential skills necessary for the classroom.
Different TEFL courses have training centers in several attractive locations on every continent, including Thailand, Spain, Italy, China, France, Australia, Egypt, Costa Rica, Vietnam, South Africa.
Different course providers offer several options for TEFL/TESOL courses that can be completed online via tests. Trainees can choose a course with an online tutor, who can answer questions, guide them through the learning process, or study independently.
The online courses are open to anyone with a native-level English ability and include job guidance on completion. They allow course participants to study at their own pace, in the comfort of their own home, or even while traveling. A TEFL or TESOL certification can be completed with little disruption to daily life, preparing graduates for their future teaching careers.
You can find a combined course option if you want a more functional, hands-on approach to the online certification course. The combined course is, in essence, the best of both worlds for those who cannot immediately make the jump from their daily life into a full-time intensive in-class course but who wish to have more practical teaching practice time.
The combined course allows students to study the theoretical aspects of teaching and grammar, followed by in-class attendance for between seven days and two weeks at one of our training centers.
The online component allows participants time to absorb the course content’s information and gives them time to prepare for the move abroad. After completing the online material, attendance at training centers then offers them the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice.
Are there any other specialized courses after my TEFL certificate?
There are a lot of different TEFL / TESOL certificate course providers who provide specialized courses in
Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners
Certificate in Teaching English Online
What will I learn from a TESOL certificate course?
A TESOL certificate course’s importance is to give you specialist skills and knowledge to pass on what you learn to your students effectively. Your training will focus on English grammar, such as the tense system, conditionals, modals, and passive voice, and, more importantly, how to teach them effectively. You will be taught teaching skills which will include planning and classroom management. Combining these skills and knowledge will go a long way to securing a good quality teaching position and ensuring that your students have the best possible environment for improving their English language abilities.
Do I need a TESOL certificate to teach abroad?
Technically you do not need a TESOL certificate to teach English abroad as there are still some circumstances where you can find teaching jobs simply by being a native English speaker. However, this scenario is becoming rare, so it is now highly recommended that you complete a good quality TESOL certification course before applying for jobs.
There’s no set standard for how a TEFL course should be run, which is why accreditation is so important: it shows external, relevant bodies approve of the content within a course and how an organization conducts itself. Always try to determine whether the TEFL company you plan to complete a course can claim accreditation before following through.
What is CELTA?
Now, onto CELTA. As the full name suggests, The Certificate in English Langauge Teaching to Adults is, in fact, a specific type of course. The course is accredited and affiliated with the University of Cambridge and is the four-week classroom course that you may hear some employers referring to.
Pros and Cons
To achieve a CELTA, you must attend a teaching class, full-time, for four weeks straight. The benefit of going for this course is that you know exactly what to expect, and it will contain 6 hours of assessed teaching practice. The disadvantages are the time it takes, the costs (ranging from $1,000 to $1,500), and the fact it focuses solely on teaching adults, which can be restrictive. Also, a CELTA doesn’t guarantee you a job – it just makes you eligible for a small percentage of other schools.
Is it worth it?
Generally, TEFL/TESOL and CELTA are held virtually in the same regard. The main distinguishing feature is that the CELTA qualification contains 6 hours of assessed teaching required for working at British Council schools. Although it opens up these opportunities, they represent such a small percentage of the schools that it doesn’t balance out the cost increase! Similarly, the CELTA certificate is solely for teaching adults, which means you can make yourself less competitive than those with a TEFL/TESOL certificate if you apply for a role teaching children.
The only way to make yourself more competitive in the employer’s eyes – or apply for roles in a higher salary bracket and more responsibility – is to complete the DELTA course. This diploma course is also Cambridge accredited and is a fantastic option if you want to become a Director of Studies or a senior teacher at a school. However, you can only complete a DELTA course after having taught for at least two years, and you need to be in full-time employment when you apply as well.
This almost negates the need for a CELTA and, having trained over 60,000 students to date with over 80% of those finding work within just three months of completing their course, a TEFL/TESOL certificate with TEFL Org will set you in great stead for securing a job!
What does your future look like?
With COVID-19 waning and vaccines being applied, we will soon be traveling the world freely with no restrictions. While we wait for the borders to open again, now is the time to invest in your future by enrolling in a TEFL / TESOL course. Remember, you can do it online and practice in your country or in another country to experience what life will be like once you have finished your course. I have done a few TEFL courses, and they are worthwhile. You can always go back to the course material and do extra courses to up your field skills. You can map out your career and be promoted when you start investing in yourself early.