TEFL Certification

The Definitive Guide

Overview

What is TEFL Certification?

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TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, although some people refer to it as TESOL, which is Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages. ( Wiki’s explanation about TEFL)

Why Should You Get TEFL Certification?

Anyone who earns their certification within this field will have the ability to teach English abroad in any area of the world.

This certification is required at most schools around the world, as they want to ensure that the teachers that they hire have received the proper training. It is not necessary for a person have prior teaching experience to teach. Yet, everyone who has earned their TEFL certification will have more advantage when applying for jobs teaching English abroad

Do You Need A Degree To Get A TEFL Certificate?

It depends on which country you plan to teach. For most countries, a bachelor degree is required for obtaining a legitimate work visa. However, there still are some countries where you can teach English without a degree, including Cambodia, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rita etc.  

Can I Teach English Abroad Without TEFL?

You might wonder whether having a TEFL is necessary for you to land a teaching job overseas. Well, actually there are three cases  where you don’t need a TEFL certification to teach abroad.

The first scenario is that you have teaching  experiences. If you’re already an experienced teacher, you might not need a TEFL. For example, in China, TEFL is exempted if you have more than two years’ teaching experience supported by reference letter from your school.

In another case, you no longer need TEFL because you have other certifications. Apart from TEFL, you can also get a TESOL  or CELTA , which are pretty much the equivalent of TEFL .

Lastly, it might not apply to most people but some lucky ones get the working visa or a marriage visa that allow them to work in the country already before jumping onto the teaching career, then you don’t really need the TEFL for visa purposes. However, if you are new to teaching, TEFL will help you grasp some teaching concepts and methods quickly, thus helping you get started with your new profession better.  

The standards that are included in TEFL certification are as follows:

  • Everyone must have at least one hundred hours of coursework
  • Everyone must have a minimum of between six and twenty hours of actual teaching and observation with a non-native English speaker
  • Everyone must have followed an accredited curriculum from an independent and recognized organization within the field of study
  • Everyone must have received instruction from a qualified instructor
  • Everyone should take their TEFL certification course from an accredited organization that provides job search guidance

In general, TEFL certificate is only a starting point giving you overall theories and practices about teaching English to non-native speakers.

The real world experience always comes as a surprise which requires you to constantly rethink and innovate your methods to suit your students’ needs. 

Some people wonder if TEFL courses are worth it.  While some people would answer no to that question, in reality, the answer is yes.  

Your choice of finding a job will be much less if you don’t have a TEFL certification. Even if you locate a position, you might also suffer a pay cut than your peers who have the TEFL certificate.

Having a TEFL certificate not only allows you to easily find a job anywhere you want, at the same time you  do not need to worry about being scammed. The TEFL certificate ensures that a teacher will be approved for a long-term visa and that they can find a good full-time job.  

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