The simple answer is that TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. The TEFL acronym is also used when referring to training courses that new or experienced English language teachers undertake, as well as the certification they receive upon successful completion. As one of the leading providers in this field, GTA offers all the TEFL training and certification required to become a successful English language teacher virtually anywhere in the world.
There is often much confusion surrounding these acronyms but essentially they mean the same thing.
TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
The above are generally used interchangeably, however, TEFL is most commonly used in countries that refer to English as a Foreign Language and the TESOL is used in countries that refer to English as a second language. Although some countries may favor one acronym over the other, it is important to remember that a TEFL certification and a TESOL certification are exactly the same thing as the training involved is identical.
In order to secure a position as an EFL teacher most employers require their job applicants to possess a relevant qualification known as a TEFL certificate. However, as there is no official standard when it comes to TEFL certification, it can be hard to know which course to choose from the many options available. A quick internet search for ? TEFL certification? will reveal a huge number of different companies offering all manner of TEFL courses that vary enormously in the level of commitment required in terms of both time and finances. So how do you decide which TEFL course is right for you?
In recent years many popular destinations for EFL teachers have begun to tighten the requirements necessary for teaching English in schools and language centers. A recognized TEFL certificate is now required in order to secure a work permit in many countries, whilst the ever growing number of teachers with a TEFL qualification means that employers in the majority of countries will no longer accept unqualified teachers. Put simply, if you want to live and work in any popular destination across the world, you are more than likely to need a TEFL qualification. Another important factor to consider is the salary, benefits and overall working conditions that each job has to offer. This varies considerably from one country to the next but one fact remains consistent, the jobs that offer the best packages in most situations will require a TEFL certification.
TEFL courses are generally categorized by the amount of hours they should take to complete. Online courses start at as little as 120 hours and in-class courses can be completed over a period of 3 weeks. If you are looking for a simple introduction to language teaching or are considering volunteering as an EFL teacher then these courses may be sufficient, however, it is worth considering that many EFL teaching jobs that offer the best working conditions and an attractive salary will require a TEFL certificate of at least 120 hours.
If you want the best possible start to your teaching career and really want to hit the ground running, we would recommend you complete an in-class TEFL course at one of our international training centers. The main benefit of this form of TEFL certification is the inclusion of extensive teaching practice with genuine language learners under the guidance of a professional teacher trainer. On completion of this four- week intensive training you will be ready to walk into your first teaching job fully confident in your ability to plan and deliver EFL lessons to a high standard.
For many people the in-class course can prove to be too time consuming and simply out of their price range. Luckily this is not a major problem as ITTT offers an online alternative that leads to a 120-hour TEFL certificate that is widely accepted by international employers. Although the online option doesn’t include teaching practice, it does include a wide selection of videos that provide a great insight into what to expect when you enter your very own classroom for the first time.
Whichever path you choose to take towards your TEFL certification, we are sure you will find Teaching English as a Foreign Language to be an exciting and rewarding career that opens up a whole new world of travel, fun and personal fulfilment. If you would like any further information on any aspect of TEFL, please feel free to contact us at any time.
Teaching a language requires certain specialist skills and knowledge which allow you to pass on what you know to your students. Completing a reputable TEFL course will ensure you are clear on the structures of English grammar such as the tense system, conditionals, modals and passive voice, and how to teach them effectively. You will also learn essential teaching skills including how to plan your lessons, methodologies for effective teaching and how to manage your students. Not only will this knowledge help you to secure a good teaching position, it will also ensure that your students have the best chance of improving their English abilities.
Choosing a TEFL certification course can be a difficult decision as there is no standardized duration of training or a fixed syllabus for providers to adhere to. This seemingly free-for-all situation means there are a multitude of companies offering a wide range of courses of varying quality. The good news is there are several long established TEFL course providers out there who do offer high quality courses that provide all the skills and knowledge you need to start a new career as an EFL teacher.
The overall length of the course is a good place to start. There are many providers who offer short format online courses of 40 hours or even less, as well as in-class courses that can be completed in one weekend visit. Whilst these courses will give you an introduction to EFL teaching, they are unlikely to provide enough depth to satisfy the majority of employers. It is worth noting that most English language teaching jobs will stipulate a minimum of 100 hours of instruction. Unless you are simply looking for an insight into language teaching or are planning to work in a voluntary capacity, these courses are probably not for you.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive from trainees before, during and after every TEFL certification course, it is also one of the hardest to answer. There are many factors that influence how long it takes to secure an English language teaching job, but the good news is that the vast majority of our graduates do land a teaching position after successfully completing their course.
One of the biggest factors is where you choose to work, as the demand for teachers varies greatly from region to region and country to country. China has such a huge demand that there are often not enough candidates to fill the available positions. This is particularly good news for newly qualified teachers as you will have little trouble securing a job at any time of the year. Other Asian countries such as South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam also have a strong demand and offer good opportunities for finding employment quickly. In contrast, popular European destinations such as France, Italy and Spain generally have a lot of competition for every available position, making it much harder for inexperienced teachers. The bottom line is if you are flexible and happy to go where the demand is you will probably find a job quite quickly, however, if you are set on one particular country or city, you may need to be a bit more patient.
Another huge factor is the attitude of the individual looking for work. If you have completed a TEFL course you have taken a big step because you can show employers that you have received some formal training. Most TEFL course providers will also help out by providing assistance with CV/resume preparation, interview techniques and even potential job leads. However, it is down to each individual to prove that they are the right person for the job. A positive and professional approach to applications and interviews will go a long way towards securing any teaching position, and if you do miss out, don't give up as persistence usual prevails. Ultimately there is a job out there for anyone who is serious about teaching English abroad, so what are you waiting for?