Have you ever dreamt of teaching the English language abroad? A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course is an essential qualification for this, but what is the TEFL course like? This globally recognised certification proves you have the skills and knowledge to teach international students, organise classes, and manage lessons. With dozens of offers from various schools, you should first determine what a TEFL course should be like and what to expect before starting.
Are all TEFL courses accredited?
If you want your certification to be recognised abroad, you should take an accredited TEFL course. This kind of course involves instruction provided by highly-qualified, university-level instructors. An accredited course typically involves at least 100 hours of academic coursework and training, equivalent to an intensive 4-week, in-person class. Alternatively, you could opt for an equivalent part-time or online course.
In addition to these hours, an accredited course should also include between 6 and 20 hours of live practice teaching English to real students.
Do all TEFL courses incorporate practicum?
Not all TEFL courses incorporate live practice with real students, but practicum is critical for more than one reason. It helps gain experience working with international students. As well as this, most language schools don't recognise TEFL certifications that don't incorporate practicum. Some courses only include role-playing with other teachers in training, but that can't substitute the practice and know-how you can get from teaching with actual students learning English as a second language.
Online courses are a great alternative to in-person ones
Many people believe that certifications obtained from courses taken in-person are better or more valid than those obtained online. That isn't the case. Accredited online TEFL courses that meet international standards provide the same level of instructions as an in-person course. The main advantage is that you can study at your own pace and many online or part-time courses spread the lessons over 11 weeks instead of four.
An online course offers you the possibility to study from the comfort of your home or combine work and study or other classes. However, many online courses don't meet the international standards and are not accredited, so check out the offer before enrolling.
Do TEFL courses offer job placement assistance?
Finding a job as an English teacher abroad could be near impossible if you don't have the right contacts, resources and guidance. Job seeking and navigating the hiring process is different for every country. That is why you should ensure the institution also offers post-certification and job placement assistance.
Ideally, it would be best to work with a qualified advisor to find out the hiring seasons, visa regulations, and interview procedures in the country where you want to teach English. In addition to access to job listings and job application support, the institution should offer schools hiring teachers' contact information.
How is the enrolment process carried out?
If you're entrusting your money and time to leaving and teaching English abroad as a result of the TEFL course, you should also pay attention to the enrolment process. Accredited courses work with top-level instructors with advanced language degrees and qualifications.
Ask the course representative what qualification level the course instructors have. You should only enrol if they hold a MA or Ph.D. in English. Cheap TEFL courses that are either self-taught or assisted by a "tutor" who recently graduated from a TEFL course or who worked abroad for a couple of years won't take you anywhere.
Are TEFL courses and TEFL certification schools the same?
No. TEFL course is an umbrella term that can cover all sorts of in-person and online courses. That includes courses that aren't accredited or that only provide around 20 hours of academic study without any practice. Most TEFL certification schools, on the other hand, are accredited and offer the value you deserve for your financial investment.
The TEFL course opens up many opportunities to teachers to travel and work abroad. Choosing the right course is very important. If you have any questions about studying TEFL then contact us today.