TEFL Certification: The Ultimate Guide – Everything You Need to Know!

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TEFL Certification: The Ultimate Guide – Everything You Need to Know!

Run a search on Google for “TEFL Course” and guess what you’ll see (screenshot below)

A bunch of TEFL vendors promoting their courses and slick marketing as to why YOU should choose theirs.

Overwhelmed and Confused?

Absolutely!

At first glance, selecting the right TEFL course appears as complicated as choosing the right hagwon.

But it doesn’t have to be…

I’ve written this guide to provide straightforward answers to some of the most frequently asked questions new ESL teachers have about TEFL certification.

The goal of this guide is to help take the pain out of choosing a TEFL Course best suited for you.

It will also help you avoid wasting your time and money so you can start your teaching adventure sooner… and on a more educated note!

TEFL Course Google Search Results

Here’s what You Will Learn in this GUIDE:

  • Which countries require a TEFL certificate and which don’t
  • The return on investment if you get TEFL certified
  • Other benefits you’ll get if you take a TEFL course
  • What type of TEFL course you should take
  • Should you take a TEFL course online, or in a classroom, or a combination of both
  • Should you take a TEFL course in your home country, or in your host country
  • What subjects are covered in a TEFL course?
  • What to look for in an accredited TEFL course?
  • What is CELTA
  • TEFL Accreditation and Certification
  • What stops TEFL vendors from getting accredited?
  • Where to find TEFL course reviews
  • Understanding guaranteed job placement offers
  • Job Search Assistance
  • Bonus: A List of 14 Questions to Ask the TEFL Course Vendor

Let’s get started….

Which countries require a TEFL certificate and which don’t

That depends….

Some schools in some countries specifically ask for a TEFL certificate in their job ads and only candidates with TEFL certifications are eligible to apply for those positions. Pay attention to these…

If you’re planning to teach in South Korea, some recruiters and schools say that holding a TEFL certification on your resume will increase your chances of getting the job you want.

Korea is a competitive market for TEFL teachers, at least for the good jobs.

You may also have heard that in Korea holding a TEFL certificate will mean you’ll get paid more than the teacher who doesn’t have it. Again, it really depends on the school.

If you apply for the EPIK public school teaching program in Korea or the JETT program in Japan, having a TEFL certificate is a minimum requirement. Don’t even think about apply to these programs without one.

In Thailand some teachers have claimed that having a TEFL certificate didn’t earn them a higher salary than their coworkers who didn’t have one.

Many schools in China are asking for a TEFL certificate in addition to a university degree. Some schools will offer a salary incentive if you obtain a TEFL certificate.

However, in Saudi Arabia, Europe and South America a TEFL certificate is required to get a teaching job there.

Bottom line is that you don’t have to have a TEFL certificate if you want to teach in most Asian countries like Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam and Thailand.

And if you don’t have the money or time to get TEFL certified, certainly don’t let that stop you from teaching overseas. Especially Asia.

Keep in mind that enrolling in a reputable TEFL course should give you the confidence and skills to teach foreign students in a foreign classroom, especially if you’ve never done it before.

Personally, I think a TEFL certificate is a wise investment.

The majority of  teachers resumes I see these day have some form of TEFL course credential listed on them

All things being equal. A recruiter will likely choose a job candidate who has been TEFL certified over you (if you don’t have one) for the job.

Why?

Because TEFL is a form of teaching experience and allows you to talk to the talk during your job interviews compared to someone who hasn’t taken a TEFL course and has really no idea about teaching strategies, parts of speech (grammar), or how to handle unique classroom situations.

Schools prefer experience because their students shell out a lot of money to take English classes and they want to keep these students enrolled as long as they can.

In theory, they are taking less risk by hiring someone with a TEFL certificate than someone without it.

And businesses avoid risks. And Teaching English as a Foreign language is a business…. A very big one!

The Return on Investment if you get TEFL Certified

When it comes to getting a TEFL certificate there can be an ROI attached to it assuming two things:

  1. You teach more than 1 year overseas
  2. Your school provides salary increases based on your TEFL certification and experience.

In China some schools offer 1,000 RMB ($200USD) per month in extra pay if you hold a TEFL certificate compared with a teacher that doesn’t have one.

What this means is if you invest as much as $2,000 in a TEFL certificate (120 hours or 4 weeks with 20 hour of practicum) in just 12 months you’ll still earn a lot more than if you didn’t get a TEFL certificate.

Here’s an example:

TEFL Certificate Investment – $2,000

1 Year Salary increase: $200 USD x 12 = $2,400

$2,400 – $2,000 = $400 extra

Extra pay in year 1 – $400 USD

Extra pay in year 2 – $2,400 USD

Extra pay in year 3 – $2,400 USD

Cumulative extra pay over 3 years teaching at the same school – $5,200

If you plan to teach in China and are TEFL certified, try to choose a language school that is willing to pay you extra (and make sure it’s in the contract) because you hold a TEFL certificate.

Also, make sure you find out from the school (in advance) which type of TEFL certificate (hours, accreditation, etc) qualifies for your salary increase. More about this later…

Make sure you do your due diligence because choosing the right language school (that rewards you for having a TEFL certificate).

It could mean the difference between several thousand dollars extra in your pocket…  depending on where and how long you teach TEFL overseas.

Don’t sell yourself short!

Other benefits you’ll get if you take a TEFL course

A Better Resume

Not only does it make your CV stand out, but it proves you have invested the time, effort, and money to become a competent English teacher.

It also shows prospective employers you have are sufficiently qualified to teach in their schools

Confidence in the Classroom

There’s nothing more overwhelming than stepping in to a classroom full of foreign students for the first time and not having a clue what to say or teach them.

Unfortunately, this has been the case in the overseas English teaching industry for decades.

Teachers arrive with little to no understanding of teaching theory or classroom experience.

By getting TEFl certified you can eliminate most of this unnecessary stress and teaching can be fun, if you know what you’re doing.

Grammar Knowledge

Even if you’re an English native speaker you probably don’t know what a “conditional” or the “past perfect” is.

There will be moments when your students ask you questions about grammatical parts of speech and you’ll look foolish if you can’t discuss them using the correct terminology.

Once my student asked me, “What’s the difference between past tense and the past perfect? I had no idea, until i Googled it online after the class.

Remember! A solid understanding of English grammar in the way that your students are learning it, will make you a much smarter teacher.

Opportunity to teach Anywhere

Certain countries in Europe, Saudi Arabia and South America require a TEFL certification to even apply for schools there.

If you don’t have a TEFL certificate you are limiting the countries where you can teach.

Sure, you might only want to teach in South Korea initially, but if you really enjoy teaching abroad and are considering Saudi Arabia as an option to get a higher  TAX FREE salary, then you’ll need to go “back to school” while you’re already teaching. Not fun!

Lesson Planning Skills

A TEFL course will teach you how to establish a learning goal and then structure your English lessons based on a grammatical structure, for example.

This is a critical skill to learn in order to be successful in the classroom. Your students will see you as someone who knows their job and they’ll respect you for it.

Language Level Assessment Skills

Don’t know how to determine English levels of students? By learning about the different language levels and ratings in grammar, pronunciation and fluency for example you’ll be able to pinpoint various students’ abilities in your classroom so they can achieve their English learning challenges.

Your students will appreciate you for being able to relate to their situation.

Classroom Management Skills

You may find yourself teaching 1:1, in small groups or large classrooms (over 20 students).

It’s important to know how to handle each setting and structure your lesson based on how many students are in the class, what activities help them learn best, and how do deal with challenging situations like a student “who does all the talking” or getting certain shy students to speak.

There are many classroom management techniques to learn. Teaching will be easier and fun if you know them.

Language Learning Skills

There’s no better way to step into the shoes of an English language learner than attempt to learn their language yourself.

If you’ve never tried to learn a foreign language, this will be an eye opener for you. The best teachers are emphatic teachers and taking a language class even for just a few days, will help you better understand your students struggles.

What type of TEFL Course You Should Take

The 20 Hour TEFL Course $99-$399

If you’re new to teaching overseas, taking a 2-3 day TEFL course may first appear to be a good introduction to this exciting opportunity.

A short course will provide you with a high level overview of what you can expect, which should include pros and cons of teaching abroad.

Keep in mind that there are downsides to teaching overseas. These include culture shock, loneliness and shady, or difficult employers.

Hopefully, a short TEFL course will prepare you for what you can expect in and out of the classroom overseas.

Typically, a shorter TEFL course often mirrors a similar curriculum to the 100 + hour TEFL courses, but does not go into nearly as much detail.

It also won’t get you certified like a 100+ hour course.

If you decide to take a 20 hour weekend TEFL course, check with the TEFL provider if you can use some or all of those 20 hours towards a 100 TEFL course, should you decide to take it later on. This will save you money and study time. Some vendors may allow it, some may not. It’s up to you to confirm.

Often these courses are held at a hotel, community facility, university, or the TEFL providers office over a weekend or three evenings during a week. You’ll get basic exposure to grammar, teaching strategies and perhaps some teaching role plays.

The upside of the weekend TEFL course, is that it’s often held in a real classroom. Just don’t expect your instructors to have high academic qualifications.

They also won’t go deep into much theory, or detail during these shorter courses. There just isn’t enough time to do so.

Be cautious of the $99 TEFL course offer through websites like the Groupon in the screenshot below. Does the 120 Advanced Certificate Course imply it’s 120 hours? Is a $99 course really accredited and by whom? Certain ads can be misleading. Will you be able to teach in any country “around the world”? I’m not saying this particular ad isn’t legit, but rather pointing out some of the features and benefits you need to be looking out for before you buy.

 

Groupon $99 TEFL Course

 

The 60 Hour Online TEFL Course; Cost $190- $290

Online TEFL courses are simply convenient, affordable, and a great way for you to find out if teaching English is for you.

Pros:

  • Can study from anywhere with an WIFI connection
  • Practical online teaching and class observation
  • Less interruption in your daily life/schedule. Don’t have to take time off from your job or university classes

This 60 hour course will give you a more in depth understanding of teaching theory, methodology and grammar than a 20 hour live classroom course.

But, you won’t get any real practical classroom training…

However, you will notice that they can still be cheaper ($190-$290) versus up to $399 for a live 20 hour course.

This is because they are conducted completely online as opposed to a vendor having to rent a physical location for the class over a weekend and bring in a live instructor.

Even though a 60-hour course is done entirely online there is still a video component which allows you to communicate with a tutor (additional fee) and observe classroom interactions with students and teachers.

A curriculum will typically consist of 9-12 modules and can be done at your own pace. this course can normally take between 1-3 months.

Just because a course is only 60 hours does not mean certain countries won’t recognize it. It just means that you won’t qualify for accreditation from a TEFL certification body. More on “accreditation” requirements later in this post.

A 60 hour TEFL course curriculum typically includes some variation of the following modules:

  • Teacher and Learner Roles
  • Classroom management
  • Language Awareness
  • Lesson Planning
  • Speaking and Writing Activities
  • Listening and Reading Activities
  • Teaching Grammar, Vocabulary and Pronunciation
  • How to use Audio and Visual Aids, Software and Internet based Lessons

You’ll have your own personal tutor who will grade your assignments, tests and answer your questions via email mostly.

Make sure your tutor has at least a Masters degree in English, TESOL, Education, Linguistics or Curriculum and Instruction. You can see in the screenshot below that all 4 of these tutors at a TEFL provider hold an MA in at least one of the 4 majors.

TEFL Tutors MA

Cons:

  • May not contain opportunities to practice teaching with a real student. Minimum needed for TEFL certification is 6 hours
  • Fewer opportunities to ask questions and discuss ideas “in person” with the instructor or your classmates (networking opportunities)
  • If you learn better by actually interacting in a physical classroom online learning may be harder for you.

Another important factor to consider with an “online” 60 hour TEFL course is that some schools won’t recognize them, especially in Europe or North America.

This is because it does not meet the minimum 100 hours of training for international certification

However, if you’re planning to teach in private language schools in China, Korea or other Asian countries, an online TEFL certificate may be all you’ll need. But, check first!

The 120 Hour Online TEFL Course $290-$500

Since you’re doubling the number of study hours from 60 hours to 120 hours you can expect two things from this course.

These include:

  1. A much deeper level curriculum, teaching assignments, teacher observation and at least 6 hours of teaching practice. This is a serious course and it is possible to fail if you don’t put in the time and work.
  2. This course is 120 hours and therefore meets the minimum of 100 hours required to gain a TEFL accredited certificate. Not the case in a 60 hour course.

Pros:

  • May offer job placement assistance or guarantee. More important details on this later in this blog post
  • Strong on theory if you’ve never taught English before
  • Practical if you don’t know which country you’d like to teach in yet

Cons:

  • Considerably fewer live teaching hours and a lot less face to face interaction
  • Fewer opportunities to ask questions and discuss ideas “in person” with the instructor or your classmates (networking opportunities)
  • If you learn better by actually interacting in a physical classroom online learning may be harder for you.

A typical 120 hour online TEFL hour TEFL course will include similar modules to what you see below. You’ll notice that you will first need to complete a 100 hour TEFL course and then you have the choice of taking a 20 hour module for either “TEACHING ENGLISH TO YOUNG LEARNERS (20 HOURS) or TEACHING BUSINESS ENGLISH (20 HOURS)

 

120 Hour Online TEFL Course

If you’d like to see the a more detailed syllabus of these 3 modules above in the green boxes in the above screenshot, click one of the links below:

TESOL Syllabus  

TEYL Full Syllabus 

TBEC Full Syllabus

The 120 Hour Host Country TEFL Course $1,000 – $2,000

The fourth type of TEFL course offering allows you to travel to your country of choice and take a 4 week classroom course there.

Pros:

You’ll get a live classroom teaching experience  in your host country

  • Each country has it’s own set of differing classroom dynamics from a cultural and educational standpoint. You learn this firsthand by being there.
  • By actually being inside a classroom in your host country you’ll experience first hand what to expect from an observation and live teaching perspective, before you apply for a paid teaching position.
  • From what you learn during an in country TEFL course might dissuade you from teaching in that country all together, or reinforce your decision to apply for a teaching job there.

You’ll have better insights into jobs, interview opportunities and local school insights

In some countries it’s very difficult to apply for and land a teaching job if you’re not physically there to interview.

If you’re already there you can learn from the TEFL provider, fellow classmates, and local teachers which local schools are most reputable  and which offer the best teaching conditions and benefits.

Local Language Classes

Often in country TEFL course will include local language classes as part of the cost of the course.

This is a great way to kickstart your goal of learning the local language.

The more you know of the local language will help ease the pain and suffering of not being able to communicate some of the basic needs while living there.

Cons:

Travel and Living Expenses

Obviously  getting an overseas TEFL Certification is much more expensive than an online course or classroom course in your home country because of the travel and accommodation expenses like airfare, rent, food and transportation.

Some TEFL providers offer local home stay options which lowers your costs, but you’ll need to confirm that with them before you enrol.

Just remember that the living costs of taking your TEFL course will vary vastly from one country to another. Choosing to do it in the UK versus China will increase your expenses significantly.

Time, Travel and having to quit your day job Comittment

This is a full time commitment for at least 1 month.

There are part time options, but will run 2 – 6 months which will significantly increase your cost of living costs in your host country.

Unless you have family or friends who are willing to house and feed you while you study TEFL for up to half a year abroad, then I wouldn’t consider this option.

Don’t consider it unless you know which country you wish to teach in

Again, this ties into the travel costs of getting to the host country and paying to live there while you take the course.

If you choose another country after you take the course, then you’ll end up spending even more money to relocate and essentially start over.

Also, why take a TEFL course in Italy, if you change your mind and go to Asia later. A lot of what you learn will apply to the way Italians learn English and their education and culture so some of your TEFL course experience won’t be specific or relevant to teaching in Asia.

Harder to determine quality of the program

Since these types of TEFL courses are offered in foreign countries, it’s harder to find teachers who’ve actually attended them in the country of your choice and get their impressions about them.

What to look for in an accredited TEFL Course

An accredited TEFL course should have a  heavy emphasis on grammar and phonology lessons which includes a final exam after.

Also, a graded teaching assignment should also be completed by the end of the course

The course must also contain a minimum of 100 training hours.

Of these 100 training hours, at least 6 hours should be practical teaching hours observed by a qualified teacher (Minimum of a Masters degree in English, TESOL, Education, Linguistics or Curriculum and Instruction)

This means you must complete a “live practicum” where you teach a student or group of students and are observed by a qualified instructor for at least 6 practice sessions. This is not role playing with a fellow teacher or instructor. It’s real live teaching with an actual student.

Some TEFL providers offer 10 -20 hours of teaching practice. While not necessary to obtain TEFL certification, the more real teaching practice the better.

Remember that 6 hours is the bare minimum.

Opportunities to complete your TEFL practicum and practice teaching can typically be arranged in your community in these types of venues, which offer ESL classes:

  • Community centers
  • Community colleges
  • Language schools
  • Local organizations that provide services to new immigrants
  • Churches offering ESL classes
  • Libraries

Earlier, I discussed the 20 hour (weekend TEFL course) and the 60 hour online course.

While these courses will give you an introduction and some basic teaching methodologies they won’t be accredited courses.

This will limit your job opportunities in Middle Eastern countries or Europe.

Even though you may never wish to teach in these countries, I mentioned it’s important to remember that the TEFL job market is getting more competitive.

Having a proper TEFL certification will give you a leg up on job candidates who don’t have it and will open up opportunities to teach in public school in countries like Korea and Japan.

Also, the chance to receive a higher salary as I spoke about earlier with some institutes, like in China, for example.

The Bottom Line:

Would you seriously consider paying $99 for an introductory 20 hour TEFL course, taught by a minimally qualified instructor just because you wanted to learn about teaching overseas?

Better to invest a bit more money and your time and get an accreditation.

Not only does TEFL certification look better on your resume, you’ll be a better teacher and it will open up more teaching opportunities for you.

What is CELTA?

If you’re planning to make a career out of teaching English then you might want to consider CELTA.

CELTA is a serious commitment  and will land you those sought after English teaching jobs at Universities and corporations, especially in Europe and the Middle East.

CELTA used to stand for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.

It now means Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

CELTA is a level 5 qualification. Just to give you some context, a Bachelor’s degree is a level 6 qualification and a Master’s degree is level 7. So…. no, CELTA does not replace a BA.

CELTA is a foundation degree. A foundation degree is essentially a higher education qualification  introduced in the UK in 2001. A CELTA degree is similar to an Associate’s degree given in the United States. Foundation degrees will normally take 1-2 years of full time study or 3-4 years of part time study.

You can complete a CELTA degree online or face to face with teaching practice. There are over 300 centres in 70 countries to take the CELTA course.

I won’t get into the costs of the CELTA in this blog. If you wish to learn more visit the visit  the Cambridge website 

Accreditation and Certification

No matter how convenient, affordable and interesting a TEFL course looks the obvious question to ask a TEFL provider is:

Are your TEFL Courses accredited & do they meet international standards? 

Failing to confirm accreditation and certification means you’ll be wasting your time, money and you may have a much harder time finding the right job in certain countries.

It may be hard to get an understanding of the importance of accreditation, since there is no single accrediting body for all TEFL courses and in fact, not all courses are accredited! Adding to your confusion, there’s a strong chance you may not have even heard of the accrediting bodies.

So what’s so important about accreditation?

Accreditation lets you, the consumer, know that a professional, outside body has reviewed the TEFL course and certified that it meets a set of academic standards. You should be able to go to the accrediting body’s website to read about those standards and verify that the course you’re considering is listed there.

Good TEFL courses are externally validated and moderated by a reputable accrediting body.

Here is a list of some (but not all) of the accrediting bodies for 100 + Hour TEFL courses:

The University of Cambridge  (CELTA)

The Trinity College of the University of London (Trinity Certification)

Fort Hays State University

IATQO (The International Accreditation of TESOL Qualifying Organisations)                                                                                                            

SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority)

QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority)

ODLQC (Open and Distance Learning Quality Council)    

TQUK (Training Qualifications UK)

OFQUAL (Office for Qualifications and Examinations Regulation)

ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training)

ACTDEC (Accreditation Council for TESOL Distance Education Courses

ACCREDITAT: a new privately owned organisation offering accreditation for a fee.

NCFE  (Northern Advisory Council for Further Education)

Make sure to find out which accrediting body the TEFL course you’re considering taking is before you enrol and pay your money.

SomeTEFL Course websites will have membership logos on their website like BBB Accredited (Better Business Bureau), TESOL.org, NAFSA, etc.These are not TEFL certifications, but simply paid memberships in industry professional associations. Do not confuse these with TEFL academic accreditation.

What Stops TEFL Course Providers from Getting Accredited?

Expenses

These include annual fees for accreditation, fees for every TEFL certificate handed out to each student, payments to official test examiners, and higher salaries for instructors who hold at least an MA and several years of English teaching experience.

Even classroom size is scrutinized by accrediting bodies. The fewer students you enrol in your TEFL course, the less money you make.

Time

In order to get TEFL accredited a TEFL vendor will have to go through a lengthy process up to one year to get approved.

There is plenty of documentation, auditing, course and exam approval, and record keeping required before and after accreditation is granted.

Some schools simply do not want to go through all of this red tape.

Paperwork

Live teaching practice with real ESL students takes time and cost money.

And…

Some schools simply accept role playing with fellow teachers as practicum.

Unfortunately, these types of teaching practices do not meet TEFL accreditation standards of 6-20 hours of real teaching practice with actual English language learners.

Shortcuts and substitutes during the practicum stage save TEFL providers considerable time in completing courses and graduating more students faster, thus impacting their financial bottom line.

All this being said, there is nothing preventing you from taking a TEFL course that is not accredited.

However, should you choose a course that is NOT accredited don’t expect the same level of quality or recognition.

In most cases an unaccredited TEFL course will mean less qualified instructors, and fewer learning and real teaching hours.

This is simply because the TEFL provider does not have to meet the curriculum or examination academic standards monitored by a TEFL accrediting institution.

The choice is yours. Just know the differences.

Where to Find TEFL Course Reviews

It’s wise to seek out review or opinions of actual teachers who have taken the TEFL course you’re considering.

One website I’d recommend is teflcoursereview.com

TEFL Course Review states on the website:

We have 2,548 student-submitted reviews in our listing of 100+ schools from 50+ countries to help you find the TEFL certification course that meets your needs.

On the website teachers rate the TEFL course they took based on several criteria.

These include content, practice teaching, qualify of feedback, job placement etc  on a scale of 1-5 stars.

 

TEFL Course Review.jpg

 

If you can’t find the TEFL course you want to take on teflcoursereview.com you might try this:

Create a LinkedIn account (if you don’t have one) and then run a search for teachers who have that taken that course.

There is a good chance they have a TEFL certification credential listed on their LinkedIn profile.

I ran a search on LinkedIn and it up over 5,000 teachers who’ve taken the Oxford Seminars course.

You can get the low down on how useful the course was for them if you reach out to them politely and ask for their feedback.

TEFL Course Certification Research.jpg

As you can see from the LinkedIn profiles above some of these teachers or former teachers either worked at Oxford Seminars or took the course during their teaching careers.

Obviously you want to avoid the people currently working at Oxford Seminars as they could be somewhat biased.

You can also try running a search on LinkedIn for some other reputable TEFL course courses (besides Oxford Seminars).

You could also try International TEFL Academy or i to i TEFL,  or another TEFL course provider you’ve been researching…

Remember:

When you send your LinkedIn invite to connect, make sure you tell them why you are connecting and ask questions such as…

What did you like about the TEFL course?

What did you not like about the TEFL Course?

Understanding guaranteed job placement offers

Beware of TEFL providers that sell guaranteed job placements. Sometimes these are not the best paying jobs nor are the contract benefits such as working hours, vacation time, teaching hours, accommodations competitive with the job offers you see on TEFL job boards.

By accepting a guaranteed job placement you are limiting your options. Remember that if a TEFL provider places you in a language school they are still paid a $1,000 – $2,000 fee from the school for recruiting you on top of the fee they charged you for the TEFL course.

If you decide to go with a TEFL provider that offers a guaranteed job placement you need to ask the following:

  • Do you have to accept the job they offer you after you’ve completed the TEFL course?
  • If you don’t meet the qualifications (age, degree, native speaker, criminal record) to teach English in the country of your choice, will the TEFL provider still accept you into their program and guarantee you a job placement?
  • Will the TEFL provider give you a refund if you don’t get a job in the country of your choice after you take their course?

Don’t be tempted by the “guaranteed job placement”. There are hundreds of thousands of job advertisements for “native speaking” English teachers. There are over a Billion English language learners on the earth who would love to take English lessons from a qualified teacher. It’s estimated that there are over 300 Million people taking English lessons in China alone. The demand there is extremely high.

If you’re a a proficient speaker of English and hold an accredited TEFL certificate the sky is the limit on how many overseas jobs you can apply for. You don’t need to consider a guaranteed job placement.

Job Search Assistance

Before you sign up for a TEFL course ask if you will receive 1:1 job search assistance in writing your ESL resume, interview preparation, advice on the typical hiring seasons, when to apply, minimum salaries, reputable recruiters, and job benefits by your country of choice. If the TEFL provider doesn’t offer these services, then look for a different vendor.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I’ve compiled a list of 14 questions  to ask a TEFL Provider BEFORE you choose one:

The List

  1. Ask how difficult it will be to obtain a paid teaching position if you are a non-native speaker before you choose the course.
  2. Ask how long the TEFL provider has been in business.
  3. Ask how many students take their TEFL course each month and each year.
  4. Ask how difficult it will be to obtain a paid teaching position based on your age before you choose the course.
  5. Ask how difficult it will be to obtain a paid teaching position based on your education (university degree, two year degree, no degree) before you choose the course.
  6. Ask how difficult it will be to obtain a paid teaching position based on your gender. Some countries prefer males over females and vice versa before you choose the course.
  7. Ask how difficult it will be to obtain a paid teaching position based on your race or ethnicity.
  8. Ask how many hours of teacher training the TEFL course offers. The minimum is 100 hours of TEFL training.
  9. Ask if the course provides a live training practicum with “real” ESL students or it it just role playing with other ESL teachers. You’ll need 6-20 hours to get an accredited TEFL certificate.
  10. Ask if the TEFL course you are considering is accredited. Find out which school or institution offers that accreditation.
  11. Ask how much of the TEFL course is self-study/online versus lecture from an instructor.
  12. Ask if the instructors have at least a Masters Degree in teaching English as a foreign language, linguistics or curriculum design. Also ask how many years of teaching experience they have
  13. Ask how long their TEFL course takes to complete. A full time physical classroom based course takes 4 weeks x 20 hours per week.  A part time course could take 2-3 months.
  14. Ask if job placement assistance is offered upon completion of the TEFL Course. Some TEFL providers advertise a low tuition fee but then charge teachers a lot to find them a job. You should not pay anyone to find you a TEFL job

I hope you’ve found value in this blog post.

Getting TEFL certified is a sound, smart investment if you’re serious about being the best teacher you can be.

So choose your course wisely…

Paul

TEFL Certification: The Ultimate Guide – Everything You Need to Know!

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