TEFL - FAQs
The acronym TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is commonly used to refer to training courses that almost anyone can take to learn the skills and knowledge required to teach English to non-native speakers in countries all over the world.
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. These descriptions are generally used interchangeably, however, TESOL is more common in the USA and TEFL is more common in the UK.
Although it is possible to teach abroad without a TEFL certificate, we recommended that you complete a TEFL course before you set off. Many countries now require teachers to be TEFL certified, and a significant number of employers dismiss unqualified teachers as they assume they lack sufficient skills and knowledge.
?ESL teacher? can be used to describe various situations as teachers in this field work in a wide range of environments and teach vastly different groups of students. However, the common purpose of every ESL teacher is to help people to improve their ability to speak and write in English.
Having some knowledge of the local language may provide a more fulfilling experience when teaching English abroad, but it is not necessary in order to be an effective teacher. At ITTT we provide TEFL courses based on the principle that English is the only language used during lessons.
For many years we have enabled people of all ages to get started on the path to a new career as an English language teacher. As long as you are open to new ideas and keen to work in a classroom environment, your age should not be an issue.
No, a degree is not essential for teaching English abroad. Some countries do require teachers to hold a degree in order to secure a work permit or visa, but there are also many others where non-degree holders can find well paid jobs in both the public and private sector.
Once issued TEFL certificates are valid for life, they do not expire. Wherever you are in the world you can apply for teaching jobs using your certificate as proof that you have received training in a wide variety of topics, including English grammar, lesson planning and classroom management.
Although some employers insist on prior experience, due to a high demand in many countries there is no shortage of positions for first time teachers. By completing a TEFL course before going overseas you will learn all the skills and knowledge you need to get started as an ESL teacher.
Learning a foreign language is high on the to-do list of many teachers working abroad. Being able to practice the language on a day to day basis will not only help you to learn it quickly, but will also help you to feel more at home in your new surroundings.
The good news for anyone who is thinking about heading overseas to live and work is providing you do plenty of research and planning in advance, and employ some common sense on arrival, there should be no reason to worry about your safety when teaching English abroad.
Yes, although you will need to do plenty of research and planning to ensure that you find the right environment for you and your family. But if you are determined to teach English abroad, having children does not need to be a barrier to fulfilling your dream.
While it is possible that you will initially feel a little homesick, the vast majority of people who head off to teach English abroad soon develop a new network of friends and colleagues from both their host country and elsewhere in the world.
When conducting online research for teaching English abroad you will quickly come across the acronyms TEFL, TESOL and CELTA. Essentially, they represent the basic qualifications that many international employers look for when hiring English language teachers to work in schools or language academies.
The number of people learning English as a second language across the world continues to grow every year and there is no sign that this is going to change in the foreseeable future. Due to this seemingly endless growth the demand for qualified English language teachers is extremely high in almost every region of the world.
To ensure you make the right choice it is vital that you do plenty of research. First check that the provider is long established and well respected by employers. Also check which qualifications are expected in your country of choice, as well as any requirements for work permits and visas.
Both options offer a credible route towards TEFL certification but there are some noticeable differences. Are you able to study alone without a tutor? Are you able to attend a training center? The cost and the type of certification required in your chosen country should also be considered.
We offer a range of TEFL courses to suit different requirements and most do not have a set timetable. The exception is our in-class TEFL course that runs for a set four-week period. All our online courses can be completed at any pace up to a maximum of six months.
The price of TEFL certification varies depending on the provider, the length of the course and method of study. An in-class course that includes teaching practice generally offers the best preparation, although they are also the most expensive. Online courses provide an affordable option but do not include teaching practice.
As long as you are fluent in written and spoken English you are eligible to take our TEFL courses. You will need to demonstrate a high level of understanding, but simply being a non-native English speaker will not prevent you from getting qualified and teaching English.
The combined TEFL course incorporates both the convenience of an online course and the practical experience of in-class training. You begin the course by completing 120 hours of online study. You then attend a training center where you will be guided through an extensive program of teaching practice.
At ITTT we offer a wide range of TEFL certification courses and as each course varies in content they are all priced individually. We accept payment via credit/debit card, PayPal, bank transfer, or Western Union. Simply click on the course page that you are interested in for full details.
Our TEFL/TESOL Diploma is an advanced online course that is aimed at practicing ESL teachers who are looking to increase their knowledge and qualifications. By completing this research based course you will be in a position to apply for jobs that offer greater responsibility and an increased salary.
Throughout your training, and after its completion, we will do all we can to help maximize your chances of securing a job. We can provide a range of services, including access to our database of potential employers, advice on CV/resumes and cover letters, and preparations for interviews and trial lessons.
We offer two specialized courses that provide a higher level of knowledge and qualifications for teachers who are already TEFL certified. Our Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners (CTEYL) and Certificate in Teaching Business English (CTBE) are completed online. The completion of these qualifications will greatly enhance your CV/resume.
Our range of online courses offers a convenient and affordable route to TEFL certification. All our online courses can be taken with or without the guidance of an experienced online tutor, and can be completed at your own pace in the comfort of your own home.
As a TEFL course is a serious academic undertaking, it is possible to fail. However, of the small percentage of students who are not successful most voluntarily drop out as they are unable to commit to the time and effort required. Relatively few students actually fail due to not meeting the academic standard.
Although our online TEFL certification is very popular as it can be completed from anywhere in the world, many people prefer to attend one of our in-class courses which offer face-to-face tuition and practical teaching experience. Our in-class course is available in dozens of fantastic locations all over the world.
TEFL certification courses are generally classified by the amount of hours they typically take to complete. When researching courses you will come across a range of options from as little as a 10-hour introductory course, all the way up to diploma-level courses that can be 300 hours or more.
As Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for teaching English abroad, there are many providers offering TEFL courses within the country. However, we think our course offers the very best preparation for real life teaching as it includes experienced trainers, high-quality materials and a choice of four great locations.
As the demand for qualified EFL teachers is so high in many parts of the world, and there are such a wide variety of jobs available, most people who have a good grasp of the English language are eligible to take a TEFL course.
Due to the lower cost of an online TEFL course compared to the traditional in-class variety, online TEFL certification has inevitably become ever more popular in recent years. A quick online search will bring up dozens of providers offering a huge range of course options, but how do you know if they are valid?
A quick online search for TEFL or TESOL courses will result in page after page of courses offered by dozens of different providers, but how do you know which ones are reputable? One simple way is to check if the course has been accredited by any respected bodies within the English language teaching field.
To decide whether a job is right for you it is essential to get as much information as possible during the interview. You should be clear on areas such as salary, working hours, class size, student's age, and the resources available to you in the classroom.
Although every interview will be different, there are several common areas of questioning that you are likely to come across. These include questions relating to your personality, work history, plans for the future, and how you would plan and deliver your lessons in the classroom.
There is no single best method when applying for TEFL jobs as it can depend on several factors. The main options are to apply and interview for jobs before leaving home either independently or through a recruitment agency, or travel to your destination and interview in person.
Once TEFL qualified you will have a wide choice of fantastic destinations to choose from. Due to a high demand for teachers in many countries, Asia is by far the most popular region. Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East also have significant opportunities for ESL teachers.
This question is difficult to answer as it depends on many factors, such as the time of year and the country you are considering. The attitude of the teacher will also be significant. Ultimately, those who are determined to hunt down a job will usually achieve quick results.
Contracts vary from school to school but the most common requirement for public schools is a contract that covers an academic year, while private language schools generally cover a full calendar year. Summer language camps and some private employers also offer short term contracts.
The government backed EPIK Program offers a convenient way to organize a teaching job in South Korea from within your own country. You will also find plenty of independent jobs advertised online, as well as recruitment companies who can arrange employment free of charge.
The most common approach for finding a teaching job in China is to contact recruitment companies who organize all the details such as visas and work permits before you leave your own country. Many employers also advertise independently via online job boards and other teaching related websites.
Through the government sponsored JET Program, as well as many other independent recruitment companies, you can make all the arrangements for teaching in Japan before you leave home. Teachers within the country are also in a good position as employers are always keen to interview in person.
Jobs can be found in government schools and private language academies in many parts of Thailand. The majority of employers prefer to meet applicants in person rather than posting jobs online, and most will also require a university degree and a TEFL qualification.
There are many differences between teaching English in Asia and teaching English in Latin America, including the typical method of recruitment, how much you can earn and save during your stay, and the type of atmosphere to expect in the classroom.
Across all forms of education, online learning has become a huge business in recent years. Teaching English as a foreign language is no exception, with opportunities for TEFL qualified teachers continuing to rise year-on-year. For many people it can be a great way to earn money without heading overseas.
As it is the largest country in the world and stretches across eleven time zones from Poland in the west to China in the east, it is no surprise that there are plenty of great opportunities for teaching English as a foreign language in Russia.
If you want to teach English abroad and you do not have a 4-year degree there are still plenty of great destinations to choose from. Most countries in Latin America have no such restrictions, while popular countries such as Spain, Italy, and China are also great options.
If you are considering France as a destination for teaching English abroad, then you are sure to have a few questions. When is the best time to arrive? Do I need a visa? Do employers expect a TEFL certificate? How much money will I need?
Yes, it is certainly possible for couples or friends to share the experience of teaching English abroad. With a bit of research and planning in advance, there is nothing to stop you heading off together to live and work as English language teachers in the country of your choice.
Whether you prefer the privacy of your own apartment, the cost effectiveness of house sharing, or the home comforts of living with a host family, there are likely to be several options to choose from wherever you intend teaching English abroad.
As there are many different reasons for learning the English language, there is no typical classroom environment for ESL teachers. Depending on the employer, your class could be full of five-year-old children, university students, or executives from the corporate world.
In some countries it is common for English teaching jobs to come with a range of benefits, including free or subsidized housing. You are most likely to find housing benefits in countries across Asia and the Middle East, although they can be offered by individual employers anywhere in the world.
In some countries it is common practice to hire teachers before they arrive in the country. In these situations the job often comes with other benefits besides the standard salary, including return airfares. By securing one of these positions you can seriously reduce your start up costs for teaching abroad.
Although most teachers earn a comfortable salary, there are inevitably some initial costs that you will need to cover before you earn your first paycheck. The amount will vary considerably depending on your destination but will typically include airfares, accommodation, meals, and other living expenses.
Many thousands of teachers head to South Korea every year to work in public schools or private language academies. Both types of school have pros and cons so the choice is often down to personal preference. Potential areas of difference include salaries, working hours, and class sizes.
By completing a good quality TEFL course you will acquire a qualification that is accepted in virtually every country in the world. Whether you plan to head overseas or stay closer to home, a TEFL certificate allows you to apply for jobs in almost any area you choose.
When teaching English abroad there is always a chance that unforeseen circumstances could force you to break your contract. While this might result in the loss of certain bonuses, there are unlikely to be any major consequences if you feel you have no choice but to leave your position early.
When looking to teach English abroad you can either go through the hiring process on arrival, or you can complete it in advance before you leave home. Securing a position before leaving home is possible for many popular teaching destinations worldwide, particularly across Asia and the Middle East.
As the market for English language teachers covers so many countries, there are many different hiring seasons. If you have decided on your preferred country, knowing the right time to look for employment is one of the main ways to ensure you have the pick of the best jobs.
As the market for teaching English abroad is so vast, the variety of jobs available is truly staggering. In countries all over the world you will find positions in private language academies, public schools, universities, and summer language camps, to name just a few.
One option for securing a position teaching English abroad is to use a job placement service that will make all the arrangements for you in exchange for a fee. However, there are a few reasons why this might not be the best approach.
On completion of a TEFL course many teachers start a new adventure living and working in a foreign culture, for others it offers the chance to work in a familiar English speaking environment. Although this is a valid option, there are still a few things to consider.
If you are thinking about teaching English in Spain, you will undoubtedly have a few questions on your mind. When should I arrive in the country? What is the best visa for me? Is a TEFL certificate necessary? How much money will I need?
While most people find interviews to be a nerve-wracking experience, if you prepare in advance you can give yourself a great head start. By following a few simple rules regarding appearance, language, and knowledge of your subject you should be able to impress the interviewer and secure the job.
Teaching English is a popular way to earn money while living outside your home country. Although there are some countries where English teaching jobs are reserved strictly for native English speakers, there are still plenty of good options for TEFL qualified teachers who don't speak English as a first language.
If you plan to find a job teaching English in Latin America you need to be aware of which destinations offer the biggest market for foreign teachers, the best time of year to go, what visas are required, and how much it will all cost.
With a population of 1.3 billion there are countless destinations to choose from, from the Pacific Coast in the east to the Tibetan Plateau in the west. Each region has its own attractions but one thing they have in common is the promise of a once in a lifetime experience.
Spanish speaking countries offer some of the best destinations in the world for teaching English abroad. Spain itself has a large market for foreign teachers in towns and cities across the country, as do over a dozen other countries throughout Latin America.
Travelling overseas to teach may be the best move you ever make, but how do you know that the advertised job is legitimate? Thankfully the vast majority of advertised positions are genuine, but to avoid the small number that are not, there are a few rules that you can follow.
Absolutely. Although you will not find as many well paid ESL teaching jobs in Africa as you would find in other areas such as Asia, South America or Europe, there are still plenty of good opportunities available across the continent.
If you plan to find a job teaching English in Italy there are a few questions to consider. When is the best time to find work? Will I need a visa? Is a TEFL certificate required? How much will it cost?
While you will find Americans teaching in large numbers across Asia and Latin America, Europe is still the number one choice for many. Although U.S citizens are not free to turn up and teach in any country they want, there are still plenty of great destinations to choose from.
Regions such as the Middle East and Asia offer the potential to earn salaries as high as $5,000 USD per month. Other areas such as Europe and Latin America have less in the way of high paying jobs but are still popular due to the culture and lifestyle.
It is common for teachers to earn extra income by working as a private tutor in their spare time. It is a convenient option as you are free to set your own hours and fees, and if you find enough clients you can even turn it into a full-time business.
Health insurance is often included when working overseas, but it is certainly not a given. Before you sign a contract it is important to be clear on whether you will be covered, and for what situations, so you can make your own arrangements if necessary.
Spain is one of the top destinations in Europe for teaching English abroad. Although the average salary of ?700 to ?1,800 EUR per month is not high compared with some other popular destinations, the warm climate and laidback lifestyle are enough to attract tens of thousands of teachers every year.
Salaries in the UAE can be as high as anywhere in the world, and with typically generous benefit packages, it is easy to see why it attracts thousands of international teachers every year. Salaries are often tax-free and range from $2,500 to $5,500 USD per month.
Japan is one of Asia's more traditional destinations for teaching English abroad, and still one of the most lucrative. Depending on experience and qualifications, you can expect to earn between $2,000 and $6,000 USD per month teaching English as a foreign language.
Taiwan is sometimes overlooked as a teaching destination due to its relatively small size in comparison to its neighbors. However, due to a strong demand throughout the country, foreign teachers can reasonably expect to earn at least $2,000 USD per month, even without any previous experience.
Saudi Arabia always has plenty of teaching positions offering high salaries and generous benefit packages. The majority of positions require specific qualifications and a considerable amount of classroom experience, but for those who meet the criteria, salaries ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 USD per month are common.
Thailand has long been a popular stop on the Southeast Asia backpacking trail and a significant number of visitors stay on and teach English. Depending on qualifications and experience, teachers can typically earn around $1,000 to $1,500 USD per month which should be enough to live a comfortable lifestyle.
Salaries in Cambodia are modest in comparison with China, South Korea, and Japan, however, a low cost of living means it is possible to live comfortably on a teacher's pay. Salaries vary but an inexperienced teacher can reasonably expect to earn around $1,000 to $1,200 USD per month.
South Korea has plenty to offer foreign teachers, including some of the highest salaries to be found anywhere in Asia. Many positions also come with added benefits such as paid airfares and free housing, which all add up to a generous income that should allow a very comfortable lifestyle.
In most cities across China there are more available positions than teachers to fill them, meaning you are often able to pick from a range of options. To entice teachers, employers generally offer a generous salary by local standards that can range from $1,000 to $2,000 USD per month.
If you are keen to save money while teaching overseas there are a few things that can make a big difference, such as which country you head to, where you choose to live, and how you choose to spend your hard earned salary.
Due to its popular culture, beautiful landscape, and delicious cuisine, Italy is probably the most popular destination in Europe for teaching English abroad. While you are unlikely to get rich during your stay, the average salary of 1000 to 1500 EUR per month should be enough to live comfortably.
France receives more visitors per year than any other country, so it is no surprise that it is also a popular destination for teaching English abroad. Depending on the location and the employer, the average salary for ESL teachers ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 EUR per month.
In recent years demand for the English language in Russia has grown considerably and it is becoming an increasingly popular destination for teaching English abroad. Foreign teachers can expect to earn anywhere from $500 to $2,000 USD per month depending on location, qualifications, and experience.
Whether you are an experienced teacher or are looking for your first classroom position, Vietnam offers an abundance of jobs, a low cost of living, and a famously relaxed attitude to life. Depending on experience you can expect to earn between $1,000 and $2,000 USD per month.
The beautiful tropical paradise of Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations in Latin America for teaching English abroad. Although you are unlikely to save a great deal during your stay, the average monthly salary of $600 to $1,000 USD should be enough to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.
Known as a bridge between East and West, Turkey offers a fascinating destination for teaching English abroad. Although salaries are not high in comparison with many other countries, a relatively low cost of living means the average monthly salary of around $1,000 USD should provide a comfortable lifestyle.
Due to economic instability in recent years it can be difficult for ESL teachers to earn a good living in Argentina, however, it is still a popular destination for teaching English abroad. Average monthly salaries range from US$600 to $1,200 depending on qualifications, experience, and hours worked.
Ecuador has seen a significant increase in demand for ESL teachers in recent years. Pay rates may be as low as US$5 per hour, but with a very low cost of living an average monthly salary of $500 to $1,000 should be enough to live comfortably.
It is said that Poland has more available positions for ESL teachers than any other country in Europe. While most teachers find it difficult to save a great deal, the average salary of US$600 to $1,000 per month should be enough to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.
Due to the ongoing effects of the 2008 financial crisis, Greece is no longer the hotspot for teaching English abroad that it once was. However, it still has plenty to offer ESL teachers, including an average salary of 800 to 1,000 EUR per month depending on experience.
The Czech Republic has seen a huge increase in demand for ESL teachers in recent years and jobs are now abundant in many parts of the country, particularly in the bustling capital city of Prague. Typical salaries range from US$700 to $1,200 per month depending on experience.
Chile is one of the most stable and prosperous countries in Latin America making it a popular destination for teaching English abroad. Teachers are unlikely to save a large amount but the average salary of US$800 to $1,200 per month should be enough to live a comfortable lifestyle.
While there are numerous opportunities for language teachers in towns and cities across Germany, it is not always easy for non-Europeans to secure a visa that allows them to stay long-term. However, it is certainly possible if you are able to meet the specified criteria.
Yes. One of the main reasons why the Czech Republic draws such a large number of teachers from countries all over the world is that it is possible for many nationalities to secure a work visa that allows them to stay in the country long-term.
Spain is a popular destination for teaching English abroad as it always has a wide choice of jobs on offer, particularly in cities such as Barcelona and Madrid. For most non-EU citizens it is common practice to enter the country on a 90-day tourist visa.
If you choose Costa Rica as your destination you should check with your nearest Costa Rican Embassy for the most up-to-date visa information before getting on a plane. Currently, it is common practice for most foreign teachers to enter the country on a 90-day tourist visa.
Teachers from all over the world flock to France to take advantage of all that the country has to offer, including a strong demand for English language instruction. For those who want to stay for the long term, applying for a student visa might be a valid option.
Spain is one of the top destinations in Europe for teaching English abroad and there are various options when it comes to entry visas, depending on your nationality. For some a student visa might be a good choice as it can be arranged before you leave home.
There are always plenty of job opportunities for first time and experienced teachers in towns and cities across Italy. However, long term visas are not easy to secure for some nationalities so applying for a student visa before leaving home might be a good option.
Securing a work visa can be relatively straightforward in some countries, while in others it can be almost impossible. That said, in many countries where work visas are hard to come by, it is common practice for teachers to work on a tourist visa, or with no visa at all.
The documentation needed when applying for jobs teaching English abroad can vary depending on the destination and the employer. To avoid the inconvenience of being stuck overseas without the paperwork required by employers or the immigration office, you should do as much research as possible before leaving home.
It is vital that you research the visa requirements of the country where you plan to work in advance of your departure. In some countries you can simply turn up at the airport and enter on a tourist visa, while others require you to apply for a visa in advance.
If you are planning to head overseas to teach English, one of the most important things to check in advance is that you have a valid passport. Without an up-to-date passport your dream of living and working abroad will remain just that, a dream!
Yes, for the majority of foreign nationals teaching English in Mexico it is relatively straightforward to apply for a visa that allows them to stay in the country long-term. By obtaining an official work visa you will also receive other benefits including access to the national healthcare system.
One of the most popular and convenient ways to secure a job teaching English abroad is to apply for a government recruitment program that places teachers into public schools. The TAPIF Program offers a great opportunity for native English speakers to live and work as language teachers in France.
The Central European Teaching Program (CETP) is a scheme run throughout Hungary that places native English speakers in state run or private schools to work as language teachers. Unlike similar programs in other European countries, the CETP requires a placement fee that must be paid in advance.
The Cultural Ambassadors Program is a government run scheme that places foreign nationals into public schools to work as teaching assistants. The program offers Americans and Canadians a fascinating opportunity to live and work in Spain with none of the hassles that come with applying and interviewing for jobs independently.
The English Program in Korea (EPIK) is a government run scheme that places native English speakers into South Korean schools with the specific aim of improving the language skills of children and teachers. The program allows you to enjoy a fascinating cultural experience while also gaining valuable classroom experience.
The JET Program is a recruitment scheme that places foreigners into Japanese schools in order to improve language abilities and to promote international relations. The program is primarily aimed at young college graduates who have a desire to experience living and working in this fascinating and unique country.
The English Opens Doors Program (EODP) is a government run scheme that places volunteers into schools across Chile to promote English language skills among young people. The program offers a great opportunity for novice teachers to gain experience in one of the most popular teaching destinations in Latin America.
Teach and Learn with Georgia is a program initiated by the Georgian government in 2010. The program places native English, French and German speakers into public schools across the country with the aim of improving foreign language proficiency amongst students, teachers and the wider community.
The Native-speaking English Teachers (NET) Scheme places certified foreign teachers into state schools in Hong Kong to work as English language teachers. Since 1998 the scheme has employed thousands of teachers and it is now seen as an integral part of the country's education system.
The Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK) Program is a South Korean Government initiative that places foreign nationals into elementary schools to work as English language teachers. The program is similar to the larger EPIK Program; however, placements through this scheme are focused on rural rather than urban areas.
Your TEFL questions answered