Everything you need to know about TEFL

Have you ever wondered how people work and travel at the same time? Without years of savings and work experience behind them already? Or have you found yourself increasingly interested in making a career from home work? If you feel like a life of teaching could be well suited to you then keep reading to find out how you can make the above happen.

TEFL Acronyms

TEFL is a term you might find yourself coming across more and more frequently, but what exactly is it? TEFL is an acronym for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’. When researching the English language industry you’ll see it used a lot.

You’ll also see various other acronyms including: TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), EFL (English as a Foreign Language), and ESL (English as a Second Language).

Who can TEFL?

A major selling point for TEFL is that there are always jobs available. Interest and continuous investment worldwide is fuelling its ever-increasing expansion. Obviously, an interest in education and enthusiasm to help others is necessary to teach but what else? To put it very simply, anyone who is fluent in English and is in possession of a TEFL certificate can teach English. It’s all about how flexible and willing you are to find the perfect teaching job for you.

However, there are some factors that could limit your employment prospects as an EFL teacher, which you need to be aware of. Some of these factors include whether you’re a native English speaker, a degree holder, and have teaching experience. 

What makes a TEFL certification stand out?

Getting qualified to teach English with a quality, accredited provider will really boost your CV, as it will be highly valued by employers. A qualification from a provider with accreditation from external bodies looks all the more impressive. It’ll also give you reassurance that you’re doing a course that has the potential to give you the best opportunities.

Variety of TEFL courses

There are a fair amount of TEFL courses advertised online from a variety of providers. Understandably, this makes it challenging to decide which one you should take. Be sure to research the different options you have and bear in mind well-accredited providers such as The TEFL Org offer quality courses that’ll teach you what you need to know, setting you up for success.

If you’re looking to boost your CV and have already covered the basics then taking an extended TEFL course will be a great use of your time. Advanced courses are designed to tackle more specific areas of TEFL such as Business English and setting up to teach English online.

Multiple different ways to TEFL

Now, we’ve mentioned a couple ways to TEFL already but let’s go into a bit more detail about them and the other options you have once you’re certified.

Long-term placements abroad

How many jobs allow you to travel the world right away? With a quality TEFL certification, you’ll be eligible to teach English in many different countries all over the world. You could teach kindergarten, primary, or secondary students. You could teach adults. You could work in a language centre. There are so many options.

Teach English Online and the digital nomad lifestyle

It’s quickly becoming one of the most popular choices for EFL teachers. Teaching English online definitely boasts some advantages: earn a living without leaving your own home at times that suit you or alternatively, travel across the globe, and take your work with you – you just need an internet connection and a laptop! Both the work from home and digital nomad lifestyles are becoming a far more realistic and appealing option for many.

Business English

Teaching Business English is a more specialised aspect of TEFL, so if it’s something that interests you you’ll need some relevant experience behind you first. With English being so widely used in international work environments, it’s no wonder classes adapted to marketing yourself in interviews and the business environment are growing in demand.

Other ways to TEFL

There are a few other TEFL options, which are particularly well-suited to those unsure of what kind of teaching is right for them. Taking a leap of faith is courageous but also quite daunting, but by trying out one of the options mentioned, you’ll feel clearer about what you’re suited to.  Something more permanent won’t feel quite so intimidating. 

Tutoring is a great way – at home or abroad – to gain experience that’ll be valuable to any future TEFL job you go for. It’s also a useful way to test out which type of EFL teaching you want to continue with, without overly committing your time. 

Another way to test the waters would be to work at an English language summer camp. Placements can be as short as two weeks and run up to three months. If money isn’t a priority, then volunteering where English language resources are more limited is an incredibly rewarding and worthwhile use of your certification, too.

Now that you know a bit more about what exactly TEFL is and the opportunities it offers, hopefully you’re now more confident that there could be a role suited to you. You just need to get that certification!

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