Have you finally decided to teach English overseas? You are probably excited about moving to a new country. Teaching English abroad is a lifetime opportunity that you don’t want to miss. Therefore, it is not surprising that millions of Americans teach English in foreign countries like Thailand, Korea, China, Italy, and more. Although any native English speaker can teach English abroad, becoming certified can open your doors to more opportunities and a better salary.
So, start by choosing the proper TEFL certification to make your dream a reality. However, finding the right TEFL certification can be a bit of a task, with so many schools and programs out there, you will have to take your time to find the best TEFL certification. Keep reading to discover how you can pick the best TEFL certification to kick start your career and maximize your earning potential.
TEFL Certification Overview
TEFL is short for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Joining a TEFL course will equip you with the skills and expertise to teach English to foreign learners. As a TEFL teacher, you will have the opportunity to change the lives of many students online or through in-person classes.
Unlike TESOL courses, TEFL certification does not require a specific degree or training. This means that you can earn your TEFL certification regardless of your professional background. Many private schools require TEFL teachers to be certified and have graduate degrees.
However, the requirements to teach English in a foreign country vary from one country to another. So, check with the department or the country’s ministry you are interested in. Looking at job boards in that country will also help you discover the training requirements for teaching English.
Enrolling in a TEFL course is the best decision for anyone who teaches English as a foreign language. It is also perfect for interested individuals with little teaching experience. You should also seek the certification if you are a licensed teacher looking to add new skills to your resume.
Tips for Choosing the Right TEFL Course
Although there are different TEFL courses out there, some courses don’t meet the expected standards. For that reason, it is crucial to take the time to find the perfect TEFL course for you. The following tips will help you find the right TEFL certification program for your career goals.
Understand TEFL Certification Requirements
Understanding TEFL certification requirements will go a long way towards helping you to find the right TEFL certificate program. First, it is essential to note that TEFL certification does not have well-defined regulations. This means that several boards regulate the TEFL accreditation process. As such, you can seek TEFL certification through various programs offered by colleges, online institutions, and language schools.
Moreover, you can complete some TEFL programs in a couple of weeks. Usually, such programs are ideal for individuals who want to join for-profit overseas companies. Besides, colleges and universities offer most TEFL certificate programs since they are categorized as post-baccalaureate programs. Thus, most schools will ask for a bachelor’s degree or proof of completing a foreign language training program. Some of the courses covered in a TEFL certificate program include:
- Practicum skills
- Curriculum and lesson planning
- Communication skills
- Teaching methods
- EFL and grammar
Check the Length of the TEFL Certificate Program
The second thing you need to look at is the length of the TEFL training program offered by your preferred school. While at it, make sure to choose a TEFL certificate program that meets the minimum hours. At the same time, you should make sure that the course aligns with your career expectations. The minimum required hours for accreditation is at least 100 hours of theory and 6 to 20 hours of practicals.
Above all, you should teach English to actual English foreign learners during your practicals. Keep in mind that some schools offer 120 hour TEFL courses but lack hands-on practicals. Such schools don’t offer an internationally accredited TEFL certification. Even online TEFL training programs should adhere to these requirements.
Your chances of working with reputable overseas institutions will increase if you complete the minimum theory and practical training hours.
Look at the Accreditation
Accreditation is another essential element you should check before choosing a TEFL certificate program. It is vital to complete an internationally accredited and recognized TEFL course. You can expect to land a well-paying opportunity if you complete an accredited TEFL course.
Most TEFL accreditation organizations recognize most courses offered by recognized colleges and universities. So, ask the institution to provide proof of accreditation and membership before making the ultimate decision.
Check the Qualification of the Instructors
It is also essential to check the TEFL course instructor’s expertise and qualifications. You stand a better chance of landing a high-paying TEFL opportunity if the instructor is highly qualified and experienced. So, take the time to determine if the instructor has a master’s degree in TEFL or an equivalent.
Moreover, find out if the instructor has been teaching English as a foreign language for several years. Avoid courses with poorly qualified and inexperienced instructors.
Hands-On Practicum is Essential
Gaining hands-on teaching experience is essential since it will give you vital skills to become a successful TEFL teacher. Above all, many credible employers are ready to hire TEFL teachers with hands-on experience. As such, make sure to choose a TEFL certificate program that offers several hours over hands-on practicum.
Choose Between On-Site and Online TEFL Course
Finally, you must decide whether you prefer to pursue your TEFL certification in-person or online. Of course, your personal goals and budget should determine the best decision for you. An online TEFL certificate program is ideal for individuals with hectic schedules. On the contrary, in-person TEFL classes are suitable for individuals who prefer one-on-one tutoring.
Finding the ideal TEFL certification for you should not be a daunting task if you start by understanding TEFL certification requirements. You will also find the best program if you check the course duration and the expertise and qualifications of the instructors. Above all, you should choose between an in-person and an online TEFL course.