Should I get some TEFL training?
in TEFL help??
And updated version of this
page can be found over at my
TEFL Teacher Training Blog.
Advertisements for TEFL jobs
used to state that you just
need to "come on over and have a conversation with your
class." That was true, maybe, ten years ago. And in
some places you can still get away with doing a poor job
of teaching. But, more and more, schools are actually
expecting teachers to provide a lesson plan and/or to
demonstrate at least some skill in the classroom.
It's only fair, isn't it?
students in most parts of the world pay, what for them,
is a large amount of money to be in the classroom with
you. Wouldn't it be fair to expect that you have some
skills? To expect that you might have some notion of
the best way to teach them English? That you have at
least a rudimentary knowledge of grammar and how to
explain it to them?
It's Not Rocket Science
Okay, teaching English as a foreign language is not
rocket science. Really, it's not that tough. But,
organizing your thoughts and abilities in a way to
benefit your classes - to help your students learn -
DOES require some skill that training provides.
What kind of training?
kind of training is better than no training. You can
find some free training as a volunteer from
Literacy Volunteers of America. There are online
courses that are inexpensive. All of them will provide
you with some beginnings of the knowledge and skill you
need to do a decent job. The ideal training is one
where you will teach practice classes with a
teacher-trainer observing you and giving you feedback
after each class. Preferably six or ten hours, so you
have enough practice and time to professionalize your
skills - and to have a chance to become at least a
semi-skilled teacher. Will you become a seasoned "pro"
with such a class? No, but you will have a good idea of
what needs to be done and how to continue to improve.
A free online TEFL course that I wrote is here:
TEFL Boot Camp. More great inexpensive
resources are at
What kind of training do employers look for?
Sadly, some employers in some countries, have no
expectations that you have any training at all. Others,
will have some very specific ideas about what training
they would like you to have had.
You won't be able to
please everyone in every country, but with a good TEFL
training course you will have what 95% of employers will
be satisfied with. And, enough training to feel like
you are doing a good job and have some real satisfaction
about the work you are doing. It's a great feeling!
do I find the best course for me?
wrote my ideas about
How to Choose a TEFL Certification Program on
another website after working a year as a
teacher-trainer in one of those programs - and that page
can help you find the program that works best for you.
And help you know what kind of questions to ask to find
a good program.
Do yourself, and your students, a
favor and develop a few skills. You might find that you
love the profession as much as I do - and end up
spending the rest of your life overseas teaching, seeing
the world, and frankly - just having a ball!
On-Line Training versus Full-Blown TEFL Courses
mentioned above, any training is better than no
training. If you don't have the time or money to do a
full course, or if you just want to experiment and see
if it might interest you - consider a an online course.
They are a good introduction to teaching and can tide
you over until you get into a full program with observed
free time and no money? Try
TEFL Boot Camp. I wrote it - it's as good as
it gets online - and the meat of a good basic TEFL
Training course there really is free.