You might have finished your Bachelor’s degree and need a break before starting your professional career. Or you want to take a gap year before doing your Master’s degree. Or you have been working for a while and would like to travel while still earning money. Maybe you’ve already decided that you want a career in education, and you’re ready to take your first steps on a lifelong teaching journey.
The reasons for wanting to teach English as a Foreign Language are really endless.
Once you have decided that you want to teach EFL, the next stop would be to see what qualifications you need to land a job as an EFL teacher in Taiwan, China, South Korea or even Thailand. Again, the country possibilities are pretty much endless, too.
TEFL vs. CELTA
In terms of EFL-specific qualifications, the two most predominant choices are a TEFL, a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and a CELTA, a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Whether you choose a TEFL or a CELTA, your first priority should be to choose a course that an accredited company provides in order to ensure that you can secure teaching EFL employment in your country of choice. (Saxoncourt is such a provider. Click here to learn more about our courses.)
There are many pros and cons for choosing the CELTA qualification, and the key is choosing whether the CELTA or TEFL one is the right choice for you. See below some common pros and cons for the CELTA versus other teaching EFL certificates:
|TEFL and other teaching EFL certificates||
Requirements and Reasons for Choosing TEFL
According to i-to-i, a regulated, accredited and trusted TEFL provider, “TEFL qualifications are the most commonly held qualifications by teachers living and teaching overseas, due to the relatively low cost, ease and speed of getting qualified – paired with great quality training.”
Basic requirements for the TEFL qualification include being at least 16 years old and a native English speaker. This means that you can obtain this qualification and teach English as a Second Language before going to college or university as you don’t need to have completed a tertiary education. You also don’t need prior teaching EFL experience to apply for a TEFL qualification.
Common reasons for choosing the TEFL qualification comprise a lower cost and flexibility. You can also choose between in-person TEFL courses or online ones.
Furthermore, there are lots and lots of TEFL providers that you can choose from and also different TEFL certificates. Some companies, for example, offer introductory certificates, international certificates, and specialised certificates. The latter could be particularly useful if you want to focus on one EFL area in which you may want to specialise or in order to improve your teaching skills. These specialised certificate options range from teaching English online and teaching Business English to teach English to Young Learners and teaching English grammar.
EFL Starter, a partner of the Saxoncourt Group, also offers two different TEFL certificates. The one is a Level 3 120-hour TEFL Online with TEYL (Teaching English to Young Learners), and this accredited course focuses on making learning EFL fun and engaging and the foundations of how to teach ESL. The other option is a Level 5 220-hour TESOL Online and Teaching Practice course, which includes 6 hours of assessed teaching practice either online or in-class.
With Global Language Training and Saxoncourt, you can also get a 25% discount on TEFL courses. You can choose from foundation TEFL courses and a TEFL master course to specialised courses, like the Business English Specialist Certificate.
As you can see, there are many options for TEFL certificates. You can find one that really speaks to you and fits in with your budget, time, and reason for wanting to teach English abroad.
Established Standards of TEFL
Even though there are hundreds, if not thousands, of options to choose from for your TEFL qualification, it is worthwhile to remember to choose an accredited TEFL provider. Furthermore, make sure that your TEFL qualification adheres to established industry standards, as schools want to hire people who have received a certain degree of professional level training. The standards that your TEFL certification must meet include:
- A minimum of 100 coursework hours.
- Between 6 and 20 hours of live practice teaching and observation with real non-native English speakers as students.
- A curriculum that is accredited from an organisation that is independent and recognised in the TEFL field.
- Instruction that is given by an instructor who is qualified with an equivalent to a Master’s degree in TEFL or a related field.
- The organisation that provides the TEFL course should also offer comprehensive teaching ESL job search guidance (recommended).
If you want to teach English overseas as a short-term plan, a TEFL qualification could be the right choice for you. However, if you want to teach English as a Second or Foreign Language for a few years (or the rest of your life), a CELTA qualification could be the way to go.
If you need more information on teacher training, then you can
What are some of the reasons you would choose to do a TEFL instead of a CELTA?
About the Author
Denine Walters is currently a freelance writer, editor/proofreader and ESL teacher. Previously, she taught online English lessons to students from all around the world and, before that, she lived and taught English to young learners in Taiwan. In her free time, she likes to read, do scrapbooking and grammar quizzes, and travel. For her educational background, she has an MA in Politics, with a dissertation written on post-conflict peacebuilding, a BA Journalism degree, a TEFL and CELTA certificate, and also a few certificates in various other short courses.
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