Guide to TEFL Certification – what is TEFL and why it is important to teach English abroad

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  • What Is TEFL Certificate and Why It Is Important If You Are Preparing to Teach English Abroad?

    TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and a TEFL certificate enables you to live and teach English anywhere abroad. It is basically an international certification which can be completed online or through regular classes and provides a chance to travel around the world and teaching English to non-native English speakers. TEFL is also famous for many other names such as English Language Teaching (ELT), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), English as a Second language (ESL) and Certificate in English language Teaching to Adults (CELTA). 

    CELTA is a bit different in the sense that its curriculum is designed keeping in view the adult students only while a TEFL or TESOL includes teaching for both adults and kids. In particular, all these acronyms refer to the very same thing i.e. teaching English to non-native speakers and are often used interchangeably. TESOL/TEFL is an emerging educational field growing at a fast rate and provides great career opportunities to those who do not want a typical 9 to 5 job in their native country but rather want to travel and earn in a flexible environment. 

    TEFL; An Evolving Industry

    During recent decades, this industry has grown dramatically in almost all the regions of the world which further leads to the development of various TEFL programs to fulfill the varying needs of English learners. You can specialize in any of the broader areas including, academic English, business English or teaching English to young learners depending on your interest. There is also no need to worry about the hassle of finding a job as all these English teaching skills have increasing demand in many sectors in addition to the educational field. For instance, you can move into marketing, recruitment, training, product design and management after working as an English teacher and your TEFL certificate will play a vital role to access and avail these endless employment opportunities around the globe.

    Why TEFL Is So Important for Those Who Want to Teach English Abroad?

    There is no doubt that degree and experience help to stand out in any field but in the case of teaching English in a country where the primary language is not English, you may need to have some professional qualification in the form of TEFL certificate which enhances your chances of being hired. Because the recruiting schools, online teaching companies, language institutions, and government programs all prefer those who have acquired professional level training in the form of TEFL/TESOL certification. Earning this certificate will also provide the following benefits:

    • You can officially qualify for a teaching job abroad: In most of the non-native English-speaking countries, a bachelor’s degree with a TEFL certificate is the minimum requirement to apply for English teaching jobs in various institutions.
    • You can stand out among your competitors: Being TEFL certified is your strongest asset while applying for a job. Although not all language institutions explicitly mention this in their requirements still they will prefer you over the ones with no TEFL certificate.
    • A way to boost your income while working in reputable institutions: If you have this professional certificate to teach English, your chances of getting hired by the most reputable institutions increase many times which means you will be getting a higher salary and other incentives. 
    • Improves your teaching English skills: TEFL course will also improve your skills as a teacher. You can learn effective lesson planning for foreign learners and brush up your own language and grammar to be a better instructor when it comes to teaching abroad. 

    What You Will Learn during a TEFL Course 

    A TEFL course is designed to teach different ways to convey the information to the learners in an interesting way. Since the main aim of English learners is to master the four basic language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), so, a TEFL course prepares you to make them able to meet their goal in an effective teaching-learning environment. During your TEFL course training, you will learn how to;

    • Use Modern Teaching Methodologies: You will learn how to use theoretical teaching methods and other useful tips and tricks to accelerate the process or learning within the classroom.
    • Create lesson Plans: You will also be able to create your own lesson plans depending upon the specific needs of learners and how to include various activities, worksheets, and props to make it creative.
    • Simplify Grammar: You will also learn how to simplify the complex grammar concepts so that the students can easily understand them.
    • Classroom management: A well-managed and welcoming class can make a learning process more productive and you will learn to master this skill during your hands-on teaching experience in a TEFL course.
    • Identification of various learning styles: Not all the students in a class follow the same learnings style. A TEFL course teaches how to identify various styles and learning needs of students and what lesson and activities should be adapted to meet the class objectives. 
    • Use of various teaching tools: The languages class is very different from any typical class and the traditional lecture method is not enough to fulfill the needs of students. A TEFL trainee will learn the use of various teaching tools including audio-visual aids and other classroom activities to engage and teach the learners.

    TEFL Online OR TEFL In Class; What’s Better?

    Although an online TEFL course offers more convenience and flexibility as it does not bound the trainee to attend the regular classes and it also costs you less, but there are many benefits that come with in-person TEFL course which you will probably miss if you go for an online program. For example, the learners get first-hand training from experienced teachers by watching them managing the class. This is specifically important for the new trainees with no practical experience. In-class training also provides an opportunity to explore the country in which the trainee is residing and find out more about job opportunities to consider after course completion. Also, learning within a group of fellow students is always more fun as compared to the case when you have to do everything by yourself. The class-mates also act as a source of motivation to outperform and to excel. Find out more reasons why TEFL in a real class is 1000 times better than an online TEFL course.

    Can I teach English abroad without a TEFL certificate?

    The answer to this question depends on your choice that from which country you’ve decided to begin your adventure because the legal requirements differ from region to region. There are plenty of schools which will be willing to hire you even if you are not TEFL certified but have experience in the field and are a native speaker of English. You might be thinking that maybe this pesky ‘certification' thing is not necessary as it demands your time and money and you are also a native speaker so the foreign world will welcome you as an English teacher but wait, here is what happen when you continue without a TEFL course;

    • You'll trouble to find the most appropriate job: Most reputable languages schools require that you have a TEFL certificate and finding a full-time teaching job is undoubtedly harder if you don’t have one and chances are there that your resume will be put aside without being read.
    • Your salary will be lower: In case you become successful at getting a job in languages learning institution without a TEFL certificate, your salary will be much lower as compared to the ones having this professional qualification.
    • Difficulty in getting the work permit: In many countries, it is mandatory to have TEFL certification in order to get a work permit and to work as an English teacher. In case you don’t have one, the only option left is to live on a tourist visa which is definitely not advisable as the risk of getting caught is always there.
    • Above all, it’s unfair with the students: Just because you know something doesn't imply that you can teach that too. More specifically, in the field of education, professional training is a must! and if you get hired as a full-time English instructor, you’ll be bound to fulfill a huge responsibility to deliver quality education. Without professional certification, your job will be a disservice where students will find a stressed out and unprepared teacher instead of enthusiastic and well-organized instructor and the aim to create a productive learning environment will never be achieved.

    Where do I get a TEFL certificate? 

    TEFL-Madrid academy is a reputable industry leader in Madrid, Spain. Where you can complete an internationally recognized TEFL course under the guidance of experienced and competent educators and trainers. With our commitment to education in this field, we strive hard to provide complete support to our students even after the completion of their course. We also provide them with professional help to find jobs that match their skills and expertise level. Join us today and take the first step towards your dream destination.

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    tefl in spainTEFL in Spain info!

    The key to getting an English teaching job is turnover and knowing the hiring seasons.

    Off season Hiring: Jobs do open during the off season as not all schools fill every job and employees do not always stay for their full term.  Follow our professional advice regarding hiring seasons and the interview process and you will find opportunities.

    Many jobs entail 10 to 12 month contracts. September, October are busy hiring periods with many contracts ending in July. January is a secondary season. Main period will be about 50-60% turnover. Secondary season about 25%.

    Summer camps in Europe offer great opportunities for those looking for shorter commitments.