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What is TEFL?

The English language is in ever increasing demand throughout the world. Knowledge of the English language and the ability to use this language is rapidly becoming a valuable global commodity.

At present there is a great worldwide desire to communicate in English and, as a result, there is a huge demand for trained and skilled teachers of English. The standard, international qualification required is a TEFL certificate or TESOL certificate. With this qualification you are able to put your English skills to good use and to find employment throughout the world.

TEFL International’s TEFL certificate courses provide you with all the necessary skills and training to be an effective teacher and to find a suitable teaching position.

TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
This term is predominantly used when English is being taught in a country where it isn’t the native language (for example teaching English to Spanish people in Spain).

TESL – Teaching English as a Second Language.
This is where English is being taught to non-native speakers of English in a country where it is the native language (for example teaching emigrants to the UK/USA).

TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
This term theoretically encompasses both of the above.

TEFL Certification

Gaining TEFL certification is your first step towards an exciting and rewarding experience teaching English overseas. The major qualifications necessary to secure positions Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), also known as Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) are an internationally recognized TEFL certificate or TESOL Certificate.

There are numerous organizations offering TEFL courses, which lead to a TESOL or TEFL certificate. The recognition of these organizations and the acceptance of their TEFL and TESOL certificates vary from course to course. There are, however, only a small number of international organizations that oversee the issuing of globally accepted TEFL qualifications, one of these larger organizations is TEFL International.

TEFL Certificate

Typically, English language schools and TEFL institutes around the globe require as minimum a 4-week, externally moderated and accredited 120+ hours TEFL certificate that meets international regulatory standards. The TEFL course should also have dynamic, trainee led input sessions covering all aspects of teaching English including teaching methodology, grammar and phonology, and have a grading system based on performance in the classroom and an end of course exam.

TEFL courses in Ireland:

TEFL courses, also known as TESOL courses, prepare you for an exciting and rewarding experience teaching English abroad. TEFL International is one of the world’s largest and best known accredited TEFL course and TESOL course providers.

TEFL International

Having obtained TEFL certification from an organization such as TEFL International, language schools can see that you have attended a reputable TEFL course which includes 6 hours observed and constructively critiqued teaching practice, that you have completed the various course projects and assignments, that your English teaching is of a good standard and that you have shown an ability to adapt to a foreign culture or environment (especially if you take a TEFL course abroad).

Some organizations offer short weekend TEFL or TESOL courses and online TEFL and TESOL courses. Employers can clearly see that these programs do not offer the same features as a residential 4-week TEFL course. If you choose to take a weekend or a short online TEFL course, it is important to understand that a certificate from such a course will probably not get you many job offers from the more sought after English teaching destinations.

If you plan to teach English overseas it is therefore to the benefit for your English language students and your own employment prospects that you gain appropriate training from an organization such as TEFL International.

TEFL Certification Course Checklist

Important features to look for when selecting an internationally recognized TEFL course are:

Does the course:

Meet international standards for the regulation of acceptable English language teaching certification

Include one hundred or more hours of training and input

Have 6 hours of trainer observed and critiqued teaching practice with genuine students of English

Include input sessions that cover teaching skills, classroom management, language awareness (grammar), phonology and how to apply, prepare and teach these skills effectively

Assess trainees continually during the course through projects, assignments, teaching practice and also include an end of course exam

Have every course moderated and inspected by an independent teaching body or professional

Meet the approval and recognition of respected independent professional bodies and individuals

Update its input to reflect developments in language teaching

Offer a certificate at the end of the course that is valued and internationally recognized

See for prices, area’s where you can start the course etc.

TEFL Experiences

Paddy’s TEFL Experience…

I’m among the myriad of young graduates who have fled Ireland with the prospect of finding work abroad. Ireland was once scourged by unemployment and now this blight has returned. I have been optimistic about the current economic climate and have thought of it as a new challenge and the opportunity to embark on a new and exciting experience.

I qualified from university College Dublin with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Business Management. I made the decision quite quickly that foreign shores were more inviting than pulling my hair out at home in search of a job that seemed non existent. The job search was reaping no rewards and taking a toll on my mental health so I decided to go down the TEFL route and I haven’t looked back since.

I flew to Buenos Aires and took a four week intensive TEFL course with EBC International. The course was extremely beneficial and after the four weeks I had my Past Participles and Present Perfects in order. The course was quite expensive which may deter some sending them down the online route but it had many advantages also.

I took the course with ten others and we all quickly became friends. My fellow classmates were from all over the world and many of them stayed on in Buenos Aires to teach afterwards which meant settling into a new and daunting city a lot easier. I moved into an apartment with two of my classmates from Boston and we became great friends. Also EBC have many schools worldwide and are connected with a lot of teaching academies in the cities they operate in. EBC send your CV to these schools and businesses which makes looking for a job the equivalent of waiting for a phone call.

This service is ever present which means if you move to a new city EBC will help you find employment there too. I myself mainly worked in companies such as Accenture teaching business English to employees who already had a very good grasp pf the language. I found it extremely enjoyable. Between the course and working with academies I have improved many skills which will benefit me in the future including the ability to speak confidently in front of a room of people. I know this will benefit me when I do embark on a career in Business.

Undertaking the TEFL course has allowed me to have a fantastic experience in a fantastic new country. I have experienced a new culture and met some great characters along the way. I am also not tied to Buenos Aires and have the option to move around worldwide so teaching English as a foreign language opens up your opportunities and makes the world more accessible.

After teaching for a while in BA I left and have travelled through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. Every place has been so different and every experience has been amazing. It was possible to settle and teach in any of these places however in 3 weeks I return to Buenos Aires where I have made a lot of friends and fallen in love with the city.

In terms of making money it all depends on the country. Some are obviously more expensive than others and wages for teachers will differ. In Argentina if you can get a enough teaching hours a week it is possible to sustain yourself with some savings behind you as well. It differs with some countries like South Korea where a teacher can work for a year and bring home a lot of money afterwards. It all depends on what you can afford and what country interests and suits you.

Living and teaching in Buenos Aires has also given me the opportunity to learn another language which can only benefit me in the future. It is quite a challenge and daunting at the start but as time goes by it gets much easier and you get a lot more confident. At the beginning I adopted the sign language strategy but the first day I could order what I wanted in a restaurant without pointing at the menu was a victorious day! All in all it has been a valuable experience. People struggling to find work in Ireland should definitely consider this avenue and I’m sure there will be little regrets!

Written by: Seana Henry & Paddy Murray

Proofed by: Dara O’Conor & John Fagan

Uploaded by: Emma Duggan


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