I'm Interested In Tefl - How Do I Get Started?


by Tom White - Date: 2007-07-03 - Word Count: 628 Share This!

In theory it's easy to become an English teacher - just book a training course and then get a job! In reality it's not this simple and there are a vast array of options which can be confusing, especially if you're new to TEFL.

Spend time making the right decision now and you'll have more chance of landing that dream teaching position!

OPTION 1 (Recommended): Sign up for a TEFL training course (ideally in the country you want to teach in) and organise a job when you finish. This is our preferred option because:

You will get a TEFL qualification that is internationally recognised and can be used anywhere in the world.

You'll become an effective English language teacher. You will leave the course feeling confident and ready to start teaching your first 'real' class. You'll also have a toolkit of activities, games and lesson plans which can be used with your classes.

Any reputable training course will provide careers guidance. Towards the end of the course you will normally take part in a one-2-one or group workshop which focuses on finding a job, creating an effective CV and interview skills. Your course should also provide a range of job opportunities (many language schools select one training provider to recruit new teachers and will not hire teachers who apply directly), contact information for schools and details of reliable recruitment organisations in the area.

If you do your TEFL training in the country or region you would like to teach in, you will have chance to settle in to the country/culture and have the opportunity to assess the job market and select the area you would most like to work in.

Although the course will be demanding your course mates will be able to provide support as you go through the training together, there will be plenty of opportunities for a beer after class and exploring the local area at the weekend.
Click on the 'TEFL courses' tab to find a TEFL course that's right for you.

OPTION 2: Sign up with one of the large chains of language schools.
Some of the larger chains of language schools will offer free or reduced training if you guarantee to take a job at one of their centres. Most of these companies are based in Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea.

Language centres in countries where there is a high demand for teachers may pay your airfare and other expenses. You might also get other benefits such as local or telephone interviews, reasonable salary, a guaranteed job and an instant social network. It can be a good way to start your TEFL career but there are downsides.

The chain might not operate in a country/area you want to work in

You will have to commit to working one of their centres for up to a year before you've left home

You might find that you don't like the area they send you to

Pay is often below average

There have been complaints about how they treat their staff

Contracts are often set for 1 or 2 years with a break penalty

You may have to teach a very strict, rigid curriculum with little room for creativity.

Click on the 'Jobs/Volunteering' tab for more information

OPTION 3: Sign up with a recruiter
Be on your toes! There are many scams involving recruiters. Click on the 'Jobs/Volunteering' tab for more information

OPTION 4: Don't do any training and get a job (not recommended!)
You can still get a job without a TEFL certificate but its getting harder and your choice of jobs will be limited. Also remember that teaching English is not an easy job - do you really think you can teach English to your students with no training? Do the job justice and get a TEFL qualification.

Related Tags: tefl, tesol, tefl course, teaching english as a foreign language, tefl jobs, tefl training

Tom White is the editor of TEFLtom.com. TEFLtom.com is the perfect place to start your TEFL adventure - find out if TEFL is for you, choose a TEFL course, find the perfect teaching placement and get teaching resources. Visit www.tefltom.com to find out more

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