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If you want to move abroad to teach English to non-native speakers, one of the first steps in finding a job is to take a TEFL course. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and having this certification in your back pocket can help make it easier to land a job, no matter where you’d like to live. However, all TEFL courses aren’t created equally. To boost your teaching career, use these four tips to ensure that you’re choosing the right course.
Tip #1: Make Sure Your Class Is Accredited
If your class isn’t accredited, you could be paying a lot of money without many benefits. Accreditation helps ensure that your program meets minimum standards and you should look for one with at least 100 hours of academic coursework that offers practice teaching opportunities with actual ESL students (some programs will simply have students role play with instructors and this isn’t good enough). Be sure it also follows an accredited curriculum and employs university level instructors.
Some online only programs don’t meet the accreditation standards. It’s unlikely that these programs will truly help potential teachers find jobs, especially with higher caliber organizations.
Tip #2: Avoid Cheap Courses
There are a few things that you shouldn’t skimp on and a TEFL course is one of them. There’s some truth to the old saying — if it’s too good to be true, it probably is! These courses are likely to be completely ineffective with instructors who aren’t even remotely qualified. After all, why would they accept half of the pay if they were an effective teacher? Instead, save your money and pay for a professional course. You’ll get what you pay for.
Tip #3: Find A Program That Will Help You Find A Job So You Can Teach Afterwards
The goal of any TEFL course is to find a job so you can teach overseas afterwards. To make the job search easier, look for one that will help you find a job! If you don’t know how to start your job search, it can be difficult to teach abroad. There are quite a few different placement agencies and placement assistance can really help you find a job once you’re ready to begin your career.
Tip #4: Don’t Automatically Discount Online Courses
While many people choose an in-person class to help them learn how to effectively teach, online courses can be effective. Online courses are effective, as long as they’re accredited. If you’re concerned with the quality of the education in an online class, simply talk to a representative of the school about your concerns. Online classes may be easier to fit into your schedule and they allow students to get a great education, regardless of where they’re physically located.
When you want to teach English overseas, the first step is to take a TEFL course, but finding a program just isn’t enough. Use these tips to make sure that you’re choosing a course that can help you achieve your dreams, whether you want to work overseas or with ESL students right in your own country.