TEFL is an acronym for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and is used when talking about teaching people who do NOT live in English speaking countries. On the other hand, Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) is used when talking about teaching English to people who do not speak it natively but DO live in an English speaking country. Countless people each year choose to become TEFL teachers so they can travel abroad and making a living while they do. However, prior to being hired by a foreign school or language institute, they must hold a TEFL Certificate, which shows that they are qualified to teach English.
What is TEFL Certification?
Becoming a TEFL certified teacher is not a terribly difficult process, especially if you are a native English speaker. In fact, you can find TEFL certification courses throughout the world, which gives you the opportunity to pick where you want to travel to. On the other hand, if you don’t want to travel for the course, or if your educational budget doesn’t allow for travel, you can find several TEFL certification online courses.
Most of these courses also provide students with post-course assistance in finding teaching jobs throughout the world. The course I attended helped rework our resumes (CVs) during the first week. I and many of my peers where attending job interviews even before the end of the course!
Who Needs Certification?
Many people wonder if they truly need certification. The answer depends on how they want to teach English now and how they see themselves teaching in the future. For example, if you don’t plan on leaving your native country, and plan on teaching English online independently, you probably really don’t need to hold a TEFL certificate. If you plan on teaching English online through a school or language institute, you’ll probably have to show your certification during the interview process. The same holds true if you plan on traveling to a different country and work with a school there.
Even if you don’t currently plan on working for a school, either online or in another country, it wouldn’t hurt to have a certificate.
Going the certification process is pretty enjoyable and you will learn a lot of interesting things about English that you forgot you knew. Holding a TEFL certificate gives you an extra foot in the door. Even if you choose to work independently, you can show your potential students your certificate. They will feel more confident hiring you.
What is TEFL certification? To answer the question again and in a different form, TEFL certification is an invaluable tool allowing you to live an adventurous life of travel and work wherever you’d like!