What is TEFL

Many individuals seek to travel overseas to find work for various reasons. Most but not all have the required qualifications to easily find work in a new country, whilst others may not have what is needed which is when they would decide on a new career path. The desire to change careers prompted the huge business known as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Schools and companies in countries English is not the first language needed to now train their people to be able to have an acceptable level of English language.

English being the lingua franca in the world of business soon found many colleges and course providers offering courses known as the TEFL.The university of Cambridge has their own which is regarded as the “Gold standard” known as the CELTA course.

Cambridge is already a well-established university in the UK and has for years been the go-to for development as they have well-assured standards. Therefore a course done by Cambridge is well respected in the industry.The CELTA is an extensive course that would train candidates both practically and theoretically about teaching English. Many language centers around the globe offer CELTA, TEFL and TESOL courses, however, language centers or course providers who do offer the CELTA must be accredited by Cambridge as Cambridge would be the external moderators and will officially issue the final statement of results as well as the certificate.

The three acronyms within the industry commonly used are TEFL- Teaching English as a Foreign Language, TESOL- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and CELTA – Certificate in English Language to Teaching to Adults. These acronyms are used very often and we find that the TEFL and TESOL both can be used interchangeably as they both may have different letters but can be achieved in the same way.Both the TEFL and TESOL can be done online or can be done in class; they can also have a combined course where a part is done in class and part online.

The CELTA course used to just be an extensive in-class 4-week program focusing on theory and practice, but in recent times even the CELTA now can be done with an online component.CELTA is geared more for those who wish to turn teaching into a lifelong career, it is more expensive and often has very many requirements needed before actually doing the course such as formal qualifications and being of a minimum age of 20.whereas with the TEFL and TESOL there are minimum requirements of age 16 and a native-level of English.

TEFL refers to the industry, many providers will offer a TEFL certificate and many course providers give the various options of the different type of TEFL courses. For example, you could do a TEFL course worth 20 hours, there’s an option of 60 hours and so on. The industry required amount of hours is a minimum of 120 hours. This ensures that the applicant has had the relevant training to ensure that they can handle themselves comfortably within a classroom. The 120 hours TEFL/TESOL course would include a practical component.

The common issue today with these courses is the accreditation. You will find course providers of TEFL or TESOL who when they market their courses would often state that their course is ‘internationally recognized” and on their certificates, you would see logos of accrediting companies who when doing a Google search do exist. The issue with these companies is that they often have a membership fee. What this means is that as long as you pay their fee you have permission to use their logo. These companies also are mainly based in the Uk and don’t accredit course providers who are based outside the UK.

Some of the providers of four-week equivalent courses also administer their own cross-checks, which help to ensure consistency. Others, however, in the attempt to come up with similar forms of approval and accreditation, make use of varyingly trustworthy yardsticks. Some of these will be genuinely reliable, others more spurious. One example of something being misleadingly used as proof of quality as mentioned above is corporate membership of teaching and training associations. While membership of these is beneficial, it’s a red herring in terms of any guarantee of quality.Beyond the pedagogical arguments for taking a quality course, most would-be teachers’ prime concern is the question: “Will my course land me a Tefl job in my chosen country?”

Employers will always look first for prior teaching experience. In the absence of this, the importance placed on a good Tefl course will depend on the employer’s general awareness of the courses available and his or her previous experience of teachers with such qualifications. Other factors besides qualifications and experience which are also taken into account in the selection process include personality, presentation, other work experience, and academic qualifications.

FACT : THERE IS NO UNIFIED BODY THAT ACCREDITS A TEFL COURSE