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TEFL – Teaching English Abroad
Whether you’re a recent graduate or a professional with years of experience, teaching English abroad is one of the best ways to build your career skills and add value to your university degree.
There are lots of very good reasons to get TEFL certified and to start teaching English abroad… here are just some of them…
Get international experience: Are you “international” enough; are you a global citizen? Living and working abroad shows you have global perspective. It shows you’re flexible and able to adapt. It demonstrates you can effectively live and work cross-culturally with people of all backgrounds.
Teach and learn: Teaching abroad is also about learning abroad. While you teach English, you immerse yourself and integrate into the culture where you’re working; and in your free time you can study a second or third language.
Make an impact: Inspire others to learn English as second language. Be the teacher who helps young people pass international exams like the TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, and GMAT. Help people improve their professional and academic opportunities. Change people’s lives!
Travel: All who wander are not lost, especially if you’re TEFL certified. Remember, traveling is the one thing you buy that actually makes you richer. Go create your international story—see the world, work, live, study, and fall in love.
Earn money: Travel, teach, and get paid. One of the perks of working abroad is that most countries’ tax systems offer tax-free eligibility for income earned overseas (yes, even the IRS in the United States).
Develop your career: The experience you gain by teaching English abroad is valuable and applicable to a number of fields. ESL teachers follow-on to careers in education, tourism, journalism (travel writing), law, human resources, college admissions, and government work. You also build an important global network of friends and colleagues.
Change your life: Find your life’s passions. Gain self-insight, renewed perspective, and build your positivity and optimism.
TEFL Certification Courses
Teaching English to non-native speakers requires specialized knowledge, expertise, and techniques. This takes learning, practice, and feedback. TEFL certification programs teach you the skills and methodologies you need. You also get important feedback on your teaching style, so you feel confident in front of an ESL classroom. During your TEFL course, you learn what it takes to be a professional ESL teacher anywhere in the world!
Good TEFL programs are intensive—you’re doing a semester’s worth of work in only 4 weeks. To successfully complete your TEFL program, you should be emotionally and physically prepared to work hard, both inside and outside of class. The most common feedback we hear at the end of the TEFL course is, “I didn’t realize how intense the course would be.”
Accreditation is a formal, rigorous review process by a recognized accrediting body. The process includes site visits, review of program quality, review of service standards, and review of the institute’s financial stability; as well as ongoing control, reporting, and re-accreditation requirements.
The global standard for TEFL certificates includes a minimum of 120 hours of training with at least 6 hours of observed teaching practice with non-native learners. The best quality measures of a TEFL course are
a) number of hours
b) content and curriculum
c) training and instruction.
Not all TEFL courses are created equal, and it’s important you know what kind of program you’re joining.
Questions to ask TEFL training centers:
- How long have you been offering TEFL courses?
- Can you provide references for your TEFL course; can I email or phone them directly?
- How many hours of trainer contact and practice teaching are guaranteed?
- What is the maximum number of students per class?
- Can you provide the qualifications and biographies of your TEFL Trainers?
- Who accredits your institute?
- Is the accrediting agency recognized by an industry group, university, or government body?
Reviews of Maximo Nivel’s TEFL Certification Program >
Who Studies TEFL?
Teaching English as a Second Language provides English speakers one of the greatest opportunities to travel, live, and work abroad.
Maximo Nivel’s TEFL graduates come from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. Many TEFLers are young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 who have recently graduated from university. We also have a number of TEFLers between the ages of 35 and 50, and still others are between 55 and 70. Our mature learners are often taking time off from their regular jobs to travel internationally, while others have left their previous careers and are seeking new challenges.
TEFLers come primarily from English-speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom; as well as Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa. We also have people join us from countries like Belgium, Chile, Germany, Mexico, and the Netherlands. Note that if you’re a non-native English speaker, you must pass our English qualification test before being accepted on to the TEFL program.
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Must be academically prepared for university-level work
- Proficient at speaking and writing English
- Must have excellent study skills and be able to write in English at a university level
- Must be able to use computers, internet, and word processing software
Be a world class English teacher
It’s important to understand that just because you speak English, doesn’t mean you know how to teach English. Even naturally gifted teachers and those with a talent for languages must get professionally certified. Remember, a TEFL course not only makes you a better teacher, but also helps you get higher paying jobs. The best schools to work for don’t even consider teachers who aren’t TEFL certified. This makes sense, because schools are obligated to provide their students with the best educational experience possible—that’s what the students [or their parents] are paying for. Schools, institutes, and universities around the world are constantly building their teaching teams and they’re looking for serious teachers who are professionally trained.
If you doubt the value of TEFL certification, consider this… Would you really want to walk into a room of 25 people who speak zero English… and whose native language(s) you don’t speak… they’re staring at you… waiting… waiting for you to take charge and teach them English. Would you have your lesson plan ready? Would you be able to make them talk and teach them the nuances of English vocabulary, grammar, and phonology?
If you’ve been trained in the Direct Method and Communicative Approach—the methodologies utilized in Maximo Nivel’s TEFL programs—you can teach English successfully anywhere in the world. The TEFL Certification Program gives you the tools, training, and confidence to be a great English teacher!
Like many professions, teaching English abroad has its own set of jargon. Below is just a small primer of some of the most common acronyms:
TEFL—Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESOL—Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
TESL—Teaching English as a Second Language
CELTA—Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults
ESL—English as a Second Language
EFL—English as a Foreign Language
ELT—English Language Teaching
Some of the acronyms above are used more or less interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings to ESL professionals. For example, English as a Foreign Language (EFL) refers to English taught to non-native speakers in a country where English is not the native language (e.g. English classes taught in Peru); while English as a Second Language (ESL) refers to English taught to non-native speakers in a country where English is the native language (e.g. English classes taught in the United States).