How to become an English as a Foreign Language teacher (EFL), get TEFL certified, and officially start your career teaching abroad (or in your native-English speaking home country) is not difficult. Just follow our step-by-step guide, let us know if you have any follow up questions in the comments section at the end of this post, and you can get started!
Step 1: How Dedicated Are You To This TEFL Decision?
Before you actually start with the process of seriously considering which TEFL certification course is right for you, coordinating a job abroad, and making visa and flight plans, make sure you are 100% in for this TEFL journey. After all, getting TEFL certified, scheduling a flight, and knowing you have enough money to support yourself until your first paycheck takes a lot of time, effort, and money.
If you are not 100% sure that TEFL is the right decision for your gap year or new career – whether temporarily or long term – that is very much OK. You can still use this time to educate yourself on all you need to know about TEFL, so that when you feel ready and are 100% sure, you can dive right in!
Step 2: Do You Meet The Requirements?
In order to get TEFL certified, there are several requirements you need to meet. These are:
- Are you at least 18 years old?
- Are you a native English speaker or at least fluent in English?
- Do you have a college or university degree? (This is not always a requirement, so it is worthwhile to check.)
- If you are a teacher, you still need a TEFL certificate to teach EFL as you need to learn the specific approach and methodology for teaching EFL, which can vary from employer to employer as well from TEFL providers.
Step 3: What Does Being TEFL Certified Mean?
Being TEFL certified is essentially your ticket to teaching English abroad.
You in luck because there is a whole host of organizations out there that are accredited and regulate to get you TEFL certified. Your choices extend to more than just a TEFL provider:
- an in person (also referred to as on-site), online, or a combination course
- the location – for in person courses, you can choose to do it in your home country or abroad, and for an online option, well, anywhere is an option J
- how many course hours you want to commit to (the international standard is at least 100 hours)
- course add-ons, like teaching young learners, academic English, business English
Step 4: How Do You Shop For A TEFL Course?
There are quite a few factors to take into consideration when you shop for a TEFL course:
- Do you want a classroom based, online, or combo course? You also need to examine the pros and cons of each.
- Where would you like your TEFL course to be located? This factor doesn’t matter if you opt for an online TEFL program.
- Is your TEFL course accredited and regulated?
- How much commitment does your TEFL course require? For example, a CELTA or Trinity TESOL requires an intense 4-week commitment.
- What is the cost to get TEFL certified?
- What is the course load?
- Did you check out the independent TEFL course reviews to see what others say?
- Does the course help with job placement?
In addition to looking at these factors to make your TEFL course decision, you need to shortlist between 3-5 TEFL programs – choose the best of the best as well as which course best suits your needs and get in touch with them – ask all of your questions, like What’s included? What’s the application process? Any success stories?
Step 5: Make A Decision And Apply
Once you made your decision, you need to apply for the TEFL course – emphasize your educational experiences, how you’ve maybe tried to learn a new language and techniques that helped you, and how this qualification will improve your life and job prospects.
Now you know what steps to follow to get TEFL certified.
The key takeaways for the step-by-step process for TEFL certification are:
- Be 100% dedicated to save you time, money, and effort.
- Ensure you meet all the requirements of the TEFL course.
- Know what it means to be TEEFL certified.
- Shop for a TEFL course.
- Decide and apply.
If you are looking for a TEFL course to add to your shortlist, consider this one from iTEFL.