Are you confused about what is a TEFL certification? This is quite normal given the abundance of information out there, not just on the Internet but also in books and journal articles. And not all the information is reliable.
If you are here, reading this article, you have nothing to fear. You will learn all about what is a TEFL certification and how you can choose the best possible course.
All About TEFL Certification
There are quite a few acronyms that are used almost synonymously with TEFL, which stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
The other acronyms and what they stand for are:
- TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
- TESL – Teaching English as a Second Language
So, a TEFL certification is what is awarded to you once you’ve completed a TEFL/TESOL/TESL training course or program.
What Does a TEFL Certification Entail
When doing your research about what is a TEFL certification, you will find that every TEFL certification course will have different teaching modules or units; however, they do (and should) teach certain TEFL topics as a standard. These include:
- An introduction to TEFL
- Lesson planning and structuring your lesson
- Strategies for classroom management
- Language skills (grammar, vocabulary, phonology, reading, writing, speaking, and listening) and how to teach these
- Resources for your teacher toolbox
- Practice teaching
Other than you learning about all of these topics on how to teach English as a Foreign language, your course will also involve:
- Lots of reading – you need to read and take in a lot of information and do research for your assignments.
- Lots of listening – especially with any input sessions with an on-site TEFL course
- Regular assessment – applicable to both on-site and online TEFL courses
- Tutor support – your instructor is there for you to answer your questions, give you guidance during lesson planning, and to motivate you.
- Observed teaching practice – applicable mostly to on-site TEFL courses and combined ones.
Related article: All the Best Online TEFL Certificates You Need to Know About
When Do You Need A TEFL Certification?
Most employers and countries require a person wanting to teach English at their school or institution to have a TEFL certification. Why? So, they know you have been trained in teaching EFL and a TEFL certification may also allow you to get the correct visa you need to work in that country.
What Are The Requirements?
Requirements for a TEFL certification generally includes:
- Being at least 18 years old (some courses may prefer you to be at least 21)
- A university degree (this may be a requirement)
- Native level of English language proficiency
Furthermore, you may need to pass an interview and complete and pass some kind of language awareness task.
What To Take Into Consideration When Choosing the Best TEFL Certification
There are quite a few factors to take into consideration when choose what is the best TEFL certification for you. They most important ones are:
- Is the TEFL course accredited or regulated by an international TEFL accreditation organization? (Only courses that are accredited should make it onto your shortlist.)
- How many hours of instruction do you receive? (A 100+ hour course is the international standard.)
- Do you want to complete an on-site (or in-person) course or an online TEFL course? (There is no right or wrong answer here, and your answer will depend on a few other factors related to how much time you have to do the course, your budget, any financial constraints, and so forth.)
- Do you get tutor support while you are doing the TEFL certification course? (This should be a ‘yes’.)
- What are the user ratings or independent reviews of the course? (While you can’t believe every review, whether positive or negative, these should be considered when creating a shortlist of TEFL courses you’d like to do).
Does A TEFL Certificate Expire?
No, it doesn’t.
Choosing the right TEFL certification for you is important if you want to teach English in your home country or abroad. However, you need to base your decision on all the factors discussed in this article (accreditation, hours of instruction, your budget and time availability, tutor support, what you will learn, and independent reviews).