There are lots of things that people still don’t understand about what TEFL is, from whether teaching online is a thing or not to needing a degree in English to be allowed to teach.Here is a list of 5 common TEFL misconceptions.
1: You can only teach EFL if you are a native English speaker
While most employers would prefer someone whose first language is English to teach their students, this isn’t always a requisite. There are lots of people whose first language isn’t English, but they speak English as if it is. So, if your English proficiency level is at a native level, you can become an EFL teacher.
2: You need a university degree in English to teach EFL
This simply isn’t true. Most employers do require that you have at least a Bachelor’s degree; however, they don’t generally specify in what field your degree needs to be in. Anyone from any background can become an EFL teacher, and your interest and education in other fields or industries will only make you a better teacher. Furthermore, there are students in non-native English-speaking countries looking for someone who can teach them all the jargon related to their field in English, be it in actuarial science or law, and not everyone might have the technical know-how to do so. You just might!
3: You can’t earn a valid TEFL certification online
There are many sketchy businesses out there who makes lots of promises, charges you a lot of money, and then either run off before you get started with your course or don’t deliver what you signed up for. However, you most definitely can earn a valid TEFL certification online – you just need to ensure that:
- the company you choose is legit,
- the program they offer is valid and meets industry standards, and
- what you are signing up for is in line with your future employer’s requirements.
Here are the standards a TEFL certification needs to meet:
- A minimum of 100 hours’ worth of coursework
- A minimum of 6 to 20 hours of live practice teaching and observation with real EFL students
- A curriculum that is accredited and recognized by an independent organization within the TEFL field
- Instruction given by an instructor who is qualified – this person needs an equivalent to a Master’s degree in TESOL
Have a look at our TEFL qualifications on offer, all accredited by the International TEFL Organization.
4: You can’t teach English and make enough money to travel the world
5: Teaching online isn’t a thing; it can’t help you earn money
Before we delve into this, let’s briefly look at what is online teaching. In short, in online teaching, an EFL teacher teaches English to students all around the world using a computer, an internet connection, and a webcam. You can either teach on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting.
Online teaching is definitely a thing and it is a growing business that has become huge already. There are many online English schools looking for teachers to teach their students online; teaching online gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of when you want to teach and from where. And yes, you can make money. If you work for a school or are just starting out on your own, rates range from US$14 to US$25 per hour. The more experience you have, the more you can charge.
As you learned in this article, there are many things about what TEFL is that people still don’t get or common misconceptions that keep on prevailing. We wanted to set the record straight, and while we didn’t mention everything that people don’t understand about teaching EFL, we would like to hear from you about those.
Do you have any questions about teaching English or anything to add to our common TEFL misconception list? Please let us know in the comments section below.