TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is an accreditation awarded after completion of a course, either online or in-class, where the methods, theories, and practical applications of teaching English to non-native speakers are expounded. There are a variety of institutions that grant TEFL applications, some better regarded as others.
Frequently, institutions providing TEFL applications will assist graduates in finding and successfully gaining employment in the English teaching profession after they graduate from the course. Native English speakers are in demand worldwide, especially ones holding a TEFL certificate. Taking a course to become qualified to teach English such as a TEFL course demonstrates to potential employers a willingness to learn and a dedication to this field of employment.
Anyone can take a TEFL course, from teenagers fresh out of high school to middle-aged individuals looking for a change of pace of a career path shift. Many opportunities become available with a TEFL certificate from the right institution, and it is a great addition to a resume.
Many TEFL courses, in addition to the class, offer hands-on training in a classroom environment to further build the confidence of the teacher prior to taking a job in a school. In these situations, a trained TEFL teacher will supervise the lesson delivered by the TEFL candidate, then later review their work and offer constructive criticism. Because most classes are an hour long and often students only attend class once per week, maximizing the instruction time allotted is essential for getting positive results in terms of language advancement for the students.
Typically, a TEFL course will focus on teaching the four fundamentals of English: listening, speaking, reading & writing. Teaching theories, which attempt to explain how people learn languages and the best ways to ensure the information from lessons is retained long-term, are also frequently included in the curriculum of a TEFL course. Many also include cultural training, which can be specific for the region in which the TEFL candidates wish to pursue careers. For example, a TEFL course geared toward teaching English in Saudi Arabia might include lessons on cultural norms in Islamic-majority countries.
Lastly, in terms of content of the TEFL course, students will learn assessment methods – both how to administer tests and how to gauge absorption and retention of the material as English classes progress.
Completing the right TEFL course can mean a world of difference in the long-term success of English teachers.