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What is TEFL?

source:Teach in china time:2018-10-20 10:55:45 read:201

What is TEFL?
TEFL stands for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’. In countries all around the world students of all ages, from kindergarten to adults, are learning English and as a result there is a huge demand for native English speakers to teach them. Becoming a TEFL teacher literally opens up a world of opportunities for you to get paid to live and teach English abroad. You can explore new cultures, make money and do a really rewarding job which allows you to be creative, work with people of all ages and have a positive influence on their lives.
TEFL
Who becomes a TEFL teacher?
Teaching English as a foreign language is a job enjoyed by a wide range of people. TEFL teachers can be fresh graduates looking to live abroad for a year or two, or even just for a couple of months over the summer. Others are people who have been working in a completely unrelated industry and are looking for a fresh challenge and something completely different.

TEFL teaching also appeals to career teachers who are looking to leave their teaching job in their home country and teach overseas. There are also those who are getting to retirement age and are looking to change gears and try something different.
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Understanding TEFL Acronyms and Abbreviations
There are a lot of acronyms in the TEFL industry, but essentially there is no real difference between the following acronyms and they are used interchangeably:
TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language
ESL = English as a Second Language
EFL = English as a Foreign Language
TESL = Teaching English as a Second Language
TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
ESOL = English to Speakers of Other Languages
Types of Jobs
Within the TEFL industry there are a lot of options for teaching jobs, so you will have to put some thought into the type of job you want and the student age that you think you would be best suited to teach. There are opportunities to teach at:
Kindergarten teaching jobs:Teaching jobs for 3 to 6 year olds
Language School teaching jobs:Teaching jobs for all ages
Public school teaching jobs"Jobs at primary, middle, high schools
University teaching jobs:Teaching jobs for 18 to 22 year olds
Adult teaching jobs:Teaching jobs to adult students
TEFL
What does a TEFL teacher do?
This will of course vary depending on the type of job but typically you will teaching a range of skills from speaking, listening, reading and writing. There is usually a focus on using the ‘communicative approach’ to teaching which encourages students to speak English and use the English language as much as possible. The teacher will introduce new language, have the students use it in a controlled framework to begin with and then move on to using it in a more natural way through group work, pair work and debates, where the emphasis is on increased student talk time. A typical class will include a mix of activities and interactions, some course book work, English based games and storytelling. These days technology plays a big part in the classroom with teachers making use of interactive whiteboards.

Can non-native English speakers work as TEFL teachers?

Yes. If you are a non-native speaker with fluent English and a clear accent there are definitely jobs available worldwide for teaching English. Non-native speakers have the added advantage of having learnt English themselves at school so often have a deeper understanding on language learning techniques and the intricacies of English grammar. However, non-native speakers will have to be more patient and persistent when job hunting as a lot of schools tend to prefer hiring native speakers, which can be due to preferences from their students or work visa regulations.

Getting qualified to teach English as a foreign language
TEFL certificates
While there are jobs that can hire teachers without a TEFL certificate, the vast majority of jobs around the world require applicants to have a TEFL certificate. To get a TEFL certificate you need to complete a TEFL course. There are a lot of options out there for TEFL courses, some are in-class courses done face to face in a classroom while others are online courses where you will complete assignments that are marked by your online tutor. Make sure the TEFL course provider is accredited by a reputable organization and that the course tutors are well qualified.
TEFL course length
Courses can range from anything from a short 20 hour weekend course to an intensive 9 to 5 month long course. Generally speaking, schools will be looking for teachers that have a minimum of a 100 hour course, anything shorter than that doesn’t go into sufficient depth.
TEFL course content
Courses will cover topics such as lesson planning, teaching techniques, classroom management, error correction, creating activities, using supplementary material, dealing with discipline issues as well as teaching real students to put into practice what you have learnt in the course.

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