Wondering how to get your TEFL? You’ve come to the right place.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) has never been easier! I also think it is becoming more popular as the years go on.
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I’ve always loved traveling. I never thought I’d love teaching just as much. I came across Dave’s ESL Cafe years ago when it was recommended to me. I had never really thought about teaching abroad so I was skeptical. Looking back now, I wish I had taught abroad sooner because I fell in love with my job and traveling even more!
How to Get Your TEFL
Finding a program to obtain your TEFL can be tedious and time-consuming. You can go on Groupon and buy a course there for as little as $20. Something to keep in the back of your mind: you get what you pay for.
I went through International TEFL Academy (ITA). My referral link is here.
There are different certifications that you can use to teach, but from my research, I’ve found that the TEFL is widely accepted and used in countries where their first language is not English.
A Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) is used for those who want to teach English as a career either at home or abroad. TESOL or Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language is basically the same thing as a CELTA. The only difference is that CELTA is affiliated with Cambridge University.
What is a TEFL certificate?
A TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate is the most widely accepted certificate that allows one to teach English abroad. It is used for people to teach English in a foreign country that does not have English as their first language.
A TEFL is used for those who want to teach English in another country instead of their own country. Once you have finished taking your course, you then have basic teaching skills to teach English abroad or even online!
What is ITA?
ITA stands for International TEFL Academy. It is an accredited program and they provide you with great resources. I finished my course in early 2019 and then worked at a language center to complete my practicum hours.
Why I Chose ITA
ITA in short is pretty awesome. It is based in Chicago but their online course is just as great.
ITA is a bit pricey but like I said, you get what you pay for. They are an accredited course with lifetime job guidance. Which pretty much sold me.
How Much Does ITA Cost?
It costs $1,449 now. But think of it this way- they help you for the rest of your ESL career.
How Long is the Course?
You can check out their website and choose which course is best for you. I chose the 11-week course which was still pretty intense. You can also choose a full-time course that’s 4 weeks. They also have the option to take your course abroad and then will guarantee you a job placement in that country after you complete your course.
You have to complete 150 hours of coursework. I spent about 11 hours a week doing work. Which isn’t really bad if you break it down. After you complete the 150 coursework, you have to do 20 hours of practicum.
What Does ITA Offer / Include?
ITA offers lifetime job guidance. They also assign you an advisor. Before you make any commitment to the program, you schedule a phone call with your assigned advisor and ask any questions that you want. After you complete the course, you are able to talk with them again and figure out a game plan.
I had to take weekly quizzes and participate in discussions that were due on Fridays. The writing assignments were due on Sundays. They will give you a calendar for all of your assignments. You are required to complete 150 hours of online work as well as 20 hours of practicum. The practicum includes student teaching and/or observing an ESL classroom.
I ended up emailing quite a few programs around my area and finding a night ESL course about 20 minutes away from my house. I went as often as I was able to and even after my 20 hours were completed, I kept going back because I enjoyed it oh so much.
Another great aspect of ITA is they have Facebook groups for alumni. You can connect with people that are already in the country of your choice or are already there so they can offer advice. I think I am in every group of theirs because once I got my certificate, I realized that the options were limitless.
What is the Practicum?
The practicum is 20 hours. It includes teaching, observation, and tutoring. You have 90 days to finish the practicum once you finish your course. You can start the practicum before you finish the course or wait until after. I emailed a bunch of schools and programs in and around Boston before I finished the course and luckily found a great program.
Here’s some more information about the practicum.
How Much Money Can You Make?
This is another question that varies from country to country. I’ve heard that in Europe and South America, you are barely able to save money. Meanwhile, in South Korea, Vietnam, and China, you can save a decent amount. It all depends. In Thailand, I was able to save a good amount of money but the exchange rate wasn’t that great. In South Korea, I was able to save a lot. The school paid for my apartment in South Korea whereas they did not in Thailand.
What Are the Requirements to Teach Abroad?
Every country is different. I’ve had so many people ask me what the requirements are and it really just varies per country. You can do a quick Google search and you will get loads of information.
Some countries require that you have a Bachelor’s degree. The good thing is that in some countries, it doesn’t matter which subject your Bachelor’s is in- just make sure you do a quick Google search.
You will also need your TEFL (duh!!).
Some job listings will post that you must have 1-2 years of experience.
Again, for most countries to teach English, you will need to be from one of the 7 countries that have English as their native language:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
- The United States
There are loads of countries that don’t require English to be your/your country’s native language.
Here’s a list of a few countries in which you do not need a 4-year degree to teach English abroad (as of 2021):
- Costa Rica
Overall, ITA was the right choice for me. If you plan on traveling and teaching, it might be right for you, too!
I knew I wanted to travel to all different countries so choosing ITA was my number one choice because they will always be here to help.