Learning English is very popular in many countries around the world.

Enrolling on an accredited TEFL course can lead to a globally recognised qualification that will help you to take advantage of this demand by finding work teaching English to overseas students. These distance learning courses will give you a complete introduction to everything that you need to know to become a skilled, qualified and successful language tutor.

What does TEFL mean
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is also commonly known as ESL (English as a Second Language), TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and also ELT (English Language Teaching).

How are online TEFL courses taught

Every student learns in a different way, and at their own pace. The flexibility of these courses, and the way that they are designed means they can be moulded and tailored to suit any pupil who wants to learn.

Classes are taught through a combination of online lessons, emailed study material, correspondence and video seminars. Learning over the Internet is demanding, and very different to taking an equivalent classroom based course. However students can be assured that there will always be tutors on hand to guide them through this virtual environment. Their teachers will be fully qualified, very experienced and guide them step by step until they complete their studies.

Its also worth noting that learning technology has advanced greatly from even a few years ago. These-days many interactive classes are not only very user friendly, but can also be taken via a PC, laptop, Smartphone or mobile tablet.

Student enrolment requirements
You do not have to have any previous teaching experience or qualifications to enrol on a course. As long as you can speak English fluently, and have access to a fast internet connection, then you’re ready to go.

What will you learn on an online TEFL course
You need to know what you are talking about when you enter a classroom and start giving lessons. This hand’s on course will fully prepare you to become a competent teacher who can handle all situations. It’s a practical program that covers topics such as:

  • Assessing students
  • Classroom management
  • Classroom observation
  • Class co-ordination
  • Content and language integrated learning (CLIL)
  • Correcting errors
  • Cultural awareness
  • Developing writing skills
  • ESL games and activities
  • Increasing student participation
  • Language introduction
  • Marking work
  • Planning and preparing lessons
  • Speaking to an audience
  • Teaching children, young people and mature adults
  • Teaching reading and listening skills
  • Teaching both large and small classes
  • Teaching methodologies
  • Telephone teaching
  • Using visual aids

You will get a good idea of how to

  • Design your own training material.
  • Deal with disruptive pupils.
  • Give personal one to one lessons.
  • Teach over the internet or telephone.
  • Provide appropriate feedback to students on any oral and written work.

You will learn how to teach

  • Grammar
  • Classroom management
  • Vocabulary
  • Pronunciation
  • Speaking and writing
  • Phonology
  • Business English
  • How to hold a conversation.

Upon completion, many courses also give advice and guidance on how to find work abroad.

What to look for in an online TEFL training provider
It’s advisable to try to find out as much as you can about a prospective training provider before you part with any cash. Below are some tips of what you should look out for, and into;

  • Is the course accredited by a reputable and established trade body or organisation. These ‘trade bodies’ will regularly monitor the quality of the course work being taught to ensure that they meet student needs and industry standards.
  • Is the training provider is a member of a established teaching organisation.
  • Are the tests accredited by a professional external exams body.

Questions to ask a TEFL training provider

  • How long have they been established.
  • How many students have taken and passed their course.
  • Are there any extra fees for re-taking any tests or exams.
  • Do you have to pay to receive your certificate.
  • Do they have any job support programme to help students who pass their course to find work.
  • How many hours of study does the course require me to do, is there a minimum amount of hours that I have to study.
  • How long does the course last.
  • Will I have to purchase any additional study material or books?
  • Can I retake any test or exam that I fail, and is there an extra charge for this.
  • Is there any time limit on taking the course i.e. does it have to be taken within one month, or can I take as long as I want.
  • How do I pay for the course
  • After I pass will I have to register with any trade body or organisation.
  • Do you offer any advice on getting visas to work abroad.

Things to find out about a TEFL training provider

  • Do they have a landline phone number that you can call them on.
  • Can you speak to a course administrator.
  • Search Internet forums for positive or negative reviews about the company
  • What sort of certificate will you get upon completing the course, and can you see a example of it.
  • Is the qualification / certificate accredited and if so by which body.

How long does a TEFL course take to finish
This depends on how fast you can learn, and how many minimum hours of study you are required to put in (if any) by the course provider.

Student discounts
Some online training providers offer discounts for graduates, students and the unemployed, so its therefore worth asking about these.

What type of employment can a TEFL qualification lead to
Having a TEFL qualification under your belt is an excellent accomplishment to put on your CV. It’s something that can greatly improve your career prospects, and can be a stepping stone to being able to work anywhere in the world. It is a serious career choice for many people, and TEFL teachers can go on to work in language schools, state schools, charities and private companies all over the world. Other areas where employment can be found include:

  • Teaching agencies
  • Voluntary positions
  • Foreign internships
  • Self employment
  • Short term contracts

Some job opportunities for TEFL graduates may be advertised as unpaid work, however in these cases an ‘employer’ may be willing to pay for your travel, food and lodgings.

Online courses are suitable for anyone who

  • Is working full time, and only has spare time in the evening or at the weekend.
  • Has family or social commitments that means they have no time for a daytime course.
  • For whatever reason cannot physically attend a college or classroom.

Reasons to enrol on a online TEFL course
For as number of years online learning growing in popularity. Listed below are some of the main reasons for this:

  • It can help fund your travels around the world.
  • New technologies are constantly emerging that are enhancing the learning and teaching experience.
  • Leave with a accredited and globally recognised certificates.
  • You can find work anywhere in the world (more interesting than a boring 9 to 5 office job).
  • You can study at a time that suits you.
  • No rush to complete the course.
  • Students can begin studying straight away, no need to wait for term time.
  • Courses are more affordable that similar classroom based ones.
  • Learn at your own pace.
  • There are many different options to choose from.
  • You have more time to think about what you are learning.
  • Online courses can be used to support a classroom based course in the same subject.
  • They can easily fit around your work schedule and social life.
  • You could end up teaching senior managers, government officials, key decision makers or important business people, all of whom are useful people to know.

Why do foreigners want to learn English
Most people want to learn it for either employment or personal reasons. Below is a list of the most common reasons:

  • Increases their earning potential.
  • English is a global language.
  • It’s the language of business.
  • Can improve their career prospects.
  • Make friends in the English speaking world.
  • Helps prepare them for exams.
  • Considered an international language.

Try learning a new language yourself
This will give you an excellent idea of how to difficult it can be for a foreign student to try to learn English.


Related links
Tefl jobs