What is TEFL?
Best known as a way to fund travelling abroad, many EFL teachers also work within the UK, taking advantage of the flexible working hours that the profession offers. This article explores some of the many options that the TEFL world has to offer!
Many people ask if Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a genuine career option or just a constructive way to fill in time.
While TEFL certainly offers the possibility of interesting work overseas for those in between school and university. The days of people simply turning up in foreign countries and expecting to find paid teaching to help fund their exotic travel plans are largely a thing of the past.
There are two universally recognised possibilities which enable people to teach English in countries all over the globe. They are the Cambridge University CELTA & the Trinity College TESOL. Both are equally valid – at level 5 on the UK Qualifications and Credit Framework – this means the standard of work required is at the level of a degree course. You can typically attain the certificates via 4-week intensive courses, or part-time courses of between 12-14 weeks.
Once in the industry there are a plethora of specialisations and niche areas a teacher may consider pursuing to help develop their career: Teaching Teenagers and Young Learners is a huge growth area; Business English and 1:1 Teaching certainly helps pay the bills; Exam English can really develop specific skills; and Blended Learning (incorporating IT into the classroom) is a relatively recent addition to the field.
Further qualifications are available for experienced teachers at the Diploma and Masters level. These typically can open the gateway to more senior positions within educational establishments such as Director of Studies, Teacher Trainer, Lecturer or even School Principal.
The world of TEFL now seems to be ever-growing as English continues its dominance as the primary international language of communication. So now and in the future it undoubtedly remains a genuine career option.