Saturday, 8 November 2008

Is a TEFL cert necessary?

Updated 9 February 2012

Why You Should Get a TEFL Certificate
It wouldn't be fair to your students if you didn't get some training before you start teaching English abroad. Knowing the language and being able to teach it are two different things. There’s nothing worse than having a student ask you to explain something and you not know the answer. If you're looking at taking a course take a look at choosing a TEFL course and studying a TEFL course at home vs abroad.

Intensive TEFL courses will provide you with the basics on how to teach English. A good TEFL course should have 120 hours plus 6 hours of teaching practice. You will learn grammar, how to teach vocabulary, popular activities, and different teaching methods. The course trainers can give you advice about where to go and what to look for in a contract.

While many countries prefer a degree over a TEFL cert some people have said that Cambodia, China, Indonesia, and Thailand require them in order to get legal working papers and many employers in Vietnam want teachers to have them.

Learning about TEFL Without a Certificate
Realistically speaking, not everyone can take TEFL courses, for a number of reasons, but there are still good ways to learn about teaching. If you can’t take a TEFL course don’t worry it’s not the end of the world. There are free TEFL courses and other ways to learn about teaching. You can also take some online courses such as those mentioned in choosing a TEFL course. MacMillan has free webinars and you can see their list of past and present webinars on their website.

Free Online TEFL Certs and Courses
TEFL in China and Thailand
Below you can find info from TEFL Newbie.
  • China: for a Z visa you need a TEFL cert. Some employers fake them, other work on F visas (business visa) but that is becoming more problematic. The days of working on tourist visas are pretty much finished unless you are planning on moving on quickly.
  • Thailand: Yes, you can get a visa without TEFL cert. However, you won't get a work permit or legal working papers without a TEFL Cert OR a degree in Education.
This article has also been published in the ELT Times.


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