It’s a common misconception that only ESL teachers benefit from earning a TEFL Certificate. Understandably, as TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. However, most people don’t realize that the objective of a TEFL course is to prepare you for teaching non-native English speakers. This means that even certified teachers, who have attended teacher’s college and earned their teaching license, can benefit from a TEFL certificate! Read on to learn why.
Teaching abroad is different from teaching at home
As a certified teacher, you learn teaching strategies, classroom management, lesson planning and more. However, a Bachelor of Education focuses on how to be a great teacher in your home country, where communication is easy because the shared language between you and your students is the native language. The foreign classroom is an entirely different ballpark as you will be teaching your desired subject in English to non-native speakers. It’s hard enough for a student to understand math concepts in their native language – let alone a foreign one! A TEFL course helps you adapt your communication style to suit the English proficiency level of your students. Keep in mind that in some cases, your students’ English levels will vary in a single classroom. Learning skills to identify those language gaps and adapt your teaching style and strategies for each student is a key component in a TEFL course.
A TEFL Certificate is for life
Your TEFL certification never expires and doesn’t need to be renewed. Once you are certified, it’s for life. What’s more? A TEFL Certificate is the qualification standard for teaching abroad and is internationally recognized by employers. With a TEFL Certificate on your resume, you’ll stand out from other candidates applying for the same job, with the same qualifications, and improve your chances of landing a job abroad with a reputable employer.
Teachers are often encouraged to incorporate pop culture, current events and cultural references into their lessons to make the class more interesting and engaging to students. This can pose a problem when you realize that your new home country has completely different celebrities, movies, TV shows, politicians and even humour – all of which are unfamiliar to you.
A TEFL course prepares you for these cultural differences and helps you research destinations, organizations and work environments overseas. You’ll be equipped to quickly adapt to your new home and anticipate and prepare for cultural differences that can (at times) be frustrating.
Whether you’re a seasoned certified teacher with years of experience, or a recent university graduate looking for teaching opportunities, a TEFL Certificate can help make you the ideal candidate for any teaching job abroad.
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