With thousands of jobs available, teaching ESL overseas is an increasingly appealing option to many people. While it is possible to land a teaching position without certification, having more credentials opens more doors in more countries, giving you more choice and possibly better pay. The TESOL certificate is a great option, but the internet is overflowing with information on the subject. Here is a quick guide that will help get you on your way to getting TESOL certification.
What is TESOL?
As you’ve no doubt already learned, ESL certification is rampant with acronyms! TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) are two of the most common you will hear, and there is virtually no difference between the two. TESOL is more than a certificate; it’s a community of teachers dedicated to helping others reach higher standards in teaching ESL. Browse the TESOL website and you’ll find conventions, helpful articles, and forums filled with other teachers ready to help you.
There are several schools and courses available that offer TESOL certification, and they vary from intensive to part-time. The most popular are the intensive courses, which are typically a month long and full-time. These courses are offered in several countries, and the packages often include housing options. If studying full-time for one month is not ideal for you, there are part-time options, which can last for several months. Online courses are also available, but be sure to check and make sure the program you are using is well-respected in the ESL community before you sign up. In particular, make sure that your course includes observed teaching practice with actual ESL students; this is vital to every type of certification program.
With such a variety in courses, the price range for TESOl certification varies. Depending on where you study, as well as your housing situation, expect the price to be anywhere from $800-$3,000.
Before you open your wallet, browse through the TESOL practice tests online to see what you’re in for. If you’ve never taught ESL overseas before, you may want to consider finding a job that doesn’t require certification so you can see if you like it. Any certification takes time and money, so you want to be sure this is the career for you before you start.
During The Course
TESOL training can be intense, so be prepared to treat your studies as a full-time job when you begin. The point of the course isn’t to obtain a piece of paper; it’s to help you learn how to be an efficient teacher that’s comfortable running a classroom. The effort you spend now will pay off tenfold during your teaching career, as you’ll be learning from experts with tons of experience.
Teaching ESL overseas can be fun and rewarding. Having TESOL certification will not only help you land the perfect job, but you’ll be a better teacher from day one!