There are many obvious as well as not-so-obvious benefits of earning a TEFL certificate before moving abroad to teach. On the fence about starting a TEFL course? Check out some of the most important benefits that a TEFL certificate will give you!
1. Get a proper work visa
In order to obtain a work visa, many countries require that teachers hold either a teaching license or another credential such as a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA. This is important, as you want to be teaching legally wherever you go, and if you don’t already have a teaching license, a short-term fix is to earn a 120-hour TEFL certificate, which is usually the basic requirement for a work visa.
Later on down the line, once you’ve decided that teaching is your passion and you want to continue with it as a career, you may want to also look into earning your teaching license as well.
2. More confidence in the classroom
Beginner teachers are encouraged to take a TEFL course to build confidence in the classroom. Confident teachers shape confident students, and no one wants to walk into a room full of students without feeling 100% prepared. Online TEFL courses will cover the basics of teaching English as a foreign language, and classroom TEFL courses will give you a peek into what teaching is really like. Getting to deliver lesson plans to students while being coached by experienced teacher trainers is a valuable experience that you can pull from once you step into your own classroom later on down the road.
A great resume booster is going to be a classroom TEFL course in the country that you want to work in. Combined courses also look great on a resume, but if you’re unable to do the in-person portion, an online TEFL certificate will do the trick as well.
Completing any type of TEFL course not only qualifies you for a work visa in many countries, but it also shows schools that you are committed to being the best teacher that you can be for your future students. Adding a classroom TEFL course to your resume shows potential employers that you’re serious about teaching abroad because you’re already in-country, you’ve taught local students, and you now have hands-on experience delivering lesson plans.
4. Higher quality and better-paying jobs
Though it may be possible to get a teaching job in some countries without any teaching qualification, you’re going to put yourself in a better position if you earn your TEFL certificate. This way, you’ll be qualified for higher-paying teaching jobs. Plus, you’ll open up your job options in many different countries that do require a TEFL certificate to teach English. This will set you up for success, as TEFL certificates never expire, so if you decide to move on to a new opportunity further down the line, you’ll have everything you need already!
5. Establish a pedagogy
Establishing a proper pedagogy is key to becoming a great teacher. Pedagogy is the method and practice of teaching that you use in the classroom and completing a TEFL course will help you to build and understand your own personal pedagogy. By the end of the TEFL course, you’ll be able to define and explain your pedagogy. Classroom TEFL courses help with this because you’re able to complete hands-on teaching practice which allows you to test out different teaching methods until you find one that works for you and your students.
6. Test the waters
If you’re switching careers with the hope of finding your passion for teaching, it’s important that you test the waters a bit to make sure it’s the right fit for you. The last thing anyone wants is to show up to a new job overseas without having tested it out a bit, only to hate it and want to return home. Taking a TEFL course allows you to get a look into the world of teaching abroad without fully committing to a year-long position overseas.
However, most people that end up testing the waters with an in-class TEFL course end up absolutely falling in love with teaching. Plus, they’re already in-country at this point so finding a teaching job is easy!
An important aspect of language teaching to master is phonology. Phonetics and accents are incredibly important for English language learners to understand, otherwise, they may be misunderstood by their peers even if their grammar and vocabulary are both up to par.
You may understand how to teach different subjects, but if you don’t understand how to teach English phonology, your students will not be as successful as you’d like them to be. No need to fret though – you’ll learn how to teach phonology in a TEFL course, and then you’ll be ready to step out into the world of teaching English abroad!