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Frequently Asked Questions

What is TEFL?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. This is when English is taught to people whose first language is not English in a non-English speaking country e.g. An Italian man living in Rome who attends English classes.
TEFL is also commonly used to refer to TEFL courses and certifications e.g. Where did you do your TEFL?

What do I need to teach English abroad?

If you are a fluent English speaker, you can teach in some places without qualifications or experience but it would be a challenge. To be able to get a wide range of better teaching jobs abroad and to be able to teach with confidence, you’ll need some type of TEFL certification.

What’s a TEFL certification?

You get a TEFL certification, usually in the form of a certificate, when you successfully complete a TEFL training course. TEFL training courses are delivered either face-to-face or online, or through a combination of the two.

What's the difference between a face to face and then online course?

The main difference is that in a face-to-face course, you get to put the skills you learn into practice by teaching other members of your group and real English languages learners.

What certification do I need?

That really comes down to where you want to teach and in what context. If you want to teach in Saudi Arabia or for an organisation such as the British Council, you will need a *CELTA certification. If you want to teach either for a shorter period of time (i.e. during a volunteer placement or gap year) or to be able to live abroad and travel, a TEFL certificate is all you need.
*The CELTA is a highly regarded and widely accepted TEFL certification from Cambridge English. Equivalent to CELTA is the CertTESOL from Trinity College London. I highly recommend these certifications for those wanting to make teaching English their career.

Where can I teach with a TEFL Essentials TEFL certification?

With a TEFL Essentials certificate you will be able to find work in countries such as Argentina, Cambodia, and Spain!
If you also have a degree, you could get teaching jobs in Brazil, China, and Thailand!

How is my learning assessed in TEFL Essentials courses?

Learning is assessed through timed quizzes which are taken throughout the course.  Your final score is the average of the combined quizzes. You need to achieve a minimum of 75% to pass each quiz, which you have up to three attempts to do, and you must achieve a final score of at least 75% to pass each TEFL Essentials course as a whole.

Can I fail a TEFL Essentials course?

Because you must achieve a final score of at least 75% to pass TEFL Essentials courses, there is the possibility that you could fail. Your final score comes from the average of your quiz totals throughout the course and you can attempt each quiz up to three times if needed.

How long will it take to complete a TEFL Essentials course?

That really depends on your schedule! You could get through the TEFL grammar and TEFL job courses in a day and the full TEFL course over a weekend if you went at it non-stop! To make sure you fully understand each lesson, which may involve re-watching some parts, I would allow an hour for each lesson. With the lifetime access you get with each course,  there's no rush!

I don’t speak any other languages, can I teach English?

Yes! When you teach English to non-English speakers, the only language used in class is English so you don’t need to speak any other languages to teach it.

Do I have to be good at spelling?

No! If you are that’s great but if spelling isn’t your strong point, looking up spellings in class isn’t a problem. Just make sure that you have a dictionary app or a dictionary to hand when teaching!

I don’t know anything about English grammar, can I teach?

Yes! You don’t need to be an English grammar expert to teach English however, I do recommend taking a TEFL course that covers English grammar as you will need some knowledge of English grammar when teaching. When you start teaching you’ll find that your knowledge of grammar and the English language will increase. If you are asked a grammar question in class that you don’t know the answer to, it’s perfectly fine to look it up either on the spot or be honest with the student but look into it and get back to them in the next lesson. If you want to learn or refresh your knowledge of English grammar, TEFL Essentials: English Grammar For English Language Teachers, teaches you all the grammar you need to start teaching English abroad.