Friday, 11 May 2012

Why take a TEFL course?

Why teach English?

If you want to travel the world, experience new cultures from the inside, AND make enough money to do it, then teaching English overseas could be the answer. As people across the globe realise that English is an important and useful tool, the demand for native speakers of English grows, meaning that you could find yourself living in working in Japan, Germany, Brazil, Egypt, the Czech Republic or one of the other 60+ countries that TEFL Worldwide graduates have worked in. 

Even if experiencing a new country first-hand isn't for you, you can always use your English skills to teach learners in your own country. For example, in the U.K. alone, it is said that one in nine children do not speak English as a native language, and plenty of language schools give non-native speakers the chance to learn or brush up on their English. These days, many teachers also choose to teach over Skype, giving them a much wider range of students.

So, why take a TEFL course?

So, you already speak English - why do you need to take a course to tell you how to teach it? Well, if somebody asked you to explain the present perfect continuous to them, what would you say? Why can you say "I'll pick them up" but not "I'll pick up them"? What would you do if your well-crafted explanation was met with a blank stare? A TEFL course gives you four weeks of support, suggestions, real teaching experience and feedback to help prepare you for the real teaching world. 

At TEFL Worldwide, I went from knowing almost nothing about grammar to feeling (almost) completely comfortable explaining conditionals, phrasal verbs and uncountable nouns. Perhaps you have no idea of what I'm talking about, but by the end of the course it should all make sense. I had teaching experience, but the guidance and feedback I received on the course made me really think about what I was doing, and why I was doing it. Many language schools in Prague require prospective teachers to take a grammar test, as well as giving a demo lesson, and without the confidence I had gained on the course, I would have been at a loss. 

There are some jobs that do not ask for a TEFL certification, but in Europe especially these are hard to find, and usually involve lower pay. It is more than a piece of paper - you are showing prospective employers that you have real teaching experience (TEFL Worldwide gives you 8+) and that you have been trained in teaching techniques. If you have no previous teaching experience, this is especially important, but I have known even teachers with 15+ years of experience to be turned down for jobs because they did not have a TEFL certificate. As well as this, you will be able to impress language school bosses at interviews with your knowledge and confidence. 

You only need to look at, or similar sites to see how many different countries you could explore with your TEFL certificate. I personally know people who are teaching, or have taught, in: Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Germany, Russia, Costa Rica, France, Spain, and of course the Czech Republic. When the economy back home makes it so hard to find work, giving yourself the change to travel, make money and gain great experience is something that more and more people are doing (and loving)!

Why TEFL Worldwide Prague?

When you look at TEFL courses, one thing you might notice are differing hours. TEFL Worldwide is a 120+ hour course, which many employers require. There are shorter courses out there, for example 20 hours, but these will not get you as far or give you the range of techniques or the amount of experience that a longer course will give you. TEFL Worldwide is now also accredited, giving it that extra edge on your C.V./resume. 

The trainers highly qualified and experienced trainers with years of experience teaching English abroadWhen researching TEFL/TESOL schools, make be sure that the trainers are really qualified, meaning they have a Higher Diploma, DELTA or Master's specifically in TEFL/TESOL. You can read more about our trainers - Kenny and Dan (awesome guys!) - here. 

The course provides you with 8 group lessons and 2 one-on-one lessons, all with genuine English learners of varying levels, giving you a real taste of what works and what doesn't in your classroom. You will be observed by your trainers (and me - as teaching practice assistant) for most of these lessons and given detailed, constructive feedback as you go. 

I personally had a great (if challenging) time on the course and found it pretty easy to find work afterwards - but I'd suggest having a look at our testimonials, as the range of experiences can give you a better idea of what to expect. TEFL Worldwide also provides great job assistance after the course (for as long as you need it!) - this does not mean that they will secure a job for you (as some schools claim to, but hardly ever deliver), but they certainly help you find out about job openings, brush up your C.V./resume and deal with visa issues. 

Oh, and did I mention you get to live in Prague?

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