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  • What you need to do to land a TEFL job in the Arabian Gulf August 13, 2011
    A brief to do list by David Vincent. For many who teach English to speakers of other languages, the job merely represents an enjoyable career break. However, for those who choose to forge a career in this profession, there comes a time when the need for financial stability becomes a reality. Some find that moving abroad to […]
  • Teaching in Thailand June 21, 2011
    By Alex Smith English is the official language of ASEAN – The Association of South East Asian Nations. It is the language of international business and now it is the main language of the internet. This means that in Thailand there is a big demand for native English speakers to teach all age groups how to speak, […]
  • How to Become a TESOL Teacher April 10, 2011
    TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a specialized course that helps students become proficient in teaching the English language. As the world experiences a huge surge in demand for English language teachers, Kathleen Chester notes that ESL (English as Second Language) and TESOL courses are becoming quite popular with residents of place […]
  • An online or onsite TESOL course… which is best? March 19, 2011
    Thinking of doing a TESOL course and can’t decide between doing it online or not? Mich King investigates the pros and cons of the options available to you. Why Choose an Online TESOL Course? Online TESOL courses are designed to offer a flexible and cost-effective method of gaining a professional TESOL qualification. Why Choose an Onsite TESOL Course? Flexibi […]
  • Can TEFL make you more employable? January 24, 2011
    So you’re thinking about making the big move and traveling half way around the world to become a TEFL teacher, but you are starting to have doubts about whether all the hassle is really worth it? You don’t really want to make a career out of teaching kids, so how will it help you? This, suggests […]
  • To Teach Grammar or not to Teach Grammar January 14, 2011
    William Lake poses the eternal TEFL question. This article is about teaching grammar to ESL students. The advantages and disadvantages of teaching grammar to ESL students will be discussed. At this point, it must be noted that different people learn English for a huge number of different reasons. It is my opinion that a vary degree of […]
  • Do I need a TEFL cert to teach English as a Second Language? January 11, 2011
    William Lake poses the question and proposes the answer. So, do you need a TEFL certificate to be an English Teacher? The simple answer is no! There are many options available to you with regards to qualifications and this article is going to look at the TEFL Certificate. TEFL stands for Teach English as a Foreign Language. A […]
  • The History of English Grammar December 12, 2010
    Want to know how it all began? John Lismo explains. The first stage of development of the English grammar started during the early 16th century. William Bullokar wrote and published a book entitled “Pamphlet for Grammar” in 1586. Bullokar wrote the book to purposely address the development of the English language in Latin America. The book contained […]
  • The First Teaching Job in China November 29, 2010
    By Mark Dykstra Its February 24th, 2003, in a 40 degree humid heat, i stepped off the train in Hangzhou City. I gasped for breath, as i dragged my western worldly belongings trying to maintain a fix on where my Teaching Manager was. Void of a teaching certificate, void of speaking any Chinese and having absolutely no […]
  • Bridging the gap between ESL and EFL: Using computer assisted language learning as a medium November 20, 2010
    Dr. Saad Al-Hashash discusses how the use of computer assisted language learning can bridge the pereived gaps between English as a second and English as a foreign language. 1. INTRODUCTION As Warschauer and Healey (1998) point out, computers have been used for language teaching since the 1960. However, the decision to integrate Computer Assisted Language Lea […]

The top 5 TEFL questions… Answered!

Are you thinking of teaching English abroad, but feel like you’ve got a gazillion questions swimming through your head? You’re not the only one! So, Emma Foers asked TEFL tutor James Jenkin, who has over 15 years’ experience, to answer people’s most common TEFL questions.

Q) Which TEFL course should I do?

A) There is such demand for English teachers that you’ll be able to find a job in many countries with no qualification at all. However, schools that tend to have the better TEFL positions (in terms of hours, support and remuneration) often ask for a TEFL qualification. The course you choose could be purely online, face-to-face, or a combination of both. And of course, if you want to be confident and do a good job, a TEFL course is highly recommended.
Thinking of doing a TEFL course?
There are lots of TEFL courses available, so choose a provider that’s well known, and a course that’s best suited to your needs.

For teaching overseas, even a weekend course will give you a head start, and 100-120 hours of TEFL study will give you a strong chance of being considered for most TEFL roles if coupled with a suitable CV. Factors to consider with any course include delivery of the online component (is it interactive?), whether you’ll have a tutor, whether there’s an in-class component, and what ongoing support and resource you’ll have access to.

Finding work in an English-speaking country is tougher. You will generally need a degree and a four-week, full-time certificate course like the CELTA or Trinity Cert TESOL. Before starting either of these, you need to be sure they’re right for you, as they not only cost a lot more, but require 100% commitment.

Q) How do I find TEFL jobs?

A)Some courses offer a Job Placement Service, but you can easily find TEFL work yourself online. It’s estimated that twenty thousand tefl jobs are advertised at any one time. Therefore it’s simply a matter of identifying where you want to work, and what remuneration package you’re looking for. One of the best websites to find jobs is

Q) How do I get a TEFL job?

Once you’ve identified a position that suits you, it’s just a matter of going through the application process like any other job.

Tell the employer what they want to hear – nothing more, nothing less. Keep your application short and sharp. For example, if a school wants a Business English teacher, show them why you will be a good Business English teacher. Don’t tell them all about your fruit picking experience, or that you like music.

Most employers will be able to help with visa information and applications. If you’re unsure about this advice, you should speak to the country’s embassy.

If you’re worried about the history of potential employers or the terms you’ve being offered, join the forums on sites such as, and ask the question or search past conversations. TEFL teachers never like to see fellow teachers being taken for a ride.

Q) What if I’m nervous being in front of people?

A)It’s the fate of a good teacher to have a few nerves before starting a new class – it means you care about doing a good job! But rest assured, after each lesson you’ll become more and more confident.

One thing to keep in mind is that maximising student practice time is one of the keys to teaching English, so in effect, the less time you’re up the front and under the spotlight, the better. You should get them into pairs and groups practising what they’ve learnt, and you should move around the class helping students as they need it. I hope this fundamental principle takes some of the scary edge off.

Q)What if I don’t know any grammar?

People obsess about grammar. But it’s only one of many things students need to know. Working on pronunciation and vocabulary is likely to be much more useful in increasing your students’ ability to communicate.

And, often, there’s this misconception that students ‘want grammar’, which isn’t the case. But be clear about exactly what help you’re going to provide in a lesson – eg ‘I’m going to help you with your pronunciation today’.

Having said that, you do need to learn about the mechanics of English to help students speak and write with precision. But you can learn this as you go. Don’t feel you have to understand all the intricacies of English before you start. When you plan a lesson just research the little bit of grammar you’re going to teach. Soon you’ll start seeing connections and the big picture will become clear.

About the Author

I honestly believe that teaching English abroad is the perfect opportunity for any English speaker to explore the world. As long as you’re a fluent English speaker, a TEFL course can be your ticket to the journey of your life.

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