TEFL Choices

What if you can’t afford an in-classroom TEFL school in your home country?

People who dream of going abroad to teach English may come across one of the world’s oldest stumbling blocks when they start looking at Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) schools—money.

Of course, it costs money to attend one of these programs, and it also costs precious time. An in-classroom TEFL certification course will take at least four weeks of your time—and not everyone has both the ready cash and that many weeks of free time available to them.

If you have got that, then great – but those who are worried about finances should look at going abroad to take the course.  It is really the best of all options. I always advocate taking the TEFL course in the same country that you want to start teaching in anyway. Plus, if you look at TEFL programs in your home country, they will typically be more expensive and won’t give you the same kind of real-world experience that you’d get if you took it abroad.

Why Go Abroad for your in-classroom TEFL School?

When you prepare for your TEFL certification overseas you will get classroom practice with students who will have similar language learning traits to the students that you will actually work with when you get a job. Also, in your downtime from classes you’ll be able to network, settle in to the culture and get an idea of which would be the best schools or institutes to work for.

In addition, your TEFL instructors will be able to give you lots of country-specific advice, because their experience in the region will be directly relevant to you. This can be a great help for the newbie TEFL teacher, and you don’t want to miss out on help, do you?

Not sure yet?

There are other options if you are truly hesitant about taking an in-classroom TEFL course abroad or domestically or just can’t afford it. Programs like the Literacy Volunteers of America can also train you up and get you experience as a volunteer tutor that will give you some insight into the world of TEFL. And you’d be helping  a group of people who need you!

The umbrella organization is ProLiteracy:  to contact them for their options outside of the United States – Google for similar programs.

For a self-study approach, I recommend TEFL Boot Camp.  It’s inexpensive and includes most of the content you’d get at a full-length in-classroom TEFL certification program. You’ll get tutoring, assistance and a certificate at the end and it has great information to get you started down the right path.

Or, another even less expensive option is to download the TEFL Training for New Teachers eBook . This includes most of the same information as the TEFL Boot Camp website, but with added bonuses: Two Peace Corps TEFL Training Manuals – designed for new EFL teachers— and Fast Track Grammar Review for EFL Teachers. This will probably cost less than US$15—what a good way to get your feet wet!

TED’s Tips™ #1: Train your brain.  Good teachers get training—and in TEFL, any training you get will be better than no training at all. You need to learn what to do, how to do it and when to do it in an EFL classroom.

TED’s Tips™ #2: Practice. If you can, get some real teaching experience—volunteering is fine—before you go overseas. It will boost your confidence and make your first class that much better.

Teaching Internships in China