Who can take a TEFL course?

Demand for TEFL qualified teachers is very strong in many parts of the world, which is why our TEFL courses are open to anyone who has a solid grasp of the English language. However, in order to successfully complete the course and go on to find a good quality teaching job you will need to put in some hard work and be willing to embrace new ideas and techniques.

How important is a student's attitude when taking a TEFL course?

First and foremost, anyone thinking about earning their TEFL certification with ITTT needs to be enthusiastic, motivated and determined as every course requires a considerable amount of commitment in terms of both time and effort. If you are fully committed to becoming an English language teacher, either at home or abroad, then you should have little trouble successfully completing the course and becoming a qualified EFL teacher.

How important are English language skills when taking a TEFL course?

In order to be an effective English language teacher you do need to have a thorough understanding of the language. In some countries employers actually have a preference for native English speakers, but there are also plenty of places in the world where non-native English speakers with a TEFL certification are sought after in the workplace. Essentially, as long as you are a fluent English speaker, you are eligible to take our courses and are also eligible to apply for teaching jobs worldwide.

How important are academic qualifications when taking a TEFL course?

While some TEFL course providers insist that their trainees possess certain qualifications, including a degree in some cases, at ITTT we have no such criteria. As many employers do not insist on their teachers holding a degree or any similar certification, we feel there is no need for us to require it. As long as you are prepared to put in the work, we have no interest in your previous academic background.

Are there any age restrictions when taking a TEFL course?

The only age restriction we have for our range of TEFL certification is you must be at least 18 years old at the start of your course. Crucially, we have absolutely no upper age limit. Over the years we have successfully trained people of all ages, many of whom have gone on to enjoy exciting new careers in countries all over the world. While more mature teachers might find it harder to gain employment in the most crowded teaching markets, there are always plenty of other great options open to qualified EFL teachers of all ages.

Are there any restrictions to consider when looking for TEFL jobs?

Although we have few restrictions on who can take our TEFL courses, you do need to be aware of the potential restrictions put in place by foreign governments or individual employers. While there are tens of thousands of TEFL qualified teachers working throughout the world without a formal degree, there are some countries where this is not possible. In recent years certain countries, including China, have made it law that teachers require a degree to qualify for a work permit. Also, there are similar restrictions in place in some countries where only native English speakers can work legally. The bottom line is, before making any firm plans it is essential that you check the latest visa situation in the country that you are interested in. Even if your first choice is not possible, don't lose heart as there are many other great options all over the world where a TEFL qualification is all that is required to land an exciting new job.

Can non-native English speakers take a TEFL course?

Absolutely YES! Large numbers of non-native English speakers complete our TEFL courses each year and go on to have successful careers teaching English either in their home country or further afield. In order to successfully complete the course you will need to demonstrate a high standard of English, but it is certainly not a barrier that will stop you from becoming a fully qualified EFL teacher.

Are there any advantages to being a non-native English language teacher?

In many cases being a non-native English speaker can actually be an advantage in the classroom as you have already been through the same experience that your students are currently facing. This can help to build a good rapport between the students and the teacher as they are often less afraid of making mistakes in this situation. It can also provide the students with a real incentive to succeed when taught by a teacher who has started from the same position as every other person in the room. Another common advantage that non-native speakers have is that their understanding of English grammar is generally better than that of native speakers simply because they have had to learn it from scratch.

Where do non-native English language teachers teach?

A large percentage of non-native English speakers complete a TEFL course with the intention of teaching in their country of origin. This has many advantages for both the teacher and the students. For the teacher it means they do not have to compete for work with native English speakers in an unfamiliar country. The students also benefit from the mutual understanding of cultural and language issues. Qualified teachers will also find that their services are welcomed by employers in many fascinating countries all around the world. Whether you plan on staying in your home country or want to travel and teach your way across the globe, as long as you are a fluent speaker of English there is no reason why you cannot make your dreams a reality.

Do qualified teachers need a TEFL certificate?

While searching for jobs online you will likely come across a TEFL certificate among the requirements for many overseas teaching jobs. You are probably asking yourself why, as a qualified teacher, you would need another qualification to apply for these jobs. It is a fair assumption that after several years of work and/or study you should be in a good position to teach overseas as it is surely much the same as working at home. The truth is, there are many differences to teaching in your home country and teaching abroad and there are several reasons why qualified teachers can benefit from completing a TEFL certification course.

What are the benefits of having a TEFL certificate?

If you land a job teaching in an international school where all the students are native or fluent English speakers, then there are probably few benefits to completing a TEFL course. However, this scenario is rare on the international teaching scene. The majority of teaching jobs will involve students that are non-native English speakers of varying abilities, many who are still at the beginner stage.

As a trained teacher you already know how difficult the job can sometimes be, so why make it harder by not having the specific skills required to teach effectively in an international environment? And it is not only you that you need to consider. If you haven?t learnt the skills that are specific to a non-native English environment then you are doing your students a disservice as their studies will be much more difficult.

Will a TEFL certificate get my CV/resume to the top of the pile?

As a qualified teacher you are a top candidate for many of the best schools around the world, but many of these will only consider applicants who also have a TEFL certification on their CV/resume. Once you add a TEFL qualification to your credentials there really is nothing standing between you and applying for the best paying jobs in all of your dream destinations. As you probably already have some classroom experience, an online TEFL certification should be perfectly adequate for most employers. Just make sure that you choose one that consists of a minimum 100 hours and is internationally recognized.

The interview stage of the recruitment process is when you will first feel the benefit of your TEFL training. Employers will be looking to dig into your personal approach to teaching in an international environment, something you are unlikely to have the answers to before you take the course. In these situations, candidates with only a TEFL certificate can often run rings around an experienced teacher who might struggle to answer questions relating to overseas teaching scenarios.

Whatever job you are applying for, if you can prove you have done everything you can to prepare for the experience, as a qualified teacher you are in a great position. By adding a TEFL qualification to your toolbox you can prove your dedication to your profession and that you have all the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high quality results for your students.

How Should I Prepare for a TEFL Course?

Although it is natural to be a little apprehensive before taking a TEFL course, there is no need to get overly anxious or concerned. As long as you are enthusiastic, prepared to put in the hours and are open to new ideas, you should have no problem successfully completing the training. However, there are a few things you can do in the run up to your training course to ensure that it is a smooth process that ends with that all important certificate in your hand.

Should I plan a schedule for my TEFL studies?

If you take an online course, you will be able to set your own amount of study hours and choose when you do them. In this case, it is important to plan a study schedule and keep to it if you want to complete the course in the time frame you need. Write up a calendar with weekly goals that you can realistically stick to. Don?t forget that your TEFL course is an investment in your future that promises a new career, adventure and excitement, so don?t let it slip away due to poor organization or a lack of commitment.

If you have chosen an intensive in-class course, you need to be prepared to miss out on time with friends and family, and to spend weekends and/or evenings studying your course materials. Just tell yourself that it is only a one-month commitment that will be more than worth it once you start your new career teaching English abroad.

Should I review English grammar rules before my TEFL course?

Just uttering the phrase ?English Grammar? is enough to cause mass panic among many classes of TEFL trainees. Most native English speakers know the main grammar rules but explaining them to others is a whole different thing. The fact is, teaching English grammar is an unavoidable part of being an English language teacher and you will need to know what you are talking about when you start work in your own classroom. However, there is no need to panic as a large part of any good TEFL training course is dedicated to explaining the ins and outs of the language and how to teach it to your students. If you want to get a head start on this important part of the course, it is a great idea to read up on the basics of English grammar before you start.

Will I get any pre-TEFL course materials?

You can also get a head start on your training by reviewing any pre-course materials that are available from your provider. Many courses offer some guidelines and reading materials that you can look over in advance to gain confidence in what you will be learning. If your chosen course doesn?t provide any pre-course materials or you would like to know more about the subject than you have received, take a look online as there are a huge amount of useful resources out there. You can read articles and blogs, watch YouTube videos and listen to podcasts that cover all sorts of topics relating to your course. Even a small amount of time doing some pre-course research can really help to set you up in knowledge and confidence.

Will I need any equipment for my TEFL course?

Depending on the format of the course, you will probably only need a notebook and a pen to get started, but it is worth checking in advance to ensure you have everything you need. Some in-class courses may require you to bring your own laptop and maybe some stationary or other classroom aids. Make sure you check with the provider and read the small print to avoid any mishaps.

Should I practice public speaking before my TEFL course?

Speaking in front of a group of students can be a scary prospect for some trainees. However, as with grammar, by the time you have your own class to teach you will have learnt all the skills you need to confidently deliver your lessons. However, before the course it can really help to practice speaking in front of an audience, be it your family, friends or work colleagues. Practicing things like voice projection and making eye contact should go some way to reducing the nerves that you might feel when you step into the class on your first day.

Should I join online TEFL groups?

During your pre-course online research you are likely to come across TEFL groups where people share their experiences and give tips and advice for new trainees. By joining these groups you will also find useful reviews of different courses and you might even find someone who you can share your experience with either online or in person. Many of these groups have information on job hunting as well, so you can start to look into where you might want to live and work once you have completed the course.

Finally, just relax!

Try not to be overwhelmed by all the information and contradictory stories you might find online, just stay calm and be genuinely excited by the adventure that awaits you. A TEFL course is a serious qualification that can open the door to employment all over the world, but it should also be a fun and interesting experience that you will remember for a long time to come. Go into it with a positive and relaxed attitude and you should find that you sail through the training with flying colors.