Friday, January 27, 2012

The Basics on Entry Level Online TEFL Courses - What You Need to Know

English: Conversational American English, Less...Image via WikipediaBy John Paxton

TEFL courses come in many different lengths and price ranges. For those who are interested in seeing the world and teaching their native tongue in Asia, getting a TEFL certificate is a good first step to getting employed as a teacher abroad.

Firstly what exactly is TEFL? Well it stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is the most basic requirement for teachers who don't have teaching experience yet wish to start teaching.

There are both online types, combined types and full-blown on-site courses. This article will deal with online types. In general online types are considerably cheaper than on-site types. They can be completed from the comforts of your own home and at your own pace.

The cheapest and easiest online TEFL course is the 40 hour course. This can be completed in just weeks and will range from $100 to $200 USD. This type is considered an entry level certificate.

This course will acquaint the new-comer with ESL concepts like: Student Motivation, Teacher Roles and TEFL Methods, Classroom Management and Student Levels. Another positive thing to note about these entry level on-line TEFL courses is that they are easily upgradable to more advanced courses like 60, 80 or even the much more comprehensive 120 hour courses.

Other positives to note is that some of these course providers also help the course graduate find employment when they successfully finish the course work (it should be noted that they don't actually place the graduate in the field but rather put them in contact with their vast network of job contacts. It is up to the teacher to "wow" their prospective employer and get hired).

Other critical things taught are typically: An introduction to English grammar, how to teach grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Mistake correction and feedback, how to teach speaking and writing. How to teach listening and reading. Also most online TEFL courses will touch on: lesson planning, games and activities as well as cultural awareness in the classroom.

Often, hiring managers will give preference to teachers with TEFL certificates because those candidates with a teaching certificate often seem more stable and definitely a bit more motivated.

Although entry level on-line TEFL courses by themselves are not enough to get much higher paying ESL work, they do a fine job of giving teachers a competitive edge against other teachers in similar situations (little or no teaching experience).

They also show employers that you are serious about wanting to fine work teaching ESL and this sets you apart from other candidates who don't care enough to go the extra mile and get some qualifications to teach English abroad.

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You can find more detailed information about what to expect teaching in Japan at

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