Are you wondering if TEFL Certification is actually worth it? Let’s say you’re a recent college grad interested in teaching English abroad. You’ve just spent four years (and a boat-load of money) on an undergrad degree. Maybe your major was even education or a related field. Is more training REALLY necessary to get an EFL job overseas?
It’s a fair question and one that we get asked a lot. So, in short, is teaching abroad without any training absolutely impossible? No, it’s not. But we wouldn’t recommend it for most.
Finding a Job
If you poke around online for long enough, you might be able to find a school willing to take you on. But odds are, it’s not going to be an employer that you actually want to work for. They probably have a high enough turnover rate that they’re desperate, and thus will hire just about anyone. Without training and credentials, you have no leverage, and unfortunately, that’s how people get taken advantage of.
A quality TEFL certification program (also known as TESOL) will go into greater detail than any undergrad course. You’ll dive deep into the methodology of teaching English as a foreign language, from grammar and sentence structure to lesson planning and in classroom exercises for all age levels. Apply yourself, and you’ll emerge from training with not just a certificate, but with the practical skills required to successfully lead your own EFL classroom.
A good certification course will also include a practice teaching component, allowing you the opportunity to spend at least six hours in front of a live classroom putting your new skills to use, under the supervision of an experienced TEFL instructor. Not only will your job prospects be stronger with a certificate in hand, but with some in-classroom experience already under your belt, you’ll have the confidence it takes to succeed as a first time English teacher.
But don’t take our word for it!
As an example of the value that certification can add to your experience abroad, check out the following email that we received from a recent LanguageCorps participant. Katelyn took her TEFL certification course with LanguageCorps in Peru, and is now enjoying her experience teaching English abroad before she returns home to get married.
She goes to so far as to say that she learned more in a month of TEFL training than she did in four years of college. And while everyone’s experience is different, I don’t think Katelyn is alone in her belief that when it comes to teaching, theory is great, but there is no replacement for practical, real-world training and experience.
Check out some of her note below:
“I very much enjoyed my course. My TEFL trainer was one of the most amazing people I ever met in my life.
I stayed down here in Cusco, and received a few job offers following training. I settled on a job at a brand new English school, and I absolutely love it, it was a very good decision. They just started their English program, so I’m one of three teachers and it’s a very warm and friendly environment.
I love my boss, she is amazing. All my students are private clients, which I think works out really well for both me and the students. I plan to return to the states at the end of February because I am wanting to go home and get married, but me and my fiancé are planning to go abroad next winter to escape the cold and teach English again!
Honestly, I was more excited about getting my TEFL certificate than when I graduated from college. I learned more in one month about teaching a language than I did in 4 years with my foreign language education degree. It was an awesome experience, I’ve made a lot of friends here, and my number one goal, which was to improve my Spanish, has definitely been accomplished.
I am extremely happy for the experience!”