The demand for learning English is only getting higher, so the supply is gonna keep flowin’! TEFL courses are the best way to become a part of this leading industry. Taking the TEFL Certification teaches you different teaching methodologies, helps you develop teaching practices of your own, and builds your understanding of the English language. But there are different types of courses, so it’s hard to decide which one is for you. This simple list will highlight the pros and cons of each for you.
On-Site: For the Experience
Designed for a more active learner.
It’s more of a hands-on experience.
You’ll get to explore an exotic location while taking the course.
There’s a lot of peer to peer work.
On-Site Courses are more preferred by employers.
Unfortunately, all of this goodness means it’s much more expensive.
Packs a lot of information in a 4-week 120-hour intensive course with teaching practice hours and observations.
Employers worldwide prefer that their teachers have this type of certification. The international standard for a TEFL course is 120 hours with at least 6 hours of observed teaching practice. Excellent Onsite TEFL Courses have 140 hours and at least 10 hours of observed teaching practice.
Online: The Flexible One
It’s a more passive learning experience.
Created for self-learners that are comfortable making their own schedule.
If you’re constrained with personal commitments, then you get to finish the course at your own pace.
The courses are usually less expensive.
However, Online Certifications do not provide you with the hands-on experience that schools look for.
This option is perfect for those students who have busy schedules and need more flexibility in order to take their TEFL training. Not all employers accept teacher with an this type of TEFL especially those in competitive and popular TEFL destinations such as Korea, Japan, and Europe.
Hybrid: A New Concept
Each company will have their own way of executing the course, so you have to research your options.
Gives you the flexibility to learn the grammar and teaching methodologies at your convenience.
You will get the teaching experience that jobs recommend.
Less expensive than an On-Site Course.
But still rather costly.
This is still a fairly new concept, so it’s not as accessible just yet.
If you’re looking to cash in on traveling and teaching, the TEFL certification is the way to go. Everyone has different needs, restrictions, and preferences, so we hope that this list helped you out! Have any questions? Ask us in a comment or feel free to contact us!
A Muse is calling you. She is dressed in a sublime landscape, a century old painting, the flavors in an exotic meal. Whether you snap a selfie and post it on Instagram, jot down a quick line of poetry, or recreate that exotic dish, She is working through you. Stepping outside of yourself and witnessing the Glory of Expression can only incite you to do the same.
Even if you’re not the “artsy type,” the overwhelming amount of beauty you experience while traveling is bound to spur a tingling sensation of creativity. How can you not be inspired by seeing the vivid colors in Morocco? Or when you feel the spiritual energy in Tibet? How about viewing all of the astounding art spread throughout Europe? The truth is: when you start traveling, your soul cracks wide open and begs to express itself in any way it can.
You may not be the next Ludwig Beethoven, Frida Kahlo, or Leonardo da Vinci, but the artistic compulsion is within you. Don’t let that one high school art class dictate your potential in the arts. You just haven’t found your medium yet. Maybe you can’t hold a tune to save your life, but you make the kind of lasagna that gives someone a religious experience. So you’re not a painter, but you work with wood the way Michelangelo chiseled marble. There are so many ways you can create ART.
Writing, painting, music- these may be what the norm has considered “true art.” But the scope is not that narrow. There is a spectrum of talents (just watch any viral YouTube video). And there’s no better way to make art, than to experience it first. A life-altering cappuccino in Italy might awaken your passion for creating the perfect cup of coffee every morning. The point is: if you love it, then make it. And share it with everyone. No matter what it is.
The most renowned artists of the world had to travel for inspiration, too. Van Gogh was Dutch and he received most of his inspiration in France from the Impressionist painters. The influential Modernist writers in the 20s fled from America to be expats in Paris, where they created their most brilliant work. Why not follow suit? If you could go anywhere to feel inspired, where would you go?
Being able to teach students English opens up so many doors for my experience as an educator. I believe that I can improve through experience and establishing proper teaching techniques. My TEFL experience in Puerto Vallarta has taught me many things helpful towards becoming a successful English teacher. I will use these skills to assist students learn proficient English.
Since before the enrollment of the TEFL course I knew this immersion was important for me. Teaching English to a foreign language student is what I intend to do very soon, so this opportunity was the greatest way to get me started with my adventure. The pre-course preparation material that was emailed to me really facilitated class. I quickly found out how much I needed to catch up with my English grammar points, tenses, and terms by the first day of class. I had to relearn certain things I was aware of but had not practiced in a long time. I used a number of skills I had throughout my past involvements. My patience was good towards the students learning, and I think I had students feel a bit less nervous once I spoke their L1 to them. I had several situations where I was constantly interrupted during class by a student who was anxious to learn. I asked the student to ask questions that pertained to the certain assignment we were working on. If the interruption was related to the class work I would take a quick second to assist the student then go right back to where I left off. This strategy helped in the classroom environment I was working in because I only had a few students, but if I were to be in a class with a bigger class set I would have them understand the importance of staying on topic and connecting questions to simplify their learning. I had a student on another occasion tell me how nervous she was for learning a new language. To help her get over the nerves I explained how much I enjoy teaching and helping students learn. This made her smile and feel calm during my class. I felt confident during my teaching practices and I learned how students can tell if a teacher is ready to teach a lesson or not by how well a teacher plans their lesson. I spent enough time planning and implementing assignments for students’ progress. I would also plan for certain problems students could run into during my lesson. You can prepare to a certain extent, but one can never see the future. This is why planning for my lesson helped me throughout my teaching practices.
Once I talked to my TEFL Trainer and received feedback from students I found out some of the development needs I must strengthen. They included arriving to class at least ten minutes before class starts. This will encourage students to arrive on time and set the standard to what is asked from them. Listening to the audio before class to make sure it was not scratched is something I learned through one class practice. I took it upon myself to read aloud the listening activity that day. I role played the scene off the teacher book and assured that the student understood before moving forward. After my second or third teaching practice I learned that I had to bring down my vocabulary to students who had blank faces when I asked them a question. I have to bring down the level of English I use depending of the students I am teaching. This way students fully comprehend the lesson being taught during class. I think that if I were to have these students a week more I would learn their certain learning techniques. In the future I am going to develop knowledge and skills beyond this course by asking students about their background. I feel like this is a great way to find out students interests and individual learning styles. I can also find out what resources they have at home and how I can ease their homework.
My approach to students in this classroom setting is more one on one and can be very helpful for students who need that extra feedback. I will not have this same setting if I go teach at a public school. I understand that I must incorporate different procedures with a larger class. Some ways to have students interact and practice their language is by having them role play and converse during class.
These methodologies will affluence my experience and will help me fulfill my teaching career. After all, I came to this TEFL course to teach, travel, and adventure. This experience is my ticket towards success and I am grateful I had this opportunity to learn.
Deciding to embark on this TEFL experience was one that I wrestled with for many a night. I would traverse back and forth between the confident excitement and proactive ambition of taking the course to the less animated timid nature of someone who did not want to leave their comfort zone. After many sleepless nights of deciding what to do I finally made the decision to take that leap and branch out from the mundane and everyday lackluster life of a suburbanite to try something new; however, now the question remained: Where do I take the course? Well, this question as not as hard for me to answer because of my personal preferences when it comes to environment. That is, I moved to the coastal town of St. Augustine, Fl, a few years back with the hopes of escaping the brutal winters and cold weather of my home town, Cleveland, Oh. Having become accustomed to the beach town lifestyle and laidback style of someone assimilated into a surfer culture I knew there were only a few locations for me. Mexico, with its rich and diverse culture, has always interested me so it took almost no time at all for me to realize Puerto Vallarta was where I wanted to go.
I arrived a few days early to get acclimated to the area and learn the ways of public transportation so I could get to and from the course. Having spent a couple days learning all of the local knowledge, I was ready for the course to begin on that Monday morning. So what do I have to say about the course? Was I overwhelmed at first? Was I shocked at the amount of grammar I thought I knew but could string together an explanation of? The answer is all of the above.
Most of the students will tell you that they were blindsided because, as native English speakers, the amount of grammar that they ended up not knowing came as a surprise. That is, just because one speaks a language that does not mean that they have knowledge of the mechanics of a language. This was a harsh reality that most students who underwent the course had to realize, however, for me this was not the case. Perhaps it was because I had just recently graduated college so everything was still fresh in my head, or maybe I just retained it from when I was younger, but for whatever reason this is not where my struggle came into play. Where the TEFL course helped me grow the most and the area where I made the most progress has to do with the nature of teaching.
What do I mean about the nature of teaching? I mean I completely underestimated the work that went into teaching each and every day. As I was growing up I was under the impression that most kids my age had; in that, teachers had the life because they worked until three in the afternoon and had such long breaks. I never realized how much behind the scenes work went into every single lesson plan and every single day. The qualities a teacher needs to have were attributes I never gave them credit for until I had my hands on teaching experience during my ICEP TEFL course. A teacher not only needs to be extremely prepared, but extremely prepared in every different scenario because they can only plan so much, but at the end of the day it is the students that are the catalysts for every class. For example, I spent about an hour the night before my first day of teaching preparing a lesson plan for a lower level student. I thought I had it all worked out and knew exactly what we were going to do the next day, but I was very wrong. The next day I realized she was know where near as receptive to the idea of learning a new language as I thought she would be, that she was only here taking the course because her sister was making here. We only got through about twenty percent of the prepared lesson plan because she was not able to grasp the material as quickly as I had imagined.
This is exactly what I mean when I say a teacher has much more work to do than was originally perceived. Adaptability is key and this was the best quality I learned during my TEFL course. That is, just as I learned, students set the pace of a course and no matter how much preparation goes into a lesson plan it is ultimately them that decides how quickly the class progresses. This is the skill that I was not prepared to learn when I first came here, but with the guidance and multiple teaching practices provided by ICEP TEFL I was able to learn this. By the end of the course, I was masterfully making lesson plans without any expectations as to how much of one we would get through and, for me, was a skill that I would not have learned otherwise.
Overall, my experience at ICEP TEFL was a great one and without the guidance of Nino DiLoreto my TEFL Trainer, I would not be the confident teacher I am able to be today. As aforementioned, it was not the grammar that got to me when I began the course, but the lack of knowledge I had towards how much work a teacher actually puts into each and every lesson. Now, with my better understanding, I can say I am very excited to see where this certificate and this newfound knowledge will take me in the coming future. Teaching is not a job, it’s a passion, it’s a labor of love, not done for the money or the vacations, but because it’s who we are and for that reason I cannot wait to begin my career as a TEFL certified English teacher.
The TEFL certification program in Mexico has completely changed the way I view teaching. Learning to teach a language that is not my native language has been a challenge, but nevertheless it has been a great experience and I’ve learned so much these last weeks. The past 2 years I dedicated myself to teach Spanish. I was thrown in to a classroom of 30 students and asked to create a curriculum. I was inexperienced and didn’t have the support I felt I needed. Now, that I am almost done with my TEFL certification I feel like I’m ready to embark on this journey and I feel I have all of the necessary resources needed to feel confident about teaching abroad.
Arriving in Puerto Vallarta was easy, settling in was smooth, the people and superb ambiance gave me a warm welcome and a feel of the city. Meeting our Professor and advisor the day before class gave us an ease on things and we were able to see the establishment and ask questions about the program. First day in class was an eye opener, I realized that learning to speak English was a lot different than teaching it. So many rules, so many forms of use, it was a bit confusing. As week one passed we were able to practice various teaching skills in class with our classmates, I feel like that was what helped all of us feel more confident about what we were learning.
The student teaching was one of my favorite parts because not only did I help these students learn English but I was able to acquire some of the skills I was lacking. Patience and consistency are key. I learned how to properly write a lesson plan and prepare according to my students level. Getting to know your students and their needs is very important it helps you know where they are coming from and what techniques you can use to aid them better. I was very nervous the first couple of student teaching hours, but after my TEFL Trainer gave me feedback and constructive criticism I knew there was room for improvement. When my 9th and 10th student teaching hours came I felt very confident and I knew how to address each level and knew what their needs were. Some of my strengths I say have been being organized and prepared to teach as well as providing a positive learning environment for the students.
Overall, my experience taking the TEFL course in Puerto Vallarta has been an outstanding professional development and met all of my expectations. I am ready to apply the methodologies learned and facilitate the learning experience for my students as learning English as a foreign language can be very intimidating. Nino Di Loreto has done an excellent job as a professor, mentor, friend, English teacher. I am pleased to say that I am ready to teach, travel, and venture in Guangzhou, China.
I was scared, confused and undecided. I felt as if I were lost with no direction. I ran into an advertisement for Teaching English as a foreign language, this is something that I had thought about doing but was never adventurous enough to make the move. I finally did it! I enrolled! So this is where I begin…
My flight is delayed so I’m freaking out. I arrive about an hour late, and there he is my TEFL trainer waving a paper that had my name on it. Was this them? Was this it? I was grateful for them being there. We hear so many stories about how Americans went to visit and never came back or things like the taxi driver took his money then dropped him off in the middle of no where. I’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta so I’m oblivious to time and location. I have no possible clue as to where I’ll be residing for the next month. My roommates have arrived days before but I have no means of communication. The ICEP TEFL staff is very tech savvy and was able to get a hold of my roommates via internet communication and find my condo via GPS navigation thus facilitating my arrival.
The TEFL course in Mexico begins and I’m freaking out! I can’t remember the last time I reviewed grammar terms. It’s day one and I’m thinking I’m not going to make it. There I am following along and trying my best to adjust to this new atmosphere. I know it will take some time but I’m thrilled and my desire for the TEFL certificate is in full effect. Our trainer shows good classroom management skills (only 4 students in class) and is a character! It’s a fun lecture and manages to keep us focused. The week is not even over and we have been informed that we have our first teaching practice. Am I ready? I don’t know if I can teach a class for one whole hour. Let’s do this!
I introduce myself, the students introduce themselves. Everything is going great today’s lesson was follow up with homework, following an exam. I’m glad because I was able to “get my feet wet” in the classroom. I feel more relaxed not attempts and I feel like I’ll be able to go ahead and take control of the classroom and be able to teach what is expected. By the third lecture I had given I was already comfortable and I kept telling myself what a good choice I had done because teaching English felt so rewarding. I will have to mention that as I have my strong points I have my weak points my strong points as that I am I believe military style teacher and I like for the work to get done correctly and immediately. My TEFL trainer constantly reminded me about being patient with students. I don’t take constructive criticism very well so that took time for me to intake.
It’s been a great experience and I don’t want to leave but the time has come to show the world what ICEP TEFL in Puerto Vallarta is all about! I’m going global! Ready or not here I come.
Traveling is nerve-racking. Teaching is nerve-racking. Combining both of them is bound to make you a jumble of nerves! Even the most experienced teacher is questioning themselves before getting in front of a class in a different country. So, while you’re psyching yourself out in front of the mirror, just keep some of these things in mind:
Above all else, just relax and don’t forget to breathe! A happy energy will infect the whole classroom like a zombie apocalypse. Stay calm and confident, and the rest of the pieces will fall into place.
Dress to Impress
Be sure to know your audience first! Each culture will have a different idea of an appropriate dress code, and it’s important to adapt. Latin America might be more partial to laid back attire without power suits, ties or blazers. Whereas countries in the East will want teachers to dress full-out professionally yet modestly. Regardless, try not to be too flashy. When in doubt, copy off of your coworkers!
Say The Right Thing
Communicative styles vary cross-culturally. Western notions of free thinking, debate, and even sarcasm go over the heads of student in other countries. Be mindful of your topics! Raunchy jokes might be a hit in the boisterous and passionate Venezuela, but definitely not in the quiet and pensive Japan. Definitely steer clear of any controversial religious and political topics worldwide. Refrain from making things too personal. Basically, keep it simple and appropriate.
It all boils down to being a responsive and receptive teacher. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, just pay attention to what the students need from you. Say a classroom has been used to learning through memorization and lectures, you can try to stir the pot with some performance activities to see what cooks up. It’s better to start off in a neutral, blank slate, then gradually incorporate new concepts and see how students react. As long as you present the benefits of your methods, then they’ll be more open to them.
Have Rising Expectations
Most students will want to learn English, and they want to be taken seriously. When you set expectations, it will motivate students to reach their goals. Reinforce their knowledge by asking them to provide examples. Try not to single them out; rather, have them work together. The important thing is to continue challenging your students intellectually.
If anything, this list is just a guide to start thinking about the cultural implications of traveling. The rest of the world is completely different from what you’re used to, and that’s what makes it so worthy of exploring. Stay on your toes and open up your mind. Have you ever experienced culture shock? Tell us a story!