New to the TEFL game, need advice...

For general discussion between teachers

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New to the TEFL game, need advice...

Unread postby JL » 09 Jul 2006, 13:43

Hi, I've recently finished a first degree and the idea of teaching English abroad for a while appeals to me, I have some questions about it:
1. I'm interested in teaching in developing countries, maybe in South America - will I need a full 4 week intensive TEFL course or would one of the shorter internet ones like the i-to-i do? I'm probably not going to make a career out of it but just teach for a few months/a couple of years while travelling and I'd like to avoid excessive expense.
2. My degree is in Psychology not language studies, will this hinder looking for a job?
3. Can people recommend good countries in the South/Central America region? I'll need a paid position, but just bringing in enough to keep me in living expenses and travel money. Particularly, does anyone know what demand for TEFL teachers is like in the French speaking areas, as I'd quite like the chance to brush up my rusty French?

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Unread postby mlwalton13 » 11 Jul 2006, 15:31


I would say that if you don't have experience as a teacher, then a 4 week, 120 hour intensive TEFL course would be greatly benificial because they all have hands-on teaching experience as part of the course.

Having myself gone through a TEFL course, even though I had been working as a corporate trainer, I would have been ill-prepared to teach an English class. Even after the course - I'm sure you can appreciate the difference between the idealic conditions presented to a teacher-in-training for a class to teach, versus real-world teaching.

There's truly nothing to prepare you for that. :)

If you can find someplace in your community to volunteer as a an ESL teacher - and you're still wanting to save some cash, then I'd say go for it with the online course.

However, if that's not a possibility then I'd say go for the TEFL course - there are over 350 schools listed on this site alone - if there's a school in the country of destination that you want to teach in, then why not get certified there and get a jump on acclimating to the culture, creating a network, etc...?

Anyway, I hope that helps. :)


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