What is TEFL and TESL? How do I choose a course?

Help, tips and advice in teaching English

Moderator: Susan

Registered Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 27 Apr 2006, 18:54
Location: Downtown Portland

What is TEFL and TESL? How do I choose a course?

Unread postby Viajero » 27 Apr 2006, 20:44

Please if you can, help me with these four questions (they've been driving me crazy!)

1. I am currently a student at community college, but I'm going to transfer to PSU this fall. I am going to get my bachelors in applied linguistics and get my T.E.S.L certificate. I have been told to make sure the place I get my certificate from should be certified and accredited because supposably almost anyone can offer a certificate. Do you think Portland State University is legitimate?

2. Is the T.E.S.L just as recognized for overseas teaching as the C.E.L.T.A and the T.E.F.L because my goal is overseas teaching?

3. I'm a native speaker of English, and I want to be the best teacher I can be, but I get a bit worried when I think of all the English I don't know-- grammar, structure and participles. I know they teach you how to teach others in the T.E.S.L, but for advance English language is that what they teach you about in applied linguistics?

4. I know that after four or possibly five years of college, I will have built up student loans to pay back and right after I get out of college I want teach somewhere in Brasil, but the real is weak against the dollar and I will have to keep paying back student loans (of course overseas teacher's do not become what they are for the money) yet I am worried about not being able to teach in certain places because of being restricted by student loans. I know that you have obviously been to college and being in your career, you probably had colleagues that had student loans. Do you have any advice about paying back student loans while overseas?


User avatar
Posts: 656
Joined: 13 Jan 2004, 16:09
Status: Teacher Trainer
Location: France


Unread postby Lucy » 08 May 2006, 20:15

Dear Viajero,

I can see that you have many things to think about. You must be asking yourself a lot of questions. I’ll try to answer some of your questions and tell you about resources where you can find answers to the other questions.

It’s a good idea to get your certificate from a training centre that is certified and accredited. This will give you better and more opportunities to find a job. Whilst you can get a job with a certificate from a centre that isn’t certified and accredited, employers often consider the place where you got your certificate from.

For help choosing your course, you could look at the TEFL course database on Tefl.net. There is also a section called EFL FAQ on this website where you can see answers to your question about TEFL and TESL.

It’s quite natural for new teachers to be concerned about the grammar of the language they are teaching. However, as you say, you will learn techniques for teaching grammar on your course. Your knowledge of applied linguistics will also help you, especially with advanced students.

Concerning your question about repaying your student debt, I can’t really answer that, but there are some things to consider. If you’re going to work overseas, think about the exchange rate between that country and your own as well as the cost of transferring money between countries. You talk about the dollar, so I guess you’re from the US or Canada. If so, you could look into working in your own country for a few months teaching people who visit North America to learn English. This would probably give you a better salary and would allow you to have a first experience in a familiar environment.

I hope this will help you. Please write in again if you have any further questions.


Tefl.net can only give guidance in your career choices, we are not responsible for decisions made by individuals.

Return to “TEFL Help Desk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests