What is a TEFL? Why Should I Have One?
Exploring the Differences between TEFL, TESL, and TESOL
If you are looking into teaching abroad, you have probably already come across the terms: TEFL, TESL, or TESOL. In this blog post, we will delve into these terms, explore their differences, and shed light on why having a TEFL certification can be a valuable asset in your teaching journey.
TEFL, TESL, and TESOL: What’s the difference?
- TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language):
A TEFL certificate teaches you the skills you need to teach English in countries where English isn’t the primary language. Think about teaching English in places like China, South Korea, or Japan.
- TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language):
A TESL certificate, focuses on teaching English to individuals whose first language is not English but are living in an English-speaking country. A good example of Teaching English as a Second Language is teaching English to immigrants in Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom. However, TESL certificates are still valuable in non-native English speaking countries. These can be used in place of a TEFL certificate.
- TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages):
TESOL is an umbrella term that encompasses both TEFL and TESL. It encompasses the teaching of English as a second language, regardless of their location. TESOL programs provide comprehensive training, covering various aspects of language acquisition, linguistics, cultural sensitivity, and classroom management techniques. A TESOL certification is versatile and can be useful for teaching English in any context, whether overseas or in an English-speaking country.
If you are looking at teaching abroad, we recommend a TEFL or TESOL certificate. However, a TESL certificate is still a great option if it’s the only one you can get!
Why Should I Have a TEFL Certification?
Now that we understand the differences between TEFL, TESL, and TESOL, let’s explore the reasons why having a TEFL or TESOL certification is beneficial:
- Enhanced Teaching Skills: TEFL and TESOL certification equips you with effective teaching methodologies, language acquisition theories, and classroom management techniques. It helps you develop a solid foundation in language teaching principles and practices, enabling you to create engaging lessons and cater to the diverse needs of your students.
- Increased Job Opportunities: Many schools and language institutes worldwide require teachers to hold a TEFL or TESOL certification. Having a TEFL or TESOL qualification opens up a multitude of opportunities to teach English abroad, whether in private language schools, international schools, universities, or corporate settings. It gives you a competitive edge in the job market and enhances your chances of securing rewarding teaching positions.
- Cultural Understanding and Global Experience: Teaching English abroad provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in different cultures and gain a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives. A TEFL or TESOL certification equips you with the skills to navigate cross-cultural challenges effectively and promotes global awareness and appreciation.
In conclusion, a TEFL or TESOL certification is a valuable asset for anyone considering a career in teaching English abroad. By obtaining a TEFL or TESOL certification, you can enhance your teaching skills, unlock exciting job opportunities worldwide, gain cultural understanding, and experience personal growth. So, if you have been contemplating pursuing a career in Teaching English abroad, take the leap and embark on a fulfilling journey of teaching and learning.
We have prepared a breakdown of the most highly recommended TESOL certification programs here for your convenience: