The Basics of TESOL and TEFL Certification
Admin - Dec 26 2015
One of the best experiences available to language educators is to teach abroad. Getting immersed in a new environment and introduced to different cultures and social frameworks enriches a professional’s personality and significantly broadens his or her worldview. However, the required effort as well as cost to migrate to other countries and find relevant employment can be prohibitive. Getting a TESOL certification from accredited institutions is a springboard for language educators to temporarily or permanently live out their dream jobs in the country of their choice.
TESOL stands for “teaching English to speakers of other lamguages.” Professionals who obtain TESOL certification are deemed qualified to teach English as a second language (ESL) or English as a foreign language (EFL). Even in the English language teaching sector, ESL and EFL are often interchanged and are considered somewhat synonymous. In a strict sense however, ESL pertains to courses or programs that help non-native English speaking peoples such as Hispanics learn the basics of English in countries such as the U.S. and Australia where this language is the primary mode of communication. On the other hand, EFL refers to programs that help people learn English in countries, such as China and Japan, where it is not the primary language.
Getting certified to teach in either an ESL or EFL program not only increases your chances of getting hired as a language educator but also makes it more likely that you will get a higher salary compared to practitioners who have yet to get certified. However, there are minimum requirements to obtain certification. These requirements vary depending on the grade level you wish to teach in and in which country you would like to practice your profession.
Different countries also set varying requirements for a working visa, so you need to prepare all relevant documentation for your country of choice. Some countries require teachers to present proof of their professional experiences and prefer applicants that have a proven track record. Different locations also offer different employment packages and you might want to do some really intensive research before plunging into the great unknown. If monetary reward is your primary consideration, some websites claim that the employment packages offered in some Middle East countries are generally better compared to those offered elsewhere. However, as in the case for many serious ESL and EFL practitioners, financial rewards rank second to other considerations such as culture, local people, climate, accommodations and recreational facilities.
At the end of the day, the key to a fulfilling TESOL, ESL or EFL career is to align your personal preferences and qualifications with the best offer available from countries that have promising language teaching markets.
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