TEFL: The basics

TEFL: The basics 

For many TEFL is a foreign adventure combined with the perks of a job. It’s irresistible to some and a curiosity for others. TEFL is a calling that needs to be satisfied.

Don’t speak a second language?

Then don’t worry this isn’t a requirement.

Most of the TEFL classroom is taught monolingually – although this is debated among academics – so only speaking English shouldn’t be an off putting factor.

The post that follows aims to give aspiring teachers a clear and crisp background about TEFL that will help navigate some of the more complex articles with ease.

Mt. Etna – Italy on a TEFL adventure


The abbreviations:

TEFL is a minefield of abbreviations that cause problems for aspiring teachers who are trying to find their feet. Here is our quick abbreviation guide:

  • TEFL: Teaching English as foreign language
  • ELT: English Language Teaching
  • CELTA: The Cambridge Teaching certificate
  • CERTTESOL: Trinity College London teaching certificate
  • TESL: Teaching English as a second language


There are many different reasons teachers choose to TEFL: a lifestyle change, a sense of adventure, the enticement of a foreign country or just to simply escape their home grown roots.

However, for many it’s a chance to see the world whilst teaching the global language. Over time, this project will speak to a number of teachers (both past and present) in order to gain advice and top tips for future teachers.

Different types of training courses

There are number of courses which are now attached to TEFL, but frequently employers are looking for an accreditation from Cambridge and Trinity College London. These tests can be sat both in the UK and worldwide. While this isn’t vital, most of the successful schools will seek candidates with this as a minimum requirement.

Quality and Cost

Courses that offer face-to-face training can often be on the pricey side. However, as aspiring TEFL teachers the question needs to be asked how much can you afford? Online courses are cheaper and sites like that of Groupon are even offering discounts now. But, if trying to make a career of TEFL can the quality be sacrificed for a few hundred pounds – potentially no. But, this is a choice that every teacher needs to make based on their own requirements.

TEFL teaching in action 

Next time: Hear some advice from former TEFL teacher – Marian McHugh


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