Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Listed below are the most frequently asked questions regarding our TEFL correspondence courses. Simply click on a question in the list below to be taken directly to the answer.

Questions TEFL
1. TESOL? TEFL? TESL? ELT? TESL What do they all mean?
2. With so many English teacher training courses advertised how do I know which to apply for?
3. Can I get a job overseas teaching ESL without a TEFL certificate?

The www.teflusa.com TEFL Courses
4. Why choose the TEFLUSA TEFL Courses?
5. How many courses are there worldwide every year?
6. How many people take the course worldwide every year?
7. Are the TEFLUSA TEFL Courses internationally recognized qualifications?
8. What is the average pass rate?
9. Can I do the course by correspondence or on-line?

The Applicant
10. What kinds of people take the course?
11. Do I need a university degree to take the course?
12. Does the course cater for people with a lack of grammatical knowledge?
13. Is age a factor?
14. Can I do the course if English is not my first language?
15. Do I need to be able to speak a foreign language?
16. Do I need to have taught before in order to do the course?
17. What books can I read about teaching ELT?

Applying/Admin
18. If the TEFLUSA TEFL courses are designed for those with no previous experience, why are there interviews?
19. Do I have to have an interview to register?
20. What about visas / insurance?
21. What do I need to do the course?
22. How much is the cost of living abroad?
23. Can you provide accommodation for candidates during the course?
24. Will you help in adapting to the new environment?
25. Are the course fees refundable?

The Course
26. What does the Pre-Course Task involve?
27. How much work does the course involve?
28. Who are the practice students?
29. Who are the tutors?
30. Can you describe a typical day? How is the course organized?
31. What are the in-put sessions like?
32. What written work is involved?
33. How will I be assessed?

After The Course
34. Assuming I pass, what will I actually receive?
35. What are the chances of finding a job after completing the course?
36. Does TEFLUSA provide assistance finding a job?
37. What about a future in TEFL?

Any questions unanswered? Then contact us at: info@teflusa.com

1. TESOL? TEFL? TESL? TEAL? ELT? TESL? What do they all mean?
Basically they all mean the same. They are terms used to describe the teaching of the English Language to students who are not native speakers of English. The main difference is the country where the teaching takes place. TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Second or Other Languages) and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) are standard terms for English language teaching in non-English speaking countries. TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) is normally related to English teaching among immigrant and refugee communities in English-speaking countries. TEFL and TESL are more frequently used in Europe as acronyms, while TESOL is more commonly used in North America

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2. With so many English teacher training courses advertised how do I know which to apply for?
The explosive growth in English language teaching has led to a corresponding increase in training courses offered. Unfortunately, not all courses are of the same quality or usefulness. While many are professionally managed and have good course content, some are of a dubious standard. Our correspondence courses, for example, are proctored by outside TEFL professionals with Masters degrees in Education, Linguistics, TESOL or English and are very accessible to help you and guide you through the coursework.

Before deciding on a course, the questions to ask yourself are: How is the quality of the course assessed and validated? Many courses are validated by the very people who run the course. This does not lead to objective quality control and the maintenance of high standards. Consequently, most employers will have less confidence in these courses. Our course proctors are unbiased outside TEFL professionals who are dedicated in helping you master the TEFL coursework to make you a better ESL teacher. How many hours does the course consist of? Many potential employers will want to know how many hours your course work was and how many hours of observed teaching practice you had. Recognized courses are normally between 100 and 150 hours with a minimum of 6 hours observed TP. We offer 150, 120 and 100 Hour TEFL courses and 20/40/50 hour TEFL specialist courses and for the 150, 120 and 100 Hour courses we require 20 hours of observation. Is the course internationally recognized? One of the most important factors to consider when choosing English training courses is whether they lead to an internationally recognized qualification or not. Without one, you might miss out on opportunities to teach English in the country of your choice. This is particularly so in the highly popular teaching locations where competition is much tougher and having a certificate a potential employer knows can make all the difference. TEFLUSA.com is internationally recognized and is authorized to give out CEU's (Continuing Education Units) to certified teachers for endorsements and for satisfying continuing education requirements for maintaining a state teaching certificate.

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3. Can I get a job without a TEFL certificate?
Yes, it is possible in a few countries to get teaching jobs without TEFL certification (like China, Thailand and Taiwan), however this is becoming much rarer as schools and companies where you might teach increasingly require a recognized TEFL certificate. Also, these are usually low-paying jobs which certified teachers do not want. Most teachers get 5%-15% higher pay rate for being TEFL certified.

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4. Why choose the TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate?
The TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate is one of the most widely recognized and highly regarded initial TEFL qualifications in Korea and is very well respected worldwide. Any potential employer will know the value of a TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate and as the courses are externally validated, and syllabus and assessment criteria are fixed by TEFLUSA outside course proctors, this also means that the course can be used to gain credits towards future teaching endorsements. All the above contribute to the excellent reputation that the TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate enjoys.

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5. How many courses are there worldwide every year?
The course is through the internet and we service hundreds of students from every English speaking nation, but the majority of our students are from N. America and the UK.

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6. How many people take the course worldwide every year?
Currently hundreds of candidates worldwide gain the Certificate each year.

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7. Is the TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate a recognized qualification?
Yes, it is officially recognized to award CEU's for English language teaching internationally.

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8. What is the average pass rate?
Our pass rate is currently 94%. Of these around 10% achieve an A grade with B and C grades equally distributed. There is a high pass rate because applicants are screened and their progress is monitored closely during the course. As a result of our careful selection procedures, only around 6% of trainees fail the course.

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9. Can I do the course by correspondence or on-line?
Yes. The TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate is a practical teaching course done at your own pace and the experience you acquire studying the course teaching non-English speaking students (with its emphasis on continuous assessment of classroom practice with 20 hours of teaching practicum), together with the interaction with trainers and with your fellow students are essential elements and are suitable for distance learning.

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10. What kinds of people take these courses?
Although most course participants are native speakers of English there are sometimes non-native speakers who are fluent in English. A typical course will have several people in their early twenties, some who are recent graduates and want to travel overseas in order to get work experience. Other older trainees may want a career change or be approaching, at, or past retirement age and may want to start another career or earn money while they travel the world. Most trainees have come especially to do the course in their chosen location, while a few are already based there. In addition, although the TEFL USA TEFL Courses (150, 120 & 100 Hours) are an initial training course to cover all aspects of teaching ESL, i.e. for those who have no previous experience of teaching English, there may be trainees on the course who have taught English before and who wish to gain an ESL qualification. However, seminar input and guidance for teaching practice will assume no prior teaching experience.

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11. Do I need a university degree to take the course?
No, you don't have to be a graduate but it is preferred. While the course is essentially practical, it is, however, recommended that applicants should have formal qualifications which would allow entry into higher education in order to cope with the academic side of the course. In some cases, work experience may be accepted in place of qualifications. Your application will ultimately be judged on whether we think you are capable and motivated enough to meet the demands of the course.

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12. Does the course cater for people with a lack of grammatical knowledge?
Yes, there are books we recommend you read before the course starts, also there is a pre-course task to complete once you have been accepted onto the course. During the course we have language analysis input sessions to help you.

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13. Is age a factor?
There is no upper age limit, but all applicants have to be at least 18 years old. While the majority of trainees who take the course are in their 20's and 30's, individuals of all ages teach English. Some employers may have a preference for younger teachers, whilst others tend to prefer more 'mature' teachers who can bring the benefit of business or professional experience to their lessons.

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14. Can I do the course if English is not my first language?
Yes, you need not have English as your first language provided that your awareness and competence in written and spoken English enables you to follow the course without hindrance. Your ability to speak and write English accurately and effectively enough to be a teacher of English will be assessed in your application form and interview.

Please note that many employers only employ, or have a strong preference for, native speakers

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15. Do I need to be able to speak a foreign language?
No. The TEFLUSA program uses the universally accepted Communicative Approach in teacher training, where English is the only language used in the classroom for all levels of foreign language students taught.

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16. Do I need to have taught before in order to do the course?
No. The TEFLUSA Course is designed as a pre-service course for people with no previous teaching experience.

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17. What books can I read about teaching ESL?
When you are accepted onto the TEFL course you are given a recommended reading list with your acceptance letter. It will be suggested that you read at least one ESL teaching book.

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18. If the TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate is designed for those with no previous experience, why are there interviews?
One important reason is for us to assess applicants' language awareness and potential (see points 2 and 3 under 'entry requirements' above). Language awareness includes, among other things, the ability to identify and describe: meaning and differences in meaning; levels of formality; and the basic structure of a sentence. The questions do not require previous teaching experience or advanced study of the English language, and we do not assume knowledge of linguistic terminology - although we would expect candidates to be familiar with basic terms such as 'noun', 'adjective' and 'verb'.

An additional reason is for you to get the opportunity to talk to a teacher trainer and ask any questions not already covered, and to allow you to consider more carefully whether the TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate is the right course for you.

Perhaps the main aim is to make sure that we don't offer a place to - and accept money from - someone who we feel does not have a good chance of passing the course.

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19. Do I have to have an interview to register for a course?
No. Interviews are by telephone, SKYPE or email.

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20. What about visas / insurance?
Ask your TEFL Placement Coordinator about the country that you obtain a job in.

Health insurance: We recommend that you purchase health and travel insurance. We can suggest comprehensive inexpensive travel health insurance to protect you in case of emergency while in a foreign country.

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21. What do I need to do the course?
For your teaching practice you will sometimes need to create materials, so you will need to buy office supplies such as card, scissors and glue. These are easily and cheaply available. It is useful to create some "authentic material" from your place of origin to be used with learners. For example, a tourist brochure, newspapers, magazines, video with TV programs/advertisements, city maps, family photos. Don?t weigh yourself down with excess baggage, but a few things like this can be useful and interesting to use in the classroom.

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22. How much is the cost of living overseas?
Depends of course on which country you accept a job in. Do your research through the internet and etc.

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23. Can accommodation for teachers be provided while overseas?
Yes, accommodation is usually provided for free as part of your benefits, but it is normally very small, but usually functional and clean and fairly close to your school, but varied widely by destination, city and school.

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24. Will you help in adapting to the new environment?
Yes. We try to give you a lot of useful information and resources and we work with several partners for a multitude of destinations, but primarily focus on Asia, since that is where there are so many good job opportunities that pay well and offer great benefits such as bonuses, pension, medical insurance, free airfare and etc.

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25. Are the course fees refundable?
Click here to see full terms and conditions of enrolment.

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26. What does the Pre-Course Task involve?
Most native speakers are not required to do a pre-course task and this is aimed at non-native English speakers to assess their English abilities. The task is designed to give one some initial orientation and assessment of their English ability. Its function is to raise ones awareness of issues and terminology associated with the study of English grammar, vocabulary and phonology.

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27. How much work does the course involve?
The course is extremely comprehensive and done at your own pace allowing you ample time to do self study and discovery learning through pa plethora of practice assignments. Expect to study for about 20 hours a week for about 5-6 weeks and to spend 20 hours teaching ESL voluntarily for your practicum unless you qualify for a waiver of the practicum (if you are placed at a partner school your 20 hour practicum can be waived-or if you already have ESL teaching experience). It is strongly advised that candidates have a commitment to finish the course.

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28. Who are the practice students?
Usually the 20 hour practicum is done by volunteering at a community center, church, public school or ESL school.

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29. Who are the tutors?
Your course director will be supported by a team of tutors. They will be responsible for leading input sessions and observing and supporting you through teaching practice. Tutors are all qualified to at least Diploma level and with experience in teaching and teacher training around the world. They combine professional expertise with a positive approach and enthusiasm, key qualities in helping their trainees to succeed. Click for more information on our team.

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30. Can you describe a typical day? How is the course organized?
The Typical situation is atypical, meaning everyone studies at their own pace and at different times of the day and etc. The courses are very structured and at the end of every unit there will be tasks to do to turn in for grading and throughout the coursework there will be discovery learning exercises for your own benefit that are not to be turned in.

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31. What are the in-put sessions like?
We believe in learning through involvement, and trainees are expected to participate in many different ways during the learning process. Where necessary, information will be supplied, but more commonly you will experience a workshop approach, where your tutor acts as a "facilitator/animator" rather than as a grader of coursework

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32. What written work is involved?
During the course a number of assignments are given in every unit. These include a record of your experience learning the teaching of English and will primarily be taken up with lesson planning. All these lessons and assignments are interwoven throughout the course and are geared to provide a balanced and integrated course.

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33. How will I be assessed?
Assessment on teaching practice is continuous and is based on both actual performance and our assessment of your future potential. TEFLUSA awards a certificate to all successful candidates on completion of the course. All grades are moderated externally by a moderator appointed by TEFLUSA. TEFLUSA TEFL Certificates are awarded A,B,C pass grades and a D fail grade.

Much of the success of the TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate programs are due to the high level of rapport, co-operation and friendship established between participants and tutors on the course.

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34. Assuming I pass, what will I actually receive?
Trainees will receive a 150/120/100 TEFL Certificate or a 20/40/50 Hour Specialty Certificate from TEFLUSA. The TEFLUSA TEFL Certificate is accompanied with a letter with details of the candidate's performance and achievement.

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35. What are the chances of finding a job after completing the course?
See also: Careers
Excellent. Successful graduates go on to obtain teaching posts in a wide range of countries immediately after completing their qualification. We offer as a part of the course professional development input sessions to help you make the best use of your certificate. The only exceptions tend to be graduates who wish to work in a relatively difficult location (due to demand, timing or regulations).

Our graduates typically find work in a variety of locations around the world, with Asia being the most popular and specifically S. Korea because of the best pay/living conditions with China a close second with low pay, but great for living well in China with the opportunity to learn the language.

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36. Does TEFLUSA provide job placement assistance?
Yes - prior to the completion of your TEFL certificate we help with all aspects of job seeking, from CV/resume construction and interview techniques to arranging job interviews and assistance with finding a teaching job in Korea or China and or give information on who to find a job on your own for other destinations. We have excellent contacts with the many language schools in S. Korea and China and contact them regarding graduates who wish to find work in those countries. Trainees are also welcome to consult us for advice after the course has finished.

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37. What about a future in TEFL?
TEFL, the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages, is a growth industry. There are an estimated one billion learners throughout the world. There are many opportunities for suitably qualified people to travel taking advantage of their ability to teach English.

After a few years experience, usually in more than one context, teachers may be interested in going further in their ESL development - undertaking a Diploma or Masters level ESL course can often enhance career possibilities. Apart from teaching, opportunities in ESL can be as diverse as its participants: writing materials, becoming involved in course design, teacher training and so on.

For an idea of current opportunities, try checking our jobs board at www.TEFLUSA.com.

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