What is TEFL?
Welcome to the Wonderful World of TEFL!
TEFL is Teaching English as a Foreign Language. This little but well-used acronym describes the industry, the profession and all the courses you can take to qualify as a teacher. TEFL can be temporary or permanent. Some people do it as a career break, others a gap year as it's a great way of earning money whilst travelling and discovering new cultures and civilisations. Other people consider TEFL at a later stage in life and then use it to cushion their finances, at home or overseas, by teaching privately in person, or teaching online. With TEFL being such an exciting and challenging industry, it as no surprise that some people end up doing it all their lives.
Why do a TEFL course?
As course director of a TEFL training centre, I see how many of our students are inspired to change their lives. Everyone has their own story or reason for this. Some - in fact most - are tired of the 'rat race'. Day dreaming while staring out of their 10th floor office windows, they wonder how they can make a change; taking the plunge to explore the world. Most people don't have the funds to finance such adventures themselves. Few of us are lucky enough to be trust fund babies, or inherit a fortune. Seeing new countries and exotic places forms part of many people's bucket list.
Just as often I see older applicants who realise that 40+ is not too old to change your life. Some are newly divorced or widowed, some are just bored with day to day life, and want to fulfil the promises that they made to themselves as young adults, years ago. Some of our students are recently retrenched, due to the current economic climate. Sometimes life's knocks are blessings in disguise, allowing you to make a life change, that you may not have otherwise considered, or had the courage to attempt.
Whatever you reason for wanting a change in life, there is hope; you don't need to rob a bank! If you are a native English speaker, or have a good command of the English language, a 4-week TEFL course from Destination TEFL (Koh Samui Thailand, or Siem Reap, Cambodia) will equip you with the knowledge and ability to obtain a TEFL job in Asia. Note that some countries will also require you to have a degree, except in Cambodia. The demand for teachers in Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, China, Cambodia, and even Taiwan is high, and all our students that pass the course, manage to find jobs very soon after completing the course, many even getting job offers before they even graduate. Those without a bachelor’s degree sign up for one of our two ‘Teach Cambodia’ programs, with guaranteed job placement after the course.
Teaching is a very rewarding profession, and teachers are highly respected in the East. Asian children are also very different to those in the West - far more well-behaved, and a pleasure to teach. If the thought of teaching children brings on a sweat and anxiety attack, perhaps you would prefer to teach adult learners. There are language schools throughout Asia catering to adults, and many of our students go on to teach staff at hotels and resorts.
Teaching hours are not long, leaving plenty of time to explore your new surroundings. Local transportation is also very cheap, meaning that weekend trips are affordable, as are longer expeditions during school holidays. As a teacher, you experience the 'real' Asia, making you a traveller, not merely a tourist.
Why Destination TEFL?
Destination TEFL has chosen two prime locations for its training centres. The first is based on Koh Samui, in the Gulf of Thailand. It is the ideal location to do your TEFL course, before venturing to other locations in Thailand, Asia or beyond to begin your TEFL career. Our latest centre is based in the cultural hub of Siem Reap, Cambodia, near the world heritage site of Angkor Wat Temple Complex.
Although the course is intense, you will still have plenty of time to explore on weekends and in the evening. Why take your TEFL course in the city, when you have the option to do so on a tropical island or the beautiful setting of Siem Reap? Doing a TEFL course in your home country would not be as beneficial. If you plan on teaching in Asia, get practice teaching real Asian children, with their distinctive language pronunciation problems. We do most of our practicals at local temple schools or NGOs, meaning that these children really benefit from our lessons. Being immersed into a real school environment, also prepares you for entering the school system, should you decide to teach at a school. For those preferring to teach adults, we have arranged adult lessons. Our course is intense, and covers all aspects of TEFL teaching. More information can be found on our website or contact us for a detailed info pack. Our students are important to us - we don’t view them as numbers. We stay in contact with students and track their career and travels where possible.
What are my chances of finding a TEFL job after completing the course?
Your chances are excellent! We have many contacts with agencies and schools in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. They frequently contact us requesting teachers. Why not sign up for one of our placement packages, some with the option of seeing two countries such as, ‘Study Thailand, Teach Cambodia’, or ‘Study Cambodia, Teach Vietnam’. More information can be found on our website under Course locations.
How do I know if I am suitable to do a TEFL course?
As long as you have a reasonable command of the English language, with regards to vocabulary, grammar and the spoken language, and you are not painfully shy, then you are a suitable candidate. You also need to have an open mind, a clean criminal record, be keen on new experiences, and look presentable.
We do expect our teachers to be passionate and enthusiastic, eager to learn and participate and committed to doing the course. We pride ourselves on our professional conduct, and we expect the same from our teachers. If you are not 100% committed, then your students will suffer. If you put in a reasonable amount of effort, complete your assignments and teacher practices with care and enthusiasm, then you will pass the course!