What does TEFL mean? It means Teaching English as a Foreign Language and is an excellent way to learn how to teach English clearly without needing to speak French, or the language your student speaks normally.
If you’re reading this, odds are that you already speak English fluently, however there’s an extra skillset involved in teaching English and in order to teach it effectively you must also:
Know the rules of grammar, conjugation, tenses, pronunciation, etc.
Understand how to be a caring teacher, keep students motivated, use visual aids, organise a lesson, help students correct mistakes, etc.
A TEFL course will help you to learn this extra skillset and make the learning experience of your students far richer, as well as helping you as a teacher.
Several companies offer online TEFL certification, which has many perks, especially when you live in France and the option to study in English will be limited! A lot of TEFL courses are also very flexible, allowing you to take time to complete the course you have chosen whenever you want and wherever you want. This much flexibility is an asset for you as you can manage your own schedule more easily and go at your own pace without feeling the pressure of a deadline weighing on you.
There are plenty of online TEFL certification courses, but we personally recommend that you get certified with Intesol Worldwide. We are not affiliated with them in any way, but recommend them for the following reasons:
Intesol Worldwide is a British company, established in the 1990s, whose mission is to train and certify people who want to teach English as a Foreign Language anywhere around the globe. They believe that no matter what background you come from, if you have the passion and the ability to teach, you should be given the opportunity to achieve your goal and thrive as an English teacher anywhere you want in the world. Their experience and expertise have been recommended by many, and they are officially accredited by the ALAP. Although they offer onsite training in a few countries like Russia, Bolivia or Nicaragua, they are mostly reputed for their online courses and their multiple advantages.
The courses and resources provided are available online 24 hours a day and 7 days a week for you to follow the curriculum at your own rhythm and to take the time to work best. Moreover, after each assignment that you turn in, your grades will be available online, which will allow you to see your progress, get encouragement, feedback and guidance whenever you need. You will also have a personal, qualified tutor who will shadow you from the beginning until your graduation, follow your progress, encourage you and advise you.
Intesol Worldwide and your tutor have at heart your success and will be dedicated to bringing you everything that you need so as to become the best English teacher you can be, and ensure the personal growth to which you aspire. In order to do so, you will be offered a choice between 2 programs. The first program consists in 120 hours of courses, which correspond to the minimum requirement to become certified to teach English as a foreign language. The second program is 140 hours long and is the same as the first, plus 20 hours of online teaching practice. This teaching practice is an important element and we highly recommend going for the longer course.
Both programs revolve around the same core divided into 4 modules in which there are 11 lessons. After each lesson, you must turn in an assignment which will be graded by your tutor. Your grades will be available online, and if you don't pass one of the assignments, you will be given extra counsel and help from your tutor to get you back on track, before being allowed to resubmit that particular assignment, and still without a time limit. The courses are centred on some key notions, like teaching young learners or how to make class fun, engaging and entertaining enough to captivate your students. The four modules are structured like this:
Module 1 is an explanation of the program, its purpose is to help on how to organise yourself, and how to study efficiently. This is the only module that is not graded as it is giving you the methodology to succeed.
Module 2 is about the study of English, like its grammar, pronunciation, spelling, rules, syntax, structure, or vocabulary. Here, this module is aimed at giving you the knowledge you will need to pass on to your students, making sure your English is of sufficient quality to be taught.
Module 3 revolves around the art of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). This module was designed in order to give you an idea of the posture a teacher must adopt, or the skills on which to focus, or how to grade and deal with errors.
Module 4 concludes the program with 2 lessons on how to manage and assess your class.
The 140-hour program will also have, on top of all that, 20 hours of online teaching practice for which you will prepare lesson plans that you will then put in action with real students via videoconference. This module's purpose it to give you a first experience of teaching whilst still being accompanied by your tutor.
While we personally recommend Intesol Worldwide, you are under absolutely no obligation to pursue a TEFL course with them and you are equally welcome to look around on the internet and find an alternative course to study.
We recommend finding one that offers actual teaching experience as part of the course, as this will give you a valuable insight into what it’s like teaching students face to face in France. A module that helps you teach children should also be included in whatever course you choose.
Gaining an officially accredited TEFL certificate will open many doors, as well as the opportunity to teach English to students on homestays with Daily English.