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What is the Qualification to Teaching English Online and Abroad

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online classes, teaching English

Without a shadow of a doubt, teaching English as a foreign language, or TEFL as it is known more colloquially has become a hot topic among many in the education sphere in recent years. In fact, during the last couple of years, this progression has continued apace, with thousands simply flocking into the profession. Logically, this makes sense as the world has shifted into a new era, with several prioritizing the perks of working from home over the daily commute, and thousands opening their hearts and minds to the possibilities that exist regarding working in another culture.

Despite this, regardless of whether the aim is to become an online teaching whiz or a globetrotting educational maestro, the steps necessary to embark on the journey are the same either way. Of course, it makes sense that students who wish to learn English would prefer to gain this knowledge in the best, most efficient, and smoothest way possible, just as anyone who asks for a job to be done requests that it is done with professionalism and integrity. Yet, it is so much more than that to become a TEFL expert, so read ahead to see the other five essentials for honing a craft as a TEFL professional, no matter the salary range.

English Teaching Experience

In any vocation, having prior hands-on exposure to the job is an advantage. For instance, just imagine paying someone to evaluate the plumbing of a house or the inside mechanics of a car without having done this before. Obviously, it is easy to see that this would not be the optimal solution to these issues, and it is much the same way with teaching English. For one thing, previous teaching experience of English is a sure-fire way of hitting the ground running, not having to overcome the nerves of diving into something completely new, and all the pressure that that can bring.

In addition, the experienced teacher will bring a problem-solving toolkit to the in-person or virtual classroom, knowing how to answer those niggly questions about grammar, or taking the heat out of a particularly vocal discussion between classmates. Furthermore, having subject-specific know-how also offers a pathway for students to explore the topic more deeply, getting the right information that could propel them into further independent study, or indeed the big wide English-speaking world. Adding all these up, it is crystal clear that a prior background of teaching English in some form or other is not only advantageous but also essential in this line of work.

University Degree and/or TEFL Certification

Now, there are those who confidently aver that the “university of life” and the “school of hard knocks” are the best educators, and while there is certainly a grain of merits to those assertions, for a truly authentic depth of intelligence and research, there really is no substitute for gaining an advanced academic nous. Whether one is preparing to meet their students in person for the first time, or to shift career paths, being armed to the teeth with content-related info is absolutely a prerequisite.

First up, the opportunity to see professionals at the top of their game pass advice on is a boon and a blessing, and one that ought to be seized with both hands. Secondly, the chance to catch a glimpse of the very latest pedagogies and cutting-edge methods in the classroom can only be a positive. Third of all, meeting up with and getting to know a group of like-minded peers who are all in the same boat is the opportunity of a lifetime and will provide memories both within and outside of the campus environment. Last, but by no means least, obtaining either (or both) of these certificates is akin to obtaining a passport that transcends some of the competition, especially for the prime positions going.

English Fluency & Nationality

Well, this might indeed sound like the most obvious of the five reasons on the list, but it is one that can often be overlooked, especially by native speakers themselves. Being a native speaker might be considered to be simultaneously a positive and a negative in this sphere. On the one hand, having fluency that is effortless and all of the verbal tools necessary to communicate without even a solitary blink of the eye clearly sounds like an upside. However, there are a couple of mitigating factors that this same plus does bring to the table.

Initially, there is the fact that many parts of the English-speaking world, especially in the United Kingdom, have a strong accent, which may not be the easiest for English language learners to comprehend fully. On top of that, the overwhelming proportion of native English speakers does not necessarily take a massive amount of time to contemplate the finer nuances of the composition of the language itself, particularly in regards to such elements as the syntax, idioms, or phrasal verbs. So, paying attention to these aspects through the aforementioned study is yet another factor to differentiate the elite TEFL wannabe from the also-rans.

Current Location

For some people, the current location might not be at the very top of the list, as there are benefits galore to working and travelling at the same time. Having said that, location should be at the very least a consideration that is brought to the discussion. When teaching online, there might be some restrictions concerning accessing particular websites, due to the internet controls in that country. This could impact lesson planning in specific regions, so is certainly worth a second glance. Also, in these times there is the possibility of a travel ban or two sneaking up on an unsuspecting traveller, meaning they could be stranded in an uncomfortable situation, waiting for the moment where they can return to their home base. Finally, the location denotes the time zone, which may not be convenient to teach some online students, or vice versa – keeping this in mind should help the discerning TEFL pro to make the best choice for them on location.

Online Teaching Equipment

In this digital age, it almost goes without saying that technology is ubiquitous, so one might even wonder why this is even important. In fact, the reality is that technology is a given in the lives of almost everyone, students included, and that makes it all the more prescient to have the right tools for the job at hand. To begin with, a strong and reliable internet connection will make for less interrupted online classes, and more straightforward lesson planning for the in-person tutor. Building on that, a webcam that actually works is more likely to engage and motivate learners, wishing to interact with and learn from their teacher. Alongside this, having access to apps or websites with robust content means that many of the hard yards are already covered, as well as providing a handy plan B if the first choice class idea goes awry for any reason.

 

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