Is TEFL Worth It: How Useful is a TEFL Qualification?

Teaching English as a foreign language abroad sounds like an exciting  opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to travel the world, earning money and making friends – or teaching online and living as a digital nomad? But a TEFL certificate costs time and money. Is TEFL worth it in the long run? How useful is a TEFL certificate?

is tefl worth it

What is a TEFL certificate?

First things first, let’s make sure you know exactly what a TEFL certificate is.

Read more: The Basics of Teaching English as a Foreign Language

TEFL stands for teaching English as a foreign language. A TEFL certificate is a qualification you receive once you have completed a TEFL course. It allows you to teach English as a foreign language, abroad, at home, or online. In other words, you are teaching students whose first language is not English but they want or need to be able to communicate in English. 

You can teach language learners of any ages and nationalities, in schools, universities, language centres, privately or in-company. You could find yourself teaching English to kindergarteners in Hong Kong one year and university students in Germany the next. 

How can you teach English when you don’t have a teaching degree?

This is where a TEFL course comes in. 

A TEFL course teaches you the foundations of teaching English. You will look at English grammar and how to explain it, as well as English vocabulary, pronunciation, and the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. You will learn how to plan lessons which are appropriate, relevant and effective. You will consider aspects of teaching you probably have thought of before, like classroom management, assessment and discipline.

A TEFL course should be at least 120 hours long.The TEFL course provider should be reputable, accredited and internationally recognised. You can easily find a 20-hour TEFL course for $20 but we shouldn’t have to even mention that it won’t be worth your time or your money. Instead, invest in a TEFL course which is guaranteed to be recognised by TEFL employers all over the world, and which will give you the confidence to stand on your own two feet in the classroom. 

Read more: TEFL Accreditation Explained

is TEFL worth it

What else can I do with a TEFL certificate?

Besides teaching General English, a TEFL certificate allows you to teach English for Specific Purposes, such as Business English, English for Academic Purposes, English for Hospitality, Legal English and many more different specialisations within TEFL. 

What’s more, with some experience, you can become a blogger, EFL author, a teacher trainer, or even a Director of Studies. So there are a wide range of career opportunities for you as an experienced TEFL teacher. 

Is TEFL worth it

Read more: 13 Different TEFL Jobs For TEFL Teachers

And don’t forget that being a TEFL teacher looks good on your CV. Being a TEFL teacher shows you are adaptable, communicative, adventurous and personable. Teaching improves your skills in time management, organisation and people management. If you learn the local language of the country you are living in, you will have a foreign language to add to your list of skills as well. 

What are the benefits of having a TEFL certificate?

If you want to live and work abroad, a TEFL certificate is one of the easiest ways to do it. TEFL teachers are in high demand all over the world, so you can pick and choose the job you want – where you want. And you can earn good money!

Being a TEFL teacher allows you to not only travel the world but immerse yourself in a foreign culture at the same time. You will meet different people, make friends, and experience a way of life you are probably not used to. Broadening your horizons is an understatement when it comes to TEFL. 

The great thing about having a TEFL qualification is that TEFL certificates don’t expire. It takes a lot less time to complete than a degree, and it is just as likely to help you get a job. Some people teach English to fill a gap in time or to take a break from their careers, but for others TEFL is their career. 

Read more: How Long Does A TEFL Course Take?

Is TEFL worth it?

We say yes! Considering the benefits of having a TEFL certificate and the fact that a TEFL certificate doesn’t expire, it certainly makes sense to do a TEFL course. Even if you only teach English for a short while, you will never regret the experiences you have, and your TEFL will help you in whatever direction your career takes you.

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