What are Tefl Courses?
Tefl programs are special courses for teachers designed to increase their confidence, skillsets and abilities in the realm of teaching English as a foreign language - that is - teaching English to people whose mother tongue is a different language. Tefl courses are available in various lengths, forms and prices; some tefl programs can be done online, for example, whereas other tefl programs must be done in-person in a tefl school. Depending upon the way in which you enroll in a tefl program its ultimate cost will vary. If you are enrolling in a tefl program as part of a work requirement through a teaching company that has already offered you employment, you are very likely to receive a significant discount on the overall tuition.
Tefl courses usually combine paper coursework and reading about teaching techniques, classroom management, various learning styles, cultural sensitivity and lesson design with mock-class practice sessions in which tefl students stand before their class and direct a portion of time as if they were running their own classroom. Following a mock class, other tefl students can offer suggestions and criticism to help the mock teacher improve.
Different Tefl Courses for Different Needs
If you are considering different tefl courses, but you're not sure which is right for you, consider the following differences between online tefl courses and in-classroom tefl programs. Online tefl training programs are usually less expensive because they require less resources - a student can log in via computer and complete reading, coursework and tests online, while corresponding with tutors and submitting papers via e-mail. The problem with tefl programs online is that they won't test your mettle as thoroughly as in-classroom options.
When it finally comes time for you to run your own classroom, your students will be physically present and in your face. You definitely won't have the comforting barrier of a screen when the children are getting rowdy and you begin to feel your control over the classroom slipping away.
This is perhaps the strongest point that in-person tefl courses have to recommend them over their cyber-counterparts: your fellow tefl students and teachers can help you develop real classroom management skills by playfully offering up some of the same challenges you will meet in a real classroom: intractable or outright disrespectful students, the midday torpor that makes extracting even the most obvious responses from students nigh impossible, whispering in the back of class, wandering eyes during tests, or the mutual frustration of attempting and failing to communicate a particularly complex idea during a lesson.
Tefl Courses of Differing Lengths
Depending upon the market you intend to eventually ply your tefl skills in, you will want to select the proper length of course from amongst the various tefl courses. Some tefl programs can be completed in as little as 40 hours, while others stretch beyond 120 hours. Take some time to ask around about the expectations your target market has for tefl programs. In some countries where teaching English is very popular, 40 hour tefl programs are perfectly sufficient, whereas some of the more prestigious and desirable English teaching jobs, such as those in foreign universities,will consider no less than 120 hour tefl programs that were completed in-person.