What To Do Before Starting Your TEFL Course

So, you have been accepted into a TEFL course. How are you feeling?

  • Relaxed because you are a fluent English speaker, or near native,with a good educational background.
  • Perhaps you feel a little bit worried as one of your friends took the courseand said it was one of the toughest months of her life.
  • Maybe you’re worried that you’re going to fail the course.

TEFL courses can be tough.  What can help is doing a little bit of preparation before the course starts.  Here are some things you should do before taking your TEFL course:

  • Read a book or two, maybe a few articles and do a little research about TEFL and teaching English.
  • Brush up on your grammar.  You don’t need to be a grammar expert, but at least know a few grammar basics.  
  • If it is possible, see if you can observe a TEFL class.  This will give you an idea of what your class will be like.  Seeing a teacher and students in action will give you a better feel of what a TEFL course is all about.
  • If you are taking your TEFL course abroad in a foreign country, learn some of the basics of the local language as this will help to make your experience more rewarding.
  • Most important take some time to relax.  See your friends and enjoy yourself.  TEFL courses can be intense, so don’t be surprised if you are very busy, with just a little free time available to enjoy yourself during the course.  Being relaxed and rested before you start your TEFL course will be a big bonus for you.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

What Are The Attributes Of A Great EFL Teacher?

Great EFL teachers are patient at explaining things. Being comfortable with explaining content and context to students is an essential skill for teachers. Do you like to explain how things work, or how events occurred?   They have a sense of humor and use humor as part of their teaching methods. Humor, used properly, can be a powerful addition to any lesson. Can you integrate humor into lessons, explanations and stories to help your students learn? 

Great teachers like people. EFL student’s age ranges from elementary, special education, secondary education, higher education to adults and retirees. Great EFL teachers have a temperament for students in all age ranges. 

Great teachers are inherently fair-minded. They assess students on the basis of performance, not on the students’ personal qualities, background or culture. Can you measure students’ performance based on an evaluation criteria equally applied? 

Great teachers have common sense. They can size up a situation quickly and make an appropriate decision. There is no substitute for common sense. Can you be fair and communicate your decisions clearly?

Great teachers have a complete understanding of the EFL content they teach in sufficient depth to convey the information in meaningful ways to the students. Are you able to re-present information from several perspectives to help students grasp concepts? 

Great teachers set high expectations for their students and hold the students to those expectations. If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, can you set high expectations for yourself, and demand excellence not only of yourself, but your students as well? 

Great teachers are detail oriented. Teachers must be organized in their professional and teaching duties. EFL teachers cannot take things for granted. This applies to all organizational and instructional duties. 

Great teachers are good managers of time. Time is one of the most precious resources a teacher has. Good teachers have learned to use this resource wisely. Can you monitor your time and allocate to priorities and deadlines? 

Great teachers can lead or follow. EFL teachers have to shift from “sage on the stage to guide by the side”. Sometimes, teachers must be members of teaching teams, committees, groups, councils, and task forces. It is important to have the temperament to function in these capacities. Are you comfortable being a leader or a follower as circumstances require? Can you be constructive with co-workers, team teachers, administrators, and parents? 

Great teachers learn to improve their teaching by teaching, by making mistakes, learning from them and improving. Can you be a fair critic of yourself? 

Great teachers know that they teach as much from their own actions and behavior as with the content they teach. Do a personal inventory of your own values, personality, preferences and goals. How has your past experience/education prepared you for teaching?

If you complete your TEFL course with TEFL Zorritos, you will be given all the guidance and confidence to be a great EFL teacher!  Also you will have a guaranteed job waiting for you when you have completed our course.  

What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today! 

Want To Teach Abroad? Don’t Be Scared!

While teaching abroad is exciting, challenging and well just pretty awesome, moving to a new job, house and country all at once can be a bit overwhelming. So, if you’re feeling a little nervous about the whole thing, try doing some of these – they’ll help to put your mind at rest:

Do a TEFL course

While doing a TEFL course won’t prepare you for every classroom eventuality, it will prepare you for the realities of life in the classroom, including how to plan lessons and how to prevent all out rebellion against you! Do a TEFL course and, not only will your employment prospects rocket, but it will also help you to feel much more confident about stepping into the classroom for the very first time.

Do your research

There’s nothing more frightening than heading into the unknown, so it’s a great idea to do your research before you accept any job offers.  Once you get that all important job offer don’t be tempted to accept in straight away without doing any research. It is a good idea to Google the name of the school you’re thinking of working at and ‘review’ – you may soon find out that there’s a reason why they’re offering such a ‘good’ salary. In addition to this get to know the area you’ll be working – read some guidebooks or simply get on Google Earth for a bird’s eye view. It’ll all help to put your mind at rest.

Have some resources tucked up your sleeve

Any experienced teacher will tell you that, no matter how well thought out your lesson plans, there will always be times when you have to resort to plan B, C or even D! So, before you step foot in the classroom for the first time, make sure you have some tried and tested activities to fall back on if and when things start getting a little hectic.

Network

If you’re feeling nervous about moving to a new country, the best people to talk to are those who are currently living and working there. And with the wonders of the internet it’s now easier than ever to do just that.

Learn a bit of the local language before you go

While you don’t need to know the local language in order to teach overseas, it’s handy to know a few words of the local language so you’re not totally overwhelmed when you touch down.

Keep an open mind

Most major TEFL destinations have cultures that can feel very alien to most westerners: you may be confronted with things that seem frustrating, strange or just plain wrong. The only remedy for this is keeping an open mind and remembering that you decided to go overseas to experience another culture, not make everyone behave in a way that’s acceptable to your own.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

TEFL Jobs For Non-Native English Speakers

TEFL Jobs For Non-Native English Speakers

Over the years English has become the international language of business, communications, technology and travel. This global reach means that most people using English around the world are non-native speakers speaking to other non-native speakers (Polish businesspeople speaking to German businesspeople, for example). So sounding like a native speaker is irrelevant to them: they need International English and they want a teacher with good levels of English and teaching skills.

You’ve already learned English, so you can teach English
Another plus is that because you have learned the English language from scratch, you probably understand English grammar on an intellectual level to a much higher level than most of your native counterparts who understand it on a subconscious level having soaked up the language from birth.

And one final part on the back for our non-native speaking friends: being taught by a non-native TEFL teacher can really motivate and inspire your students – if you can learn to speak, write and teach English to such a high level, they can too!

What Are The Challenges of Being a Non-Native TEFLer?
The main challenge that you’ll have is your own worry about being a non-native speaker! But your students know you’re not a native speaker and don’t expect you to be one. You’ve worked hard to learn the language to such a high level, so be confident. All that hard work you’ve put in will help you teach English as a foreign language to your students just as well as a native speaker would.

You may encounter old attitudes from some employers who feel that the native speaker is still the ideal. Don’t worry – there is so much demand for TEFL teachers, you can just choose a different employer. These attitudes are changing rapidly – any good school now is looking for skills, not just someone who is a ‘native-speaker’.

Some countries generally require proof of nationality from an English-speaking country to get a work permit (e.g. Korea). There’s not much you can do about that unfortunately, but these prejudices about what makes a good teacher are changing, and we expect them to disappear in the near future.

Do I Need Specific TEFL Training?
Whatever anyone says, you don’t need any extra TEFL training. You are the equal of the native speakers, and should not put yourself in a separate category.

Obviously, if you’re going to teach English, your English level has to be very high. If you’re not confident about your English, you’ll need to work on it in a targeted way. Get a detailed diagnosis of your speaking and writing from an expert and work on the areas you need to improve: whether that’s fluency, pronunciation, sentence stress and rhythm, use of articles or tenses – a few more hours effort will open up a world of opportunities.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

TEFL – The Scoop!

English is the international language of business, politics, science and communications.  It is estimated that over a billion people are learning English worldwide.  About three-quarters of these people live in non-English speaking countries.  In other words every country needs English teachers  every country needs English teachers (there are even foreign TEFL teachers in North Korea).

Most language schools advertise on the internet and many like to arrange a contract in advance. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to TEFL jobs. It’s estimated that there are over 20,000 new TEFL jobs listed each month.  The demand for TEFL is so huge that many schools will employ teachers with no teaching qualification or degree. This does depend on the country – you may need to be qualified to get a work visa in some countries. Also, the question of whether you want to teach without some training needs serious consideration.  In addition the better teaching jobs will require at the least an accredited TEFL certificate, with some observed teaching practice.

Most English language schools are English language environments. You will use English for all interactions at work. However, knowing some basic phrases in the local language shows respect for people and will add considerably to your cultural experience.

You could actually be teaching in one of many countries tomorrow. You will need to decide whether you want to simply arrive in a country and approach schools or arrange a job before you go. This may or may not work out for you and of course it is always best to do your research first, complete an accredited TEFL course and get job guidance from your TEFL provider.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost! And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

TEFL – A Recession Proof Job

Despite the current economic crisis sweeping much of the world, there is still one job where the demand continues to increase, with no foreseeable end.  That job is TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language.  In fact there are so many opportunities, that once you have completed an accredited TEFL certification course you can pretty much have your choice of where in the world you want to live and work as an EFL teacher.

If you choose the right TEFL provider, they can even do the legwork for you in regards to finding a teaching job for you when you complete your training.  In fact, the better schools can probably guarantee you employment upon graduation from their course.

In addition to your TEFL certification you will need a resume appropriate for the job you are seeking.  Again, the best TEFL schools will assist you with preparing your resume so it matches the country specific requirements where you want to teach.

Interviewing can be as simple as a brief discussion on Skype or could involve several meetings with different school management over a period of weeks, depending on where you want to work and the type of school where you will be interviewing.  Again, the best TEFL schools will help you prepare for your interview based on the school location where you are applying for a job.

Visa and work permit information about the country where you want to work is also important and can be tedious and complicated if you don’t know the procedures.  Again, if you have chosen the right TEFL school they will be able to assist you with all aspects of visa, work permit and other documents to legally work in your chosen country.

Finally, but perhaps most important will be negotiating your contract with your new employer.  If you are not aware of the different cultural aspects of how this process you could end up on the short end of the salary/benefits stick, so to speak.  Again, if you have chosen your TEFL school wisely, they can review your contracts and help you negotiate a deal that is favorable for you.

So, if you are ready for a change, now is the time – get enrolled in a great TEFL school and start your new career as an EFL Teacher.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Should I Become a TEFL Teacher?

You may have been considering doing TEFL for a while, but have never done anything about it. That sounds like it could be down to just a little bit of fear. If this sounds like you, the best thing you can do to overcome those fears is get a clear idea of what teaching English abroad can be like.

Take the initial low-risk step of researching and contacting a few TEFL course providers, contact some current or former EFL teachers and get an understanding of what teaching English involves.  By the end of it you will have a much clearer idea of just what is involved in teaching English abroad. More importantly, you’ll be feeling excited and enthusiastic to get on with TEFL.  Ask practical questions regarding payaccommodationteaching staff and students, this will help build a real picture of teaching English abroad.

Finding out about the country you want to teach in is also a good idea. It will not only get you excited with anticipation, but will also help you decide if it’s somewhere you want to be. Ask teachers who have been to that country about the culture, lifestyle, cost of living and whether you earn enough to live.

Other concerns some prospective TEFL teachers have are doubts as to whether TEFL can constitute a career. I know a lot of people in TEFL, in a wide variety of different roles. Some are still out teaching, notching up more countries and destinations on their resumes. Others have started their own schools, some are in teacher training, others writing books. TEFL is the same as any industry, there are plenty of opportunities for the right person. The people I know are industrious, show initiative and are professional; qualities that any employer in any field would value.

Saying that, simply because you choose to get into TEFL, doesn’t mean that you are tied to it. It can be perfect for taking a career break before starting something else or following a successful career. By teaching English, you’ll also find that you gain transferable skills such as presentation, communication and organizational skills.

I have found professionals from different areas teaching abroad for a year or two to gain useful resume experience.

Many primary and secondary school teachers find that teaching abroad is an effective way to gain practical experience before returning to apply for jobs in their home country.

There are a lot of fears and excuses to prevent you from taking the plunge. And while I meet a large number of people who say they had always meant to do TEFL, but never got round to it, I am not sure I have ever met a TEFL teacher who regrets their time abroad.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Have a Successful EFL Teaching Adventure

So, your suitcase is packed, and you are ready for new adventures, ready for new challenges, ready to teach English abroad!  Here’s how to make the most out of your EFL teaching adventure:

1) Be open minded

The whole world is not a chain of McDonalds and Starbucks. Foreign countries are foreign! Unless you’re teaching in your home country, you will encounter many things that just seem strange.  So, it’s important to keep an open mind. Remember that you’re there to experience an entirely new culture and way of doing things, not to impose your beliefs on your new home.

2) Take an accredited TEFL course

You might be able to speak English, but that doesn’t mean that you are able to teach it. A TEFL course gives you a really good grip on all the classroom essentials such as controlling your class, planning your lessons and corrected your students errors – so you’ll be a lot better prepared for life in the classroom. Plus with a TEFL qualification, you can usually earn more money and find jobs at more reputable schools.

3) Accept invitations

You’ll probably be inundated with invitations for everything from karaoke to weddings. When you first arrive in-country you might suffer from a bit of a culture shock and you might just want to lock yourself in your room and speak to your family and friends on Skype. As tempting as that is, though, don’t do it! Get yourself out there.. yes it may be really scary (e.g. going to a party on your own in a city you don’t know), but the locals will go out of their way to make you feel welcome so just enjoy yourself and make the most of it!

4) Remain calm and flexible

Life as an English teacher is amazing, but it can also be infuriating. Timetables change, contracts change, expectations change… you can have the world promised in your contract, only to turn up to find a tiny apartment with bad plumbing. That’s a worst case scenario, and many teachers don’t have any mishaps at all. But, it’s important to have low expectations before you arrive and to remain calm and flexible once you do get in-country. Don’t stress the little things.

5) Speak up!

Your school has invested a lot of money in hiring you and they’ll want to keep you happy so you finish your contract. They’re not mind readers though, so if you’re ever unhappy with anything, from your accommodation to your hours, say something ASAP (and not just to your friends and family, they can’t do anything about it but your school can)!

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru & guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Quit Your Job and Become An EFL Teacher

Are you stuck in a rut? Trapped in a job you don’t like; longing for something more interesting; imagining the day you can hand in your notice; and most importantly – being powerless to do anything about it! Often, when you’re stuck in a rut, you just need a little nudge in the right direction. So, here’s why you should quit your job and become an EFL Teacher.

 

Your job’s not that great anyway

Let’s face it – unless you’re a professional athlete or a rock star, your job isn’t that great. Yes it pays the bills on time, and yes, you probably enjoy the occasional office party. But let’s be honest – the job itself is pretty dull right?  If you’re looking for something more meaningful then take a look at teaching English abroad.

 

When else will you have this little responsibility?

Odds on you don’t have any of the following yet: kids, a mortgage, very old parents. Wait a few years and you probably will have one, two or all three. While it feels like a huge risk to leave everything behind now, you probably don’t have that many responsibilities yet – so make sure you make that leap to TEFL before you do!

 

Teaching EFL will actually help your career

Teaching English abroad doesn’t mean just laying on beaches for a year. It’s actually much better than that: you’ll be getting real, on-the-job experience of working in another country and culture, with loads of opportunities to boost your leadership, communication and interpersonal skills – and if that doesn’t impress prospective employers, then what will? Oh, and you’ll probably still get time for those beaches too.

 

You’ll be gaining a job not losing one

Don’t focus on the job you’ll be leaving behind (you know, that rather soul-sucking place you spend 8 hours of your day). Instead focus on the new, exciting TEFL job that you’ll get abroad: complete with new challenges, new colleagues and new experiences.

 

Don’t have regrets 

Imagine sitting in your armchair as an old man/lady and looking back across your life. All the things you did do, and all the things you just didn’t get around to. You’ll probably regret the things you didn’t do the most – all the opportunities that you passed up. Travelling and experiencing life in another culture shouldn’t be one of them.

 

TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Mistakes New EFL Teachers Make

Talking too much

In an EFL class, what is the most common reason students are enrolled? They want to SPEAK English! And what happens when the teacher speaks most of the time? They don’t have enough chances to actually practice their speaking skills. Those who are new to EFL teaching often make this very crucial mistake: They take up too much of the talking time, either because they feel uncomfortable around silence or long pauses, or because they are over-enthusiastic to share their knowledge. So clearly, hogging most of the talking time is out of the question. But, how to find the right balance between student talking time and teacher talking time?

As a general rule of thumb, students should speak for 70% of the class time, while teachers speak for the remaining 30%. These percentages could be tweaked in cases where students are absolute beginners (50-50), or at the other end of the spectrum, very advanced learners in need of intensive speaking practice (90-10). This means that in most cases, your participation should be limited to giving instructions and explaining essential points, but above all to eliciting response from students and facilitating all types of speaking activities.

 

Inconsistent classroom management

This is one of the mistakes that is often made due to a lack of experience. Classroom management is not an exact science; it’s not like teaching grammar. Each group of student is different and rules must be set as a group. The problem stems from the fact that new teachers may not have a clearly defined teaching style. So, they either become too strict or too lax. There are plenty of articles you can read on effective classroom management; you may agree with some of the techniques, you may disagree with others and choose to implement your own. It’s not about being stricter, but rather being consistent. There’s nothing worse for a group of students than empty promises or weak threats. Once you define how you’ll manage your class, stick to it!

 

Forgetting cultural differences

Some teachers are so focused on teaching things about the English culture, they completely ignore their students’. Some gestures EFL teachers commonly use in the classroom, like the gesture for OK, may be very rude in other cultures. In some countries, students may be used to lecturing, and may not react positively when you propose a game. This is a mistake EFL teachers make above all in foreign countries where the culture is very different from Western culture, like Arabic or Oriental cultures. Learn about their customs, especially greetings, and use this information to create a positive learning environment.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program & guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!