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esl vs efl, tefl versus tesol
By: justin (justin) 2012.01.01

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Because teaching English abroad entails a unique set of challenges (language barriers, cultural differences), and teaching itself is something of an art, there are a plethora of degrees available for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Known by a dizzying variety of acronyms, EFL certification programs explain how to assess your students' needs, prepare materials for classwork, test their progress and chart future curriculum. As well as how to answer grammar questions. Tulare says that there are a variety of methods that teachers are trained in, including the European-direct method (complete immersion in the target language, listening and repetition) and other effective alternate methods.

If you are interested in obtaining an EFL certification, examine the curriculum for the courses and choose one that will teach you what you need to know for where you want to go. For example, RSA/Cambridge certification programs tend to focus on teaching adults, masters' degree programs are based more heavily on linguistics acquisition and may help with Western European teaching jobs, one-month hands-on courses might be best for diving into the Asian teaching market.

Another option to actually getting an EFL degree is to do some research on your own. Head to the library or bookstore, there are numerous books, teaching examples, and workbooks that help you plan your classes. Before I left to teach in China, I stopped by my local university and met with the ESL teachers there who work with immigrant students in the U.S. They were more than happy to let me sit in on a few classes, to give me tips and advice. It was invaluable in helping me prepare for my classroom experience.

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