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TEFL for gap year & retirement

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  • djn@dennisnewson.de
    CETEFL, TTEdSIG & Dogme Thanks to Dominic of gisig for bringing to our attention an article in today s Daily Telegraph. ... Can teach, will travel (Filed:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2004
      CETEFL, TTEdSIG & Dogme

      Thanks to Dominic of gisig for bringing to our attention an article in
      today's Daily Telegraph.


      Can teach, will travel
      (Filed: 01/05/2004)

      Having a TEFL qualification offers a great chance to work abroad and
      earn some money. By Richard Bradford

      Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a first-rate
      postgraduate gap-year option. Many use it as a career break, a
      lifestyle change or a retirement plan. It means going abroad to teach
      English to non-native speakers and provides an invaluable opportunity
      to discover new languages and cultures.

      'Seeing your students progress is in itself a rewarding experience'

      It began in the 1950s as a rather colonial approach to those for whom
      English was not their first language. Today, TEFL, also know as TESOL
      - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - is a
      multi-million-pound international industry catering for those who want
      to speak the world’s premier international language.

      Technically, anyone with a native level of English can become a TEFL
      teacher. Having an empathy with your students and a real understanding
      of English are important. When you apply to take a course, you might
      be asked to explain the difference between the words "meaning" and
      "significance" or between the phrases "She reads The Telegraph" and
      "She is reading The Telegraph". The job also requires a fair amount of
      dynamism, although seeing your students progress is in itself a
      rewarding experience.

      Teaching English abroad is usually based in private language schools.
      You might teach younger learners, university students or company
      employees. Depending on your background, you could become a teacher of
      English for Specific Purposes (ESP) - for example, business or legal
      English. With about 25 lessons of 45 to 60 minutes a week, the
      teaching is pretty much full-time. So it is important to be properly

      There are myriad TEFL courses offered on the internet, varying widely
      in price, content and recognition. Although most claim to be
      internationally recognised, only two really are: the Cambridge
      Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (Cambridge CELTA)
      and the Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other
      Languages (Trinity Cert TESOL).

      They are externally assessed and recognised by the British Council as
      the minimum qualification required to teach in a British private
      language school. Both can be taken either part-time or intensively
      over four to five weeks.

      The main objective of the courses is to improve your practical
      teaching ability. Weekly teaching practice is underpinned with lively
      lectures, discussions, observation and activities, and cover skills
      areas such as language awareness (grammar), linguistics, phonetics,
      foreign language acquisition, teaching materials, classroom management
      and lesson planning.

      Prices of the Cambridge and Trinity Cert courses vary from £650 to
      £1,000. Cactus Teachers offers a selection of both courses and a
      centralised application procedure for more than 60 providers in
      Britain. The courses are based in popular international locations such
      as Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Australia.

      Online and weekend courses can also be useful as a taster and for
      those considering using TEFL as a means of earning money while
      travelling. Shorter TEFL courses cost from about £200. While
      financially advantageous, these omit the important teaching practice
      element and may not be fully recognised abroad. A useful site to
      explore the different course types is www.tefladmissions.com.

      You can find teaching work by simply going to the country and looking
      for it, by volunteering for a TEFL adventure with a gap-year
      organisation or by securing paid work before you leave. Most courses
      will offer help and advice on this.

      Many newly qualified teachers head to eastern Europe and South-East
      Asia, where the demand for teachers is higher. Last year, 600 British
      graduates worked in Japan as assistant language teachers with Japan
      Exchange and Teaching (JET) - www.jet-uk.org - which pays for return
      flights and organises accommodation.

      Spain is the most popular country for British-based English language
      teachers, who can stay with a local host family. This means they can
      integrate with the local culture and secure low-cost accommodation
      while searching for that important first job. The single biggest
      source of TEFL jobs is www.tefl.com.

      Most positions around the world will provide enough income to cover
      local accommodation and subsistence, as well as some spare cash. Back
      in Britain, experienced teachers can earn £15 to £30 an hour working
      in private language schools and further education colleges.

      Top employers in Britain generally regard TEFL as a positive way of
      spending a gap year. Transferable skills such as time management and
      the ability to train and give presentations are welcome additions to
      formal qualifications, not to mention inter- cultural sensitivity and
      language skills.

      For those captivated by the nature of the work and the sense of
      freedom it gives, career paths and further qualifications are
      available. Teachers go on to become directors of studies, educational
      managers, school managers and authors of course materials. The author
      is the head of teacher training at Cactus Teachers, an online TEFL
      course admissions service offering advice and support to those
      considering a career in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. 'The
      Little Book of TEFL', is available free from www.cactusteachers.com or
      call 0845 130 4775.

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