Questions & Answers

Teaching Abroad / Living Abroad / Working Abroad / TESOL Certification

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What age group will I have to teach?

In schools overseas, students of all ages study English. Children as young as three go to English kindergartens, while senior citizens study English as a hobby. You might be teaching elementary school students, junior or senior high school students, businessmen, housewives, other teachers, or people who need English in order to improve their chances of being promoted or to increase their ability to be hired. Most schools do focus on one or two age groups, so if you have a very strong preference for one age group, make sure the school that you apply to teaches that age group. Whatever your preferences are, teaching each age group is covered in the standard sixty-hour course. We also have excellent specializations that focus on teaching children, adolescents, and adults.

What is the average class size that I may encounter?

This depends entirely on what the school teaches and where you are teaching it. In some parts of China, you might be teaching class sizes of forty students. In other parts of China, you might be teaching three or four. For class sizes smaller than this or for any tutoring jobs you might have, we suggest registering for our tutoring specialization. Most countries have a limit of eight to twelve students, which we feel is the ideal number to have in a classroom. Be careful though! Those high paying college and university classes might have class sizes of over two hundred.

What textbook will I have to use?

This is one of the first questions to ask a potential employer. Most schools will have an established curriculum already in place for you, but they will allow you to be creative in your teaching methods, so bring along our Resource Manual. You want to avoid schools that do not have any textbooks in place, and you also want to make sure that the textbook series you do use is from an English speaking country. You may choose to invest in one of the many excellent textbook series that are available for your personal teaching library.

What resources are available to me?

Again, this depends on the school you are going to. Most schools have access to a TV and a DVD or VHS player, a CD player, a tape player, and perhaps some art supplies. They may have a teaching library available as well. Make sure you pay attention to the Foundation Resource Manual and Chapter 10 in the Employment Manual for ideas on how to convert or adapt ideas for your classroom.

What is the dress code for foreign English teachers?

Most schools do not have a strict dress-code, but be aware that teachers are required to look clean, neat, and presentable at all times while teaching. If you are teaching children, however, make sure you are wearing clothes that are appropriate for teaching children. Ties on male teachers are a definite no-no when teaching younger children. Also, take into consideration the religious beliefs in the country you are teaching. Most countries do not expect foreigners to dress the same as the citizens, but more conservative clothing will be required in some areas.

What are some of the most common classroom management problems?

Most students overseas are much better behaved than students in North America, but classroom management is still sometimes a concern. The best way to avoid all classroom management issues is to be prepared. We cover low-level and high-level management techniques when teaching children. You will occasionally have students who are extremely tired in your class, as well as students who clearly do not understand what you want them to do. Don’t worry! We cover all this in class.

Will I have to teach a specific age group?

No! Not if you don’t want to. Each school specializes in a particular age group; so if there is an age group that you definitely do not want to teach, simply do not apply for that school.

How many classes a day will I have to teach?

Again, this depends on the country. Some countries like Mexico or China ask you to teach three to four classes a day, while South Korea expects six classes. Most countries require at least five hours a day teaching. We teach you in the class how to define a teaching ‘hour’ and how to negotiate overtime.”]

Will I have to teach a specific age group?

No! Not if you don’t want to. Each school specializes in a particular age group; so if there is an age group that you definitely do not want to teach, simply do not apply for that school.

What is a teaching practicum?

A teaching practicum is a volunteered length of teaching that a student does prior to going overseas in order to try out the new methods he or she has learned. In the in-class version of our course, students teach language acquisition in a simulated ESL environment, so correspondence or online students must find a way to get some practical experience as well. Read more about teaching practicums here.

Is it necessary to partake in a teaching practicum in order to secure an overseas teaching position?

If you have not taken the foundation course in-class, it is necessary for you to complete the practicum. In extenuating circumstances where there is absolutely no way to complete the practicum in your home town, we are able to issue you a interim TESOL certificate and you can complete your practicum overseas. We also take into consideration any previous teaching or tutoring you might have done, which eliminates the need for a practicum.

How many certification and diploma programs does TESOL Training International offer?

As of right now, we offer six programs. Program 1 is our Advanced TESOL certification which includes our foundation course and one specialization; Program 2 is our Professional TESOL Certificate which includes our foundation course and three specializations; Program 3 is our Advanced TESOL Diploma which is our foundation course and five of our specializations; Program 4 is our Professional TESOL Diploma which is our foundation course plus nine of our specializations; Program 5 is our TESOL instructor Diploma which includes the foundation course and ten specializations; and Program 6 is the International TESOL Certificate which is a 120-hour in-class expanded course.

How many specialization courses does TESOL Training International offer?

We have sixteen specialization courses right now. Teaching adolescents, teaching adults, business English, teaching children, teaching ESL locally, graduate TESOL course, teaching grammar, TESOL for non-native speakers, TESOL teaching practicum, TOEFL preparation, tourism English, tutoring English, and our independent study elective. We also have computer English, legal English, and medical English.

How can I study for your programs and courses (which study options do you offer)?

We have three different methods of study. The first is our in-class course which is offered in major cities in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. If you live in a major city and can fit it into your schedule, this is the preferred method of completion. Classes are fun, lively, and full of like-minded people. Students learn from each other as well as the instructor. If you cannot find the time or if you do not live in a major center, you can take the course online or through correspondence. The only difference between the two is that the online course is available through the computer while the correspondence course has a manual.

Is the online/correspondence foundation TESOL course equally valued by overseas schools in comparison to the in-class foundation TESOL course?

Absolutely. There is no difference in the materials covered, regardless of the method of study.

I have already taught English overseas for one year, but in order to get a job when I go back again I need a TESOL Certificate. Is this program the right one for me?

The more experience you have in teaching, the more our TESOL course makes sense to you. A quarter of our graduates have previously taught overseas.

I have never taught English or any other subject before, will I be able to complete this program?

Teaching is a matter of bringing what you know across to your students. We don’t have to teach you how to speak English; we teach you how to bring that across. If you attend each day, participate in the lessons, and complete your mini-lesson, you will understand how your students feel to be ESL learners and you will know how to help them learn.

What is the difference between TESL, TEFL, TESOL and CELTA?

TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) all teach English to non-native English speakers. The only difference is TESL is for teaching in an English speaking country while TEFL is for teaching English abroad. TESOL encapsulates them both. CELTA is the British equivalent to the TESOL, but the 80 hours a TESOL student completes at their own pace is done in a classroom setting.

Why would I want a TESOL Certificate instead of a TESL, TEFL, or CELTA certificate?

This question should be why do you want a TESOL Training International Certificate over all others. TESOL Training International has the highest level of language acquisition of all the courses, and we prepare our students for all aspects of life overseas.

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