Alice’s Story: ‘Travelling Tapir’ goes TEFL

Alice Darby shares her experience of taking a 120-hour TEFL Course. You can follow Alice on Twitter by clicking here.

Alice Darby

Teaching English as a Foreign Language is fast becoming a popular way of escaping the vices of cosmopolitan life for the English-speaking Commonwealth. More excitingly TEFL teaching is a career path which genuinely allows you to save whilst travel (no, you’re not dreaming!)…

There are a number of companies who offer variations of the TEFL course, but I was struck by the official-ness and price of TEFL ORG UK. Please note that there are more advanced and intermediate qualifications you can take (such as the CELTA or Delta), but most international employers recognise a TEFL. In total I paid £250 for my TEFL qualification and I have to admit it was worth every penny.

Firstly the course is split into three sections: grammar, TEFL methodology and videos (these are example classes conducted by TEFL teachers for you to analyse). The modules are relatively challenging but are incredibly thorough, so don’t worry if you’re slow on the uptake (you also can take as long or as little as you like, which means there is plenty of time to revise in between modules!). Your knowledge is tested by small end-of-module tests and the occasional assignment. These are marked by your personal Tutor who is there to grade your work and advise on a myriad of teaching practises. My tutor was Thomas, who I can sincerely say pulled out all the stops to guide and support me (cheers dude!)

How did I find the course? Even though I am a native English speaker, I would say that I found some modules difficult to retain. English is complicated, and if you are at the disadvantage that you don’t know another language, it can be quite confusing. I invested in a small, but necessary note book which has aided me well throughout the TEFL and will be portable to the schools when I start teaching.

In addition to the 100 hours online tuition, the course includes a 20 hour face-to-face teaching weekend. Hand on heart I found this weekend totally and utterly inspiring: our teacher Alex was enthusiastic, clear and organised. You have the option to do these 20 hours at any point in your 6 month course, but I definitely recommend taking the classes after you have completed the 100 hours online. I felt that the practical teaching time forced me to draw on the knowledge I had already acquired, and therefore consolidated my understanding rather than revealing I had no idea what a gerund is. The group I was with for the 20 hours were fun, bubbly and supportive which certainly helped! There were a few numbers and email addresses swapped at the end, so who know’s when we may meet again!

Overall I would thoroughly recommend TEFL ORG UK to anyone considering taking on a TEFL – after all it’s more a lifestyle choice than an education choice!


This text was originally posted on Alice’s Blog the travelling tapir.

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