Professional development for EFL teachers

Professional development for EFL teachers

Once you have your TEFL qualification, the learning doesn’t stop there. In a lot of ways, it’s really only just the beginning!

Let’s face it - we can all make improvements. Also, it’s good practice to keep on top of new developments in English language teaching. Not only will this help your students with their English language studies, but it can also help you develop as an EFL teacher.

Some schools may offer ongoing training for their teaching staff but for those who don’t work in a traditional language school, or who work freelance, we’ve gathered together a list of resources to help you develop as a teacher.

It’s not just extra classes, either; there are materials across a range of media that’ll keep you ahead of the TEFL game.

How to develop further as an EFL teacher 

Once you’ve gained your initial TEFL qualification you can complete further training in specific areas of TEFL with an advanced course. They’re a great way of boosting your CV and, particularly when it comes to more competitive niches, will make getting started a lot easier.

Teaching English Online

The online teaching industry has been growing rapidly yearly, but the pandemic and how it changed the educational sector saw interest increase like never before. Covid-19 drove interest in online teaching, which can be done safely from home and offers flexible working. Within a more competitive market, it’s important to stand out to be in with the best chance of securing online work, which is exactly what our Teaching English Online course offers.

Teaching Young Learners

Are you aiming to work with children? This course is for those interested in early years education and child psychology. Particularly relevant if you’re hoping to teach English in Asia or online where you’ll find a large number of jobs involving working with young learners.

Teaching Business English

If you’re already teaching adult learners you’ll understand there’s a demand for business English – whether it be for their current role or for a position they are looking to get into. Business English is a lucrative area of TEFL, which means it can also be competitive. Specific training will help put you in a strong position for getting started.

Teaching Exam Preparation Classes

A particularly great route to consider after gaining a TEFL qualification is focusing on exam preparation. The demand is enormous - qualifications like the IELTS can help people get visas, jobs, and all sorts of other opportunities. To do this, an exam preparation course is a perfect resource. Akin to teaching Business English, this is a rapidly growing sector within the TEFL market, and you can make a tangible impact on people’s lives.

A man lying down and reading a book

Attend TEFL conferences and workshops 

In a lot of industries, keeping up with emergent trends and big names in the profession is absolutely vital. Yes, there are established English teaching rules, and topics that need to be covered, but the way things are taught is ever-changing, and the methodology behind teaching is always moving. 

Not only that, networking is crucial. Employers are always keen to put faces to names, and if you make a good impression, it can count for a great deal. So, where to go?

IATEFL conference – this is one of the biggest TEFL conferences in the world and is attended by over 3,000 TEFL professionals every year.

Asia TEFL – running since 2005, the Asia TEFL conference takes place annually and focuses on – you guessed it – teaching English in Asia. It’s been held in many different Asian nations, such as Indonesia, Thailand, China, South Korea and more.

The best place to see what TEFL conferences and events are coming up is to visit ELT events , which keeps an up-to-date list of what’s going on worldwide.

Tune in to our weekly webinars 

If attending workshops and conferences feels a bit out of reach, don’t worry! There are excellent webinars online, specifically on The TEFL Org’s YouTube channel . A whole community of TEFL teachers, aspiring TEFL teachers and others in the industry coalesce in the live comments, while excellent tutors like Carl Cameron-Day discuss a range of TEFL topics nearly every week.

These webinars are a great way to keep up with current TEFL trends, as well as actually getting started in the industry. There are webinars on job opportunities, visas, cover letters and CVs, along with countless other topics!

Listen to podcasts 

We’d be remiss to not mention podcasts! The TEFL Org recently launched ‘I Taught English Abroad’ ( Apple / Spotify ), in which current and former TEFL teachers discuss where they’ve been, what their TEFL career has been like, shared stories from their adventures and plenty of priceless advice for aspiring teachers across the globe.

Podcasts are a fantastic resource, whether you want to get into nitty-gritty of academia, or just want to feel inspired.

A female teacher in front of a blackboard

Join membership organisations, associations, and groups 

Being a member of a professional body can include benefits such as access to exclusive webinars, courses and papers on EFL teaching as well as discounts. Joining a body focused on the TEFL industry in the country you’re working in/aiming to work in can help open up opportunities as well as put you in touch with other teachers.

TESOL International Association

IATEFL – International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

TESOL-Spain – Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages in Spain


JALT – Japan Association for Language Teaching

There are also plenty of Facebook and LinkedIn groups that allow you to connect with other English language teachers all over the world. Reddit also has a thriving TEFL community, where people share advice and stories.

Explore FutureLearn and Coursera courses

Interested in adding further qualifications but not necessarily Advanced TEFL courses? Then your best bet might FutureLearn and Coursera, where you can sharpen your skill-set in no time.

FutureLearn courses

FutureLearn is a course platform where you can study a short course over a month or two. They recommend setting aside two hours per week for six to eight weeks depending on the content of the course/complexity of the material. 

On completion of a course, you can pay extra for unlimited access to course material and a course completion certificate.

Some of the options available to English language teachers:

How to Teach Online

Professional Practices for English Language Teaching

Volunteering with Refugees


Coursera offer free and paid courses. There are specific start dates – around two intakes per year for popular courses. These are often delivered by well-known universities and organisations and, as well as being accessible online, they do have an app that you can download for study on the go.

Virtual Teacher Specialization

Business English for Cross-cultural Communication

Strategies for Teaching Perfect Tenses and Modals

Complete the DELTA 

Alternatively, if you’re really wanting to make a dent on your CV, you could complete the Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Langauges (DELTA). The DELTA is for teachers with at least one year of teaching experience, who are looking to progress to more senior academic roles.

The DELTA is taken over three modules, in no particular order, and can be taught in person, online or through a combined classroom experience. It’s marked through end-of-module assignments or, in stage 2, through a graded portfolio of work.

With an exceedingly strong reputation, the DELTA is worth doing if you have an eye on senior management and curriculum design.

How do you keep informed and up to date with the latest trends in ELT? Share with other readers in the comments section below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

(0/1500 characters)

Quick Maths Test