Perhaps you might be familiar with using phrases like ‘do you speak English?’ to clear a language deadlock with someone whose native language is different from yours. With an estimated 1.5 billion total speakers around the world, the number of non-native English speakers surpasses its native speakers by almost a double. Its popularity index can be judged from the fact that the thought of using English to overcome a language barrier comes naturally to mind among the non-native English speakers. This is one of the top reasons why not only more and more people get enrolled in English learning courses, but also the demand for its professional teachers never shrinks as well.
TEFL and TESOL
If you are planning to become an English teacher, getting certifications like TEFL and TESOL can boost your career success. Confusing to most people, TEFL and TESOL are two of the most interchangeably used acronyms describing the two main categories of courses to become a certified English tutor. Although both TEFL and TESOL deal with teaching English to non-native English speakers, each caters its audience needs for a completely different practical setting.
TEFL stands for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’. TEFL courses are designed to help tutors with teaching English in countries where English itself is not the primary language but is taught in educational institutions as an academic subject just like any other subject such as mathematics and history.
Many non-native English countries around the world especially in Asia have English language Sbeing taught as a subject to their students. Starting from equipping their students with basic understanding of English like grammar, reading & writing to preparing them to get through immigration and admission processes in top universities in English speaking countries for higher education, demand for TEFL certified tutors in these countries is always high.
Getting a TEFL certification will greatly help you in relocating to any such country with a promising English teaching career. Even if moving abroad is not your plan because you yourself happen to be in a country with high demand for English teachers, you can still build a successful career by becoming TEFL certified and getting a much better job in some more reputable English teaching institute.
With a TEFL certification, you can get jobs like ESL, assistant teachers or experienced full-time teachers and administrative roles.
TESOL stands for ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’. Getting a TESOL certification brings in two benefits. First, it can be used as an alternative to TEFL to build an English teaching career in non-native English speaking countries with high demand for English learning students. Second benefit which is also the primary objective of a TESOL certification is to unlock English teaching career potential in native English speaking countries.
It is no wonder that many people in underdeveloped countries see native English countries like the United States and England as land of opportunities both in terms of the quality of education and career success. This is the main reason why so many people with average level skills in English language travel to these destinations each year. This creates demand for English learners in native English speaking countries as well.
By having a TESOL certification, you can practice teaching English to students and professionals in native English speaking countries like these to help them overcome their shortcomings in English. TESOL certified instructors help their students to develop capabilities to practically use English for speaking, writing, reading and any other challenges in using English for day-to-day communication with native speakers.
Putting the finishing touch
As discussed in the beginning, the number of people interested in learning English as well as the number of people interested in becoming English teachers both remains in high demand. With more people getting into this profession, it is becoming highly competitive. Chances are that your prospective students will be skeptical of what special edge you can give to them.
To ease this out, wrapping your TEFL/TESOL certification with an accreditation from some reputable body like ACCRIN, ACCREDITAD or ACTDEC will act as a gem to your resume. Accreditation will assure your students that they can trust your level of competence in your field since you are being regulated by some external authority.
While you will find many accrediting bodies on the internet some of which will be nothing more than false claims, what makes us mention about ACCRIN, ACCREDITAD and ACTDEC here is that these three are completely independent, offer face-to-face, online and in-class courses, have a decade over industry experience, take timely feedbacks and also keep their affiliates up-to-date with the latest new developments in their subjects.
Whether you should go for TEFL or TESOL or both depends on what career choices you make and what options are available to you. Factors like the credibility of the organization offering you the course, its accreditation, whether the course is online or class-room oriented, what is the extent of the course and what benefits does it offer, what kind of student audience you will be more comfortable in dealing with and whether you are okay with moving abroad or not need to be thoroughly reviewed before making a decision.