What Do You Need to Teach English Abroad?
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Do you feel stuck in the same 9 to 5?
Are you sick and tired of waking up every day and doing the same-old same-old?
Dream of starting fresh somewhere completely different?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions (or all of them!), then you’re probably already thinking of teaching English abroad. And why wouldn’t you? Living in a fabulous city, having a fun job, and getting paid to do it – what’s not to love?
So the next question is, what do you need to teach English abroad?
A sense of adventure
First things first, before we even look at the nitty gritty of qualifications, you need to have a sense of adventure. Moving abroad to start a new job in a new city can be challenging even for the most hardcore travellers. Culture shock, settling in to a new job, leaving friends and family behind – all at the same time – can be difficult to say the least.
If you are totally freaked out by these things, then maybe a TEFL life is not for you. But if you’re excitement and anticipation for the travelling you’ll do, the food you’ll eat, and the people you’ll meet outweighs those challenges, then you’re good to go.
Read more: How to Deal with Culture Shock
A can-do attitude
Living abroad can bring with it its fair share of challenges. Unfortunately, it’s not all colourful cocktails and sandy beaches. Teaching English as a foreign language is a job rather than a holiday, and while it can be exhilirating and rewarding, it can be challenging and exhausting in equal measures.
You are expected to prepare your lessons and carry them out with professionalism and enthusiasm. You need to be able to manage your classroom effectively, no matter how many students turn up. You may also be required to cover for another teacher. If a colleague calls in sick, you’ll need to be able to think on your feet and cover their class at a moment’s notice. As a TEFL teacher you need to be a team player and be able to step up to the plate when needed.
Start up cash
If we’re brutally honest (which we always are), we can’t forget to include some cold hard cash. You will need some capital to cover a deposit on accommodation and your first month’s rent, as well as living expenses until you get your first pay cheque. Not to mention the funds you’ll need to pay for your TEFL course and your flights and visa.
Because you’re never really 100 percent sure of what your living and working situation will be like until you are there, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have enough funds to not only start the journey but look after yourself until you can support yourself.
A TEFL certificate
While a Bachelor’s degree is not essential – though it will open many more doors for you job-wise – a TEFL certificate is non-negotiable. You will need to have an accredited, internationally recognized 120-hour TEFL certificate behind your name before even starting your job search or else you needn’t bother looking.
Many people might scoff at the idea of a 120-hour qualification, but the TEFL course is so jam-packed with learning theories and teaching methodologies that it provides you with a solid understanding of teaching English as a foreign language. The practical side too gives you an idea of the logistics involved in teaching a class of students who don’t speak your language.
While we most certainly don’t subscribe to the idea that if you speak English you can teach English, a certain level of English is still important for a TEFL teacher. You don’t need to be a native speaker but you are, after all, teaching English so you need to have a good grasp of the language. If you’re not a native speaker you need to prove you have at least a C1 level of English in order to be a TEFL teacher.
You also need to have a thorough understanding of the language so you will be able to teach vocabulary and explain grammar effectively to your students. Your TEFL course will give you a chance to brush up on your linguistic knowledge, but be sure to take along a resource book of some sort for reference.
Don’t leave home without it! But it’s not only a valid passport you need, you’ll probably also need a visa for wherever you are going. Make sure you know exactly what visa you need to work in the country you are jetting off to, and make sure you apply for it in good time.
A teaching toolkit
No self-respecting teacher would set foot into the classroom without their own teaching toolkit. What’s in it, you ask? Pens, pencils, blu-tak, whiteboard markers, notebooks, stickers, a USB – those sorts of teacher-y things. But also resource books that you can refer to whenever you need some grammatical advice or lesson inspiration, and an arsenal of games and activities for you to use in the classroom.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of what you need to teach English abroad, but these are the essentials. If you make sure you’ve got these in your suitcase before you set off on your TEFL adventure then you’re A for Away. (Don’t forget to sign up for one of our TEFL courses to make extra sure you’re putting your best foot forward). Bon voyage!
Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 but was updated in September 2022.
The TEFL Academy was the world’s first TEFL course provider to receive official recognition from government regulated awarding bodies in both the USA and UK. This means when you graduate you’ll hold a globally recognised Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma, meaning you can find work anywhere and apply for jobs immediately.
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- These are the terms and conditions upon which The TEFL Academy will provide one of the following TEFL
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Name of course Description Online Level 5 TEFL Course 168-hour Online Level 5 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 3 TEFL Course 120-hour Online Level 3 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Top-Up Courses 30-hour Online Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English and Teaching Online & 1:1 Courses 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours of webinar teaching practice course (Learn about classroom management and Q&A with a TEFL expert)
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- All students studying the combined course option must print their confirmation email and bring it to the first day
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2. Information about us
- We are ELEARNING FUTURES LTD (trading as The TEFL Academy) a company registered in the United Kingdom.
Registered company number 13725845, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL.
- Our USA address is: The TEFL Academy, 954 Lexington Ave, #1135 New York, NY 10021, USA.
- You can contact us by telephoning our customer service team at +1 347 434 9694 or by emailing us at [email protected].
- These Terms shall commence upon the date you receive a confirmation email from us to accept your order and
shall continue for the duration of the TEFL Course or until cancelled pursuant to these Terms.
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the course is cancelled early in accordance with these Terms. Any terms expressed to survive termination shall
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- The duration of the TEFL Courses shall be as follows:
Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks
- If you need a course extension, this can be arranged at a fee. Please contact [email protected] or call +1 347 434 9694
for more details and information on how to apply for an extension.
- The fees for extensions are set out below.
Extension type Extension fee pre-expiry Extension fee post-expiry Level 3 & 5 TEFL Course 30 day extension $66 $84 Level 3 & 5 TEFL Course 90 day extension $96 $114 Top-up Course 30 day extension $36 n/a
- The prices for the TEFL Courses are as follows:
Name of course Price Combined Level 5 TEFL Course $ Online Level 5 TEFL Course $660 Online Level 3 TEFL Course $550 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course $192 Top-up courses $156
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- If for whatever reason you wish to change the date of your course, you must notify us of the change at least
seven days prior to the course date. Any changes requested will only be accepted for available dates within the
next three months from the original course date and must be at the same location. All changes are subject to
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- Please note: Subject to clause 7, under no circumstances whatsoever will changes or cancellations be accepted
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8. Course Cancellation by The TEFL Academy
- Where a course cannot take place due to trainer illness or other circumstances beyond our control, the course
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- The 6-month enrolment on the online course starts from the date that full payment for the course has been
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- All assignments must be submitted no later than 2 weeks before the enrolment end date. Students who wish to
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- As part of some TEFL Courses you will be required to prepare and submit assignments. If you do not pass an
assignment you can resubmit an assignment in accordance with clause 10.2.
- You can submit each assignment up to three times. (i.e. after the first submission of an assignment, you may
re-submit the assignment a two further times up to a total of three submissions for one assignment).
- If you do not pass an assignment, you will not receive a grade, but you will be given feedback as to why you
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awarded a pass grade in.
- If you have a basis to believe your work has not been fairly assessed, you can request a re-mark via the tutor
support ticket platform. Due to the high number of students we cannot look at any assignment in advance of an
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possible need for re-submission.
- Please be aware that if you have not completed all required assignments and allowed sufficient time for
marking before your end-date, you will need to apply for an extension.
- You are entitled to sit exams as many times as you need to in order to pass the exam. If you pass the exam you
cannot thereafter seek to resit the exam.
11. Failing the Course
- The TEFL Academy offers a guaranteed pass, or your money back guarantee. You can retake the exams as many times as needed in order to pass. If you fail to achieve a pass on any assignments after your third attempt we will provide you with a full refund. A full refund will not be provided in accordance with clauses 11.4 & 11.5.
- Native speakers of English will typically be above the minimum standard of English for this course.
- Non-native speakers should have an English level of C1 (Advanced), as a minimum to commence the course.
Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
- Students found not to have a C1 level of English will likely fail the course and not complete the
qualification. However, it is up to each prospective student to determine for themselves whether or not they
wish to commence a course even where they do not have a minimum of C1 level English. For the avoidance of any
doubt no refund will be provided for a student failing the course in any circumstances.
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- Where an assignment marker finds evidence that indicates that plagiarism may have occurred within a submitted
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the submitted assignment to the source it is believed to be plagiarised from. The Internal Quality Assurance
Manager will make an assessment as to whether they consider plagiarism to have occurred. In the event the
Internal Quality Assurance Manager decides that plagiarism has occurred, they will prepare and provide to you a
detailed report outlining the reasons for their decision along with a letter explaining your removal from the
course. Should you wish to dispute this decision, you can do so in accordance with The TEFL Academy’s Appeals
policy for students which can be found here.
- If you do not pass an assignment after submitting it up to three times in accordance with clause 10.2 you will
be deemed to have failed the course. Should you wish to dispute this decision, you can do so in accordance with
The TEFL Academy’s Appeals policy for students which can be found
here. If you fail the course due to not passing your assignments you will be provided with a full refund.
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statute or otherwise, for any loss, damage, costs, liabilities or additional expense arising from, or in
connection with, any delay or interruption to travel services, weather conditions, civil disturbance, industrial
action, strikes, wars, floods, sickness or other events of force majeure. Such losses or additional expenses are
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statute or otherwise, any technical or IT issues arising from or connected with the usage of the online courses
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Although we will endeavour to assist students, we accept no liability for the actions or conduct of any
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busier times or due to moderation requests from our accrediting body. The TEFL Academy accepts no responsibility
for any loss or other circumstances resulting or arising from such delays.
- The TEFL Academy accepts no liability, nor shall it have any liability whether in contract, tort, under
statute or otherwise, for any loss or additional expense arising for students where they fail the course whether
such failure is alleged to be due to trainers allegedly lacking competency, for plagiarism or for any other
13. Complaints Handling Policy
- If you have any questions or complaints about the TEFL Course, please contact us. You can telephone our
customer service team at +1 347 434 9694 or write to us at [email protected] or The TEFL Academy, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL, United Kingdom.
- If your complaint is not dealt to your satisfaction with you may make a complaint to the course accrediting
body. You can find the contact details for the accrediting body in the The TEFL Academy’s Appeals Policy which
can be found here.
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regardless of the circumstances. Examples of this behaviour include but are not limited to; threats of physical
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required at all times to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner including in their dealings with other
students, staff and external organisations. Disruptive or antisocial behaviour could result in being asked to
leave the course.
- Any student who fails or is removed from the course by failing to meet the academic standards or through being
found guilty of plagiarism will be removed immediately from the course without refund.
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Academy uses your personal information.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.