Published 4th June 2021

Teaching English as a Foreign Language abroad is a way for you to satisfy your nomadic cravings, see the sights you want to see and earn money while you’re doing it. We all know that once you’re bitten by the travel bug you won’t be able to stay in the same place for very long, and a career as a TEFL teacher is how you can achieve a lifestyle that helps you do exactly that. To be honest, in our experience, a TEFL job is just as infectious as a travel bug: once you’ve taught one class you’ll want to teach ALL the classes.

Read more: 7 Things to Consider When Choosing a TEFL Course

This is why while some people use TEFL to keep themselves occupied and out of trouble on a gap year, many TEFL teachers choose the become TEFLers for life. If this is you, and if continuous professional development is the name of your game, then we know you won’t stop at the TEFL certificate. Sure the TEFL course will prepare you to teach English as a Foreign Language to any age group, from any background, with any first language, but it is an entry-level course. If you are serious about calling yourself a TEFL teacher for more than a couple of years, then, once you have a few years of experience under your belt, you should look at ways you can upskill yourself in TEFL.

There are a few different ways you can do this. Which option you choose will totally depend on which aspect of your teaching you would like to upgrade and how much time and energy you are willing to dedicate to the cause. But don’t worry, we’re going to look at a few options to see which would suit you best.

The obvious way

The first option is the Delta – the Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. It is the obvious option because it is the follow-on course from the Cambridge CELTA.

Read more: What is the Difference between the TEFL and the CELTA?

Why should I do the Delta?

The Delta is a course for teachers who have at least a year’s experience teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is designed for teachers who want to upskill themselves by furthering their knowledge in a specific aspect of TEFL, as well as improve themselves in a practical sense. Many teachers use the Delta to help them get into senior management positions or management. It consists of 3 modules, one of which is an intensive 8-week full-time course (though at the moment this can be done online or through blended learning as well). The other two modules can be done remotely and even independently. Be warned, the Delta is not an easy option.

How much does it cost?

Because you can do the different modules of the course at different centres around the world, the cost varies. The total cost also depends on whether or not you do training courses for all the modules or if you decide to do one or two of them independently. The practical course is not able to be done independently, and the exams for all the modules require a fee. Generally speaking, the Delta can cost anywhere from $3 000 to $4 500.

The free way

In sharp contrast to the Delta, there are a number of free courses available to TEFL teachers. While they may not carry the same weight as the Delta, they are still very good courses and would look great on your CV. FutureLearn is an amazing site that has courses on every topic under the sun – and most of them are free.

Why should I study through FutureLearn?

FutureLearn has something for everyone. Search for TEFL courses and you’ll find a whole range of courses, from a basic TEFL course to teaching phonics to understanding IELTS to language assessment. These courses are all 100% online and you can do them at your own pace, within a certain timeframe. These courses are great for teachers who are curious about a certain aspect of TEFL but might not have the time or the finances to do a full-time course. They are a great way to find out if you are interested enough in the topic to do another course. They are hosted by universities and colleges from around the world, and institutions like the British Council so you can be sure they are excellent courses.

How much does it cost?

Some of the courses themselves are totally free, but you only have access to the course for the duration of the course. However, if you would like a certificate or unlimited access to the courses even when you have finished studying, you need to pay a once-off fee for one course or a monthly subscription fee. Some courses are only available as paid options.

woman upskilling on computer

The millennial way

When you think about it, continuous professional development doesn’t have to be such a serious matter. If you spend a decent amount of time online – and that’s most of us, right? – why not replace your endless scrolling with blogs which will upskill you?

Read more: Our Top 8 ESL Blogs to Follow

Why should I read blogs?

Blogs are the easiest way to keep up to date with current research and opinions on teaching English as a Foreign Language. There are blogs on every topic imaginable to suit every taste. Blogs are especially useful for TEFL teachers because they provide us not only with theory and knowledge but also practical tips and ideas for the classroom. And they are so convenient! You can read a blog while you’re on the bus, while you’re in the bath, while you’re waiting for your dinner to cook – anytime, anywhere.

How much do they cost?

Happily, blogs are free, but you need to have access to the internet.

The best way

But, of course, we’ve saved the best for last. The absolute best way to upgrade your TEFL qualification is to do one of The TEFL Academy’s top-up courses. Choose from Teaching Business English, Teaching Online and 1:1, and Teaching Young Learners, and wow your future employers.

Why should I do a TTA Top-Up Course?

Um, why shouldn’t you? Each course gives you an overview of the specialisation while diving into the common issues involved. There are also tips, tricks and techniques for teaching it. Each course is made up of a number of units which are assessed online through tests and assignments. Each course is 30 hours but you have six weeks to complete the course. Once you’ve successfully completed a course, you will be sent an electronic certificate which will jazz up any CV.

How much do they cost?

The TEFL Academy top-up courses are a worthwhile investment, not only because of the quality of the courses but also the reputation they bring with them. Luckily for you, they’re really affordable too – at only $130.00.

Read more: Specialise with Our Top-Up Courses

In a nutshell, if you’re a qualified TEFL teacher and you’re looking to upskill yourself, there are plenty of ways to go about it. Decide how much time, energy and money you have to dedicate to the cause and this will help you decide which route you want to take.

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