7 Awesome Tips for New TEFL Teachers
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Your first day on a new job can be tough, regardless of what the job is. As a teacher of English as a foreign language, you might feel apprehensive about actually stepping into the classroom and putting the theory you’ve learned on your TEFL course into practice.
Being a TEFL teacher means you need to have a good grasp of teaching methods and theories of learning, classroom management and time management skills, and a thorough knowledge of the English language. New TEFL teachers can feel quite overwhelmed trying to juggle it all while still coming across as cool, calm, and collected.
We know this. We’ve been there. So we’ve collated some of the best advice for new TEFL teachers from TEFL teachers themselves, to help settle your nerves.
1. Embrace the nerves
Everyone is nervous when they start teaching. Don’t feel like you’re anxious because you’re not good enough. Accept that you’re going to be nervous and work through those nerves, using that nervous energy to your advantage. Expect that you might make mistakes or you might not know the answers to all the questions, and accept that.
As long as you’re prepared and you’ve got a positive attitude, know that you’ll be fine. So get to class a few minutes early for every lesson to set up so you’ll be ready when your students arrive. Make sure you have a good lesson plan, as well as a Plan B. And walk into that classroom with confidence – students can smell fear!
2. Connection is key
The most important thing in your classroom is not your lesson plan, your language aim, or your coursebook. The most important thing is connecting with your students. Work on your rapport and getting to know your students, and your lessons will naturally run more smoothly because you will all be relaxed.
Don’t forget to do a needs analysis when you first meet your students. This will help you identify their learning styles and personality types, as well as their learning goals and linguistic needs. Plan learner-centred lessons, and remember to relate any language point, discussion, or topic back to your learners’ lives outside the classroom.
3. Build up a teaching toolkit
As you get more experienced, you will find different ideas for lessons, activities, and games which work well in the EFL classroom. This might be because they are particularly interactive or because they work well with a particular language structure or topic. Take note of these.
Write them down in a notebook or create a logical system for storing your lesson plans, worksheets, and photocopies on your computer. This will help you plan lessons more quickly and will also give you some handy last-minute ideas up your sleeve if you need to fill ten minutes in a lesson.
4. Don’t stop learning
You might be the teacher but you are still learning every day. You could be learning from your teaching colleagues or even from your students, who will show you which teaching methods work and which don’t. Teachers need to be on the ball, and this means constantly evolving as teachers.
Take control of your continuous professional development. Get involved if your school has workshops, attend conferences, observe your teaching colleagues if possible, watch webinars, read blogs. There are so many ways you can keep up to date with all the latest developments in the field of English language teaching, but it is up to you to make sure you do.
5. Take a break
One thing you will figure out soon enough is that teaching is exhausting. TEFL teachers are usually on their feet for most of the lesson, monitoring, chatting to individual students, checking work – and if you’ve got five lessons in a row, that’s a lot of standing. Plus there’s the mental load involved in planning lessons every day and sourcing materials, and then the stress of trying to carry out your lesson plan with as few hiccups as possible. It’s a lot.
In the beginning, planning your lessons might take a while – that’s normal. Soon you will get the hang of it and it won’t take too long. If you find you don’t have any free time between your classes and your planning then you need to make changes. You need to be sure that you have a decent amount of time off every day, or else you risk experiencing burnout.
Read more: How to Avoid Burnout as a TEFL Teacher
6. Expect culture shock
Think about it: you have just moved to a new country. You are starting a new job, in a new career. You might not have any friends or family close by. You don’t speak the local language. It is a struggle just to find the supermarket – and then find your way back home! These are all very stressful events in our lives and you are experiencing all of them at the same time. It is normal to experience culture shock.
If you expect it, you won’t be caught by surprise, and you’ll be able to deal with it better. Culture shock happens to most of us. You are likely to go through a period of discontent or even unhappiness when you wish you were at home where everything is easier. We’ll say it again: this is totally normal. Try not to jump on the first plane home, because it’ll go away soon enough.
Read more: Culture Shock
7. Enjoy yourself
If you’re not enjoying yourself in the classroom, neither are your students. If you’re bored in your lessons, so are your students. Bear this in mind and try to incorporate activities and games which are enjoyable into every lesson. Every. Single. Lesson. This could be as simple as closing the coursebooks and having a casual chat at the end of the lesson, or using authentic texts, or going on a field trip.
Find out what the rules and regulations are regarding your lessons – what you can and cannot do. Then be creative and think outside the box to make sure your lessons are engaging, interactive, and fun for everyone involved.
Yes, being a new TEFL teacher can be daunting, but it is also one of the most rewarding things you can do. We hope you find these tips helpful as you start out your TEFL career. Good luck and happy teaching!
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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- 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.
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- You can contact us by telephoning our customer service team at +1 347 434 9694 or by emailing us at [email protected].
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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
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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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- The 6-month enrolment on the online course starts from the date that full payment for the course has been
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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.
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awarded a pass grade in.
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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
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Internal Quality Assurance Manager decides that plagiarism has occurred, they will prepare and provide to you a
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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
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- 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
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- Any student who fails or is removed from the course by failing to meet the academic standards or through being
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- 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.