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Teaching English As a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification Info

Individuals looking to teach English as a foreign language can earn a TEFL certificate. Students learn the basics of linguistics and second language acquisition, in addition to classroom teaching techniques.

Essential Information

TEFL certificate programs are typically offered by colleges and universities as post-baccalaureate programs, designed to provide students who already have a strong command of English with the teaching skills and knowledge necessary to teach English as a second language. A bachelor's degree is required, and some programs strongly recommend that students be fluent in a language other than English. Online programs are offered by some schools.

Students learn practical teaching skills, such as how to assess students' development, how to design a syllabus, and how to communicate with students who speak another language. Specific TEFL topics include language pedagogy, materials development, and language methodology.

Earning professional certification may involve completing an additional course and paying fees.


Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate

Most schools that offer TEFL certificate programs through extension or professional education departments. While fluency in a language other than English is not always a prerequisite for incoming students, it is recommended. All of the courses in a TEFL certificate program are taught through classroom lectures, although they may include group exercises to allow students to practice their teaching skills. Some common courses might include:

  • Linguistics for EFL teachers
  • Lesson planning and curriculum
  • Materials for EFL teachers
  • Practicum skills
  • Second language acquisition skills
  • Cultures and communication

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups EFL, or English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, in with adult literacy and general education development (GED) teachers. From 2014-2024, the employment for adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers is expected to grow 7%. As of May 2015, these professionals make a mean annual wage of $54,060, according to the BLS.

Individuals interested in teaching English as a second language to adults or children can earn a TEFL certificate provided they already possess a bachelor's degree. Though professional certification isn't a typical job requirement, some organizations offer it.


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