How do I get a TESOL Certificate?
In case you’ve been scratching your head recently, wondering how so many people are teaching abroad, making money and having the time of their lives, there is only one explanation; those people are TESOL certified. You’ve probably got some questions about how this all works and whether or not it’s just as easy as it seems. So here are some questions and answers that you might want to know before you decide to get yourself a TESOL qualification.
What is TESOL?
TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other languages or as a Second language. What this means is that this certification allows you to teach English to those who are studying it as a Second or other language, regardless of where you are in the world. A TESOL is usually the basic requirement for all ESL positions worldwide, and most institutions won’t accept any teacher without one. The qualification teaches you the basics of teaching and the ins and outs of the English language, preparing you as much as possible to be able to step into a classroom.
What do I need?
To be able to pass and receive a TESOL certification, there is only really one requirement; that you can speak English. You don’t necessarily have to have had previous teaching experience or be a complete language wizard, the TESOL course will help you with both of those things. As long as you have a decent understanding of and ability to speak the English language (the recommended level being B1 to C2 level CEFR standard) then you’re set to go as soon as you start up your laptop.
Each TESOL provider will have their own set of guidelines as to their required level of English, but if you do enough research you’ll find the right fit for you. You don’t need to be a native speaker and you don’t need to drop your accent. English teaching abroad is an opportunity for students to meet English speakers from all walks of life, so different nationalities and ways of speaking are often welcomed wherever you go.
Advanced TESOL programs, such as Masters, however will require the minimum of a University degree.
How do I get it?
There are many different ways to obtain a TESOL qualification, from classroom based training to University classes. However, the easiest and cheapest way to get yourself qualified is by taking a course online. Depending on the length of the course and the depth of the material, you can expect to pay anywhere from $900-$1000. It’s recommended to take a course of about 200 hours as many employers see this as enough time, while less than this is often considered not to be enough.
200 hour courses can take you about 8 weeks to complete, so you could book your flight and purchase your TESOL course at the same time, and be on a tropical Island somewhere teaching online before you know it.
Is it worth it?
The short answer and the most obvious one is a big, resounding YES! Being TESOL certified will not only give you a brand new set of skills and a deeper understanding of the English language, it will also open doors for you abroad that you didn’t even know were locked. Most schools in countries now won’t hire teachers without a TESOL qualification or equivalent, regardless of your level of education or country of origin. The TESOL course offers the vital tools needed for teachers to begin their ESL journey, from classroom management strategies to dealing with cultural differences, so without it you’d struggle to even find work abroad as a teacher.
How long does it last?
Once you’re certified, you’re certified for life! That means that you’ll never have to pass the course again and your qualification will never expire, leaving you to roam the world whilst teaching English for as long as you please. You can choose to add a specialised course to your TESOL belt, such as young learner teaching or teaching online, or simply add more hours to your original course if you’d like to increase your chances of impressing employers.
So what are you waiting for? All the details are laid out for you here, clear as day, so get qualified as a ESL teacher with a TESOL course, and start your next adventure today!