Why Do a TEFL Course?
It benefits your students
Learning English is a priority today for people everywhere. For many it isn’t a matter of getting a raise or promotion, it may be a matter of getting a job at all, keeping a job, or staying competitive in the job market. People invest a lot of their own time and money to learn English; preparing yourself by doing a course is one way that you can make sure their time and money are well spent.
It prepares you to teach independently
Why do we say “he told me the truth” but “she told me a lie”? “I’ll get it” when the phone rings, but “I’m going to buy a new car tomorrow”? “When I’m 57” and not “When I will be 57”? What’s the difference between “Try to open the window” and “Try opening the window”? Students may not be asked “why” on a test, but they will often be tested on grammar points like these. They will ask you why and expect you to be able to explain. Your course is not going to give you a question and answer sheet of common grammar questions; there are just too many. But it will train you in how to anticipate student questions, find answers and present them so you aren’t put on the spot in class.
Doing a course is also your chance to observe others teaching and get regular feedback on your own teaching. It can be hard to listen to six people analyze your performance, but once you start teaching, your students will be analyzing your performance, but they won’t be giving you helpful tips and constructive feedback. Unlike many other jobs, when you teach, you are on your own, in the classroom anyway. You can’t turn around and see what your co-workers are doing. It is not fun to stand in front of 15 people and be at a loss for what to do. Lessons and student expectations at most private language schools abroad are substantially different from the language classes you might have attended in high school at home.
It helps you get a job
Simply put, doing a course makes you competitive in the job market. It makes sense for a school to hire someone with training over someone without. Directors know that a one-month course does not make or break a teacher, but the choice between someone who has made the commitment and effort to get training and someone who has not is a simple one.
Also, some schools which normally hire only teachers with experience make an exception for teachers who train there.