Don’t let your dream of teaching overseas fall by the wayside – here’s how to survive your TEFL course so you can get out there and get teaching!
So, you’ve signed up to your TEFL course, full of bright-eyed enthusiasm about the adventures it’ll bring you. But watch out, many a course tutee has found life getting in the way, and ended up consigning their dream of teaching abroad (and their TEFL course) to the brain’s equivalent of the cupboard under the stairs. So, to make sure you stick with it and realize your ambition of teaching overseas, here’s how to survive your TEFL course:
Don’t let this be the final resting place of your dreams to teach abroad (Photo: Ian Wilson)
1) Realise that it’s not going to be a walk in the park
I don’t know about other course providers, but i-to-i TEFL certificates aren’t handed out like candy. You have to work for one, which is why employers value them. So, don’t expect to be able to breeze through your course in a couple of hours just by clicking a few buttons – you’ll need to think for yourself, take in the information in the modules and come up with some coherent answers. But don’t worry – all the information you need is in the course and there’s lots of help if you do get stuck, which takes us onto point two…
2) Ask for help if you get stuck!
If you get stuck on your course don’t give up, ask for help! With an i-to-i TEFL course it’s never just you and your computer – your assignments are marked by expert tutors who will give detailed feedback on your work. But if you’re totally lost, you can always email the TEFL Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org – they’ll pass your problem onto a tutor and you’ll get an answer within 48 hours.
3) Keep in mind why you’re doing this
You didn’t sign-up to your TEFL course so you could give up your free time to sit in front of your computer and learn about the intricacies of English grammar. You signed up to experience other cultures, learn new things and live in amazing places, from China to the Czech Republic. Your TEFL course will give a ticket to all this (and more), so keep at it!
4) Don’t be afraid to have a go
You get three goes at every assignment on your online TEFL course – if you’re not too sure about your answers, there’s no shame in submitting the module, getting a few bits wrong, then having to rework it for your second attempt. Hey, you might even pass first time!
5) Take tutor comments on board
Your tutors are there to help you and are highly-qualified experts who have taught all over the world. So, when they give you advice about something it’s worth taking it on board and adjusting your answers, even if it sounds a little odd.
Finally, remember that around 90% of i-to-i tutees pass their courses, so if you put the hours in, it’s pretty certain that you’ll get that shiny certificate at the end of it.
What do you think? How did you survive your TEFL course?