So what is TEFL and TESOL and are they the same? TEFL is an acronym which stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. TESOL is an acronym which stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
TEFL and TESOL are essentially the same and the terms are interchangeable. A TEFL or TESOL course will teach you the essential English Language Teaching (ELT) methodologies and techniques in order for you to enter the classroom with confidence and begin teaching,
TEFL and TESOL courses are measured in hours of study. The industry standard for TEFL or TESOL courses is a minimum of 120 hours. This is what employers/schools will expect when hiring English language teachers, so ensure that your TEFL or TESOL course meets these requirements.
The most popular modes of TEFL/TESOL course delivery are either via face-to-face (in-class) learning or via online learning. Both modes of TEFL/TESOL course delivery have their own benefits/merits and choosing the right TEFL/TESOL course for you will depend on your personal circumstances and preferences.
Will I need a TEFL or TESOL qualification to teach English abroad? The short answer is yes you will need a TEFL/TESOL qualification. Firstly, most employers/schools will not consider hiring you unless you have a TEFL/TESOL certificate. Secondly, you will find it extremely difficult and stressful entering the classroom without a basic knowledge of the techniques required for teaching English skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) and English systems (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation). Thirdly and quite possibly most importantly, you owe it to your students to be prepared and know what you are doing. Many of your students will be paying a lot of money to attend private English language classes and you have a duty to offer them the best service you can.