Last Updated: June 20, 2021

TESOL- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

The TESOL test is a certification that candidates who aspire to teach the English language in foreign countries require. This examination includes both teaching English as a foreign language in non-English-speaking countries and teaching English as a second language in places where English is a primary language. The latter kind of profession includes teaching English in countries like the US with a multi-cultural student atmosphere.

The TEFL test often used interchangeably with the TESOL test, is taken by candidates who strictly focus on teaching English as a foreign language. Students aspiring to take the TESOL test might often come across courses that give a combined term like TESOL/TEFL in their course description though there are minute differences in both these certifications.

Why take the TESOL?

With English being one of the most popular and commonly used languages in the world, it has become a necessity that almost every country has its own share of English teachers who can impart the knowledge required in using the language. Both developing and developed countries require a certain level of teaching the language required at the school level in order to excel in both the development of businesses and public relations management. Taking up the certification of TESOL provides candidates with the option of traveling around the world teaching the language to non-native speakers.

The student population one has to deal with after taking up the course can range from school students to employees of different age groups looking for ways to perfect their language as a career boost. Completing the course provides candidates with the opportunity of staying in different countries all the while teaching the language. The jobs one can receive in this field are often high paying and provide the opportunity of getting to know different cultures.

Who Should Take TESOL?

Candidates who wish to teach the English language within their own country or in other countries of the world with an internationally accepted certification must opt for the TESOL test. This can be done irrespective of whether they have formal training in ELT or not. The minimum eligibility requirement for taking the TESOL is that the candidate should be above 18 years of age with a native or near-native knowledge in the English language.

Choosing the Right TESOL Program

TESOL certification is offered by different institutions which have branched out worldwide by providing courses that are either in-person or online. The application process involved in both these types of courses varies and choosing between them ultimately is based on the preferences of the candidate.

In-Person TESOL Certification

Studying for the TESOL in a traditional classroom setting can be beneficial to the candidate in the generic ways of how traditional setups enhance student knowledge. This includes gaining a first-hand interactive experience in using the language and being part of multi-cultural groups that can often resemble the classrooms the candidates will be dealing with after their certification.

Candidates who take up the in-person classes will have a maximum of 4 weeks of classes depending upon the country they are taking the course in. While choosing the best place for study, candidates can either choose to prepare for the course in their own country or in the country they choose to work in which can increase their chances of employment right after taking the course. In-person classes have an intensive schedule with a maximum of 120-course hours.

Online TESOL Certification

Online courses for the TESOL certification are the most commonly opted method by candidates owing to the flexible nature of the course and the way in which it offers candidates the opportunity of taking courses from anywhere in the world without the hassle of traveling. Since taking the course in the country they wish to live in proves to have an added advantage during their job hunt, online courses give the candidates an edge in their job application.

The programs that are offered online are more cost-efficient in nature and also provide flexibility in time giving students the opportunity of starting and completing the course at their own pace without having to stick to a stringent study schedule. Online courses also have a total of 120 hours that students have to complete.

The curriculum for both the in-person classes and online classes of TESOL remains the same.

Program Requirements for TESOL

Candidates who have enrolled for the TESOL Certification program will be required to complete a maximum of 120 hours’ worth of class hours in all during the duration of a month irrespective of whether they have taken up online classes or in-person classes. There will also be a nominal fee that changes from academy to academy which they will have to pay upfront before beginning the course.

Since this is primarily a teaching course, candidates will have to learn how to communicate to a class whose native language is essentially different like Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, etc. They will also have to learn presentation skills and other teaching methods that will benefit them in their careers.

Course Content for TESOL

The subjects that are mainly included in the TESOL programs are related to both language learning and teaching along with other skills that are necessary while dealing with a classroom. This will range from creating study schedules to lesson planning and classroom management all of which are equally important to the content they will have to teach.

The most common subjects are-

Choosing a TESOL Certification Program

Due to the importance of the certification program and the rise in the number of candidates taking the test, candidates are required to ensure that the program they apply for is accredited and approved by proper sources. The TESOL Program that candidates apply to must be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Department of Education in the state it is being offered in.

After confirming the credibility of the institution, candidates will be able to find out about the quality of education offered at the place through alumni records and also figure out whether the course is theory-oriented or practice-oriented. Due to the hands-on approach of the profession, it is recommended that the candidates choose the practice-oriented course instead of learning theory. It will also help to take up the course in institutions where they have a high placement rate since some institutions also offer candidates help in finding jobs after their course completion.

TESOL Certification Programs

TESOL Certification programs are offered by different institutions both in an in-person format and as an online course. The most popular institutions that offer the course are-

Oxford Seminars

The Oxford Seminars offer candidates a TESOL/TESL/TEFL certification along with a job placement guarantee. They have courses offered in over 100 locations in the US and Canada. Their 120-hour course has an in-class component along with an online component where candidates are provided the option of taking the course in the first year of college though there are no degree requirements for the same. The cost of the course is $1,295 in all and includes a live instructor. The candidate will receive study materials once they have enrolled for the course without incurring any additional costs.

International TEFL and TESOL Training

ITTT offers a combined course for TEFL and TESOL in the online format for candidates with and without degrees through different plans that are suited to their specific needs. They offer both 60-hour and 120-hour courses for candidates which are the most popular courses they offer which students can choose for self-study or with the help of a tutor. They also have a Master package that includes the three courses of TEFL, CTBE, and CTEYL. They have a Professional package and an Expert package all of which have different features the student can choose from. Their price range starts from $249 and goes on until $999 depending on the kind of course the candidate chooses.

York University

This university offers a TESOL program accredited by TESL Ontario. They offer the course only to candidates who have their Bachelor’s degree with a 5.0 GPA. They should also have an IELTS score above 7 or a TOEFL total score above 102. The TESOL program from the York University can be taken either as a part-time course or as a full-time course.


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