Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do to begin?

You’ve decided you want to teach English abroad—congratulations! But now you have to figure out how to make this happen, and that requires that you know what you want from the experience. For example, where you want to teach, what levels or groups you would like to work with, and how long you’re interested in teaching will all affect what you’ll need to do to get started. This article will provide you with the basics to create your general plan.

What qualifications do I need to teach?

This depends on where you want to teach and what your ultimate goals are. While it’s true that some places will be willing to hire a native English speaker with no other qualifications, most places will require that you have some sort of training. This article will give you a good idea of how this varies from one place to another, as well as give you a quick overview of the many different kinds of qualifications and credentials available in the field.

How do I choose a TEFL training program?

The fact that you’re asking this question rather than simply signing up for the least expensive option is the first step. But there are many more things to consider, including program curriculum and philosophy, practicum opportunities, accreditation, and more. Read this article for more information.

Does CESL offer job placement for graduates of the program?

We do not offer our students job placement, although we are happy to provide you with advice as you search for a job abroad. Our faculty is large and diverse, and we have experience teaching all over the world, so we can help you determine what jobs might be right for you. We also provide a job board with links to some of the top ESL/EFL job search sites to help you get an idea of what’s available.

What should I look for in a job abroad?

Teaching EFL is a truly global profession, so the possibilities for the sort of position you may have can be overwhelming. Most important, you need to know what you want from the experience in terms of linguistic and cultural experiences as well as the standard of living and working conditions you need to be happy and successful. This article will give you some things to consider as you prioritize and narrow your focus.

Where can I find a job?

Almost anywhere, although some places are quite a bit more competitive than others, as this article discusses. We have graduates working on six continents in everything from universities to government agencies. The opportunities are everywhere.

What graduate programs does the University of Arizona offer in this field?

The University of Arizona offers a master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language through the English Applied Linguistics branch of the English department, as well as a doctorate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching. An alternate route is offered through the College of Education’s graduate offerings in Language, Reading, and Culture.

How many hours a week should I expect to devote to these classes?

It depends on which class you are taking. Our intensive face-to-face 100-hour classes offered in the summer will require a large commitment of your time and energy, with 15 hours of class each week, 3-4 hours of class observation time each week, and a day-long teaching practicum for three Saturdays. The work required in our online classes is comparable to that of an upper-level 3-credit-hour undergraduate class, in which you should expect to spend around 10 hours (more or fewer depending on your personal learning style) on readings, activities, and discussions per week.

Are online TEFL classes as good as face-to-face classes?

The answer to this, more and more, is yes. Although face-to-face classes do have benefits that are not easily replicated in an online setting, the content, expectations, and overall rigor of the online courses are equal in every way to that required in face-to-face classes. Likewise, advances in technology are allowing for increasing amounts of collaboration and peer-to-peer interaction, blurring the lines between face-to-face and online classes. You can feel confident that both our face-to-face and online programs will offer you the training you need to begin your career as a teacher of English.

Will schools accept a certificate from an online TEFL class?

Although some places still request face-to-face training rather than online training, these perceptions are shifting rapidly. Well-recognized and accredited programs such as ours are often accepted in places where less recognized online certificates might not be. However, if you know the geographical area in which you would like to teach, research whether that area is known for preferring face-to-face training over online training before choosing which class is right for you. Also keep in mind that a face-to-face practicum held here at CESL is highly recommended for all our online students who do not have previous teaching experience, and this will often allay any fears employers may have about online coursework.

"I will keep a warm relationship with my CESL friends all my life."