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TESOL - Frequently Asked Questions


TESOL - Frequently Asked Questions

Here at American TESOL, We will do all we can to ensure your entire TESOL training experience is as straightforward and rewarding as possible. If you have any questions regarding our courses, please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section below. Our FAQ section should clear up most of your queries but if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

•   What does TESOL mean? 

The acronym TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The term is commonly used when referring to certification courses that provide the skills necessary to teach the English language to non-native speakers in your own country or abroad.

•   What is the difference between TESOL and TEFL?
 TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. TESOL is typically more common in North America and TEFL is more common in the UK, although these two acronyms are very often used interchangeably. 

•   Do I need a TESOL certificate to teach abroad?

While it is possible to find teaching jobs abroad without any qualifications, your chances of finding a good quality job are greatly enhanced by completing a TESOL course. In many countries it is an official requirement and where it is not many employers will just assume you lack the skills necessary to be a good teacher.

•   What is an ESLteacher?

ESL teacher is a phrase that can be used to describe a variety of scenarios as this field of education covers a broad spectrum of environments and students. However, whatever the specific scenario, the common purpose of all ESL teachers is to teach non-native speakers to speak and write the English language. 

•   Do TESOL teachers need a second language?

Although having some understanding of the local language might be a bonus when teaching English overseas, it has very ittle bearing on your ability to be an effective teacher. All ATI TESOL certification courses are based on the idea that the teacher and students only use English in the classroom. 

•   Are there any age limits for TESOL teaching?

One of the great things about teaching English abroad is that it is available to virtually all age groups. Whether you are 21 or 61, if you are open to new ideas and keen to pass on your knowledge in a classroom environment, your age should not stand in your way of success. 

•   Do I need a degree to teach English abroad?

Although some countries require teachers to have a degree in order to obtain the required work visa or permit, there are as many others that have no such restrictions. The bottom line is, you do not need a degree to teach English abroad. 

•   Do TESOL Certificates Expire?

TESOL certificates do not expire, they are valid for life. For as long as you pursue a career as an English language teacher, you can use your certificate as proof that you have completed a training course that covered a range of relevant topics including English grammar, lesson planning and classroom management.

•   Can I teach English abroad without any teaching experience?

Some employers around the world only take on teachers with previous classroom experience, however, as demand is so high in many areas first time teachers still have plenty of options open to them. As long as you have completed a TESOL course you should have little problem getting your teaching career started. 

•   Can I learn a foreign language while teaching English abroad?

One of the many benefits of teaching English abroad is the opportunity to learn another language. The simple fact that you are surrounded by a new language on a daily basis will not only help you to learn it more quickly, but also help you to settle into your new environment. 

•   Is it safe for single women to teach English abroad?

As long as you do plenty of research before departure and use some common sense once you arrive, there is no reason why anyone should have any problems with personal safety while teaching English abroad. This applies whatever your gender. 

•   Can I teach English abroad if I have children?

Yes, many people with children happily teach English abroad in countries around the world. However, it is essential that you do plenty of research in advance to make sure you choose a destination that is right for both you and your family.

•   How will I make friends while teaching English abroad?

For anyone heading overseas to teach English for the first time, it is perfectly normal to initially feel a little homesick. However, most people quickly find their feet and develop a network of friends and co-workers from the local community and other countries. 

•   What is the difference between TEFL, TESOL and CELTA?
 Even the quickest bit of research into teaching English abroad will introduce you to the acronyms TEFL, TESOL and CELTA. Basically, these are three versions of the qualification that most employers expect teachers to possess when applying for jobs in schools or language centers around the world.

•   Are TESOL teachers in demand?

Every year the number of people learning English as a second language around the world grows considerably and this trend shows no signs of changing in the coming years. Due to this continuous growth the demand for TESOL qualified teachers remains high in most parts of the world.

•   Is TESOL a good career choice?

Many people consider that teaching English abroad is something that young people do for a short period of time before heading home to start a normal life and career. While this is true for some people, many others actually turn it into a long-term career. 

•   Do qualified teachers need a TESOL certification?

Every year hundreds of fully qualified teachers head overseas to teach English as a foreign/second language and they are often surprised to find that many of the top jobs require teachers to possess a TESOL qualification. The truth is there are very real differences between teaching in your home country and teaching abroad which is why a TESOL certification is generally required. 

•   Are there any age restrictions when teaching English in Asia?

Although it is the most popular region for TESOL qualified teachers, there are some countries in Asia that have certain restrictions that might limit where you can live and work. One area that is sometimes restricted is the age of a teacher.

•   What should I pack for teaching English abroad?

In the run up to your departure date for teaching English abroad you are certain to have many things to think about, including what you need to pack and what is best left at home.

•   Will I lose touch with family and friends while teaching English abroad?

Most people who decide to teach English abroad will have a few initial concerns before they set off and one of these is often about staying in contact with the people you care about back home. To ensure you maintain important relationships while you are away, there are a few things you should consider.

•   How do I choose a TESOL course?

The key to choosing the right TESOL course for you is research. You should check that the course provider has been in operation for a reasonable time and that they are respected within the teaching community. You should also be aware of the specific qualifications expected by employers and those required to gain work permits or visas in your country of choice. 

•   Should I take a TESOL course online or in a classroom?
Either option will provide a good start to your ESL teaching career, although there are a few differences to consider. How do you prefer to study? Can you attend a training center for four weeks? How much can you afford to spend on a course? All these questions will have a bearing on your decision.

•   How long does a TESOL course take?

ATI provides a range of TESOL certification courses in a variety of learning styles. The in-class TESOL course runs for a week period at our international training centers. In contrast, our online course options do not have a fixed time scale as you get to choose the pace that you work through them. 

•   How much does a TESOL course cost?

The cost of a TESOL course varies depending on several factors, such as the length of the course, the method of study and the individual provider. In-class courses are generally considered the best option as they include teaching practice, however, this method of study is the most expensive. The more affordable options are completed online, but these do not typically include any form of teaching practice. 

•   Can non-native English speakers take a TESOL course?

At ATI we are happy to welcome anyone on to our courses as long as they are fluent in both written and spoken English. While a high level of understanding is required to successfully complete the course, a large percentage of our course graduates are non-native speakers from countries worldwide. 

•   How does the combined TESOL course work?

The combined TESOL course is a unique blend of online convenience and in-class practicality. The course kicks off with 120 hours of online study that you can complete at your leisure. The second half of the course consists of in-class teaching practice at one of our many training centers.

•   How much is a TESOL course and how do I pay for it?

As one of the largest providers of TESOL certification in the world, ATI offers a range of courses that are individually priced according to their length and method of study. Course payments can be made using a variety of different methods, including credit/debit card, PayPal, bank transfer, or Western Union. Please visit the individual course pages for full payment details. 

•   How does the lifetime job support service work?

Throughout your time studying with us, and after you have qualified, ATI will provide a wide range of services to help maximize your chances of finding the right job for you. Our services include access to our database of potential employers, advice on constructing effective CV/resumes and cover letters, and how to prepare for job interviews and trial lessons.

•   What is the TESOL Diploma course?

The TESOL Diploma is an advanced online course that is designed for existing ESL teachers who want to increase the level of their teaching knowledge and qualifications. This research based course will allow you to confidently apply for a wider range of teaching jobs that offer greater responsibility and potentially a higher salary. 

•   What are specialized TESOL courses?

If you already have a standard TESOL certification you might want to consider adding a specialized course to your CV/resume. These qualifications provide a wider scope of employment for anyone planning on teaching English at home or abroad. We offer two courses in this category: The Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners (CTEYL) and the Certificate in Teaching Business English (CTBE). 

•   How do online TESOL courses work?

Our extensive range of online training courses provide a convenient and great value option for anyone looking for a high-quality TESOL certification. All our online courses can be completed from any location in the world at any pace you choose. They also come with the option of an experienced online tutor.

•   Can you fail a TESOL course?

A TESOL certificate is a serious academic qualification so it is possible to fail the course. However, the majority of those that fail to complete the course, do so because they are unable to commit to the necessary time and effort required of the training. Only a very small percentage of students fail because they do not meet the required academic standard.

•   Where to take a TESOL course?

As they can be completed from any location in the world, our online TESOL courses are always very popular. However, the face-to-face tuition and practical teaching experience offered by an in-class TESOL course also appeals to many trainees. If you choose this option you can attend one of dozens of training centers located around the world.

•   What are TESOL course hours?

TESOL certification courses are generally classified by the number of hours they are expected to take on average to complete. When searching online you are likely to find a wide range of options from as short as a 10-hour introductory course, right through to diploma-level courses which can add up to 300 hours or even more.

•   What is the best TESOL course to do in Thailand?

Thailand has long been a popular place to take a TESOL course as jobs are plentiful across the country. However, not all providers offering courses in Thailand are of an equal standard. ATI has four training centers in Thailand that all offer experienced trainers, high-quality materials and an extensive job support service.

•   Who can do a TESOL course?

Due to the high demand for ESL teachers around the world and the large number of jobs available, almost anyone with a solid grasp of the English language is able to take a TESOL course.

•   Are online TESOL courses valid?

As online TESOL courses are significantly cheaper than in-class courses, it is no surprise that they continue to grow in popularity. A Google search for online TESOL courses will return a huge number of providers offering courses in all shapes and sizes, but how can you be sure they are valid?

•   Which TESOL courses are accredited?

If you put TESOL courses into an online search engine you will potentially find dozens of pages listing a variety of courses and course providers, but how can you be sure which are reputable and which should be avoided? One straightforward way to gauge the validity of an individual course is to check if it has been independently accredited by a respected body within the ESL teaching world.

•   How should I prepare for a TESOL course?

Between signing up for a TESOL training course and actually starting your study, there are a few straightforward things you can do to help prepare you for the road ahead. You can read up on English grammar points, make a simple study plan, and take a look at any pre-course materials. Joining online study groups is another idea you might want to consider.

•   How soon can I get TESOL certified and start teaching English abroad?

How long it will take you to complete a TESOL course and get a job teaching English overseas will depend on many different factors including the type of course you choose, your existing commitments, and where you want to live and work.

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