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However, most employers will expect you to have a recognised teaching English as a foreign language qualification validated by a reputable examination body or university, such as:. Qualifications are available at approved centres across the UK and around the world on a full or part-time basis. Full-time courses are usually four to five weeks long, and part-time courses can last anywhere from three months to over a year.

Cambridge English offers an online blended learning course, which combines self-study with hands-on teaching practice.

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To secure a place, you'll usually need to be 18 or over 20 or 21 in some cases , have qualifications that would allow you to enter higher education in your home country A-levels or equivalent in the UK and an excellent standard of English. Courses run at different times throughout the year and you must apply directly to course providers. As part of these courses you'll get hands-on teaching practice, so you can apply your classroom learning to real life situations. Your choice of qualification may depend on the length of time you plan to work in TEFL.

If you're only interested in short-term work, rather than TEFL as a long-term career, you may prefer one of the shorter, cheaper courses, with organisations such as:. If you choose a distance learning course, you may need to arrange your own teaching experience. Make sure you research courses thoroughly to check they match your career needs. Visit our primary school teacher and secondary school teacher job profiles for more information. If you want to work in a further education college, it's often recommended you gain qualified teacher learning and skills QTLS status see further education teacher.

You may need further qualifications such as advanced diplomas, and substantial experience, to work in universities. Pre-entry experience, for example as a language assistant in a summer school, home tutor, or voluntary work abroad, is useful. Some short-term TEFL jobs are available even if you have little or no experience.

The demand for teachers and the ease of finding work varies considerably from country to country.


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In the UK, there are opportunities with commercial language schools, which are found in most large cities. There is a concentration, however, in London, the south coast of England, Oxford and Cambridge. Work tends to be seasonal with summer being an especially busy time. If you want to stay in the career and progress you'll need to take further qualifications, typically at diploma level.

The most common are:. Higher-level qualifications, combined with relevant experience, can lead to senior positions in schools in both the UK and abroad, such as subject leader or director of studies. However, most UK schools are quite small, so opportunities for career progression and promotion may be limited. As more foreign students choose to study in the UK, the number of language teaching opportunities in colleges and universities also increases.

These positions can offer greater stability and better pay, although competition is fierce.

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Promotion to managerial roles usually involves additional responsibilities, such as course development, administration, marketing and promotion, and less direct involvement with learners. There's scope for experienced teachers to go freelance, both in the UK and abroad, and to combine some of the following activities:. All rights reserved. Jobs and work experience Postgraduate study Careers advice Applying for university. Search graduate jobs Job profiles Work experience and internships Employer profiles What job would suit me?

Job sectors Apprenticeships Working abroad Gap year Self-employment. Search postgraduate courses Funding postgraduate study Universities and departments Study abroad Conversion courses Law qualifications. What can I do with my degree? Getting a job CVs and cover letters. Applying for jobs Interview tips Open days and events.

Choosing a course Getting into university Student loans and finance. University life Changing or leaving your course Alternatives to university. Jobs and work experience Search graduate jobs Job profiles Work experience and internships Employer profiles What job would suit me? Getting a job CVs and cover letters Applying for jobs Interview tips Open days and events Applying for university Choosing a course Getting into university Student loans and finance University life Changing or leaving your course Alternatives to university Post a job.

View all teaching and education vacancies. Add to favourites. If you're fluent in English, want to travel the world and have creative planning skills, consider a career teaching English as a foreign language As an English as a foreign language EFL teacher, you'll teach English to adults and children whose first or main language is not English. Types of English as a foreign language teacher Common terms used for English as a foreign language teaching are: Teaching English as a foreign language TEFL - traditionally used for teaching English to people who want to learn English for work or leisure reasons.

Teaching English as a second language TESL - more commonly used for people who live in an English-speaking country, but who don't speak English as a first language. These students may be refugees or immigrants, and need to learn the language in order to help them settle into society. The first dimension is called the language proficiency factor. The author explains how both native and nonnative speakers of the English language need to possess a series of skills related to how they use language.

One of those skills is providing input at a level that is appropriate for learners. The second dimension is the role of content knowledge , which is divided into two: disciplinary content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge ; the former is specific to language teaching and involves knowledge of the history of this field, including disciplines such as pragmatics, sociolinguistics, phonology, and syntax; the latter comprises the ability to plan curricula, reflect upon practice, and manage classroom environments.

The third dimension entails teaching skills. Richards argues that these are the types of competences that teachers develop over time in professional development programs and because of reflective teaching. Richards states that "teaching from this perspective is an act of performance, and for a teacher to be able to carry herself through the lesson, she has to have a repertoire of techniques and routines at her fingertips" p. Richards argues that teaching skills are the result of teachers' decision-making and as such should be considered in teacher training.

The fourth dimension is contextual knowledge , which refers to the knowledge that teachers have about the conditions and human and material resources of the contexts in which they teach; knowing the school curriculum and policies for disciplinary issues fall into this dimension. The fifth dimension the author explores is the language teacher's identity ; this reflects the different roles that teachers are expected to display depending on school policies and even the cultures where they teach. Richards defines identity as "the differing social and cultural roles teacher-learners enact through their interactions with their students during the process of learning" p.

The sixth dimension in a teacher's profile is referred to as learner-focused teaching. Richards argues that teacher performance can be influenced by student learning and that exemplary teachers familiarize themselves with student behavior, devise teaching practices based on this knowledge, and keep students engaged during lessons. Making the classroom a community of learning and personalized teaching are two skills that fall under the category of learner-focused teaching. Pedagogical reasoning skills is the seventh dimension the author defines; it denotes teachers' ability to make informed choices before, during, and after class.

These skills are shaped by the actions, beliefs, knowledge, and opinions teachers have of themselves, their learners and their contexts. Below are four of these skills:. Identify specific linguistic goals e. Make appropriate decisions about time, sequencing, and grouping arrangements Richards, , p. Richards argues that teachers' philosophies should be addressed in professional development programs because they help teachers learn.

Teaching philosophies are shaped by the ability to reflect upon experience and arrive at principles for second-language teaching and learning. This is the eighth dimension, called theorizing from practice. The ninth dimension involves belonging to a community of practice. The author explains how teacher communities should work together toward common goals and engage more individualistic members to share with the community at large. Lastly, professionalism is the tenth dimension, and it relates to the idea that language teachers are part of a scientific academic educational field and that, because of this, they should be familiar with what is current in the field.

More importantly, Richards suggests that teachers must be critical and reflective upon themselves and their practices. Some questions for reflection leading to professionalism could be:. As has been explored so far in this paper, performance is far more complex than routine actions in class. Research studies on professional development programs seem to agree upon the idea that these programs should be localized because they allow teachers to reflect upon pertinent common goals. Ariza and Ramos conducted an action research study in the same institute where the present study was developed, with a different group of ten English teachers.

In their study, the researchers found that the teacher study group TSG they implemented allowed the participants to make connections between theory and practice; in addition, the participants thought the TSG was a space to receive colleague support for problematic areas in their own teaching contexts. Finally, the researchers concluded that the TSG helped the participants to become more reflective about their teaching practice. Additionally, the participants had the chance to share pedagogical ideas and improve their language proficiency.

Activities in which the teachers played the role of learners were meaningful for them because they became aware of teaching issues that affect learners. Furthermore, Sierra explains how tea-chers involved in a study group learned about issues having to do with teaching e. The author states that in this study, the teachers developed research skills developing a research proposal , critical thinking skills questioning, arguing, and reasoning related to the contents they studied, and collaborative skills e.

The last finding in Sierra's study was about teacher attitudes. The participants were participative and contributed to the study group; they also developed positive attitudes toward being engaged in a study group. For the first category, the researchers found that the participants in the professional development program improved their communicative competence in writing; in the second category, the participants stated that they became aware of their roles as teachers and included new practices in their instruction; in the last category, the participants showed reflective skills in that they were able to critically connect theory and practice by analyzing whether it was possible to apply some of the ideas in the program to their own teaching contexts.

Understanding the real impact of a professional development program on the day-to-day practice of English language teachers is of interest in teacher education; furthermore, basing these types of programs on the specific contexts of teachers should be addressed and studied. That is why the present study was carried out, seeking to find answers for the following research question:. The problem was identified in a diagnostic stage prior to the implementation of the program. During this stage, the following data collection instruments were used to argue for the need to develop a professional development program: a questionnaire inquiring into teachers' needs and wants, an informal interview with the Instituto de Lenguas Extranjeras Institute of Foreign Languages, ILEX coordinator, one classroom observation and one semi-structured interview with each of the six participants in this research study.

After the data analysis in the diagnostic stage, the five problematic areas shown in Figure 1 emerged; they later became the main areas to be covered by the professional development program. The institute is responsible for teaching English to the student population at the university, and its curriculum includes other languages such as French, Italian, and Mandarin Chinese. In the English language curriculum, the ILEX includes sixteen courses ranging from elementary to upper-intermediate English.

The ILEX seeks to help teachers to develop pro-fessionally by means of workshops that address relevant issues in language teaching. The professional development program derived from this study was another strategy to help ILEX teachers to continue growing as professionals. The present study relied upon the cycles of action research methodology as proposed by Kemmis and McTaggart All workshops in the program were analyzed and improved upon based on the data collected.

The techniques for data collection used while the program unfolded were questionnaires on each of the workshops, two classroom observations and two semi-structured interviews with each of the participants, and a researcher's journal. The role of the researcher was that of participant observer because he was the one responsible for guiding the program workshops.

Six novice in-service English language teachers were involved in the study.

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When the professional development program began, all six in-service teachers had had teaching experience of less than six months. The questionnaire was implemented to evaluate each weekly workshop; the classroom observations as well as the semi-structured interviews took place after the third and the sixth workshops; finally, entries in the researcher's journal were written every week, after each of the workshops. The results from each of the instruments were grouped, and overlapping areas were identified across all four data collection techniques. Broad categories emerging from all four instruments were identified so as to answer the research question for this study.

The findings from this study were three major ones, with corresponding results for each. First, information from all four data collection techniques explained the direct impact of the professional development program on the teachers' classroom performance. Second, based on the data analysis, the teachers demonstrated awareness of their teaching and classroom performance.

Finally, the data collected explain how the professional development program represented a reason for improvement among the six in-service English language teachers. The first group of findings reflects the teachers' changing performance while teaching in class. This article will now refer to specific areas that seemed to be improvements between the diagnostic stage both prior to the professional development program and while it was being conducted.

The data come mostly from class observations and represent what the teachers did well according to contemporary principles of language teaching. The findings show some insights into teachers' views of language and the ways they operationalized these views in their teaching; additionally, there is some indication of growing attention to learners' needs and motivations. The results across all four instruments reflected a change in the theory of language the teachers displayed in their lessons. Before the program, the way they viewed English was structural.

However, because of their development in the program, the teachers developed a more holistic view of language and proposed activities in which students could interact with each other communicatively and meaningfully. Overall, their lessons went from being an accumulation of structures to real communication as a teaching principle. In-service Teacher 5: make clear if the activities or tasks are really communicative or not. The following data are taken from a class observation's transcription. They first show two of the evaluation criteria for the observed lesson, along with corresponding comments.

The other extract comes from the general feedback given to the in-service teacher in the form of improvements or strengths during the lesson. Lesson focuses more on meaning than on structure. When students were filling in the table with their classmate's daily routine, they were using grammar as meaning, not as cold inert structure! Good thing they did this. Grammar is used functionally or communicatively to express meaning and not as an end in itself. Same as above! The fact they used it to do something makes grammar functional They learn something and learn how to do something with what they learn.

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The way the in-service teachers taught grammar followed a principled approach. Rather than planning explicit grammar activities, they proposed discovery ones in which students could identify the grammar items by themselves; therefore, grammar was taught inductively. Additionally, the grammar the teachers addressed in lessons was used by students in communicative interactional activities, which agrees with the idea of meaningful English explained in the previous finding.

Following is an extract from a different class observation. Grammar is addressed based on current agreements on the matter: taught inductively and deductively, contextualized, with a focus on meaning, and communicatively. Yes, the house description was perfect to make sense of all the issues we have discussed in grammar teaching, was it not?

They had input to discover, used grammar meaningfully to describe their own houses, and then focused on emerging mistakes during the feedback session. Again, your grammar teaching is improving continuously, and the pacing for this is consistent. Now you are teaching with an approach that has both inductive and deductive teaching.

The lessons that the in-service teachers taught were coherent.

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They made sure that each procedure in an activity would be articulated. This skill followed three stages. First, activities had a beginning, in which teachers introduced a topic, prepared students, modeled behavior, and others. Second, teachers were attentive to keeping students engaged on a core interactional or comprehension task. Finally, the last part of each activity, or the post-task, served as feedback for the task students had just done.

Topics were used as organizing principles during lessons, which made them appear coherent as well. The following data were taken from a class observation protocol that was used to observe one of the in-service teachers. Activities or tasks have a clear structure of beginning, middle, and end. Yes, activities were phased coherently. This was perfect for students to recycle key language from the lesson and to use it well. Trial and error occurred and therefore learning and acquisition took place.

You prepared students for tasks, had them do a core task and then corrected it to focus on language. Lesson coherence: between eliciting parts of a house, describing your own as support and listening activity, and the students talking about their own house, coherence was high. Good you did this! The teachers implemented current methodologies for language teaching. Aligned with the ideas in the previous paragraphs, the teachers taught lessons based on the pillars of communicative language teaching: They gave learners the chance to interact meaningfully with each other, used authentic materials, and referred to communicative competence as a goal in their teaching.

Task-based language teaching was evident when the teachers proposed tasks for real-life purposes in which language was used as a means to an end. Lastly, the teachers used content-based instruction as a way to help the learners learn something through the English language. The following samples are also taken from an observation protocol. The in-service teacher includes authentic content in the materials used in class.

Information about ratings is authentic language which is simple to learn. And yet it is useful! When you were presenting the ratings, they had descriptions. This was perfect for them to interact with simple authentic language.


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  8. You shouldn't have read it yourself, though. It would have been a great reading activity. In the case of movie treats, most content depended on your presentation of them. How to do this more learner-centered and facilitating teaching? The principle here: If they are exposed to language that they are learning, what are they learning it for? In this activity, you did have that principle in mind. While lessons developed, the teachers were attentive to students' needs and motivations. They acted upon students' needing explanations, examples, clear instructions, and a helping hand during core tasks.

    They also activated their students' learning strategies so that they could approach tasks more successfully. The motivation students showed was evident when they volunteered to participate and also while they were engaged in meaningful communicative activities in which they were asked to interact with each other. The in-service teacher supports learners in all these stages using varied techniques to do so. Yes, this did happen when you modeled by asking questions about how you wanted them to describe the displayed pictures.

    You did use extrinsic motivation for the treasure hunt task. The hunt seemed intrinsically motivating because the students did need to be quick or use their understanding to accomplish the task. And remember that one of the features of motivated students is that they are goal-oriented. The second group of findings shows the areas where the teachers felt there were improvements in their teaching in general and, specifically, in their classroom performance. The teachers affirmed that because of the professional development program, they gained deeper awareness in these areas: grammar teaching, implementation of current methodologies for language teaching, the importance of student motivation, learner styles and learning strategies, and coherence for classroom activities.

    In this case, the data come from the interviews during the professional development program. The teachers stated that there was a noticeable improvement in grammar teaching; specifically, they argued that their perspectives on the topic progressed from a structure-only strategy to one in which students had the chance to discover and use grammar meaningfully. Rather than teaching grammar deductively, the teachers said they would teach it inductively as they helped students discover grammar rather than analyze it as a first approach to learning it.

    I've seen how the grammar is implicitly taught, or no, learned! I know how they get the grammar without, and I don't have to be on the board, explaining a lot, always explaining. They get the grammar and then we clarify some things and that's it. So I'm really happy about that.


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    It has been an improvement, one of the biggest ones! Because, um, well before you know, um, sometimes I started with the grammatical thing and everything but now, I start with the task, which involves, um, I mean, um, discovery and eliciting. I love that because they learn faster, even faster than when you explain on a board and everything.

    Additionally, the teachers stated that they implemented ideas from current language teaching methodologies such as task-based language teaching and content-based instruction. Even though the teachers explained that they needed to further explore the implementation of such methodologies, for them it was something that they learned and practiced in the professional development program and began to include in their lessons.

    I've been applying almost all the methodologies, no! All the methodologies you taught us, and I think they are awesome, and I didn't do that before.

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    Now I'm doing it and am seeing the results, and I'm really happy with that. Task-based activities, content-based activities, um, I am in love now with those methodologies because they are working in I mean, I love it. Furthermore, the issue of motivation was something the teachers became more aware of. The teachers argued that they took into consideration their students' needs and interests, which they later turned into classroom activities. The conclusion here is that the teachers were able to operationalize the construct and make it applicable by means of interviews with students and small surveys to inquire into their needs and interests.

    I'm also working with motivation issues. Em, I think what I've seen in this course that I, that I've applied in the classroom in terms of motivation it's been, it's been awesome. I mean, I'm working on that and it's really working. The motivation of the students have increased a lot. I can see the results. First of all, I'm telling them the aims of the class; also I'm telling them why is English important now. Using examples, using, um, asking them critical thinking questions such as, mmm, that has to deal with their futures. Ummm, what else?

    I think I'm just being friendly with them and telling them that this is not an obligation but something good for them. One last major change that the teachers noticed in their instruction was coherence in lessons. They specified that their lessons were more structured and logical because the activities held cohesion among steps and led to desired goals during lessons. According to the teachers, they planned tasks that had a beginning, a middle, and an end.

    This was one of the biggest changes and improvement I could notice, the way I teach now comparing to the old way which was, ummm, sometimes unstructured and lacked coherence in many cases, I realized this by reflecting upon my experience before and after the PDP. In this last finding, I will refer to the reasons that likely caused the changes in the six teachers' performance and awareness in English language teaching. I will support these findings on the data collected while developing the professional development program.

    All of the workshops combined theory and practice. The teachers had the opportunity to look at theoretical underpinnings and analyze them by observing videoed and live lessons, planning activities to be used in their lessons, and receiving feedback from peers and the program's tutor. Additionally, the program included experiential learning activities in which the teachers played the role of learners first and then evaluators of what they had experienced as language learners.

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    This also helped them to contextualize theory. Finally, the program incorporated talks by experts; during these exercises, the teachers had the opportunity to hear about and discuss ideas for language teaching from experienced peers. The excerpt below, taken from a journal entry, shows what teachers did to combine theory and practice. The experiential activity : During this workshop, I had an experienced teacher guide the in-service teachers through a listening activity about a bad hairdressing experience. First of all, this was an activity in which the in-service teachers could connect theory and practice by means of a hands-on task.

    I think they could identify the stages in a listening activity and how those stages are related to what we have emphasized on a lot during the workshop: organized coherent activities, with a clear purpose in mind, etc.