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Sarah Elnaggar

By Sarah Elnaggar

First of All it honors me to try to tip dear English instructors:

Let's first define these confusing Acronyms:

What are the differences between


TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) involves teaching people, usually in their own countries, who want to use English for business, leisure, travel, etc.

TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) involves teaching immigrants in English-speaking countries.

TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and ELT (English Language Teaching) are terms which cover both TEFL and TESL. Confusingly, the acronym TESOL also refers to the American professional association: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Here are some tips

  1. As almost all TEFL jobs require you to teach English purely in English, knowledge of a foreign language is not essential. However, having some experience of foreign language learning will give you many useful insights into what language is and how we learn it; and studying a foreign language will help you to learn more about English, and particularly English grammar.
  2. You can teach EFL if English is not your native language,because simplyif your spoken and written English is of a very high standard. Having a slight accent is not a problem but you need to be able to express yourself fluently and accurately in both speech and writing. (If you have not undergone TEFL training, having a "foreign" accent will be a major drawback because all that most untrained teachers have to offer employers is their ability to model native speaker pronunciation.
  3. Luckily, basic TEFL training and certification can be obtained quite quickly. Even the most widely recognized TEFL certificate in the world, the Cambridge CELTA, can be obtained in only 4 weeks. Some other reputable TEFL certificate courses can also be completed in 4 weeks (or part-time over 3-18 months). Some shorter training courses are available but they are not usually recognized by the best employers.
  4. Be creative yet through a well-defined outline as real English is whatever is outside the book.

What I really want to say is that teaching English needs a teacher or an instructor who is both gifted (born to teach) and skilled. Yet sometimes through perseverance you can crystallize your teaching ability.