TEFL for Non-Native English Speakers - Is it possible?
TEFL is an essential certificate for native and non-native English speakers who want to teach English abroad. TEFL stands for "Teaching English as a Foreign Language". It is believed that TEFL courses are merely a precondition to teaching English abroad, but actually, a TEFL will open a completely new world of education and travel.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Wissal A.
What is Teaching English as a Foreign Language?
Teaching English as a foreign language involves being able to convey the English language in an articulate and interesting manner. TEFL educators help students improve their English skills through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. TEFL is often taught using teaching aids and materials such as course books, audio-visual aids, and technology-based materials. Not to mention formal instruction, worksheets, and activities such as role playing and language games.
While a TEFL course opens many opportunities to travel and teach abroad, some claim it is less advantageous to non-native speakers. With misconceptions such as teaching English abroad is impossible for the non-native English speakers, this essay, will present the advantages of being a non-native teacher. In light of this, we would like to emphasize four advantages for non-native English teachers in the TEFL classroom.
Non-native speakers have studied English in depth.
First, most non-native speakers have studied English in depth. The reason being is that English is often taught at a young age and is a mandatory language in many countries. While non-native English speakers have to study the language in depth, native speakers on the other hand learn the language naturally while growing up. As a result, non-native English speakers normally have a better understanding of English grammar subjects because they know the rules, and the exceptions and are able to explain them to their students in a way they will understand. While native speakers often apply these rules, they are not able to explain certain grammar points and exceptions.
Non-native English teachers understand what it’s like to learn a second language.
Second, because non-native English teachers have been English learners themselves, and because they went through the same process, they understand what it’s like to learn a second language. An advantage that helps teachers in building rapport with their students, as they know what they struggle with the most and which parts are the most difficult and how to overcome these difficulties.
Bilingual or multilingual people are more open-minded.
Third, if you are a non-native English speaking teacher you are consequently a bilingual. Bilingual or multilingual people tend to be more open-minded, as they often see the world from different perspectives. Studies have shown that people who speak more than one language have more efficient brains and tend to think in a different way than monolinguals, and they are more efficient at ignoring irrelevant information and they have overall more active brains.
Non-native English teachers add their own cultural perspective to the classroom.
Finally, non-native English teachers add their own cultural perspective to the classroom, a benefit that is often overlooked. Generally, students are culturally aware of the English-speaking culture but often don’t know much about other cultures. Not only non-native English teachers have a wide knowledge of the English-speaking culture, they are also representatives of the countries they come from.
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Some countries have very strict qualifications and hiring standards while other countries require more than a TEFL certificate to be able to teach in their facilities. That doesn't mean non-native English teachers can't find jobs abroad.
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