What are the different types of TEFL programs?

There are four main categories of English teaching programs that we will consider here:

  • General English
  • Academic English
  • Business English
  • Young learners

Each program is designed with a specific audience in mind, involves distinctive educational activities, and has unique highlights.

Table of Contents

General English

Academic English (Also referred to as English for Academic Purpose EAP)

Business English

Young Learners

Other Notes

General English

Audience: Primarily taught in governmental schools and private language institutions worldwide.

Curriculum: Typically, it covers five study levels with a predefined syllabus, utilizing popular book series like 'New Headway' or 'Let's go'.

Highlight: It caters to millions of students worldwide who are keen on learning general English.

Also read: Should I take a TEFL course bundle?

Academic English (Also referred to as English for Academic Purpose EAP)

Audience: Tailored for students who need to demonstrate their English proficiency for career opportunities or university admissions. IELTS and TOEFL are two well-known programs of this type.

Curriculum: Focuses on comprehensive training in four English skills - speaking, writing, listening, and reading, in readiness for corresponding exams.

Highlight: It is a popular choice among millions of students globally who are studying English for academic purposes.

Business English

Audience: Various business English programs exist, often leading to exams, including the Cambridge BEC exam suite (B1, B2, C1).

Curriculum: These programs usually assess all four English skills, particularly at the higher levels - reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Highlight: These programs offer both paper-based and computer-based testing options for convenience.

Also read: What are specialized TEFL courses?

Young Learners

Audience: Numerous language exams cater to young learners provided by a range of institutions, including Cambridge and smaller entities such as Language Cert.

Curriculum: These programs offer exams that assess all four English skills at different levels - reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Highlight: Similar to the business English program, these exams also provide both paper-based and computer-based testing options.

Other Notes

While the general English curriculum often overlaps with elements from the other categories, don't be daunted if you lack specific knowledge in certain areas, such as business. The primary focus in business English, for example, is on general English used in business contexts.

However, it is crucial to note that different teaching principles apply to varying age groups. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of each area's unique teaching needs, including what to teach and how to assess it, is beneficial.

Additional TEFL courses are available in each specialization: Business English, young learners, and academic English, for those keen on teaching them.

Take a look at all our specialized TEFL courses