TEFL Q&A: Ask Us Anything! with Non-Native English Teacher Liza


hello everybody it's lizzy here and i'm super glad to welcome you at the new
itt's live stream session so today's live stream is um devoted to
um just to talk so we're going to discuss things and i
hope that you have um several questions in your mind um so feel free to ask me
uh at what whatever point you want and let me just quickly uh introduce
myself and make sure that everything is working so while i'm waiting for some
more people to join i just want to say that these live streams are provided by
the um by international tefl and tesol training we are a leading tefl and tesol provider
so if you are considering um getting tefl certified uh the chances are uh you
are here watching this session um and having some questions
so feel free to ask me about whatever is on your mind and um i will try my best
to help you out and as for myself uh i'm a tefl and tesol expert at itt first of all but at
the same time i'm a non-native esl teacher working online
uh primarily uh so some time ago i uh taught in a real classroom but after the
pandemic i just switched to the online teaching mode and i should say
that it is my favorite teaching mode um i don't think i will ever go back to a
real classroom uh because i feel like i am a digital
savvy um i'm not ready to work in a real classroom anymore
so uh as i have already said this live stream is for your questions to be
answered so feel free to ask me anything and um i should say that
my level of expertise is primarily connected to tefl itself but
at the same time if you have questions related to teaching abroad or stuff like that
feel free to ask me as well i will try my best to help you out and
just um while waiting guys please let me know where are you
from where are you tuning in from so i'm located in russia
uh in a city called ekaterenburg it's pretty far from moscow or
saint petersburg however it is still a pretty big city uh
it's a metropolitan area and it's not that popular um around uh
visitors around tourists uh however some people stay here some people visit uh
especially when they travel uh the trans siberian if you know about this railway
um you know that so that's it and what about you where
are you from um so are you native speakers or non-native speakers and why
are you interested in tefl let me know i'm really curious and
i think that if you type in whatever you think
it might be more helpful for me to dwell upon it and to
chat so feel free to ask whatever questions feel free to answer my questions as well
i wanna have this conversation going you know and i also want to share my um
great news with you so uh i have already mentioned that i'm
an online esl teacher but my specialty is not
general english some time ago i narrowed down to exam preparation
and last month in august one of my students one of my
teenage students successfully passed the cambridge test
and i can't be more proud because she passed with merit and i would like to
show you her results i think it might be interesting for you and let me know if you also prepare uh
students for exams what do you think about exams in general so
let me share my screen with you and show you how uh it's organized because uh
it's actually a really interesting um thing uh so exam preparation
is quite a significant um
what quite a significant achievement um so passing uh this international english
test uh isn't um easy especially for
a teenager but she did it well so
these are the results um i think that i have to
yeah oh it's not like this um so yeah these are the results and as you can see
she uh got um a grade b and uh the overall score was 155 so she
achieved the b1 level and i'm super proud of it um i think that it's a
really really great achievement for both of us because basically
she worked a lot but at the same time i facilitated that um success you know
facilitated her progress um although uh i feel like we have to
work a lot on reading and writing but the test actually uh helped a lot uh to
understand uh what areas are much weaker and um
where to put more efforts so that's um
something like that and by the way the speaking results were extremely
successful so she got um 161 which is considered to be um the b2
level so uh it's it's like um at the lower border of the b2 level uh but at
the same time it's a great thing for a 13 year old so that's it my great news
and yeah let me um let me
change my screen let me switch it off yeah like this um
so uh i can see that there are some questions
uh there is a question from bakawa i hope to pronounce your name
correctly if i'm mistaken please let me know um so what is the highest level of
tefl to write um if you refer to um the number of hours um to complete during
the tefl certification the minimum requirement for
international tefl teachers international tefl certified teachers
is usually considered to be 120 hours however uh there are actually packages
that contain more hours um the chances are you will have like um
the standard uh 120 hour certification and then some um
additional trainings so let me um show you what i mean uh by
sharing my screen and showing you uh
[Music] all right here we go
uh so if you go to the tefl uh to our website
uh you will see this um yeah
so i am on the website right now and we have this uh
section uh called courses uh if you go to the online courses
section you will see that there are different um options possible so the minimum
requirement as i have already mentioned is 120 hours 120 hour tefl course
uh and then uh the 170 hour course uh follows
um how is it different uh you would ask probably so uh this package contains
the general course which is 120 hour course plus an additional certification
in teaching english online so um you will have the
120 standard course standard certification which is the minimum requirement all
over the world um and then you will proceed with um getting
experience and learning how to teach online as well so um
yeah these are probably the lowest number of hours possible
but if you see some other options you will also see uh 20 uh 220 hour master package
370 hour diploma course so they all have some specific features but generally
speaking these certifications these options contain
the main course the primary course and then some additional trainings related
to specific skills for example if you want to teach business english you can
choose um a package that will suits that that will suit your needs
um yeah that's probably it so um in total we've got eight possible
uh types of courses eight possible options um yeah so you can just uh go to the
website and see whatever fits you best and also let me
just um quickly remind you that um
if you are considering um getting tefl certified with itt here
is a nice qr code which gives you which can give you a thirty percent discount
of any tefl and tesol courses so if you wanna um get tefl certified as soon as
possible you can scan this qr code or let me quickly
drop the link to the chat box um
so or you can follow this link from the chat box and you will also have the same
opportunity like like the qr code um probably qr codes are not as convenient
as links for some people just um yeah choose whatever um is best for you
um yeah so that's probably it uh in terms of the level of training
all right and let me just uh go to the next question
so there is a question from um our beloved
friend letter i'm super happy to see you again thanks a lot for coming to the sessions i hope
that they are helpful and valuable um and yeah let me answer
i'm super happy to see you again uh in an online teaching how do you conduct students evaluations if there is
so basically um i don't um evaluate them um
if if you think of this uh usual system evaluational system however i provide my
feedback as much as it is possible and my feedback uh usually depends on the
type of task so for example uh when i teach
a grammatical point um i probably want to make sure that my
students don't make mistakes um during the training
during the actual teaching of those grammatical uh points but at
the same time um i don't pay attention to some other
mistakes i don't do this additional error corrections if it is
not the point of teaching at a specific point of time um at the
same time when it comes to to practicing speaking skills for example i
usually allow my students to speak out and i completely ignore their
grammatical mistakes or some lexical issues so uh my feedback is
usually flexible and it is based on the point of teaching
but i never give any marks i never evaluate them i never give them scores
um the only exception is that when it comes to preparing for
uh specific exams uh before the exam itself
we start practicing those tests we do a lot of mock tests
and i usually explain what scores they are going to have they are going to get
if they do this or that so of course when it comes to
doing specific tests uh i showed them the results in um scores yeah
that's it uh thanks a lot for the question by by the way i think that feedback is really
valuable and um english teachers have to
evaluate but probably not in a standardized manner
because students especially private groups or
one-on-one students they actually don't need to know their marks they they are
here uh to progress not to test themselves
okay so there is another question from uh tarak
okay um
so uh if i'm not mistaken uh tarak is curious about uh getting tefl
certification uh in a european country and then uh to find the job there
so tarak the thing is uh basically you can um
take a tefl course online and you won't have any uh disadvantages
uh from this perspective moreover our temple and diesel um
our itt um what certification let me show you
the certification quickly so um it actually
doesn't state that the course was taken online and by the way uh online courses
even have um some benefits because they help you
understand the teaching uh process in terms of the online online setting so uh
basically uh those employers who ask you to be a tefl certified in a real
classroom they don't understand that um online settings are even harder to
understand and uh probably it's not the best company to work for because they're
not that progressive and last year actually showed that those teachers who
are flexible enough can work uh like can switch betw between modes um
and here in russia we had so many schools that are presented um offline that have
real offices and they lost all of their students and couldn't make any income
they they completely lost their income flows because they couldn't uh provide
their students their clients with an online option uh but those uh companies
that quickly uh switched to the online mode they uh successfully provided uh classes
via zoom and um their teachers proved to be
more flexible from this point of view so if you want
to take a tefl certification don't worry about
getting temple certified in a real classroom i would even say
save your time and take a tefl course online uh it might be even more
beneficial uh and when it comes to teaching around europe
i should say that it might be a challenge for uh non-native esl teachers because um
and for um and for native teachers as well actually because it is subjected to
the specific country's rules and regulations so if you want to
go to a specific country in europe or wherever you want to go around the world
um you have to check their policies so uh for example in russia um
it is 100 that you have to be not just tefl certified but you also have to
um have a degree uh in teaching specifically i'm
not completely sure about that but i know that those tefl teachers who even come from
uh native speaking countries they have to be um
they have to have the same degree uh as they are going to uh work in the same field
as they are going to work plus they have to be qualified as english teachers
and the same situation might be uh in any
other country so make sure you check out the requirements and uh you
um check and you make sure that you are qualified uh and apple certification is
one of their requirements usually uh by the way on our tefl um
website we have a section called jobs so let me quickly drop out the links as the
link as well um just one second
uh so we've got this link on the website with different jobs um related to
specific countries so if you are interested in a country in a specific
country you you can check out uh the list of countries we've provided
and see if there are any guidelines on some specific requirements
of course we cannot make sure that the information
is updated and it is um as updated as it is possible so i always
recommend that you guys go and check um on google like on such
websites as embassies websites or other governmental websites because if you want to know the
most recent recent updates on regulations visa policies whatever
you have to research yourself so make sure you are proactive from this
perspective because nobody can guarantee uh the 100 percent
uh clarity and stuff like that okay
uh so let me see another question by the way tarak i hope that i have answered
your question if you haven't understood anything just let me know i will try my best to
clarify okay so
all right so thanks with uh thanks a lot for coming to the sessions uh this is
one of the fans uh who visits regularly who shows up
regularly i'm always happy to communicate with you guys so um let me see the next one
um so how long does it take to complete the 120 hour course so basically the course
uh is consist um the course consists of two parts two
general parts uh the first part is a test part and it is more related to theory than practice
so um it can be done it can be done quite fast but it depends on your
personal uh schedule uh on your uh personal you know um
way of um processing information
if you are uh that type of person who uh can quickly
read and uh go through all of the theoretical points and then do the test
uh it can take really short when i did this test when i did this
course um three years ago or no actually not three years ago four years ago
it took me about two weeks to finish to complete the test part
but then there was the second part that was really um challenging for me uh it was related to
uh creating a lesson plan and that part was more practical
um so it it took me a while uh and by saying a while i spent like two months
to finish uh the practical task and i should say that um
the main problem for me was that i couldn't understand
um the procedure related to the lesson planning so because it is closely
connected uh to the methodology
and i didn't completely understand the methodology at that time
it took me a while to produce that lesson plan and then to uh
remake it because i failed the first attempt um
so i would say that if you consider taking a tefl course um
especially this one the general one think about uh
taking the option with a tutor with with the tutor help because uh if you have any doubts if you
don't understand some um theoretical points you can always
uh email your tutor and ask whatever is on your mind whatever um
challenges your you most so um yeah don't
underestimate uh the tutor's help it may be really really important
and it can save you a lot of time especially if you want to uh get certified as long
as as fast as possible okay um
yeah so um tefl and t soul are basically the same so that the course itself is
the same uh however uh the difference is that you can choose
either uh to have tefl on your final certification paper
uh on your final certificate or uh to have a tesol
name so what is the difference um tefl stands for teaching english
as a foreign language and t soul stands for teaching english to speakers of
other languages and on my tefl certificate i actually have t a
certificate in teaching english to speakers of other languages because
at that time i i um when i got this temple certification i worked
in china and i thought that probably if it is a foreign language then it means that i
have to be able to um teach um native speakers as well you know
like sometimes you you teach um the same language or a different one so
that was my thought but maybe i uh i didn't get it right
so it's actually up to you uh which caption to choose so
it is just a matter of titles and that's all um
all right and there is another question a question from um domini
do mini i hope to pronounce the name correctly again names are really challenging for me uh
when it comes to foreigners you know there are so many interesting names that are especially
challenging for pronunciation okay so um you can take a tefl course
online uh to do so uh just follow this link
from the chat box let me drop it out once again
yeah so you can follow this link oh oops uh this link
um isn't correct actually it doesn't contain a coupon
so if you follow this one
if you follow this one line you will get a 30 discount of any tefl course you
choose so feel free to choose the second option
uh so yeah we have um a long list of tefl courses
of online tefl courses and you can choose whatever suits you best so
basically you have to understand what needs you have like do you need uh just a general certification or you want to
specialize in something uh just make sure you uh read through the guidelines
on the website and then you choose that one option which suits you best
um yeah that's it but we also have uh in-class courses
listed on the website as well so if you are interested in taking uh an in-class
tefl course it's also possible just make sure you check out all of the guidelines
okay and let's see and the next question is actually
closely connected with the previous one um master
courses like master level courses are related to the number of hours let
me uh let me share my screen once again and i will show you what i actually mean
um so here we go so i think you you can see my screen
right now uh let me also yeah like this
okay let me show it to you now so this is actually a job section where you can see
all the guidelines related to different countries but where uh
as for uh master uh level packages uh you can either go to the online
courses section or to the um let me see online diploma
so in this section we have uh those courses we have those
options that contain uh the biggest amount of
hours so uh if you want to just get tefl
certified and be generally tefl certified you can opt for
uh the 120 hour tefl course which is our basic course it is also the most popular
one because the minimum requirement all over the world usually is 100
hours or 120 hours but if you want uh to either to
um open uh your level or you want to um get this
higher level uh from scratch you can go for this section and see the 370 hour
tesol diploma course it is also the same for tefl so they are just
interchangeable or you can also check out the
470 hour package and the expert package uh that contains
550 hours uh we have all this explanation like
what is in this package uh so for example if you see
what is the difference between this one between the pro and expert
you would see that in the expert package you will have
all uh specializations included so apart from the general 120 hour uh
certification you will also um study uh teaching business business english
and teaching young learners and additional training would be teaching online as well
but the most valuable parts for me as for me are these ones academic planning and um
certificate um in i forgot the explanation of this one
so it is ctpr um it is a certificate of teaching practice
recognition so if you um get this expert package if you go for uh
taking this one you will apart from all of those certifications
uh you will also have a possibility to get some teaching
practice recognition it is especially valuable for those teachers who don't have any uh prior experience in teaching
uh basically what you uh will be supposed to do is
uh to find a group to teach or to find a school to
work for and then you while studying at the course you
will get several assignments related to uh practicing method
methodology and uh stuff like that in your real classroom or in your online
classroom and upon um completion of all of those assignments
you will get an additional certification that will state
the number of hours uh you practiced and um you know like um how successful you did
it um it is really valuable if your employer
requires you to have some initial experience because in some schools i know it is
extremely important to be not just tefl certified but also to have
some primary experience okay all right so there is a really long um
question from jon snow so i i will not uh share it um
on my screen because probably it will um you know covers me but let me quickly read it you can also
do so uh because i think that question is really interesting uh just give me a second
or so uh all right
okay hello hello nice to see you guys thanks for tuning in
even uh almost at the end of the session uh anyway if you have any questions feel
free to write them and send uh to the chat box and i will try my best to
assist you okay
okay so um it's a really interesting question though i can't um answer it
fully because uh i'm not completely sure so basically uh the master package
includes um this lesson planning part uh
in terms of the initial 120 hour certification so you will do
the lesson planning part for sure there but i'm not completely sure about the
um other certifications probably you will have
some some type of lesson planning or um a different type of assignment
you will definitely have some assignments um in in terms of those initial
in terms of of those preceding courses but i'm not completely sure about the
lesson planning let me write down this question
and i will come back to you after the session so i will answer this question
after the session uh when i get the information okay so um i will reply to
you or maybe i will direct message you so just stay tuned
thanks for the question it's a valuable one and if you guys are interested in
the same point uh just make sure you get back to the live stream recording in a
couple of hours or maybe tomorrow and check out uh the answer so i will
definitely reply this one just to make sure that i
provide the updated information okay and as for the
certifications yeah it's also up to you i personally prefer to have uh
separate papers just to show off you know when a teacher
has a lot of different trainings it actually shows that you are interested
in your professional development and you want to make sure you provide high
quality services and every time i get some training i always
make sure i get this piece of paper and then i show it to my students
because it's really valuable even especially you work
one-to-one privately as a freelancer this is a great idea to show different
certificates just to um to make a point that you are specialized
in different um areas and stuff like that so but it's up to you always
you can also share just the main certificate and it's going to
be fine i think okay
all right yeah uh so the next question not probably a question but um
yeah some piece of thought um related to doubts
yeah guys we all have a lot of doubts um
so basically um as i know and just judging from my
personal experience what is more important than holding a
specific passport is that you are a professional
besides being tefl certified it is um
it is of primary importance that you work on your uh english skills if you
are a non-native speaker that you spend time a lot practicing yourself
uh because you know your clients your future clients are going to evaluate you going to judge you
by the picture and by your speaking skills by your presentation and stuff like that
uh but don't think that uh you are limited in options just because you are
not from the us or uh you were born in a middle east country or somewhere else
it's not the point you just have to work a lot and make sure that you progress and you develop
as a professional and as a person and actually
last weekends i participated in a conference so i i was
a listener at the conference related to esl teaching and the thing is
[Music] the research results show that actually
native teachers sometimes have a disadvantage [Music]
compared with non-native speakers because they
can't be 100 percent sure
that they provide you know all of the answers and stuff
like that sometimes native speakers don't know um how to explain really simple things just
because they've never thought about them from a different perspective so
sometimes native speakers um they are they actually lose um
when it comes to teaching uh just make sure that you work on yourself and
you are not afraid of being asked um some
tricky questions and stuff like that yeah something like that and you also
have to uh to work as much as it is possible so if
you want to develop this career
you want to get experience as well so make sure you work in different
situations in different settings you try to work with different groups
with different levels and stuff like that so it will definitely help you out
to develop this career if it is actually important to you
uh well yes i understand that completely but the point is i'm trying to work a
lot on my uh speaking skills i'm not a native speaker and i'm not a
professional uh presenter you know uh so i try my best to help you out and if
my speaking skills my speaking patterns annoy you just feel free to
leave this session i don't insist on listening to me especially when it comes to you know
some um some situations that i can't
unfortunately can't change right now so i just can't say that i work a lot
and i you know it it takes a lot of effort to present
every week and i know that i have to work as well
so just sorry and but not sorry
okay uh so guys if you have any further questions related to uh tefl t-soul uh
teaching in general just let me know uh i will stay for
another moment in here and if you have any further questions i will try my best
to answer as well but probably it's almost the end of the conversation i
should say that you've asked me so many questions today thanks a lot guys
um i hope to um i try to be as
helpful as possible but you know um yeah
it is not for everybody sometimes
all right and i also uh want to say that um
these live streams they are actually recorded every week and you can find a separate folder
a separate folder on facebook and a separate folder on youtube and see uh
what interests you most um check out uh some previous live streams
maybe uh there are some answers uh in those live streams because actually we
did a lot of um live streams devoted to some specific
points like methodology teaching online um you know planning lessons and stuff like that and
my colleague linda actually goes live every week as well um she goes live at the end of the week
and she usually dwells upon teaching abroad because she is um experienced in
teaching in different countries she used to work in china she also
um worked in south korea i think she's still working there but
not sure completely because of the pandemic situation you know that
uh period changed a lot in all of our lives so probably she is also teaching
online these days but she is experienced in working with
that audience in that part of the world okay so if you are interested in the
asian countries um make sure you check out linda's live streams as well
and if you like to listen to live streams if you prefer just ignoring the visual aids
you can also download our um podcasts so these live streams are um
transformed into the podcasts uh and you can find
those podcasts uh on whatever possible platforms
um there are like um you know apple podcasts and uh some
other ones some major platforms so yeah
yeah thanks a lot um thanks a lot for your um you know kind
words yeah basically uh you know i also
thought like that that if you're not a native speaker uh then you won't be able
to get a chance to work somewhere but you know i just tried and it worked out
so um several years ago i worked in china uh then i started working online
and uh these days i work with uh international students online and i
actually work for an american company and that employer
just gave a preference to hire me because i showed
how valuable i am how how much value i can give to the employer and to
the clients as well so every week i work with a big group of
international students from all over the world and um it's not a problem that i'm not a
native speaker yeah it um it sometimes it it might be
challenging uh to find yourself to find a job but you are
uh 100 responsible yourself uh it's not on some
other people um if you want to achieve something just to make sure you work for
it and um you know you try as much as you can
all right um thanks a lot john um if it's your real name or uh
whatever um yeah thanks by the way as for my
speaking skills if you go back to my uh very first live
streams they were done actually almost a year ago uh you would notice that my speaking at
that time was ma was a way worse than these days and um at that time i got
super intimidated by those people who i gave you know um
those comments um saying that well your speaking is bad and
you are not as credible as you can be and stuff like that but it's not the point i can be a good
teacher i can be um skilled in speaking however i can't be just a bad
presenter you know i think that it's not my cup of tea to
speak in front of the audience and uh when speaking here i know that these
live streams are gonna be seen by so many people and it drives me crazy it makes me feel
uh really stressed about my speaking and stuff so i every time um since those
days when i was um immature uh and when i spoke
way worse i started uh working on my speaking abilities and i tried my best
to practice as much as possible so basically yeah i think that my i have
some progress but i still have to master so many things
and yeah as a teacher it is really helpful uh to work on the speaking skills and i
know that um many clients actually prefer to get
an audio or to get some understanding of
a teacher's pronunciation and speaking before
scheduling the first class so uh my recommendation is make sure you also
practice your speaking um especially if you work for some teaching companies um like
preplea or italki that you know have just a marketplace
where you have to put your video and uh represent yourself that way
because there on those um platforms um clients potential
clients they just choose um judging by the picture by the recording
and by the speaking skills as well uh yeah but spontaneous speech
is something to master for everybody not just for non-native speakers but for
native speakers as well because you know just we're just humans
sometimes it might be stressful to speak in front of the audience and yeah that's it
uh you just have to work on it okay
all right thanks a lot for saying your nice words thanks a lot for your
feedback um i also want to say that your questions were so um nice and so um
important today i think that um all of your questions were really really
interesting um yeah i hope to see you next time
quite soon again so i will go live next week at the same time
feel free to message me uh on facebook or feel free to ask
questions under this recording on on the facebook group and also don't forget to
like us and subscribe so we are presented on various social media
and make sure you save the link from the chat box if you want to get
tefl certified and you want to make sure that you don't lose too much money you
know not lose actually you don't spend too much money because this
qr code or this coupon link gives a really nice incentive of 30
percent so make sure to scan or make sure to click on the link and just save it
and feel free to um become our student as soon as possible
uh thanks a lot guys for staying with me today it was a nice hour of
communication um i really appreciate that and uh we will see you next time so
um yeah just enjoy your week and come to the next live stream
next week