The Biggest Misconceptions about TEFL/TESOL


hello hello and thanks for tuning in i'm just
checking if everything is working properly our stream and stuff so i think it's working
um if you can see me if anybody's there um hello thanks so much for tuning in we're
actually streaming live today on two platforms we're streaming live on facebook and we're also live on
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my name is linda i'm a marketing and affiliation professional
at itt and i live in south korea i've been in south korea for five and a
half years now and if you're interested in you know teaching english in south korea and asia
you can check out my personal um social media you can find me on instagram
facebook anywhere and you can check that out but yeah um like i said we're live on facebook
we're live on youtube and if you are uh listening to this as a podcast episode thanks so much for
downloading for anyone who's interested we do convert these live sessions into podcast
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some love we would love that um yeah so like i said i'm in south korea
right now it's friday 10 a.m where are you guys tuning in from
let me know i know there's some people watching right now hi where are you guys at let me know
i'm about an hour and a half from seoul sort of in the center of south korea
it's fun so yeah it's good fun
um but anyway what we're gonna talk about today are
the um the biggest misconceptions about tefl and tesol and teaching english
abroad so bear with me i have two laptops here that i'm working on one has
um some slides on and then this one is for streaming you know the comments so i might be a little bit
slow but bear with me so we have somebody from algeria oh
sorry i thought it was algeria mexico patty hi there thanks so much for tuning
in someone's tuning in from ottawa canada cool
hi josh that's awesome yeah let's see anybody else here
anybody in asia anybody near me or north america only would love to know
anyway i'll keep my eye on the comments so um yeah
so like i said today we're gonna talk about the biggest misconceptions about tefl and
so um and teaching english in general because we get a lot of questions here at itt and a lot
of people you know are confused um and i just want to clear a few things up you know debunk
some myths here and there and i think i've narrowed it down to eight misconceptions that we're going to look
at and you can throw your questions at me at any time like i said it's just me
working this so maybe you know i'm not gonna be able to see your question while i'm talking but at the end there's also a um you
know some time for asking questions so don't hesitate this is what i'm here for you know ask your
questions at any time i see there's some more people from china
oh someone's watching in italy it's 2 a.m oh so you won't be able to watch live sure
yeah we also always have you know our live sessions available for playback um they stay on our facebook page and
they also stay on our youtube and like i said you can also download them as podcast episodes and listen to
them later and if at any point uh
if you at any point you know um ask some questions after the live i'll get back to you as
well then also somebody from the philippines hi
so some people in asia that's awesome okay then yeah i would also really like
to know where you are like in your tefl journey are you currently taking a tefl or tesol
course are you thinking about it are you already certified are you already teaching abroad
um let me know that would be also interesting to know i think we have a pretty good mixed
group here today so also want to mention that we are doing these live sessions now
every week so that's very exciting i'll be here every friday morning in south korea around
this time and um you know north america it's um in the evening we're in italy
it's 2 a.m you never know so i'll be here and um
always live answering your questions and we're also planning on bringing on some guests in the futures that i think will
be really really interesting we're going to have on some people you know also in the tefl and tesol and efl
english education industries and experts um there that are going to be able to talk
about those kinds of things i think that's really interesting some partners of ours itttt partners
and then we're also going to have some itt course grads on that are going to be
talking about you know their journey from taking the course to um what they're doing now because a
lot of them are teaching you in the most in in the most incredible destinations all around the world and it's super
super exciting and i think that's going to be of very great value so look out for that
and then let's jump right into the biggest misconceptions about tefl and tesol
and teaching english abroad and i have prepared some slides and i think i'm gonna make
them bigger um so you can see that here
awesome okay so this is what we're gonna talk about today and let me just start
off by explaining quickly the difference between tefl and tesol because this is
also something that you know we get asked all the time like what's the difference um which one should i get etc etc
so i just want to mention that tefl stands for teaching english as a foreign language
and tesol stands for teaching english to speakers of other languages so they sound very similar right the
acronyms the the um explanations and indeed they are pretty
much the same thing especially nowadays they kind of merged into the same thing so whether
you're doing a tefl course or a tesol course the training essentially is exactly the same
and the only difference is you know that tefl is most commonly used within the uk
and europe and um the tesol acronym is preferred in australia and the usa
so um it just depends like where you're from that you know in europe people most likely
use the term tifo tefl more sorry and um in australia and the usa they
most likely use t so more but it entails the exact same training um and actually on our
certificates i have mine right here i can show you real quick i'm gonna make myself bigger again
um this is what it looks like and you can actually choose if your certificate should say tefl or
tesol so depending on where you're from or where you want to teach you can choose that
but also it says here international teflon tesol training itt so it does mention both tefl and tesol
but then further down here uh let me see here uh tefl so i chose tefl 120 hour
tefl course so you can choose whether your certificate should say tefl or tesol it's totally up
to you have a couple of more people joining hi thanks so much for joining us
we're talking about the biggest misconceptions about tefl and tesol so stay tuned for that
keep watching okay so just a little bit about that before we
jump right in [Music] here we go now let's talk about the
biggest misconceptions um i've narrowed it down to eight um but
i'm sure there's more but those are like the most um you know the most important ones that i thought we
should cover because a lot of people get confused um yeah let's start with the first one the
number one biggest misconception about teaching english is it's really hard to find a job
teaching english abroad you know we hear this a lot like oh it's so hard to find a job and
it's so hard to find a teaching job abroad and stuff and like sure you know um it always
depends on your own qualifications and if you're like set on this one destination
then maybe yeah it can be a little bit hard to find a job in that one place that you might
want to go to it always depends on your personal qualifications and stuff but um actually according to the british
council in 2020 there's 2 billion people around the world speaking and learning english so there's
a huge demand for english language education worldwide and actually one of the biggest
markets or areas regions in terms of um demand for english language teaching is
asia and in asia the biggest one is china so in china alone there are 200 million
people learning english so you'll find a lot of jobs um specifically offered in china in
other countries around asia east asia south korea where i'm at or japan um taiwan
also southeast asia also latin america is a huge huge market um even you know even you know now
during the pandemic we still get a lot of job offers and schools are still hiring so there's a huge demand
um it's obviously you know different countries have different requirements
so um it always depends some people you know might have to adjust a little
bit in terms of destination but you can always you know get you know
up your certification up your tefl certification that's why we offer so many different courses
for all kinds of scenarios so we have the basic tefl course we also have all these specializations
we have a diploma in teasol so whatever your background you can take
these certifications to then you know find the job that you really
want so that's why i would say this is one of the biggest misconceptions because the demand is so huge
and you can definitely find a job teaching english abroad if you want to
let's move on to the next one number two okay the biggest
misconceptions about teaching english number two is you need a degree to teach english
abroad we get that asked a lot do i need to have a degree and do i need to have a degree in english do i need to have a
degree you know in teaching do you have to have a teaching license all these kinds of things so yes it is true that some countries
you know in some schools also they do require their teachers to have a degree at least a four-year
degree you know bachelor's degree but then even if that's the case you know the bachelor's
degree doesn't have to be in english it can be any major so for example my in my case my
bachelor's degree major is management and foreign languages and you can still find a job
if you do not have a degree don't despair um there are still many locations
where you can get hired and you can find a job if you don't have a degree those places are usually in um you know
southeast asia countries like vietnam cambodia laos places like that
or latin america a lot of places there so even if you don't have a degree you
can still find a job teaching english abroad you might have to you know be a little bit more
flexible in terms of location but it's definitely possible and you can always like i said take your
tefl courses to you know stand out from the crowd if you don't have a
degree so that's definitely recommended all right
number three biggest misconceptions about teaching english is tefl doesn't pay well um i always have
to laugh about that because you know you always need to consider the location
salaries they do they vary from country to country and even in the country they vary from city
to city region to region so there's not there's no like one um
set tefl salary it always depends on where you teach and also the type of
school you work at you know private schools are going to pay a different salary in private schools or
university or international schools and stuff like that um so
if you want to make the most money teaching english abroad the best region
or location to look to would be the middle east so the middle east they have
really the highest salaries out there you can make like four five six thousand dollars there and
a lot of countries in that region also pay their salaries tax-free to their teachers so that's
really awesome and there's a lot of extra benefits like free housing free airfare
health care end of contract bonuses all of those things so you can make a lot of money in that
region but they also tend to have a little bit higher requirements in terms of you know
degree and tefl certificate and work experience and all that stuff
but another great region to look for in terms of salary is east asia so you can make a lot of
money in china in south korea in japan in taiwan those usually pay the highest salaries
in that area um also a lot of great benefits like if you come to south korea for example
most schools will provide housing you don't have to worry about rent you live for free basically the
school takes care of that you get health care you get um end of contract bonuses you
also get [Music] all this other stuff oh there's a
pension scheme so you basically pay into the national pension scheme in south korea and then when you leave
you get all that money back so that's also really great um so there's a lot of things like that
and also you always have to remember you know the local cost of living um for
example if you teach in thailand um maybe your salary won't be that high maybe it's like
1 600 u.s dollars for example um but you know 1 600 u.s dollars are
going to get you much further in southeast asia and thailand than it would back home
so always consider those things and i have a lot of friends you know who are teachers who um you know every
opportunity they get every holiday every vacation they go they have the money to go you know to all these
amazing amazing places around asia around the world um a lot of my friends they have you
know paid off their student loans from back home a lot of my friends they um
they save they are able to to save a good chunk of their salary and um you know save that for or send
the money back home or save it for when they go back to buy a house or a car or whatever so
um it's definitely a good um career choice in terms of money so i
wouldn't say that it doesn't pay well definitely not i definitely think that's a misconception
all right moving on
the biggest misconceptions about teaching english number four you need to speak another language and
so basically people always ask us hey i'm i want to teach english you know in spain do i need to speak
spanish or oh i'm going to china to teach english do i need to speak chinese
and the answer is no you do not need to know your um host country's
language typically so most of the time really they do not expect you to know their
language because you're the english teacher you are there to teach the students
english and for example at my school where i used to work at we even had an english-only policy
where um [Music] the students and the teachers they were
encouraged to only speak english you know in the school on premises for you know
total english immersion for the students um however i definitely recommend you
know picking up picking up some basic phrases before you go and you know to your host
country to teach english because you know things like please and thank you they go a long way
if you know them in the language where you're in you know the language of the country where you're going to teach in
um you're gonna be able to build rapport with the locals and i think
that's just a great thing and you should definitely pick up some basic words and phrases before you go even you
know when you get there in the country of your choice there will be so many options to go and
learn the language um you know for example in south korea
we have the ymcas in every city they offer korean classes then typically every city
around the world will have language exchanges you know typically around university areas
that you can go to and all these kinds of things and so i think
that's a really great way to you know learn a new language but it's not a requirement definitely not so yep
okay moving on to number five the biggest misconceptions about teaching english you have to teach kids
you have to teach kids we get a lot of questions like hey i want to teach english but
i don't want to teach kids so i probably can't go abroad right you know it is true that uh the largest
part excuse me the target uh for efl around
the world are children that's definitely true especially in asia you know all the after after school
programs are typically targeted at children's children obviously
and um but you can still find positions if you don't want to teach
children at universities there's also business english i think i
need a sip of coffee real quick there's also business english classes
that's really big all around the world and even you know the term kids is really very broad you get
classes where you teach children as young as two or three years old but then you can also teach like high
school kids so it always depends and in my personal opinion i feel like a teacher should
always kind of get experience teaching all different kinds of levels so even you might not want to teach
children but you should maybe still get you know the experience of teaching children it's
only going to make you a better teacher so don't shy away from that and in my case
in south korea you teach a lot of kids but then there would always be like a local a korean teacher also in the
classroom you know helping you in if there's like discipline problems and stuff like that so you're not just
thrown in there um with all those kids and they're like here handle it but um
there's definitely also support so yeah
all right number six biggest misconceptions about teaching english tefl
is only for young people we actually get a lot of older people
taking our tefl courses people in their 50s in their 60s because they also they want to you know
top up their retirement or they want to move abroad and do something exciting during their retirement
so a lot of countries also hire um older people as teachers that's
definitely true and it's not only for young people one thing that you have to consider if
you're older might be the local retirement age in different countries
so i know for example in china and in korea especially in asian countries the retirement age can be between 55 and
65 so then it might be a little bit difficult if you're older than that to get a position
also some schools especially those targeted at children um you know they always have this sort
of stereotype that older people might not be as fit and enthusiastic and have the energy
to teach children which you know is not always true definitely but um a lot of markets a lot of schools
especially in terms of business english they like to hire older people because
yeah because of business english and the people the students are going to be older there too so it might be better to have an older
teacher in terms of you know respect and stuff like that but it is not
impossible to find a job if you're an older person and i've personally met a lot of older people
teaching in china in korea as well even despite the retirement age there's workarounds
and some schools are eager to hire those people with you know more experience so that's
definitely also some also something to consider for sure
all right number seven of the biggest misconceptions about
teaching english you don't need a tefl qualification if you're a native english speaker
so if you're a native english speaker you can just hop on the plane arrive in the country of your
destination and people will be there and hire you off the airport that's some
people think like that but obviously that is not the case it might have been the case you know 20
years back when teaching english abroad kind of became a thing and it was new but it is not the case
anymore and actually a lot of countries have made it a legal
requirement in order to actually obtain a work visa to be tefl or tesol certified so
countries like china have that regulation where you need to have a tefl
in order to get that work visa to be a teacher there and many other
countries have followed suit since then and even in countries where it's maybe
not a requirement to have a tefl certificate the schools in those countries might
still require their teachers to be tefl certified anyway because
teflon tesol sort of just has become the international standard so um without a teflor t
saw it's going to be really hard because for me you know um a tefl certificate or a
t-cell certificate really is kind of two things so sure on one hand you know it's this
piece of paper in your hand you know that you can show people like look i'm a certified teacher
but um on the other hand this teflor tesol course also teaches you
the skills and the knowledge necessary to you know teach because only because
you're a native english speaker it doesn't mean you're able to actually teach and understand what your students
needs are and that's what a teflon tesol course teaches you so i for myself
i you know want to provide the best value to my students and that's why i take a
teflor tesol course so it's two things and you know the schools they also know that they see oh this teacher has a tefl or a
tea soul they um are serious about you know the job because a lot of people might or a
lot of t a lot of schools might think you know some people just move to a different country to have fun to
travel um and obviously that would not be a good candidate for their school so
they're looking for someone who's serious um and wants to really wants to be a
teacher so yeah and then moving on to the final misconception
number eight final misconception about teaching english you have to be a native english speaker
to teach so yeah some countries it is true that
some countries only hire native english speakers or speakers with passports from certain countries
however there are still many many countries where they also hire non-native english speakers
who are certified who have experience or no experience it depends you know in the school and the location
but actually there's a lot of non-native english speakers who want to be english teachers and
there's there's so many benefits to that because non-native english uh speaking
teachers they've been through the whole process themselves they learned english themselves
so they know exactly what students might struggle with and a lot of schools they see that and
they hire people like that and a lot of our itt course
grads are non-native english speakers and they move on to amazing careers abroad or in their own country
so just because you're not a native english speaker you know it's not gonna hold you back
from teaching abroad it might limit some choices
in terms of destination but it's not going to be a deal breaker in fact many schools see it as an
advantage so yeah absolutely
i think they're yeah that's it for this point um yeah then now we would move on to the
open q a session and let me make myself bigger again
and i'll finally have some time to look at the comments as well so let me just go through this a little
bit jacqueline says hello from wisconsin usa hi jacqueline uh ernest
tefl itt 2014 wow that's awesome but have not been able to teach yet
okay why is that personally or um why i would love to know
uh okay then we have
a question i'm not a native speaker but i'm interested in taking the
t-cell certificate do you think it is hard for non-native speakers to find a job as a teacher so that's what i just talked about i
think that answers the question let me know if it doesn't or if you missed it you can re-watch but i just answered this
question um ooh then teacher lewis 10 says amazing
presentation thanks so much it means a lot i hope it's helpful you know that's
why i'm here that's why i do it but thanks that's great then we have somebody from
russia do you guys have tuffle so no we do not have a tefl those are different things
so a turf fall i forget what it stands for but it's for english proficiency and english
proficiency certification so we do something different we do teaching certificates so for
people who want to teach english abroad they take a tefl or a teasol
course not a trifle however if you maybe are a tefl or tesol teacher later on
you might have to do some tefl training you know some tefl prep classes and stuff like
that okay we have another person ipiling
hi i am in botswana africa i am a tesol tefl graduate i want to work in china
awesome yeah china is hiring like crazy so i think you're not going to have any
problem if you have a teasel or tesol or tefl certificate so um you know
go for it apply for jobs and pick the best one
that's my recommendation also i want to quickly mention that
you can find itt online across you know all major social media platforms etc you can hit
us up on facebook on twitter on instagram you can check our website out at
and you can also email us anytime at courses at tesol minus so if
you have any questions if you want to take the course if you just want to ask something
hit us up and we'll get back to you
all right back to q a and also let me just post this link real quick
we have a very vast faq section that might also answer your questions if
i forget to answer it or if you you know have a question later on after this i'm just going to post it here it's faq so you can check that out for
any um any additional questions
okay let's look at these questions from nadine hi from the philippines hi uh
applying for either japan or taiwan soon that's awesome i love both locations great
choice just got my certificate last month congratulations any tips hmm that's a good one
well you already have your certificate you know they probably are gonna do um skype
interviews with you so my tip would be to prepare yourself for that we actually have some um pointers some
tips about that on our faq section and we also you might want to check that
out on our blog we actually have a post about the most of frequently asked questions
in a tefl interview i'm posting the link to the blog now so
you can read that through because there's a set of questions they always ask you know um so look out for that
and then i would also you know research the school so that you know a little bit about the school
beforehand and sometimes they might even ask you to give a short mock lesson so you might
want to prepare a little bit for that like a 10 15 20 minute mock lesson depending on you know
what the school's target students are you can prepare that they might just be like hey
teach show us how you teach so um prepare that that would be a good idea you might eat
it you might not but better better be more prepared than
under prepared i guess good luck anyway then we have jacqueline
she says i'm in my mid 50s and was finally at a point in my life where i was able to seriously move forward
forward with teaching i was interviewing fall 2019 then learned i was going to be a grandma
oh okay that was your answer to um why you didn't go abroad yet i think right
okay good well i mean it's still not too late you know and even you
could go you can find some short term positions as well i know there's a lot of short-term stuff in latin america
south america that might be something for you you know you could go and teach for just a few months and then
come back home or you know a year typical um teaching contracts are one year so you
could go somewhere move abroad for a year and come back but i totally get it when you're you know a grandma
just became a grandma i think you might not want to leave so soon so i totally understand but then
there's also the option of teaching english online especially nowadays you know especially
nowadays um a lot of platforms hiring people from all over the world
tefl and tso certified people to teach english online so that might be something you could look into
okay gonna have a question where are you from linda us or uk
so i'm i was actually born and raised in germany my mom is german and my dad is american
so i have dual citizenship for germany and america and um now i'm in south korea so
yeah crazy crazy world for sure okay
all right we still have about five minutes on um
i don't want to end it too fast because some people might still be typing and there's also a
delay with the live so let me know if you have any additional questions
and i'd be happy to answer that's what what i'm here for
and like i said you can always re-watch the playback of this live we're always
you know keeping our videos up on our facebook page and also in our youtube channel
we have a playlist specifically for our live sessions and like i said we're also turning these
live sessions into podcast episodes that's really fun so you can download these and then just
um listen to to them you know when you're driving or when you're just you know wanna
relax your eyes or something um i always listen to podcasts when i
drive it's fun okay one more question can you tell me
if your school would provide an online ba in tesol in the future
um you know i think we are definitely working on something like that so
um i can't give any details as of now but we are always you know um
[Music] evolving our courses adding new courses to our
range so you never know what's going to come but that would be definitely definitely something that we can look into
and perhaps offer in the future so um always stay tuned we always share you
know any news and everything on our facebook page and social media so just stay connected
like and follow so that you're up to date
thanks for the question ray all right another one from jacqueline
thank you linda i've learned a lot and enjoyed this yes i'm thinking about teaching online yeah you should i think it'd be great
for you and there's so many different platforms out there you know you can really pick and choose which one
fits your lifestyle some have you know different teaching hours or um you know
minimum hours that you have to do per month or per week um so you can definitely find one that
fits your lifestyle for sure jacqueline
thanks for your question then i just want to pop this up again real quick um in case anybody
missed it you can always this way you can always uh uh okay
here here we are you can always find us online um on on facebook on
twitter on instagram um and email us at any time and again
i'm linda from itttt based in south korea and if you're interested in all things
south korea teaching in asia traveling in asia you can check out my personal social media
you can message me on there as well i'll answer your questions and this was a lot of fun so thanks so
much for joining today to anyone who was um listening live and watching
live on facebook or youtube this was a lot of fun and like i said we're doing this
weekly so you can come back again next week maybe you have a question after this
you're like oh i should have asked that so you can either you know write it in the comments after this
or join us again next week it's fun we're having a lot of fun last week i
don't know if anybody watched last week we did a deep dive inside look into our
120 hour course and what the platform looks like this was really fun
so you should check that out it will be on it's it's on our facebook page if you look at
videos um you can find it there so you can see you know what the course looks like
if you were to take it and it's also on our youtube um so i recommend that yeah and join us
again next week it's always fun here and have a good evening good day good morning good afternoon
wherever you are and thanks so much for watching see you soon