Whatever your reasons for considering teaching English to people who don't speak it, we hope we have useful, pertinent and relatively unbiased information here for you.
Cactus TEFL is an independent advice and admissions service working in conjunction with some of the top names in TEFL and TEFL training.
Please read all about Cactus TEFL here.
With so much often conflicting information on the internet as to what TEFL is and isn't, which qualifications lead to the jobs and which don't, this site will help you find a clear route through from what you're doing now, to what you want to do in the future.
Spend as much time as you like looking through the site, we are sure you will find the answer to all your questions here. When you have made up your mind which course is for you, please sign up for it with Cactus. Our service is completely free for applicants!
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» Are you new to TEFL?
If it's your first time considering TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) as a gap year option, or a new career move, then these pages are for you.
TEFL is the field of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. You'll also see it referred to as TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - or ELT - English Language Teaching. ELT and TESOL are actually the most 'politically correct' terms, as they lose the idea it's a "foreign" language people are learning, which is a bit colonial sounding. But we all know it as TEFL, so that's what you'll see throughout the site.
Still confused by the jargon? Is CELTA the same as TEFL? Find out here TEFL acronyms explained.
» What qualification is best for you?
This will always depend on your own personal circumstances, needs and goals. To see if you've got what it takes, read this interview with 5 trainers. For more on the different courses and qualifications, have a look at choosing the right TEFL course. For some hints and tips when you are about to embark on a course, read this Top 10 Tips.
» What's it like to teach English?
Teaching English, whether in your own country or as part of an overseas adventure, is a special thing to do: it's about travelling the world, meeting amazing people, and "giving something back". Seeing your studens learn and use the language you've given them is highly rewarding. But it can also be tough going at times, which is why it is important to be well prepared before you go.
» Who can teach English?
TEFL is quite unique in that, because your main skill is your ability to speak English, the job appears to be accessible to nearly all native speakers. But teaching the language is quite different from just speaking it well. A good TEFL course ensures you learn the most current techniques to pass on your knowledge in a lively, interesting and dynamic way.
Beyond the qualification, being a TEFL teacher requires an enthusiasm for teaching English, an empathy with learners and an interest in discovering new languages and cultures. We often romanticise about the travel and lifestyle opportunities TEFL could open up, but it's important to remember that you're likely to be teaching and preparing lessons for a good 30-40 hours a week - possibly more at the beginning until you get used to it. So you really do have to enjoy the work you're doing.
» TEFL Job Prospects
It's never too early to think about finding work. It is generally considered to be easier to find work than it is to get through an intensive course! We give you advice & suggestions as well as concrete TEFL job opportunities in our TEFL Jobs section.