Frequently Asked Questions TEFL Courses
What is the CTEFL?
The CTEFL (Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is an internationally recognized qualification for the teaching of the English language.
What qualifications do I need to do the course?
While the course is essentially practical, some evidence of readiness study at a higher education level is necessary in order to cope with the academic side of the course. In some cases work experience may be accepted in place of qualifications.
Please note that in some countries a 3-year degree is necessary to obtain a work permit and that employers will not be able to legally hire you without one in those places.
Do I need to speak British English or North American English?
Via Lingua regards English as a global language and therefore welcomes applications from all native speakers (as well as non-native speakers with a proficient level of English).
Do I need to be a native speaker of English?
No, but you do need to be able to demonstrate a very good command of the English language, have an internationally recognized qualification (TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Proficiency), or attend a personal interview.
Do I need knowledge of other languages?
No, you do not. Via Lingua uses the universally accepted "communicative approach" to teaching, where English is the only language used in the classroom.
Is there an age limit?
You must be at least 18 years of age for your application to be considered. There is no official upper age limit. Some employers may have a preference for younger teachers, while others tend to prefer more 'mature' teachers.
The majority of our trainees are in their 20's and 30's but we have successfully trained and found employment for graduates in their 40's, 50's and even 60's and therefore welcome applications from all interested parties regardless of age.
How long/intensive are the courses?
The CTEFL is a 4-week course and is very intensive, from morning to evening (course times may vary slightly due to location). We have tried to arrange the course so that you will have the weekends free to relax and explore your chosen area. This does, however, mean that the days are longer and more intensive.
Will I be a competent teacher by the end of the course?
Due to the highly practical content of the CTEFL course, all graduates should have the necessary confidence and ability to embark on their teaching careers and work in a professional manner anywhere in the world.
All certificate courses, however, serve as initial teacher training and those interested in pursuing teaching as a career often go on to take a diploma or MA after a number of years teaching experience.
Is there a correspondence/on-line option?
No. The practical teaching experience you acquire on the course teaching non-English speaking students is generally accepted as the most important element of a TEFL course and is what future employers will be looking for.
Does the course meet standard international guidelines?
Yes. While there is no true international body for TEFL courses, internationally accepted guidelines state that the course must have 100 hours of input, 6 hours of teaching practice and is externally monitored. The Via Lingua CTEFL course has, in fact, 130 hours of input and a minimum of 10 hours teaching practice as well as being externally monitored.
When is the best time to do a course?
There really is no best or worst time. Countries in different hemispheres have different academic years and tend to hire year round anyway on an as-needed basis.
What are the chances of finding a job after completing the course?
Excellent. At present there is a shortage of certifiied, qualified teachers worldwide and consequently the majority of our trainees have found employment by the time they complete the course.
Is job placement assistance included?
Yes. All graduates receive individual counseling and assistance with finding a teaching job. As Via Lingua is an international organization it has contacts with many schools worldwide and can even often place graduates within its own network of language schools.
Via Lingua will help with all aspects of job seeking from CV/resume construction and interview techniques to arranging job interviews.
What standard of accommodation can I expect during the course if I take up this option?
Accommodation, if requested, can vary due to course location but will normally consist of a private room in a shared apartment or pension. In order to keep course costs down, the accommodation will rarely be luxurious but will be warm, clean and comfortable. For applicants who desire more luxurious surroundings the school at your chosen location can usually make the arrangements at an extra cost. Accommodation preferences can be stated on the application form for us to forward to the school in time for all arrangements to be made.
Will you help in adapting to the new environment?
Yes. Included in the course fees is arrival point greeting, transfer to accommodation, welcome dinner and organized social events as well as survival language lessons in the language of the country of your chosen location.
What about visas?
The Via Lingua center in your chosen location will be able to provide information, advice and help regarding obtaining a visa for the duration of the course. In most Via Lingua locations, visas of at least 1 month are automatically granted upon arrival. Via Lingua will also provide advice and information for those wishing to secure work and residence permits after course completion.
How do I apply?
You can either contact us directly and we will send you an information pack and application form or you can complete the on-line application form on this web site.
What is a TEFL certificate?
A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate is an internationally recognised qualification which allows you teach English abroad in most private and public schools worldwide. You will also hear it referred to as a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certification course.
Why should I take a TEFL certification course?
English is now the language of the world. Across the internet, in business, in tourism, in any situation where two people do not share another first language, in every country and corner of the world, you will hear English spoken. Consequently, you have a skill which is in enormous demand. It's a skill that you've developed unthinkingly over the course of your life and now use every day without even considering it. It's also a skill that billions of other people worldwide lack and are desperate to possess. Whether you're a schoolboy in China, a student in Greece, a banker in Berlin, a secretary in St. Petersburg, an accountant in Brazil, a hotel owner in Morocco, a travel agent in Prague or even a pensioner in rural Spain or Portugal, the chances are you're looking for someone to teach you English.
Whether you believe that teaching English to non-native speakers of the language while living in different surroundings and a foreign environment is going to be a long-term career for you, or whether you're simply eager to travel the world for two or three years and are considering this option as the best means of funding your travels, you'll find that the certification will open new professional and cultural oportunities for you. Even more important than this, however: it's important to remember that just being able to speak a language is not the same as being able to impart that knowledge to someone else.
What will I learn?
You are not required to have had any previous teaching experience. During the four weeks of a TEFL course, we teach you the techniques of classroom management and teaching skills. We study the intricacies of English Grammar and phonology. You’ll be put into the position of the student and taught an unknown language by a native speaker of that tongue who won’t speak English. You’ll study and discuss every aspect of teaching with highly qualified and experienced trainers. Most important of all, you’ll teach real classes of local adult students. Each of these classes will be observed by one of your trainers. Detailed post-lesson feedback and analysis is given and problems dealt with individually in a thorough and professional way.
You cannot and will not emerge from a month-long course as a person with nothing more to learn about the teaching of the English Language. What we will do is impart to you the necessary basic skills and confidence to start you out successfully along what many find to be a highly rewarding and fascinating new road.
Is one kind of TEFL certificate better than another?
Many companies worldwide offer TEFL certification courses. While there is no one international moderating or validating body for the issue of TEFL certificates, there are certain strict internationally accepted guidelines (laid down by such bodies as the British Council) which regulate the industry. In order to fulfill these guidelines, any TEFL course MUST include the following:
1) At least 100 hours of tuition, usually over a period of 4 weeks.
2) At least 6 hours of observed classroom teaching practice.
The course at Via Lingua significantly exceeds these standards (130 hours of tuition and 10 hours of assessed teaching practice). We obviously believe that the program we have developed over a period of many years and now offer at 8 locations around the world is the very best of its kind in the world today. The course is challenging and intensive in nature and whatever your background, you'll need to work hard, be prepared for possible setbacks and a wide range of new challenges as well as attend classes for up to 9 hours per day.
Where and with whom you choose to take your certification course is obviously a very important choice. Don't rush into a decision. It is of course an advantage to take your course in or near to the location where you plan on first working afterwards. It's important to remember that employers will want you to have had as much practical face-to-face teaching experience as possible. Above all, contact as many different course providers as you feel necessary and ask them as many questions as you can think of. Remember to choose an accredited TEFL program.
Why should I choose Via Lingua?
Via Lingua is one of the world's largest and most well established TEFL certification providers. With offices and branches in 11 different countries worldwide, we're well placed to offer the most suitable location for you and, through our enormous network of international contacts, to be able to help you find a job in your chosen destination after completing the course. All of our courses are constantly moderated to ensure the highest standards and we take great pride in our professional reputation amongst both teachers and employers around the world.
You will also receive a comprehensive job guidance and placement service during and after the course. This includes training in writing a TEFL CV/resume, information on the TEFL world and job market in general, interview techniques, individual job guidance sessions with our on-site job guidance counselor, and lifelong job assistance on request. Once you are a Via Lingua graduate, you are always a Via Lingua graduate. We hope to continue to be both informed of and involved in all aspects of your future teaching career.
We are also in a position to guarantee employment to all successful graduates in a number of countries after completing the course. These include, but are not limited to, the Czech Republic & Eastern Europe, Latin America, Russia, China and the Far East.
Where can I teach with a TEFL certificate?
In short, anywhere in the world! In certain countries (eg Thailand & Malaysia) a university/college degree is also a standard requirement in order to obtain a work visa, and in many more, it is regarded as a distinct advantage. For this reason we do normally expect you to either have or be in the process of obtaining such a degree. At the very least, you should have a sufficient level of education (A levels, High School, etc) to enable you to attend a university/college course if you so wished.
How much can I earn?
Wages vary enormously from country to country, though in general, the standard of living you can expect as a teacher of English is a good one. Throughout the relatively cheap countries of Eastern Europe, wages are well above the national average and usually between $/€ 500 and 1000 net monthly. In pricier Western European countries such as France or Germany, they will be double or even treble this figure, though you may find that your standard of living remains the same. In many countries in Asia, it's possible to earn much higher wages (up to $/€ 3000 per month) or in lucrative markets such as Saudi Arabia, even more still.
Many schools will also help you out with accommodation and either pay your air-fare or a further month's salary as bonus on completion of your contract. Full and more specific details of any country or area which particularly appeals to you will be discussed with you in detail during your TEFL course at the Via Lingua centre you choose.
Which countries am I likely to be able to find work in? Exactly which opportunities are open to you at the beginning of your TEFL teaching career can depend on a number of factors. Firstly, your nationality and the nature of the passport that you hold.
If you are a UK (or other EU) passport holder, you will of course have an advantage whilst looking for teaching work inside the EU. No work visa or red-tape is involved and in most cases the school simply employs you through a similar process to any of their local employees. As an American, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand teacher, the opportunities vary enormously from country to country. Greece is the biggest TEFL-teaching market in the world. In Germany, Italy or Portugal, finding work is generally easier than in Spain or France. Many non-EU (also many British) teachers elect to first gain some valuable experience by teaching in Eastern Europe for 6-12 months before trying to break into the EU market – Prague is a favourite starting location. Once you have one or two decent references on your CV/resume, many more doors will open up.
There are, of course, opportunities for non-EU nationals to find work as teachers in Western Europe. A large number of US teachers work in Spain: some without ever obtaining the necessary working visa – a fact to which the authorities seem to turn a blind eye. There are also an increasing number of American Language Schools (including the Via Lingua school in Florence, Italy) across Western Europe who make a business of employing US and Canadian teachers to teach North American English.
In North, and to a lesser extent, South America, the situation is generally reversed and the more common preference is for American teachers. Here, likewise, however, especially in Mexico where Via Lingua runs its American operations from Guadalajara, teachers of all nationalities should be able to find employment with our help.
In the Far East, opportunities are almost boundless. Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China all have burgeoning and increasingly lucrative markets for newly-qualified English language teachers. In South East Asia also there are numerous schools willing to take on native English-speaking teachers on both long and short-term contracts. In the Middle East, highly paid jobs are available for more experienced teachers and those who are prepared to accept the cultural differences of living and working in a very different (but fascinating) society such as Morocco. In Sub-Saharan Africa, numerous volunteer positions are also available.
As you gain experience, your world opens up even more. With a year or two of teaching behind you and some positive references in your file, there really is almost no country in the world to which you cannot travel and expect to find yourself employable.
What if I've got another question?
Email us at email@example.com - we’re always happy to call you back.