In Summary - Teacher - English as a Foreign Language
The Work - Teacher - English as a Foreign Language
Teachers of English as a foreign language (TEFL) work with students from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. The work ranges from teaching people who are on an informal short course to improve their conversational English, to teaching business people who want to use English in their jobs.
English is used as the main language in classrooms and is usually spoken at all times. Teaching methods to encourage the four basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, such as role-play, group work and audio-visual materials are used to encourage communication.
They may also work in commercial language schools and higher/further education. Some may teach in Industry and Volunteer Organisations.
Interests - Teacher - English as a Foreign Language
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Patience and a sense of humour are useful. The work demands imagination, creativity and the skill to adapt teaching methods to suit the age and ability of the group. As a teacher, you must be a good listener and encourage students to express themselves. You must be able to explain things clearly.
Knowledge of a foreign language is useful but not essential. Likewise, when teaching English to people who are working in commerce or industry, it may be useful to have some knowledge of business, medical, legal or technological terminology.
You may also need to use computers to produce course materials.
Entry Requirements - Teacher - English as a Foreign Language
In Ireland, some form of higher level qualification is usually essential for those seeking a long term career teaching english as a foreign language. To teach in schools recognised by the Department of Education, regulations require that teachers have a primary degree and have successfully completed a TEFL course of not less than 70 hours duration.
While requirements to teach EFL overseas vary, a primary degree and TEFL qualification of 70 hours would be considered as minimum requirements in most countries.
Training Courses are available at universities, colleges of further education and independent language schools around the country.
Examples of other english language teacher training courses available include:
UCD Graduate Diploma in TESOL - a one-year graduate programme designed for appropriately qualified English language teachers with a minimum of two years relevant experience [Details]
ELT Preparatory Course - for state qualified teachers in Ireland and final year education students (40 hours) - qualifies teachers to teach English to school-going pupils in language schools in Ireland up to age 18, usually in Summer schools. Also a very useful qualification for qualified teachers to have for primary schools in Ireland, which have a significant number of pupils whose first language is not English. (Note: not internationally recognised and must be provided by a language school which is recognised by ACELS (Advisory Council for English Language Schools) www.acels.ie
CELT Course (Certificate in English language Teaching) 120 hours duration with teaching practice. Recognised for teaching the full age range, including adults, in language schools in Ireland. An approved CELT qualification is recognised internationally and is required by recognised language schools overseas and by some summer schools, such as TECS in Spain for their TEFL teachers, note camp monitors at TECS would not be required to have an ELT qualification but it would be regarded favourably. Note, a CELT course must be provided by a language school which is recognised by ACELS (Advisory Council for English Language Schools) www.acels.ie
Last Updated: October, 2014
Pay & Salary - Teacher - English as a Foreign Language
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 36k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Teacher - English as a Foreign Language
It is proving difficult to source qualified teachers for certain key subjects (e.g. foreign languages, science). Changes in government policy in relation to the introduction of other subjects (such as career guidance) will require the sourcing of teachers with the required specific skills. Demand for secondary teachers is expected to continue in the medium term due to demographic factors.
National Skills Bulletin 2018