What better place to train to become an English teacher than the country of England itself! Whether you choose to learn in a smaller city or the cosmopolitan center of London, there are more than enough TEFL options for every prospective teacher. While courses are academically rigorous, do leave some time to explore the historic and natural sights of England - you won’t be disappointed in your travels to see the majestic Atlantic coastline or age-old cathedrals.
For a country where the native language is English (and most teachers go abroad to teach ESL), the TEFL course options are endless. There are qualified teachers who make a living out of instructing TEFL courses, many of them based in the UK. Note that you will likely learn how to teach British English, as opposed to American English, from professional and qualified instructors.
120-Hour TEFL Courses:
Often taken over the course of 4 weeks, with classes held on weekdays, the 120-hour option is an intensive introduction to the basics of teaching English as a foreign language. While the back-to-back classes may be intensive, the course is designed to get you started in the classroom immediately. Additionally, program fees often cover housing while you study in England, which are typically shared apartments with other TEFL students. Not only will you have the chance to make great friends with these fellow students, but you will also form tight bonds with the professional teachers, allowing you to gain insight into how the TEFL world really works.
Whether you are looking to earn an advanced diploma or improve your teaching skills, there is an abundance of specialty courses in England. Taken separately or immediately following a basic TEFL course, these advanced options give teachers a chance to improve their knowledge of educational practices. Many courses are general advanced ones, but some are narrow topics, such as teaching young learners, teaching pronunciation, or teaching business English.
When and Where to Look:
The highest concentration of TEFL course in England are in London (no surprise there!). However, if you wish to avoid high costs of living and explore other parts of the country, take a look at Manchester, Bristol, or Leeds. In fact, TEFL courses are very popular in England, so most major cities will have a few options. Additionally, since there are so many locations with TEFL courses, there are continuous start dates throughout the year. Note that you’ll want to take a course about a month (or so) prior to when you depart for a foreign country or begin applying for ESL jobs.
Generally, teachers must be native speakers and hold either a bachelor’s degree or some teaching experience. However, since most TEFL-trained teachers move abroad for some time, it is important to research your new place of employment and their requirements for teaching English. Requirements will vary greatly by country.
Upon completion of your TEFL course in England, you must decide whether you want to stay in the country or teach overseas. Since many UK-based teachers earn their TEFL certificate in-country (which is a great way to save!), a great deal of foreign recruiters hold open interviews and fairs. Additionally, your TEFL provider may not guarantee job placement domestically or abroad, but they do have contacts and the resources to help you get started. Many TEFL companies will have an address book of program alumni located all over the world, and will gladly put you in contact with some of these teachers.
If you plan to stay in England to teach, there is the option of teaching at a language school or providing private lessons. Foreign students often travel to England, for summers or semesters, to improve their language skills (often on study abroad programs). Thus, you can work in this niche field and find employment teaching ESL to international students.
Cost of Living:
The cost of living in England is among the highest on the European continent. Of course, London is widely known to have high costs of living, with rent and food to be expensive in comparison to other European cities and UK towns. If you are looking to save money, take a look at smaller cities and/or courses in suburbs of major cities. Generally the cost of living is around 400 to 800 GBP per month, with London being a bit higher.