Teaching English abroad has become an immensely popular way to experience foreign countries, their people, and their culture to a depth no ordinary tourist can ever reach. You can teach around the world in formal schools, language schools, online via the internet from a beach, teach your own students privately or volunteer. You can even return to the USA and teach English to recent non-English speaking immigrants.
You can commit to short volunteer stints of just a few weeks or teach for months, semesters or years as a formal or language school teacher. This experience could also be a test to find our whether you really want to commit to becoming a fully licensed teacher in your home country.
What is TEFL?
TEFL is an acronym that stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is a generic term that covers teaching English to non-native students in their home country or abroad. You may come across other acronyms such as TESOL or CELTA, but they all refer to the same idea.
How to become a TEFL Teacher
There are two ways to become qualified as a TEFL teacher. You can take an onsite 4-week course with face-to-face training that includes 6 observed teaching practices at a range of local schools and age groups usually in the country, or area of the world, where you plan to teach. This is the most effective way to develop classroom skills, knowledge and gain experience and confidence.
You will also make many new friends and have the support of your training school when looking for work and accommodation. These training schools often employ teachers straight from their courses but will always offer job support anyway for teachers looking for employment independently. An extra benefit is that you can notarize your TEFL certificate if it is issued by a licensed school. This is an employment requirement for teaching in China and Vietnam.
The second way to ‘train’ as a TEFL teacher is to take a course online. You will be sent texts and will need to research answers for tests and assignments. Very few online schools offer practical skills training or observed teaching practices. These courses are, however, a lot cheaper than a hands-on 4-week course. However, the adage that you get what you pay for could not be truer regarding these two types of course. Some courses are particularly good and give lots of support, but those ones will not be found as a special offer for $25 on Groupon.
SEE TEFL School, Chiang Mai, Thailand
SEE TEFL is a 4-week onsite practical skills training course that also includes language awareness training, some Thai language training, cultural awareness training and 6 observed teaching practices at local schools. Training takes place in our purpose-built 3-floors training school in beautiful Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Since our school opened in 2006, we have trained over 2,000 effective TEFL teachers. We guarantee that if you follow our job support guidance, you will find employment quickly after training. We are licensed by the Thai Ministry of Education to provide TEFL training.
Read through this website to find out more about us, what we do and how we do it.
How to get to Chiang Mai, Thailand
Check websites such as Skyscanner or Expedia to find great deals on flights. Prices are usually cheaper if you are prepared to have a number connecting flights or if you fly at unsociable hours. These savings add up though and will give you a bigger financial safety net when you arrive. Chiang Mai has an international airport, so it is possible to buy 1 ticket, albeit with flight changes, that brings you all the way here without unloading and loading again your luggage.
Once you arrive at Chiang Mai airport, you will see fixed rate taxi booths in the Arrivals Hall. Expect to pay around $6 to travel the 5km from the airport to the center of the city. The city is a popular traveler center so there is a lot of good quality affordable accommodation.
Most people arrive with either a 60-day Tourist Visa obtained from any Thai embassy or consulate or arrive without a visa and receive a 30-day visa exemption. Both options can be extended for a further 30 days in Chiang Mai. Read our visa pages for more information. Both of these options allow you to take a short training course and look for work.
How do I become a legal TEFL teacher in Thailand?
Normally to obtain a non-immigrant B (Business) visa and work permit for teaching, you will first need a recognized bachelor’s degree. The first step is to find work, then your school will prepare paperwork to support your non-immigrant B visa application. The second step is a work permit application at your local Labor Office. Schools will coordinate the paperwork and show you what to do and where to go.
Some schools will employ you as a classroom assistant and non-formal schools (language schools) can usually employ you through their school license. Another option is to move to Cambodia after training where a degree is not an employment requirement.
Do I need to speak Thai to teach English?
No, you do not. In fact, the language classroom should be an English only environment. You will be equipped with skills and techniques to explain complex ideas, such as context, grammar, and sounds. Your language will always be correct models but graded to the level of the students you are teaching.
Research the SEE TEFL website, contact us with your questions and then when you are ready to commit, visit our Registration page, select a training date, and make a course fee deposit.
A selection of reviews:
This has been an amazing experience, both because of the knowledge SEE TEFL provides and the talented personnel who share their wealth of knowledge with the class.
Amazing Experience. I can’t imagine being more satisfied with any other TEFL course. So many thanks to each instructor and the effort that you all put in.
I’ve had a really great experience with SEE TEFL, and I would recommend the course to others.
SEE TEFL is an amazing institution for EFL instruction. I loved it and highly recommend it to anyone! Thanks.
The staff = Awesome. Everyone was so incredibly friendly and helpful that it made the transition/experience very easy. I had no idea what to expect from Thailand or the program, and this course just made me so happy with my decision.