When it comes to becoming TEFL certified, there is no shortage of options. The number of courses will have your head spinning as you trudge relentlessly through the pros and cons of each course. Ultimately, the course you take should depend on your goals. Whether you’re in the TEFL industry for a gap year or for a fulfilling career, you should consider a course that includes certified teaching practice.
In this increasingly online-dependent world, the online TEFL course is a fantastic option for people to become certified remotely. While this is preferable for some, they often come at the cost of live teaching practice. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways to gain teaching practice or “practicum” online to simulate the in-class experience.
What is Teaching Practice or Practicum?
Practicum is the idea of applying what you’ve learned to practical use. That is, doing something, instead of studying or discussing the concept itself. In this case, teaching practicum is the act of implementing your teaching knowledge and techniques into the classroom.
There is a lot to learn about teaching, but studying its theory will only take you so far. If you want to be a teacher, you have to embody your teaching persona and enter the classroom. Teaching practicum will put a hold on your theorizing and will have you become the practitioner.
Why is Teaching Practice Important?
But, you might be wondering “if I’m going to teach and gain experience on the job, why do I need teaching practicum?” That is a valid question. However, there are many short-term and long-term benefits that teaching practice provides to optimize every aspect of your TEFL career. Let’s consider its benefits:
Experience Breeds Confidence
Experience breeds confidence in any job or situation. The more you do something, the more comfortable you become doing it. As Einstein said, “the only source of knowledge is experience.”
Teaching practice allows you to gain hands-on experience in a more controlled and regulated environment. Your qualified instructors and observers have an insight into your nervousness, they know what it takes to step into the classroom for the first time. Here, you’re allowed to be nervous! It is essentially your “first day” but in cushiony bubble wrap.
While online courses are great and they are a fantastic way to become TEFL certified, they lack the hands-on experience that practicum offers. Online TEFL courses are mostly confined to teaching theory, and while you may be great talking about a grammar point, teaching it to your students is another thing. To be able to manifest teaching theories in the classroom is an excellent skill. To be able to do this before your first day of teaching is impressive. If you can demonstrate your skills before you’ve even begun teaching, you will grow in confidence as a teacher.
Additionally, by entering your new school with more confidence you will eliminate a hefty burden from your shoulders. Transitioning into a new country is a tough ask in itself. With things to consider such as culture shock, finances, finding your way around the city, the last thing you want to worry about is impressing your employers. Prior teaching practice will eliminate any anxiety of your “first day” because you’ve been in a similar position before.
While it is extremely beneficial for your self-confidence as a teacher, it is also good to have ‘on paper’. With certified teaching practice on your resume and a matching reference letter, you’re consolidating yourself as a credible teacher through the word of a reliable source.
Teaching practices are observed by qualified instructors, and with this, you can expect them to attest to your credibility through a reference to potential employers. Employers want teachers who can command the room and optimize their student’s learning. If experienced and qualified teachers can reinforce your teaching credentials, you will appear much more employable for schools.
Naturally, the more employable you are, the higher your salary potential will be. Teaching practice, as well as references from qualified instructors, will lead to better job offers and more opportunities across the world. This means more reputable schools, more countries to choose from, and more money to be made.
Because of this, teaching practice should be seen as a worthy investment. And for such an investment, there’s no real sacrifice. For a few hours of your time to complete the in-class practice, you could stand out in the competitive TEFL market.
How Can I Get Teaching Practice?
So, you now know the benefits of having teaching practice under your belt, but maybe you’re wondering how you can obtain it. There are a few options you can take. You can approach schools or providers independently and ask them for the opportunity to volunteer to work in classrooms to gain more experience. While it may lead to success, it may be tedious repeatedly writing to schools until you hit the jackpot.
Or better yet, you could obtain teaching practice here, at Premier TEFL – the first and only online TEFL provider of fully-organized observed teaching practicum! With Premier TEFL, there are many ways you can go about obtaining your teaching practice. It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to the game or a course graduate. In fact, you can complete teaching practice from the comfort of your own home. Here are the options you can take here at Premier TEFL.
3 Ways to Get Teaching Practice with Premier TEFL
1. 310 Hour Level 5 TEFL Course
Our 310 hour Level 5 Hybrid TEFL Course comes with observed teaching practice with real ESL students. This course is for aspiring teachers who are serious about their teacher training, as this CELTA level training will help you get the best jobs abroad or online.
In addition to learning the fundamentals of TEFL, you will have access to four hours of live lessons taught by two different teachers with two different teaching styles. This will expose you to an array of teaching methods and styles before you become the teacher. Once complete, it’s your turn. There are 32 hours of certified teaching practice with real ESL students. Six of these hours of the teaching practice will be observed by a qualified instructor, ensuring you’ll receive high-quality feedback.
When you successfully pass the course, you will receive a reference letter from Premier TEFL’s partner school. This reference will attest to your ability to manifest the teaching theory inside the classroom, making you a desirable teacher to have in any employer’s classroom.
With 310 hours of TEFL practice, both theory and practicum, you’ll demonstrate to your employers that you’re serious about TEFL. While the majority of TEFL teachers settle for 120 hours, you’ll leapfrog teachers to the head of the queue when schools are looking for teachers.
2. 35 Hour Certificate of Teaching Practice Recognition
If you are a newly or soon to be qualified ESL teacher, you can still take the time to complete teaching practice. With our 35 hour teaching practice module, you’ll receive a Certificate of Teaching Practice Recognition (CTPR) and a matching reference letter from our partner school.
By completing the 35 Hour Certificate of Teaching Practice Recognition, you’ll reap the rewards both superficially and tangibly. While your resume will demonstrate more prowess and credibility, you’ll feel more secure in your teaching abilities, meaning you’ll enter the classroom with immeasurable confidence.
In this program, you will invest four hours each week for two months, allowing plenty of flexibility for you to work or study alongside the course. On completion of the sessions, you will have planned, prepared and delivered over 30 lessons for a range of students. With varying levels of students and unique topics to teach, the CTPR provides you with a wealth of teaching experience before entering your school.
Before undergoing teaching practice, you will undergo self-paced orientation to familiarize yourself with the course. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to observe four live lessons with experienced teachers and real ESL students. Throughout the course of completing your certified teaching practice, you’ll also receive support from our partner school.
There isn’t a teaching style that is objectively ‘the best’, and by observing two different teachers you’ll witness the ways each style works. Whether you’re goofy and energetic, cool and composed, or somewhere in between, there’s a style for you. The teachers will demonstrate a range of teaching methods, allowing you to be inspired to develop your teaching philosophy.
3. 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course – For Less Flexible Teachers
Sometimes, big things come in small packages. If you are less flexible for time, you can opt for the tutor-led 10 Hours Virtual TEFL Course which is fully endorsed by TQUK. Here, you’ll take part in two sessions of 3.5 hours led by a qualified instructor for a swift yet high-quality experience. This is great if you’re looking for some extra teacher training but you’re not ready to dive into the teaching part just yet!
You will develop your presentation, management, and lesson planning skills significantly, making this peer-to-peer teaching course compact yet effective. In as little as two sessions, your confidence as a teacher will have increased tenfold.
New dates are being added every week, making it easy for anyone who is short on time. If you are intrigued by the course but are unsure of which dates you are free, you can book the course now and select the dates later!
What are the Requirements for Premier TEFL’s Teaching Practice?
To be able to undertake these career-boosting courses, you’ll need to possess English fluency or an international standard of intermediate or advanced fluency. To study the 10 Hour or 35 Hour Course, you’ll need a CEFR level of B1. However, if you want to study the 310 Hour TEFL Course, you’ll need a CEFR level of C2. If you are a non-native English speaker, you can check your CEFR level here.
In addition to your English pizzazz, you’ll need a laptop or desktop to take these online lessons, and you’ll also need the time and commitment. Your teaching practice will be completed online with instructors and other teachers, meaning practical studying will need to be synchronous. But don’t worry, our course times are flexible.
Why Your Future Depends on You Taking a TEFL Course with Teaching Practice
To be able to take the theory of teaching and implement it successfully in the classroom is a highly desirable skill for employers. This is exactly what a teaching practicum will allow you to do. With constant feedback and experimentation, you can expect your teaching skills to soar with these teaching practice courses.
As a teacher, you will need to be confident. It is important for you and your students that you can deliver your lessons with conviction and not with doubt or hesitance. While it is understandable that you will grow in confidence as you gain more experience, it’s better to enter your job as assured as possible. Don’t settle, get ahead of the game!
When you are confident as a teacher in the classroom, you can optimize your students’ learning experience. The more successful your language acquisition is, the more rewarding your teaching experience will become.
With teaching practice, you can experiment and even make mistakes when it doesn’t matter. Your qualified instructors understand what the process is like, however, your employers may expect you to be flawless from the get-go. With teaching experience before you’ve even begun your job, you can ensure that your transition goes smoothly. If you’re confident in your teaching abilities regardless, you can still complete teaching practice to negotiate a higher salary. You will be in higher demand as a teacher with live practice experience or a CTPR. The more qualified you are, the more room you’ll have to pick and select the schools you want to work for.