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I decided to review something that’s close to my heart. And that’s teaching English and where it all began with The TEFL Academy.
This has been a whirlwind of an experience and I never knew where it was going to take me next. It has really shaped me, and who I am today.
In this article, I will write about all things TEFL, my experience and give an honest TEFL Academy Review.
What Do You Need to Look for in a TEFL Course?
- At least 120 hours of training and courseware
- Accreditation from a recognized independent body
- Highly-qualified trainers with demonstrable experience who can prepare you for the realities of teaching
- Job support and tutor assistance to help you go from unqualified in the beginning to your very own teaching job
- Assessed teaching practice is a big bonus
There are many courses out there, and so much misinformation on the subject. New TEFL courses are popping up every day from institutions that have their own “accrediting body” that seem legitimate but the truth is that they are not approved or recognized by the TEFL industry.
Make sure you ask any TEFL training provider that claims to be offering a level 5 TEFL Course to provide a link to the Register of Regulated Qualifications. If a course is not listed on the Register of Regulated Qualifications, then it is not really a level at all. Make sure you do your research!
I completed a course with the TEFL Academy in 2016 and recommend their courses to everyone.
What is The TEFL Academy?
The TEFL Academy is a company that provides training for those who would like to become English language teachers. Their certificate is certified by both UK and US government authorities, and they pride themselves on being the most recognized TEFL certificate worldwide. They offer opportunities to teach abroad or online upon course completion.
Why Do I Recommend The TEFL Academy?
- Internationally accredited: Their Level-5 course is an internationally recognized course, which is the same level as a CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL, but a fraction of the price.
- Get the Best Jobs: The minimum entry requirement for most well-paid jobs, with the best packages, is a level 5 TEFL certificate
- Teach Abroad or Online: You will be qualified to teach English abroad and online, however, you may need a degree to work in some countries. The best part is that you don’t need to speak any other language!
- Free Added Courses: You get a free ‘top-up course’ when you join their level 5 course. This means you get an extra course in Business English, teaching English Online or Teaching Young Learners.
- Classroom Experience: They provide weekend courses and classroom experience, which will add immeasurably to your teacher resume
- Earn Some Money Back: Be part of a growing community. The TEFL Academy invites former students to tell their story and/or become brand ambassadors
- Comprehensive Course: An in-depth learning course for training teachers — not just a certificate
- Helpful Tutor Support: They provide tutor support and help with finding jobs
The TEFL Academy got me a job in less than a week of completing the course, and I truly believe in what they teach. It got me this far, and I know it can get you teaching and travel in no time.
Student Discounts for Everybody!
The TEFL Academy has recently partnered with The ISIC so you are allowed to avail of an international student ID card as long as you are (or were) a TEFL Academy student. This discount card acts similarly to a regular student card and gives you countless discounts across the globe.
Get discounts on food, travel, and hotels! You can check the ISIC website here to see what deals you can avail of if you decide to take a course with The TEFL Academy.
What Led Me to Pursue Teaching English as a Foreign Language
I always liked the idea of teaching as a kid. I used to line up my teddy bears and have classes with them. I used to create lesson materials for my cousins and grow impatient when they couldn’t complete the exercises.
I even kept a journal about things I liked and didn’t like about my classes, as I thought my future teacher-self should not forget these things. Really and truly, I thought I was going to be a teacher.
I had some teaching experience in my transition year of secondary school and went back to my former primary school. I liked it a lot, even though I only had little tasks such as helping the five-year-olds put on their coats or sticking printouts to their copybooks.
But there was still something missing. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I didn’t want to be just a regular teacher. It wasn’t entirely for me.
By fifth year of secondary school, I was certain I was going to study science in college. After all, that’s where the jobs were. Business wasn’t really emphasised in our school. Sure we had business for our Junior Cert exams. But what exact job will I get from that?
I wanted to be able to define my job title at just 17 years old.
There was science – chemistry, physics, biology. Everyone told me that’s where the money is, that’s where the jobs are. I looked into pharmacy, by completing work experience there. No way.
I then looked into speech and language therapy. I met a speech and language therapist to talk about her experience, and it occurred to me that even she didn’t like her job. It was out of the question.
I then began to think I wanted a job like my mom… and even though she doesn’t have a degree, I realised the area I needed to look into was business. This opened up a whole new world to me.
While accounting was something that I performed well in, it was not something I enjoyed. Going to an all-girls school, we didn’t have the luxury of choosing economics, but home economics. So I decided to take on business for Leaving Cert and see how that’d fair out.
So I studied business because I knew I loved it. My school placed more of an emphasis on science so I never really thought it was an option. But I discovered an amazing world. I loved learning about local and national businesses. I was inspired by some of the best inventions. And teaching was no longer in the forefront of my mind.
I decided to pursue business in college, only to realise that I was struggling to find part-time work in my local area. I tried year after year since I was a teenager, yet I had no success. My mother told me about someone from her workplace who took a TEFL course and it enabled them to travel to Spain.
Remembering my interest in the old teaching, I was inspired to have a look into it. No sooner had I put my name down for the TEFL Academy, and I was in full swing learning how to teach English.
I had a hard time in my youth fitting in. I never really felt I clicked. I always felt there was something else out there for me. I genuinely couldn’t find a job in my hometown, and I really wanted a change and go elsewhere. I decided to work even harder and completed The TEFL Academy course.
With things not faring too well at home, I decided to travel. The TEFL Academy gave me this opportunity. At 19 years old, I was flying out on my first venture to the north of Spain.
My Experience Teaching
It really did change my life. It shaped me as nothing else had before. It was something I had never experienced in life, and grew so deeply from it. I wanted more and decided to start teaching English online. I started at Acadsoc, and payments were pretty generous at the time.
The online ESL industry was taking off, with generous payments, even during standby time. There weren’t as many regulations as now, and many companies didn’t require a degree.
The next summer, I decided to travel to the UK. I was 19, going on 20 at that time. It was truly an unforgettable, amazing experience and I made many friends there. I decided to continue teaching English online when I got home, joining sites like iTutorgroup.
I took a little break around my third and final year of college, as I was studying abroad in California and studying extremely hard in final year. Then I finished and I had no idea what I was going to do.
I was so used to teaching online, deciding my own schedule. I genuinely wondered how I could adapt to any other lifestyle.
So, I kept going. I kept teaching English online. I wanted to continue to put my best effort in. I always worried that I was doing the wrong thing. So many influential people in my life told me that I needed to start a job in a firm, do a grad program, work my way up. But that’s not where my heart is, at least, not right now.
So I write this now, as an online ESL teacher. I teach English with Dada and have regular students whom I see all the time. They tell me ‘I love you’ and text me ‘Goodnight’ (my older student who insisted I add her on Wechat!) Where would I be without them?!
They are learning English and growing in confidence after each class! I am so proud of them and I hope they achieve their goals in life. What more fulfilling experience could you ask for in this world?!
In the future I hope to have my own business and travel like a digital nomad… Thanks to The TEFL Academy!
This Course is NOT For You if…
1. You Want Results Fast
This course is not for people who want to complete a TEFL course on a weekend, nor is it for people who don’t want to put the work in. This course is a LEVEL 5 QUALIFICATION. You have to put the hours in, and dedicate at least 1-2 months to its completion. But you will get there and there is a lot of support available.
2. You Dislike Learning
The reality of being a teacher is that you are constantly learning. You learn from your students and they learn from you. If you can’t hack learning something new, there is no way you will have the motivation to complete this course.
During the course, you will be asked to complete three coursework assignments. While it is possible to fail these assignments, you can resubmit the assignment at a later date. You also receive very clear feedback on what you need to do to pass next time. So you have no excuse for not passing The TEFL Academy course
3. You are Not Fluent in English
Natives and non-native speakers can complete the course, provided that they are fluent. You do not need a superior understanding of grammar, as that is covered in teh course.
The TEFL Academy Review: Pros and Cons
Drawing from my own experience and the experience of other teachers, here is a list of the TEFL Academy’s pros and cons. The TEFL Academy has left a lasting impression, with 4.89 stars average out of 3000 reviews on reviews.co.uk, with similar results on Trustpilot. The main complaint is that the course can be challenging in places.
So I now draw this informal, personal post to a close and thank The TEFL Academy for opening me to this world of opportunity. Truly, I believe that you can do it too. I am also delighted to announce that I am a brand ambassador for the TEFL Academy.
If you decide this is for you too, please click my link below, sign up and let me know when you do. I will receive a commission for the sale at no extra cost to you, but I wouldn’t promote anything I don’t believe in.
Remember that wherever you dream of going or doing, this course can help you achieve it. If you are interested in teaching and seeing the world, I highly recommend this course. It’s not for the faint-hearted.
A nostalgic but truthful post. Stay true to yourself. Follow YOUR heart and what YOU want to do. That’s what I did, and it was the best decision.
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