What is English as a foreign language

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English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is the use or study of English by speakers with different native languages around the world. Its usage is increasing greatly as English more and more becomes the lingua franca of the worldCurrently, English is a language that has great reach and influence, and it is taught all over the world under many different circumstances. For a native English speaker, now is the time to learn to teach English as a Foreign Language.

TASKS AND DUTIES OF A TEACHER OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE:

  • Planning, preparing, and delivering lessons to different age
    groups and classes
  • Preparing and creating tests, exams, exercises, and any other materials 
  • Classroom management and student behaviour management
  • Marking and correcting oral and written work
  • Providing adequate feedback on oral and written work
  • Devising new material – written and audio-visual material
  • Organising social and cultural activities such as sport competitions, school parties, dinners, and other excursions
  • Participating in any events concerning the school
  • Preparing information for inspection visits, and other quality assurance exercises
  • Basic administration – like keeping student registers and attendance records

Teaching English as a Foreign Language is not the same thing as being a regular English teacher. As an EFL-teacher, you will be teaching English to students whose first language is a completely different one, and that is not always an easy task. EFL-teaching usually occurs in the student’s own country, but can also be done in the UK and other English-speaking countries, and students may be learning English for business, academics, leisure, or a variety of different reasons.

As a teacher of EFL there are numerous possibilities for work. Teachers can work in a variety of settings with different age ranges, including commercial language schools across the globe, schools and institutions of higher education throughout the UK and internationally. Some may also teach in industry and business, while others are self-employed. In that sense, teaching EFL is a very flexible and ever-changing career choice. You may change location and age ranges as you please, which may result in a very versatile workplace.

EFL teachers use a wide range of different materials and course books, including audio-visual aids and online resources. The content of lessons will vary depending on the reason behind the students learning English – e.g. business use for adults or schoolwork for children, etc. The aim of each lessons is simply to encourage the students to communicate with each other using the structures and vocabulary the teacher has taught them, and to improve the four basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO TEACH ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE?

Qualification requirements for teachers of English as a Foreign Language may vary considerably from country to country and even among employers within the same country. In many institutions it is possible to teach without a degree in teaching or teaching certificate. Some institutions consider it necessary to be a native speaker, possessing a variety of the TESOL-degree (Teaching English as a Second Language). Other institutions have different requirements, so it is always recommended to investigate the requirements of your institution before applying for a job or beginning your EFL-training. ‘BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR TEACHING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE:

  • An excellent and extensive knowledge of English 
  • Very strong spoken and written communication skills
  • Confidence and a lively and cheery personality 
  • Above average listening skills
  • A good sense of humour never hurts (although ‘good’ humour is subjective) 
  • The ability to get on well with people of all ages, from different backgrounds and cultures
  • Creativity in order to plan both practical and enjoyable lessons

There are several certificates that an EFL-teacher in training can take in order to prove their competence and the certificates exist on several different levels, and assess different qualities and abilities. However, many schools and institutions consider a proof of English proficiencya University degreea basic teaching qualification and experience to be more than enough. Requirements and acceptance also depend on the demand for English teachers in a particular country at a particular time. With that said, it is still preferable to have a university degree in English language and literature, or any other specialist degree in English. Also, a candidate with experience in teaching and/or EFL-training will always be valued higher than a candidate without experience or training.

Unlike for many other types of teaching, the level of academic qualification of EFL-teachers need not be the most important qualification, as is visible in the list above. Many schools will be more interested in your interpersonal and social skills, rather than your academic achievements. An EFL-teacher is required to constantly interact with his or her students and must therefore be able to relate to and support all different types of people. Social capability and people skills are highly valued in the world of EFL because they are qualities that greatly aid and facilitate the process of language teaching.

‘WORK EXPERIENCE IN SPAIN’

As a general rule, employers and schools tend to prefer applicants who have been through a significant amount of teaching experience, and especially EFL-experience. Many schools believe that learning to teach without classroom experience is like learning to drive without ever encountering traffic and this is why it is important to learn to teach EFL properly, preferably in a foreign country.

Experience of EFL-teaching will not only prepare you for your future career and serve as a good qualification, it will also help you determine if teaching EFL is what you really want to devote your time to doing. By going through training and spending time in both classroom settings and one-to-one classes you will have all the information you need to make an informed and valid decision about your future.

As a teacher it is always important to be a ‘people person’, to enjoy social interaction, and to be patient and tolerant. This is especially important for EFL teachers and the teaching techniques require the teacher to be involved and enthusiastic. No EFL-learner will be able to fully learn the language without a committed, interested, and enthusiastic teacher.

Many online courses for teachers of EFL lack assessed teaching practice and experience, which is why many schools and institutions do not accept these qualifications solely. If you choose to learn to teach EFL in Spain, you are guaranteed a conclusive course of EFL-teaching, which will be combined with practical experience and elements of assessed teaching. You will be given all the necessary tools and knowledge to move on as a fully-fledged teacher of English as a Foreign Language.

SKILL DEVELOPMENT WHEN LEARNING TO TEACH ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN SPAIN

Although there are no set entry requirements for teachers of English as a Foreign Language, there are still a variety of different skills and abilities that an EFL-teacher should possess. By learning to teach English as a Foreign Language in Spain, you will be put through intense training, and the course is designed to provide you with all the qualities you may need in your future career.

SKILLS YOU WILL IMPROVE AND LEARN DURING EFL-TEACHER TRAINING:

  • Improve knowledge of English – grammar, rules, expressions, history, etc.
  • Development of classroom management skills
  • Ability to teach effectively and efficiently to all age groups
  • Preparation and deliverance of lessons to different age groups and classes
  • Ability to explain complex and abstract concepts in a simple and understandable manner
  • Ability to communicate with students and development of listening skills
  • Development of ability to give appropriate feedback to oral and written work
  • Ability to teach creatively and flexibly – using a variety of materials and resources, etc. 
  • Improvement of sociability and people skills – interacting with people of different cultures, etc.
  • Preparation and creation of tests, examination papers, and exercises
  • Writing and producing new material for students – including audio-visual resources
  • Development of basic administration knowledge 

 

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