FAQ

CA Institute of Languages’ TEFL Professional Course provides training, job placement advice and international job assistance.  

CA Institute of Languages is situated in Brno and has spent many years helping people travel abroad through a variety of teaching opportunities.  We would love to meet with you, so please feel free to drop by our office or even schedule a time with a CA Institute TEFL program advisor to look at ways to fulfill your travel dreams.  Our staff has visited over 70 countries – teaching, living, working and volunteering abroad.

  • 130 hours of classroom training
  • Lesson planning workshops
  • Mentoring and Discussion Group exercises
  • 30 hours of practicum (student teaching and observation).

Is this certificate valid for teaching English in North America?

You cannot use this certificate to teach English in a public school in the North America or the United Kingdom but it may be used to help you gain employment with private language contractors devoted to ESL instruction.

Who do I teach for my practicum?

You are required to teach an English language learner for at least 30 hours in order to complete your teacher training course. Our students have done their practicum at our language school, companies and at state schools. You will see a wide variety of students from the young to the old and from the beginner speaker to the advanced speaker.

Will I be ready to teach by the end of this course?

You will graduate with the necessary amount of coursework and teaching experience to get you started with your teaching careers. Our graduates have all the confidence and skills necessary to launch a successful EFL career and to work in a professional manner around the world.

Do I need a college degree?

No! Many countries, particularly in Latin America, are happy to work with teachers who have little or no college. However, many countries do require at least a Bachelors Degree. The qualifications required by employers will vary widely depending upon the demand and availability of teachers and the work visa requirements in your country of interest.

Where can I teach?

There are English-teaching jobs in almost every country and probably even in your home community! Be sure to check with our advisors for a breakdown of requirements for each of the most popular countries. Although there may be many jobs advertised for a particular country, you may find that you do not match the profile they are looking for.

For example, the Japanese and South Korean governments require a BA to grant a working visa, and most employers in France, Italy, Spain will only accept EU citizens for advance interviews. Many schools in the Middle East require a high level qualification and several years of teaching experience, and will not respond to inexperienced applicants. Having said this, most Latin American countries are happy to accept newly qualified teachers as well as those who don’t hold college degrees.

Where is the demand the highest?

There are English teaching opportunities in almost every country in the world. However, the demand for English teachers is much greater in some countries than in others, and qualifications vary widely. Take a look at job boards such as the Dave’s ESL Cafe to get an idea of some of the countries where work is available at the moment, since demand often changes by season. Other factors such as government initiatives and political instability can affect job availability. (Please note that many schools in Latin America do not advertise their jobs online, but rather rely on word of mouth to attract teachers.)

Countries that currently high demand for teachers include China, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey, Georgia, Spain, Ukraine, Mexico, and the Persian Gulf countries.

How do I find a job?

The most common way to find an English teaching job abroad is through online job boards or recruiter websites. Many schools use recruiting agencies or agents to find their job candidates. Others advertise in local newspapers and expat magazines, and some simply rely on word of mouth between English teachers and local expat communities.

When you find a job that interests you, follow the directions in the job posting to apply. Besides your résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV), employers may ask for a cover letter, essay, photographs, or other materials.

After reviewing the application materials, the school will contact you to arrange an interview. Initial interviews between a school and candidate are almost always done via phone or video chat, and typically last between 30 and 60 minutes. Expect to speak with the school’s Recruiting Manager and/or Director.

If your job search is in country, you can expect a face-to-face interview. Recruitment agencies often still advertise on TEFL recruitment websites (agencies are most common in countries such as South Korea or China). The advantage of agencies is that once they have your resume or CV on file they can continue to contact you for any suitable job that may arise in the future.

Is there a job contract? Should I sign a contract?

In most cases you and the schools will agree to a written contract. A contract will simply outline the agreement of pay rate, work hours, benefits, etc., to make sure there are no misunderstandings about each party’s responsibilities. In some cases no contracts are ever signed. This is often the case in Latin American countries. Always do research on the school if possible before signing a contract. Be wary if a school asks you to work without a contract. Be aware of industry standards in the area and your rights as a foreigner.

Are there any warning flags I should be on the lookout for when interviewing or before signing a contract?

When looking for a school, always do as much research as possible. Search for the school online on ESL forums and look for teacher testimonials. If teachers have bad experiences, you’ll hear about it.

If the school is newer or does not have an Internet presence, consider asking to speak with one of their current teachers. You’d be surprised how many schools are willing to accommodate this request, and current teachers are likely to give you an unfiltered version of the company and position.

While the majority of schools are well meaning and treat their teachers as well as can be expected, people do get into bad situations sometimes. Schools have been known to lie about wages, housing, visas, and many other things, so always get your agreements in writing (whether in your contract or in emails) whenever possible.

Always act with discretion and make sure that you are going into a safe situation. Even if you have already signed a contract and started working, if things don’t feel right or you’re unhappy with the situation, move on. Your employment is at will, and you’re sure to find a situation you feel more comfortable with.

Will I find work without teaching experience?

Absolutely! Most people teaching English abroad have never taught before. Most non-native English speakers learn English in formal settings from local, non-native English speaking teachers. These teachers often have poor speaking skills and are not able to handle advanced students. Even if you don’t have teaching experience, you do have years of native English experience, and that is precisely what most people are looking for in a teacher.

What are the hours like?

Although the hours a teacher is asked to work vary by region and by job, as a full-time teacher you can expect to teach at least 20 hours a week up to 40+ hours a week. Typical schedules are 25 teaching hourswith an additional 10-12 hours a week for lesson and material preparation. Pay is usually based on actual class time, not lesson planning or preparation.

How much will I be paid?

You will be paid the local wage rate. Keep in mind that cost of living varies widely and that you will always be paid a livable wage no matter where you go.

In many developing or emerging countries teachers are paid only a fraction of what they may earn in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, or other Western countries, but the cost of living is so low that the salary covers your living expenses. Teachers in Europe make enough on their 25 hours a week to break even. They make enough to cover standard expenses of housing, food, transportation, and have a little pocket money. In Asia and the wealthier Middle Eastern countriesteachers typically earn enough to save 30-50% of their salary.

Many teachers decide to tutor privately in addition to their main job. Private tutoring is a chance for you to double the hourly wage you make at your school.

Am I sent to a certain country of do I get to pick?

You decide where you want to teach! With the TEFL Professional Certification you can teach around the world—the choice of the country is yours. You are not assigned a country like with the Peace Corps or the military. You can work in a different country every year if you wish. Some countries require a 4-year degree and others are open for those who have not finished a degree. CA Institute can give you advice but it is your choice to interview wherever you wish.

Is it necessary that I speak the language of the country where I will teach?

No. Language classes are best taught using an emersion technique. The same way you will learn a language very quickly by moving to that country and being immersed, so will your students learn much faster by having their class completely in English. That’s what they’re paying you for!

Some schools do appreciate it if you know some of their native language, if for no other reason than to be able to handle yourself more comfortably in the work environment. That being said, few people who are interested in teaching abroad speak the local language before they go. It is advantageous for you to know some basic local language phrases of the country where you will teach but it is certainly not necessary to be fluent.

Furthermore, many schools offer language classes and social activities to help familiarize their teachers with the local culture. Having a little background of the local language will understand the causes as to why certain diction, grammatical, and pronunciation problems arise, and you can address them better as well.

What are my housing options?

Teachers almost always live in apartments or shared houses. It’s wise to wait until your employment is secure before looking for housing. Your employer will have lots of great advice for where to look for apartments, and can almost always recommend housing that other teachers have used previously. In Asia it is common for schools to provide or subsidize teachers’ housing as well.

In some small towns schools might be able to arrange a host stay for you. You would have your own bedroom and share the home with a local family that is accustomed to foreign teachers. The rent is either taken from your pay and forwarded to the family or you will pay the family directly.

Do I need insurance?

You must have your own international medical insurance. TEFL Institute can provide a recommendation to an international medical insurance agency. Insurance plans must be paid in advance with check or money order at least 30 days prior to leaving. STA travel is one of the world’s largest travel agencies; they can also sell you basic long-term travelers’ insurance. Some schools or countries provide health care or insurance for their teachers. Always check with your employer to determine the best option for you.

Will I need a visa?

All international travelers must have a valid passport. Processing a passport can take up to three months. If you have a passport, check that it will be valid for at least six months after you arrive abroad.

Your hiring school will provide you with information needed to obtain a work visa and whether it’s necessary. In general, Latin American countries do not require visas, Western European countries are tolerant non-visa holding teachers, and Asian countries require visas. Non-U.S. applicants are responsible for making passport and visa arrangements but should consult with our office if they need help.

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