Advice for new teachers

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Are you a new teacher needing advice, or just thinking of starting out in TEFL? This page aims to give you some pointers to web resources on teacher training, planning lessons, and so on here.


A number of TEFL Qualifications are available, albeit at some cost, but obtaining one is highly recommended. The language-teaching sector is highly competitive and most "serious" schools will expect you to have such a qualification, or at least a university degree in some subject. But if you don't have one of these you still might find a place, although it will probably entail more looking. If you want to get some idea of the sort of things you'll have to learn then TEFL Boot Camp will probably be of interest.

Take care when choosing your school if you are thinking of obtaining a certificate abroad as there are a number of unscrupulous operators. [1]

Moving to another country[edit]

Many people may wish to move to another country to work - indeed, this may be their primary motive. Justlanded provides a wealth of information which will be invaluable to new residents.

For those wanting to get a feel for the life of an English teacher, Thepaininspain is an amusing and informative blog.

Some information about specific schools may be found at the Teflblacklist.

Although countries vary, it really is best to avoid working illegally. On the other hand, it is very difficult to get employment in European Union countries unless you are prepared to be taken advantage of by cowboy outfits.[2]

Culture shock[edit]

See main article culture shock.

Although moving to and living in a new country may seem like an adventure at first, most expatriates suffer some level of culture shock at some point. The best way to mitigate its effects is to understand what it is and how it progresses.

Getting advice[edit]

You are most welcome to ask for advice here (click on the discussion tab above), but other, external, resources include the very helpful ESL HQ and Tefldaddy.


The TEFL world is rife with acronyms and you will need to learn quite a few. Our ever-growing list is here.

Other useful sites[edit]

We can also recommend: Spokenskills, Englishraven and, for your students, English-online and Manythings. Our list of sites which provide free lessons will certainly interest you as well.

Clearly you should also take a look at Dave's ESL Cafe - the granddaddy of them all along with its associated job discussion forum; and also sign up for the free TEFL newspaper at English language gazette.

Placement tests[edit]

Once you have new students you will want to know their level. There are some on-line placement tests which claim to help you with this.

Working for a school or freelance[edit]

Working for a school and working freelance have different advantages and disadvantages as our School v freelance article discusses. However, as that article points out, schools are often the best place for new teachers starting out.

Before you start working for a school, have a look at our article on cowboy outfits.


Salaries depend on many variables but this link will give you a very broad picture for various countries.

Creating your own classes[edit]

If you feel really adventurous then you could follow our guidelines about creating your own topical class.

Conversation classes[edit]

Many students, especially those at higher levels, are pretty much fed up with formal language classes and may be looking for an opportunity for conversation. If you want something quick and easy for a class then our article on conversation questions for TEFL classes has some good advice and links.

Other ways of teaching[edit]

There are more ways of teaching students than in a classroom. Our article other ways of teaching talks about these.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

A selection of links which give advice to prospective TEFL teachers.