Are TEFL and TOEFL similar

Updated: 11/9/2022
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11y ago

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My experience is based exclusively in Latin America, so bear that in mind :0)

Simply put, it doesn't really make much difference in Latin America which teaching certificate you have; as far as most employers are concerned, all certification is much the same. I'm sure there are some institutions that are suckers for a certain certificate, but I've never come across them, or met anyone on my travels who has either.

Based on what employers have asked me for in the job application process and what I've heard from other ESL teachers, the main purpose of your training (which will provide you with the certificate) is the amount of time you spend actually teaching and receiving feedback on how to improve. With as much of that under your belt as possible you'll be a much more attractive job prospect in a wide selection of institutions. This will also have the added benefits of providing your students with a good learning experience and allowing yourself to feel confident, capable and happy with the work that you are doing, both difficult things to achieve if you haven't spent much time in the front of a classroom.

If you'd like a suggestion of a good course with a heavy focus on the practical side, I highly recommend the one that I took in January 2009 when I first moved abroad. It was in Chiapas, Mexico at a place called the Dunham Institute. I also gather they just started running a "volunteer-teach" program recently that allows you to get 4 weeks teaching experience by volunteering at a local state school after you have completed your training, so that should increase your job prospects and classroom confidence by an order of magnitude as well.

If you are interested, the website for the Dunham Institute is below in the related links section.

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Q: Are TEFL and TOEFL similar
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