If you seek to be an English teacher, you've no doubt seen this arrangement of letters everywhere. If you knew EFL meant English as a Foreign Language, you're more than halfway there as the T simply stands for "Teaching."
As the International TEFL Academy puts it,
“TEFL” is the acronym for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or simply, English language instruction for non-native speakers. Also known as Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), English Language Teaching (ELT), and teaching ESL (English as a Second Language). The field of TEFL/TESOL represents one of the fastest growing educational fields in the world. The field presents thousands of excellent professional opportunities for teaching English abroad in all corners of the globe to native and fluent English speakers who earn their TEFL/TESOL certification.
In recent years, our capabilities to communicate and travel to places around the globe continue to progress and become more innovative, and this has created an explosion of job opportunities in what is now one of the most booming professions on the planet: Teaching abroad. And sometimes, instructors don't even have to leave their home if their computer has access to the world-wide web, fast WiFi and a virtual conference app like Skype or Zoom.
While there are no shortages of acronyms to describe the study and guidance of leaning a new language, they all agree on this one crucial thing: The certification part is key to ensuring teachers are qualified and likely to be hired by reputable universities and schools overseas, as it takes a lot of logistical coordination and trust when hiring instructors an institution may not be able to meet face to face.
If the teacher opts for an in person full-time over the virtual alternative, accommodations include the obvious tuition, transportation and living arrangements as well as per diems if a contract is negotiated fairly, sometimes handled by recruitment agencies who scout qualified candidates and pair them with a school.
There are a great many organizations that are currently listing overseas job opportunities as well as data-basing teacher candidate resumes to help in this pairing process, like UNME Academy, tefl.org, tefl.com, Serious Teachers, teachaway.com, bridge.edu, indeed.com, teachinghouse.com and more. EFL instructor hopefuls should take time to know exactly what sort of experience they're looking for in their TEFL job as well as ensure their resumes are up to date and that they hold accredited certification recognized by universities.
The work TEFL is doing for the world is immeasurable and yet so apparent in the progression of the inter-connectivity of cultures, communities, markets and media in the modern age. Teachers might not be changing lives just one child a time with the overflow of students per classroom but that means we can be all the more certain: teachers are changing lives each class they instruct and we should do all we can to remain grateful, giving them credit where it's due and ensuring they have the proper resources to continue their crucial efforts as well as the compensation they deserve.