- You are interested in the English language, how it works
- You DON’T want an online or “weekend in a hotel” TEFL course and you want real job opportunities afterwards
- You want a course with plenty of teaching practice to accompany the theory
- You like working with people
- World travel and foreign cultures appeal to you
- You are energetic and lively and there’s a bit of a performer in you
- You are at a bit of a crossroads in your life
- You see TEFL as an appealing temporary career, if not permanent
- Doing a 9 to 5 office job doesn’t appeal to you / you are sick to death of it!
- You want to have fun at work, and have a sense of humour
- The South West of France / Toulouse appeals to you
- You are quite independent
- You want a big change of direction or career
- You are accompanying a partner overseas / already have a working partner here
- You have children and are looking for a flexible part time job, with possible full time options in the future
- You are not completely sure you want to teach, but in any case want to lose your shyness and improve your ability to address groups of people confidently and in an engaging way
First of all, as mentioned above, this is not an online course, and is not a weekend TEFL course in a hotel. It is the basic teaching qualification you need to kick start your teaching career, lasts 4 weeks (Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 6.30pm) and includes 6 hours of observed teaching practice.
We get excellent reviews from nearly all our ex trainees, and are in the heart of the south of France where there is a high demand for teachers. Most local language schools are so happy with our trainees and reputation they want to meet you right after you finish your training with us! You get guaranteed job interviews in Toulouse.
Every afternoon we proactively help you plan your lessons with one trainer for every 6 trainees – many TEFL courses just have someone in the office available to help you at lunchtime if you dare to bother them!
We include sessions on teaching Business English, Young Learners, teaching online, and using technology in the classroom. We do offer “add-on” courses in the above, but still offer 1.5 to 2 hour sessions on each, on our TEFL course. So you can rest assured that these are included.
Being the only TEFL course in South West France we are the reference point for all language schools recruiting in the area. Of course we have ex trainees working all over the world too who we can put you in touch with. Want to work in Colombia? Meet ex TEFL Toulouse trainee Stephanie…
Jonathan Davies the course director and founder of TEFL Toulouse still works on every TEFL course we offer.
TEFL Toulouse – 14 years of experience – over 1000 people trained – and counting!
Small groups – never more than 10 people and usually around 7 on each course
No hidden charges for accommodation. Most TEFL courses make extra money out of your accommodation. We don’t make a penny, which keeps your accommodation fees low. You just pay the landlord directly what he or she is charging.
We offer job guidance for life
Read here for an unusual case of someone who did our course AND another one!
In 2023 the price is 1800 euros all included. You’ll need about an extra 500 or so euros for accommodation and money to live on for the 4 weeks. The cost of living in Toulouse is about the same as in a medium sized city the UK or US, perhaps cheaper. Wine and restaurants are cheap, fruit and veg can be pricier.
*Update summer 2023: Language schools currently seem desperate for teachers for both year round work and summer camps *** Jobs are coming in all the time, and we forward them to ex-trainees who tell us that they are looking for work, or tweet them, or put them on our facebook page. Just let us know (even 5 years after you graduate with us) that you are looking for work in any city / country, and we will help.
The French government obliges us to publish annual statistics. Here they are:
As there is continual assessment, you will be informed early on if your work is not reaching the required standard, so you can make adjustments. If you struggle with the teaching aspect there is sometimes the possibility of arranging further teaching practices post course. We are very supportive throughout.
You will gain experience of teaching at least two different levels. Your students come to the classes for free and are delighted to have a real teacher teaching them – the classes are a lot of fun! The first lesson you teach in week 1 is largely planned for you. We give you plenty of help planning your lessons, and you get in-depth and very supportive feedback after each time you teach. You will also observe your fellow trainees and experienced teachers.
Of course mishaps happen. If you have genuine unforeseen problems we are usually able to implement special procedures to help you get through your TEFL course. We’ll schedule another teaching practice for you and do our best to set it up when it suits you, ie during or after the course. Each extra teaching practice that we have to set up for you costs 80 euros.0
Needless to say most employers will not take on anyone who just has an online qualification. They need to know that you can stand up and teach a class, and have done this repeatedly and had indepth feedback about your teaching style.
If you owned a language school, would you take on someone who has learnt to be a teacher by looking at a computer screen?
We recommend Raymond Murphy’s English Grammar in Use (Intermediate) as a lifelong grammar reference / exercise book. If you cannot get hold of “Murphy” then try Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage
Oh and we probably have a few bicycles in the cellar to lend you!
Even if you are based in the US you might even want to compare the cost of a local TEFL course + accommodation + living costs with TEFL Toulouse course + flight + about 400 euros for accommodation with us. There may not be that much difference and you will have the time of your life for 3 months!
If you are from Canada, Australia or New Zealand and are 18 to 30 years old, then you should ask your French consulate about the working holiday visas whereby you can work in France legally for up to a year without having to worry about special visas.
It’s all about reciprocal agreements between countries – and these do change. Contact your French consulate / embassy to get the most up to date and relevant information for your case.
Of course if you have a European passport, you do not need to do anything – you can live and work anywhere in the EU.
*By purchasing a French course (at the Alliance Francaise) whilst in your home country, Americans, Canadians and Australians are sometimes able to come and stay for up to a year teaching in Toulouse. You get a whopping 15% off Alliance Francaise courses if you do our course! Contact us or see our Working after the course page for more details. We also have great discounts on Langue Onze courses in the city centre and work closely with them.
Many people presume that they would need to do country -specific qualifications (eg an Italian qualification to teach in Italy). Not so – just come and do our course in sunny Toulouse – and then travel the world! There is a lot of competition for TEFL jobs in English speaking countries of course, due to many travelling teachers finally returning home..
TEFL is the name of the profession – Teaching English as a Foreign Language. That is what you will be doing after the course, so a lot of training courses like ours call themselves “TEFL Courses”. CELTA is the name that Cambridge give to their 4 week TEFL course. It stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. Our course is identical to a CELTA one. Many CELTA courses are now online in a blended format….
Our feeling is that you can learn about language and its teaching with online and weekend courses, and if that’s what you want then this may be the option for you. They can be great as “taster” courses. But we believe you have to teach classes repeatedly for a total minimum of 6 hours, with periods of several days reflection in between each lesson. We also think you need feedback from observers, to become a “real” teacher and avoid making the mistakes that even very experienced teachers make. Our trainees often talk about the learning curve involved with being observed, and wonder how one could ever learn to teach without actually teaching and getting feedback. Could you learn to drive a car by reading a manual? Play a sport by watching it? Teaching practice, observation and feedback from experienced trainers is essential, and is our speciality
ESL = English as a Second Language
EFL = English as a Foreign Language
TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (what TEFL is known as in the USA)
ELT = English Language Teaching
ESP = English for Specific Purposes (eg for pilots, for business, for tourism….)
CELTA = Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (the name that Cambridge chose for their TEFL course)
Cert TESOL = The Trinity name for their TEFL certificate / qualification.
There are also lots of acronyms for names of exams that learners of English take. Here are some:
IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE, BULATS… the list goes on! You will learn about all these on the course!
The Certificate in TEFL, (aka “The Cert”). This is the first qualification and is what we offer at TEFL TOULOUSE
The Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (aka DELTA or “The Dip”) is what you may wish to go on to do after a few years teaching.
- Validating body (is it really an external and impartial body, and is it credible?)
- Avoid courses with multiple locations. How can any course provider offer so many locations? That just means they send staff to a location if enough people apply for the course to make it worthwhile. Which in turn means you will be shepherded about. At the last minute.
- Find out the exact location of the training centre (i.e. not just which city or region, but which part of the city). You must find out the address of the training centre to prove it exists! Google maps + street view.
- Make sure there is an application form, that they don’t just accept everyone. If they accept everyone, what is the certificate worth? Being encouraged to “pay online now” is a sign of this. At TEFL Toulouse we accept about 60% of applicants.
- Reputation of the course – do some googling re course reviews, and read testimonials. Do your own research.
- Does the website feel academic? Friendly? Honest? Informative? Or does it feel like a travel agent site selling backpacking holidays? Discounts flashing up should make one wary. Most academic institutions don’t do that.
- Qualifications and teaching / training experience of the lead trainer and other staff. Lead trainers need to be PGCE / DELTA / MA qualified. Other staff should all be TEFL Cert. + 2 years teaching, plus intensive training. “Well trained” or “expert” or “highly experienced” isn’t enough.
- Number of teaching practice hours and course duration – go for a minimum of 6 hours teaching practice and 120 hours of tutor / trainee contact time, as per British Council requirements.
- Minimum and maximum number of trainees on the course / in any room at once! 5 to 14 ideally. Careful – some courses take huge groups of trainees and as a result trainees get reduced contact time with staff.
- Course length (usually 4 weeks). Some places offer 5 week courses to spread things out, but of course you’ll pay more for accommodation, and will probably just end up going out more and spending money that way!
- How much lesson planning help do trainees get from trainers? There should be at least 1.5 hours a day given to lesson planning with the presence of a trainer with one trainer for every 6 trainees present.
- The cost and location of accommodation – watch out!! This can be a real shocker, e.g. if you do your TEFL course in somewhere like London or NYC. We have seen accommodation fees of over £2000 in London for 4 weeks!
- The cost of living, and travelling to the training centre (again, beware of big cities like London and NYC). It is also recommended that you do a TEFL course in the area you would like to teach in, to get to know the culture / city, to be on the spot to start work after the course, and to avoid another air fare just for the interviews. Most language schools in Europe only interview teachers who are already living locally!
- Is the TEFL course provider also posting jobs, but then providing a disclaimer saying that they have nothing to do with the outcome? Could that be a course provider who is willing to promote a dodgy employer?
We feel we are very competitively priced for a city centre training centre. Our certificate is externally moderated by IATQuO, we get excellent reviews, our courses maintain 120+ hours tutor-trainee contact time with 6 hours minimum teaching practice. Groups are usually from 7 to 12 trainees, although we may be able to accept a few more in the summer. Accommodation is around 400 to 700 euros for the 4 weeks so that keeps your price well down, as do all the low cost flights arriving in Toulouse…
Still want to shop around? At the end of the day, go with your instinct. Did the school answer your enquiry quickly? Does it feel too glossy and generic? Are you getting personalised or cut and paste responses? Can you pop in for a visit and talk to current trainees? Is the emphasis really on teacher training, or just on having a 4 week holiday?