Which TEFL course in Europe?
- You are interested in the English language, how it works and all its quirkiness
- You want a course with plenty of teaching practice to accompany the theory – a minimum of 6 observed hours, as well as peer teaching
- There is a bit of a performer in you, waiting to get out!
- You like working with people
- World travel appeals to you
- You can dedicate 4 weeks to the course, without any other commitments
- You are energetic and lively
- You are at a bit of a crossroads in your life
- You are interested in foreign cultures, languages and lifestyles
- You see TEFL as an appealing (temporary or permanent) career
- 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
- You enjoy languages, and travelling / living abroad
- The South West of France / Toulouse appeals to you
- You are 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 improve your ability to address groups of people confidently and in an engaging way
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. This usually involves teaching any missed classes during of just after the course so you might want to avoid booking a flight to leave right away! Each extra teaching practice costs 80 euros.
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
TEFL course accommodation
Please see our Accommodation page or get in touch for more information – every situation is different and we are very flexible! Please finalise accommodation with us well before you arrive, to be on the safe side. Accommodation fees are paid direct to the owner upon arrival.
You should absolutely AVOID trying to find somewhere to live on your own with just a few days before the course – it’s too risky. Beware of staying with party-type friends too – you need to study! Any questions, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEFL course entry requirements
If you are based in the US you might even want to compare the cost of a local TEFL course + accommodation (if you don’t live where the course is) at home, with TEFL TOULOUSE + 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 agreements” whereby you can have paid employment in France 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. Contact us or see our Working after the course page for more details.
Teaching English in France without a degree
Quite a few of our ex trainees are teaching English in France without a degree. Some employers will ask for a degree, others won’t. For example a language school that is looking for a TEFL qualified business English teacher will chose someone who has a TEFL certificate and 20 years of business experience over a 21 year old with a degree from Oxford! Yet they will probably choose the 21 year old for the job teaching 8 year olds! What all language schools do ask for in France is a TEFL Certificate such as ours (not an online one).
Do I need a degree to do a TEFL course?
The TEFL Toulouse course does not require applicants to have a degree. The course is pitched at degree level though so you would need to be able to study at this level. Essentially this means absorbing a lot of new information in just a few weeks, and being suited to the profession. We take each application separately – click here to apply!
Working after the TEFL course
We offer a lifelong job guidance service for teaching English abroad. This means that as well as providing in-depth help setting up in France, we can give you support for the rest of your life, regardless of the location – we have ex-trainees who have taught in Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, China (one 22 year old earning 40,000 euros a year there!) Mexico, Spain, Italy…… just stay in touch after the course. We are always here to help ex trainees.
See our Working after the course page for more information.
We also have a lot of ex-trainees who make a living teaching English in their home or gite in France, and some have even gone on to open their own language school. Some are running drama in English in their local French village hall! The sky really is the limit -why not think outside the box?
See our Working after the course page for more information.
Universities here in Toulouse are often looking for part time teachers to cover maternity leave etc , and pay TEFL teachers up to 60 euros an hour. This is more for you after you have been teaching for a couple of years and be careful – they pay up to 9 months in arrears (!) so you need to have other steady work in the side.
See our Working after the course page for more information.
Living and working in France as a teacher and healthcare costs
For renting after the course, a room in a shared flat goes for about 300 euros a month, your own little studio for about 500 euros a month. Toulousains love picnicking by the river too when the sun’s out – and it costs virtually nothing! If you want to save even more money, you can pop across the border to Spain and stock up. Healthcare is CHEAP for Americans in France, compared to at home, so don’t let this be an issue! We had an American chap break his ankle last year while in Toulouse. Total fee including x rays, plaster cast, crutches.. about 65 dollars. Which they forgot to charge!
What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL and CELTA (etc)
Our feeling is that you can learn about language and its teaching this way, and if that’s what you want then this may be the option for you. 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.
Price differences for 4 week intensive courses like ours are largely to do with the cost of the validation process mentioned above, as well as paying the rent and the staff! We firmly believe in having pleasant city centre premises and paying staff what they deserve, so you might find us a little pricier than the competition. We think we are the best! You will find that our Spring courses are the cheapest – you can save 100s!
Because traditional validating bodies like Trinity and Cambridge (CELTA) are well known, they charge the training centre more money, and charge more often, and this extra cost gets passed on to you when you pay the course fee. Some centres can offer lower priced CELTA courses but then might charge more for accommodation, or run courses with very large numbers of trainees, less time allocated to help you plan your lessons. Many smaller training centres have opted out of CELTA due to the fees they would have to pay and the straitjacket approach they sometimes require with course content.
CELTA stands for Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults. Here at TEFL TOULOUSE we also include sessions on how to teach children and teenagers, as well as help finding work in France. CELTA and Trinity are probably the best known validators and provide guaranteed excellent courses, but there are more and more TEFL courses out there. You just have to tread carefully (see “How do I choose a TEFL course?” below)!
Be wary particularly if the address of the training centre is not immediately apparent and you seem to be getting funnelled into a huge worldwide corporation. More on this in “how do I choose a TEFL course?” below…
- 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?
- Validating body (is it really an external impartial body, and is it credible?)
- Reputation of the course – do some googling re course reviews, and read testimonials
- Does the website feel academic? Friendly? Homely? Honest? Helpful? Or does it feel like a travel agent site selling backpacking holidays? Discounts and flashing lights?
- Qualifications and teaching / training experience of the lead trainer and other staff. Lead trainers need to be PGCE / DELTA qualified. Other staff should all be TEFL Cert. + 2 years teaching, plus intensive training.
- 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 16 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.
- 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 or 7 trainees.
- 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!
- 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!
- Finally, what are the employment opportunities, post course, if you plan to stay in the area?
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?
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)
CELTA = Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (the name that Cambridge chose for their TEFL course)
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.