Teaching English as a Foreign Language:
Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) involves teaching adults and children whose first or main language is not English. This can be done either in the UK or abroad and the students may be learning English for either business or leisure reasons.
Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) is also a widely used term and is used to mostly mean the same thing as TEFL. TESOL is also sometimes specifically used though to refer to teaching English to people who are living in the UK but who do not speak English as a first language. These students are most commonly refugees and immigrants and need to learn the language in order to help them settle into the society of the country. Their courses are often government funded.
Teaching English as a second language (TESL) or teaching English as an additional language (TEAL) may also be terms that are used but they generally all refer to the same thing: teaching English to someone whose native language is not English.
Teachers of English as a foreign language can work in a variety of settings with different age ranges. This can include commercial language schools, schools and institutions of further and higher education throughout the UK and overseas. Some may also teach in industry, while others are self-employed. Classes are usually taught in English, even with beginners.
Typical work activities
Teachers of English as a foreign language use a range of course books and materials and also a variety of audiovisual aids. There is a strong emphasis on dialogue and role-playing, but more formal exercises, language games and literature are also used.
The content of lessons varies depending on the reason why the students are learning English, e.g. whether it is for business use for adults, school work for children, etc. The aim of each lesson is to encourage the students to communicate with each other using the structures and vocabulary they have learnt, and to improve the four basic language skills: listening; speaking; reading; and writing.
Typical tasks that may be carried out include:
planning, preparing and delivering lessons to a range of classes and age groups;
preparing and setting tests, examination papers, and exercises;
marking and providing appropriate feedback on oral and written work;
devising, writing and producing new materials, including audio and visual resources;
organising and getting involved in social and cultural activities such as sports competitions, school parties, dinners and excursions;
attending and contributing to training sessions;
participating in marketing events for the language school;
preparing information for inspection visits and other quality assurance exercises;
freelance teaching on a one-to-one basis;
basic administration, such as keeping student registers and attendance records.