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Teaching English as a Foreign Language

The Mission of the Certificate Program in TEFL is to train and equip domestic teacher-trainees with practical teaching skills and cultural awareness to be able to successfully teach English abroad.

Live and work around the world!

The Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is an intensive program designed to provide those with little or no teaching experience the practical teaching skills and confidence to transition into a new international adventure with ease.

For over 30 years, UCI Division of Continuing Education has prepared thousands of individuals to pursue careers as English as a Foreign Language teachers. Our expertise extends into developing teacher training programs delivered both at UC Irvine and abroad for the Ministries of Education in Japan, South Korea, France, and Chile to name a few.

Be a part of the demand for qualified English teachers around the world, open doors to diverse professional career opportunities, and expand your world view while living abroad!

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for those interested in living in another culture before starting a new career or looking for a change of pace, and who have limited or no teaching experience.

Career Insight

Occupational summary for postsecondary teachers in the United States.

1M
Jobs
(2016)
12.30%
Projected Growth
(2017-2027)
$49k-$102k
Annual Salary
(25th-75th Percentile)

Program Benefits

  • 11-Week Program – 180 hours of specialized training
  • Taught by highly qualified teacher-trainers who have lived and taught abroad
  • Study alongside international teachers who teach English in their home countries
  • Gain practice and learn teaching skills by facilitating ESL/EFL online classes (when available)
  • Receive access to ESL/EFL teachers for career and job counseling during and after program
  • Includes 20-hour course specifically designed to foster effective country and job research
  • University of California certificate is recognized worldwide

Curriculum

  • Theories of Language Learning Survey
    Find out how people learn languages as you compare first language and second language acquisition and child and adult foreign language learning. Understand the learning theories that are the foundation of various teaching methodologies, and develop strategies that you can use in your own teaching situations.
  • Methods of TEFL
    Explore current methods for teaching specific skill areas such as speaking, listening, reading and writing with an emphasis placed on communicative teaching techniques and theories. Develop lesson plans, materials and instructional aids for your classroom, and learn how to motivate your students to study and learn by using a wide variety of language games and techniques.
  • Teaching Practice
    Observe a teacher in an American classroom for English learners. Evaluate and discuss what occurred. Prepare lesson plans, assist a teacher of English, and apply those skills in an ESL classroom. Receive feedback on your own teaching and learn to plan for future success as a teacher of English.
  • Language Diagnostics and Assessment
    Improve your understanding of assessment strategies, gain new insight into the purpose of testing and interpreting test results. Discuss, analyze, and practice formal and informal ways of assessing your student’s speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.
  • Teaching the Skills
    Learn general principles and strategies for effectively teaching the English language skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. Topics will include needs assessment, setting objectives, and selecting and using the appropriate materials.
  • Teaching English Abroad
    Receive guidance in your search for an appropriate international job placement as an EFL teacher. Learn the skills you'll need to complete your foreign teaching assignment competently and successfully! Examine issues of gaining employment, cross-cultural behavior, pedagogy, and logistical concerns. Learn about culture shock and successful adaptation.
  • TEFL Workshop Seminar
    Join with other international teacher-trainees learning about various TEFL topics in a conference/workshop setting. Topics may include the following: teaching with technology, teaching using storytelling, teaching with drama, teaching using art, teaching pronunciation, professional development, cultural presentations and more.

Program Details

11 weeks, Monday-Friday, expect to attend approximately 18 class hours per week.
Classes are held between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
UC Irvine Campus

Upcoming Program Dates

Quarter Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 April 2 June 14
Fall 2018 October 1 December 13
Spring 2019 April 1 June 13
Fall 2019 September 30 December 12

Please check back for subsequent quarterly dates.

Fees

Item Cost
Certificate Program Fee $5,500
Other Fees
Application, candidacy, and student services.
Textbooks are not included.
$250

In this cohort program, you will begin classes with a group of people and move together through your schedule of classes to graduation. This provides an enhanced opportunity for personal growth and professional development as you get to know a few colleagues — colleagues that you can rely upon while you’re in the program as well as call upon after graduation.

Certificate Requirements

  • A certificate is awarded upon completion of eight courses
  • Submission of a completed application
  • No teaching experience required
  • Official university transcripts

Entrance Requirements

  • Completed application
  • No teaching experience required
  • Official university transcript(s)
  • Minimum 600 TOEFL score (non-native speakers of English)

Cancellation/Refund Policy

Cancellation requests must be in writing and submitted to the International Programs office in person, by email, by mail, or by fax.

  • Cancellation requests received prior to program start date: 100% of paid tuition refund minus $20 administrative fee
  • Cancellation requests received during the first week of classes by Friday, 5pm: 50% of paid tuition refund
  • No refunds will be issued for cancellation requests received after Friday, 5pm of the first week of classes

How to Enroll

We are accepting applications for enrollment now.

  • Please mail completed application with deposit to:
    International Programs

    P.O. Box 6050
    Irvine, CA  92616-6050
  • Full payment is due by the first day of the program

Start Your International Experience Here

  • Work together with international TEFL students
  • Observe and gain insight from our highly trained English language teachers in ESL classroom settings
  • Interact with international ESL students through social activities and tutoring opportunities

Overseas Job Assistance

English language teaching positions are readily available in many foreign countries to native English speakers with no formal training, but gaining the specialized training and practical teaching skills will give you a head-start to better teaching opportunities.

We also provide referral assistance to qualified candidates. To successfully start you on your new adventure, our advisor will answer questions related to global cultures and local customs, travel, and selecting the best location for you — whether it's Asia, South America, or Europe.

Wesley Christenson “To adequately equip myself to help others understand my language, while learning about their culture, I turned to UCI Division of Continuing Education's TEFL Certificate Program. In a summer-long intensive training program, learned veterans of the TEFL and TESL community shared their knowledge and experiences with me and gave me the skills and confidence I needed to secure the job I have now and succeed up to this point in my teaching career. I am working for an English conversation school in Japan, am two months into my second contract here, and in the initial selection phase of stepping up in the company in order to became a traveling emergency teacher. I thoroughly enjoy my work, love the life I have established here in Japan, and will always be ever grateful to the staff and experts in this program.” Wesley Christenson
Program Graduate (Teaching in Japan)

FAQs

  • I speak English perfectly well. Why do I need a certificate to get a job?
  • In the past, especially in countries that were cut off from a supply of native speakers of English, any American could simply ask for a job teaching English and be given one. Today, school administrators are more particular about the qualifications of the individuals they hire. Being a native speaker of English does not automatically confer the ability to teach the language. A TEFL Certificate shows prospective employers that you possess the professional tools to teach English successfully. Not only will you be a more attractive candidate to employers, but your skills, knowledge and teaching experience will make you more comfortable, confident and effective as a teacher.
  • I'm confused by all these terms: ESL, EFL, TEFL, TESL, and TESOL. What do they mean? How are they different?
  • All of these terms refer to teaching English to individuals who are not native speakers of the language. ESL stands for English as a Second Language, and TESL stands for Teaching English as a Second Language. EFL refers to English as a Foreign Language, and TEFL, as you would expect, to Teaching EFL. In general, ESL is used to refer to teaching English in an English-speaking country, and EFL to teaching English in a country whose official language is not English. TESOL, which stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, is becoming more commonly used because it encompasses both TEFL and TESL. Most EFL/ESL training programs now use the standard label of "TEFL Certificate Program" for their teacher training courses.
  • Do I need to know the language of my students?
  • No. Most schools today do not encourage the use of students' native languages in class, even when the students are beginners. Further, in many settings students in the same class may have a variety of native languages.
  • Do I need a College Degree?
  • We do not require participants in our program to have a college degree. Having one may be helpful, however, in securing a job. Some schools require candidates to have a degree, and some countries, such as Japan, will not issue a work visa to individuals who are not college graduates. Still, there are many opportunities for teachers with TEFL certificates but no college degree, both in the U.S. and overseas.
  • Will I receive assistance in my job search?
  • A special teaching abroad course is part of our TEFL Certificate Program. Topics include finding employment, interviewing techniques, resume writing, evaluating a contract, and other skills that will start you off in the right direction. We have extensive resources to help you locate available jobs, and offer appointments with job coordinator to assistant you with your search.
  • What kinds of jobs can I get?
  • TEFL program graduates find jobs in grade schools, high schools, universities, adult education centers, private language schools and social service organizations. Some people even free-lance, teaching business people in their offices, or meeting for one-on-one conversation classes. The kind of job you get depends partly on the kind you want, the city or country where you would like to work, your previous experience and your performance at job interviews. Keep in mind that as you gain teaching experience, you will have a wider range of opportunities from which to choose, and a better sense of which assignments suit your skills and interests.
  • Where can I get a job?
  • English teachers can find jobs all over the world. Countries that currently have especially great demand for native speakers of English include those in Asia (Korea, Japan, China, Thailand), in Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile), in Eastern and Central Europe (Poland, Hungary, Russia), and in the Near/Middle East (Morocco, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates). It is challenging for holders of American passports to find work in countries belonging to the European Union, but many of our graduates have been successful in finding jobs after they move to the European country where they wish to work.

    ESL teaching assignments are plentiful in the US. Teachers at language schools generally start out with part-time work, which often leads to a full-time job. Adult education centers, local governments, religious organizations and social service agencies frequently organize ESL classes. TEFL graduates without state teaching certification can get jobs in private elementary and high schools, and sometimes can find work in public school systems where ESL teachers are in short supply. Finally, some graduates may qualify to teach at community colleges or university-run intensive English programs.
  • How much can I expect to earn?
  • How much you earn overseas will depend on the country in which you work and your level of experience. In some countries, such as Japan, Korea or Kuwait, you will be able to live well, while saving money to bring home. In countries where the economy is weaker and the exchange rate less favorable, such as Mexico or Thailand, you should be able to live comfortably on a teacher's salary, but not save much in dollars. In addition, depending on the country and the contract, you may be provided with health insurance and accommodations. Some teachers even have all or part of their airfare paid by the school that hires them.

    In the United States, teaching rates at language schools typically range from $15 to $20 per hour for general teaching, and $22 to $50 for specialized teaching or privately-arranged classes. A full-time teaching load at a language school is typically 25-28 hours per week. Full-time teachers generally receive employee benefits. Pay for teachers in public or private schools will vary according to the location and the individual's teaching experience.

English Proficiency Requirement
All certificate programs at UCI Division of Continuing Education (classroom and online formats) require professional-level English language proficiency in listening and note-taking, reading comprehension and vocabulary, written expression, and oral presentation.