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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 – 150 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 10-hour course specifically designed to foster effective country and job research
  • University of California certificate is recognized worldwide

Curriculum

  • Theories 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.
  • 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.
  • TEFL Practicum
    Prepare to be a successful ESL/EFL teacher. Cover principles for effective teaching and classroom practices. Practice teaching a variety of classroom activities focusing on different language skills. Evaluate peer presentations orally and self-presentation in writing. Observe or present communicative activities in authentic ESL classes and present a cultural lesson at a local school.
  • Teaching Pronunciation Skills
    Receive an introduction to the fields of phonetics and phonology as they relate to second language learning. Learn about practical issues and methods in the teaching of pronunciation, along with pronunciation problems common to many ESL students. Students will also have a chance to practice and improve their own pronunciation.
  • Teaching English as a Career
    Prepare to teach overseas in three phases: finding a job, preparing to go, and living/working overseas. One-on-one meetings will help you assess your goals, review resources necessary for the application process, and raise awareness of what you will encounter in living and working in a different country. Receive guidance on resume building, interviewing skills, and your country of choice in depth.
  • Teaching Young Learners
    Examine theoretical issues and pedagogical practices surround the teaching of EFL to young learners. Learn to recognize the differences in young learner age groups, understand basic concepts of childhood language development, and utilize different strategies and basic principles of classroom management and motivation of young learners.

TEFL Internship

Get the opportunity to work as a teacher in a real-world setting, take on workplace projects, earn academic credit, learn new skills and concepts, and make professional contacts!

Internships are unpaid positions lasting 3 months. Students are eligible after the successful completion of the TEFL Certificate Program. TEFL Interns are paired with a Master Teacher in our Academic 10-Week ESL program and also participate in weekly Internship debriefings with an Internship Instructor. TEFL Interns can also participate in a variety of administrative-level tasks within International Programs for approximately 20-35 hours per week.

Benefits:

  • Practice what you learned in your TEFL coursework with approximately 75 hours of observation and participation in an authentic ESL classroom
  • Develop your personal and professional teaching relationships and contacts as you are paired with a Master ESL Teacher throughout the entire program
  • Plan, evaluate, and teach full and mini lessons while receiving guidance and feedback from a host instructor
  • Improve communication skills and professional development
  • Create a digital video portfolio of your internship experiences to aid in future teacher job placement

Program Details

11 weeks, Monday-Friday, expect to attend approximately 15 class hours per week.
Classes are held between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
UC Irvine Campus

Upcoming Program Dates

Quarter Start Date End Date
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 $5,900
Internship Program Fee $2,900
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.

Entrance Requirements

  • Completed application
  • No teaching experience required
  • Official university transcript(s)
  • Minimum 71 iBT TOEFL, 530 PBT TOEFL, 685 TOEIC, 6.0 IELTS, or other evidence of English proficiency (non-native speakers of English)

Certificate Requirements

A certificate is awarded upon completion of eight courses. Students who enroll the TEFL Certificate and Internship program will be awarded a certificate upon completion of the Internship.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

  • Cancellations must be requested in writing to dce-services@uci.edu
  • Prior to the program start date: 100% of refundable fees minus a $25 administrative fee
  • Prior to the end of the 5th day of program: 50% of refundable fees
  • No refunds after the 5th day of program
  • No refunds will be given if a student is dismissed

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

Housing

Come live with international students who are studying at UCI Division of Continuing Education's International Programs. Fully-furnished apartment accommodations are located off campus, a short walk or bus ride to your classes. In addition to the benefits listed below, you will be able to practice the TEFL skills you learn in class by helping your roommates practice their English.

University Apartments Benefits

  • Close proximity to campus
  • Jacuzzi, pool (basketball, volleyball and tennis courts are additional features varying by apartment)
  • Enjoy independence
  • Live in a fully furnished apartment (includes bed linens, towels and kitchen cookware)
  • Prepare your own meals and/or purchase a meal plan
  • Wireless internet, cable TV and DVD player provided at no additional cost

Apartment Options

There are a wide variety of different apartment communities in Irvine, giving you the opportunity to select the one that offers the perfect living environment for you! If you are interested in learning more about apartment options in Irvine, below is a list of companies which you may contact directly for more information and pricing.

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.

Andrew Bolhagen “The UCI TEFL Program prepared me for every step involved in becoming an English teacher working abroad. From job interviews to lesson planning, from pedagogical theory to practice, from cultural sensitivity to culture shock, TEFL at UCI engaged every aspect of the process. Not only does this program provide the classroom skills required to be an effective English teacher, but it aids in preparing one for life abroad. Importantly, this program instills one with a sense of professionalism that has helped me foster great relationships with my employers overseas. A successful tour teaching abroad consists of two elements: the job and the adventure. I have been swimming in the Yellow Sea, mountain climbing in Japan, touring ancient palaces in Korea and all the while thriving in the workplace. The UCI TEFL program sets up its graduates for just such a success.” Andrew Bollhagen
Program Graduate (teaching in Korea)

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.