What questions should I ask a TEFL employer?


Take a look at any online TEFL forum and there is a good chance you will come across stories of unscrupulous employers taking advantage of their teachers. Due to the huge number of English language training providers operating in countries all over the world, it is inevitable that there are some that are badly run. The good news is that by asking a few simple questions you should be able to avoid the jobs you don't want and greatly increase your chances of landing the right position to suit you. Whether you are an experienced EFL teacher looking for a new challenge or a newly qualified TEFL graduate looking for that all important first teaching position, it is vital that you ask the right questions during the job interview process. Although you can never guarantee that any job will turn out to be everything you expected (you may not get on with your fellow teachers for example), you can spot many potential problems before you commit to a new teaching job. So what questions should you ask the employer during an interview? What tasks will I be expected to undertake outside of normal teaching hours? Exactly what is expected of teachers varies considerably from one school to the next. You may be expected to complete reports on your students, attend regular staff meetings, consult with student's parents, provide lesson plans in advance or even undertake lunchtime duties etc. Some schools will pay for these extra responsibilities and some will not, so it is important that you are fully aware of your workload before taking the job. What is teacher turnover like at the school? The volume of turnover can be a good indication of how well teachers are treated by their employers. Although teachers in this field do often change jobs on a regular basis, you should be wary if no one stays for more than one contract. If you are unsure of the interviewer's answers, you can ask to speak to teachers who are currently working at the school. What kind of classes will I be teaching? This may require a few questions to get a full picture of what your classes will be like. What is the average class size? What age are the students? Is the curriculum set or will I have to prepare my own? There are generally pros and cons to each different classroom dynamic and most teachers have their own preferences. What is the payment schedule? Although this can sometimes feel like a tricky subject to bring up, it is essential to know what the starting salary is and whether there is any set policy for pay increases in the future. You will also need to know how and when the salary is paid so you can ensure you have the funds to cover your stay until the first paycheck arrives. What teaching resources do you have? It is important to know what resources and teaching aids are available to you as this may well affect how you plan and deliver your lessons. Is there access to internet connected computers, printers and photocopiers? If so, are they free to use? Do the classrooms have interactive whiteboards, overhead projectors or plain whiteboards? Is there a budget to cover any extra materials you want to include in your lessons? These are just some of the more important questions you should ask at any interview you attend, however, there are sure to be others that are important to you and specific to the individual job or location. Just remember that you have lost nothing if you walk away from a potential job because it just didn't feel right. Better that than to find yourself wondering "why didn't I ask about that before I signed the contract". Are you ready to live and teach abroad? Click here and get started today:

Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

Unite 3 covers course development,how you as a teacher of Business English would go about designing a course for your student.This all includes the first meeting ,the different test that are given ,how to conduct a needs analysis,the making of a syllabus,examination and doing a course evaluation .It did not cross my mind the range of people that would need to learn english. I thought of my inlaws that are immigrants to the United States from the Philippines. They moved here when they were in their late 20's / early 30's. This unit we learned about business language. This is very important.In this unit, I've learned the forms, usages, some typical errors and, most importantly, some useful teaching ideas of the present tenses. The content provides me a very clear overview and great ideas of how to teach tense and how to choose some proper activities in the grammar part in my lessons.