TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and it’s a certificate you need if you want to teach non-native speakers English. With a TEFL certificate, you can teach students of all ages – from young learners to adult business language learners – anywhere in the world. It’s recognised globally and is the key to kick-starting your English teaching career abroad, home or online.
Free TEFL Teacher Resources for TESOL and TEFL teachers
Picture this: You have come to the end of your TEFL course, have received your TEFL/TESOL certification and are ready to start your new career! You have now been offered your dream job abroad or online and your first day of work is coming soon. You’re excited, but nervous. Feeling unprepared as you embark on your new journey. Learning about how to teach English as a foreign language is one thing, teaching live in the classroom is quite another. In this scenario, teaching resources will be your best friend!
What are TEFL or TESOL Teaching Resources?
Teaching resources can be anything from a teacher community or network to lesson plans. In short, a resource that helps you teach.
A teaching plan can be daunting, especially if you haven’t taught in awhile, or in fact taught before at all. A lesson plan can sometimes feel like a huge feat, but with the help of teaching resources like a lesson planner or a community, it will make it feel a lot easier. With this ease, you’ll get off on the right foot with your TEFL career and enjoy teaching, the way teaching should be.
Lesson Planner – Amazing Teaching Resource
Lesson Planners are amazing resources! Our first bit of advice is to scope out all the websites available to you that have free lesson plans and materials. Depending on what type of lesson you are teaching, you might stumble across different websites.
Our favorite website here at the TEFL institute has to go to the British Council. There is no shortage of free TEFL lesson plans and ideas here, ranging from grammar exercises to helpful videos to listening practice. The levels of the lesson plans are marked, and there are sections for teaching adults, children, and teenagers. It’s a dream come true! This website is also ideal for last-minute planners or emergency classes that have been sprung on you!
Another top favorite of ours and definitely our go-to resource for grammar is perfetenglishgrammar.com. This website is magic when it comes to teaching Grammar! Not only is it a god send when you get those advanced level sorts of questions but also for clear & comprehensive explanations on different grammar structures. It also includes printable student worksheets on every topic along with the answers (for all of us teachers who mightn’t know every bit of grammar just yet!).
You might not think of social media accounts when you think of lesson planning but socials like Pinterest are a gold mine of ideas if you use search terms like “tesol lesson plans,” “free ESL lesson plans,” or “free lesson plans for English teachers.” Even for those IELTS or Business English lesson plans that typically require a little more effort.
You might be in a class where you are teaching young learners and you are half-teacher, half-babysitter, and 100 percent terrified that the students might get bored and stop paying attention, Pinterest has an array of fun ESL activities that act as fillers throughout different lessons to liven the class up!
Guides – TEFL Teacher’s Teaching Resource
Guides! You can never have too many when it comes to preparing your lessons. E-books will help you extraordinarily throughout your career and you’ll forever be referring back to them. These types of e-books normally come at a cost. However, lucky for our students and alumni, there are many options to receive these guides for free! Check out to see what is included when enrolling onto a course. You may have the Grammar Guide or Warmers, Fillers and Coolers guide included in enrollment. Don’t just skip through this. Trust us they will help you in numerous ways while lesson planning. Didn’t get it included? Contact one of our course advisors today and they might be able to hook you up!
Teacher Communities and Groups
Teaching communities/groups or networks are key to launching or improving your TEFL career! First and foremost, surrounding yourself with like-minded teachers who are in the exact same boat as you is going to benefit you hugely. Sharing ideas and lesson plans is just one of the things that are exchanged on the daily. Not to forget free resources and sharing personal stories too! We suggest adding yourselves to all these groups and networks as soon as possible. The next step is to share a little bit about yourself and your plan with TEFL – you never know what people might have to offer! A simple google search for these groups works well but also searching on the likes of Facebook or Linked in for groups along the lines of “Teaching Online ”. Add yourself to all of the groups and take 15 mins each day to check in and update yourself on any useful information or material.
As well as online groups, make sure to join all the ESL in-person groups and networks in your local areas. Calling one of these centers or ringing around is definitely worth it! These centers can sometimes organize coffee meet ups for teachers where they might exchange ideas and materials.
ESL Extras you might not think about
An excellent lesson plan is the best approach to stay organized, get enthused about your courses, increase student engagement, and improve learning results, whether you’re teaching online or in person. While you’re at it, why not have some fun developing eye-catching lesson plans? Canva is a user-friendly graphic design application that offers hundreds of lesson plan templates that can be simply changed and exported in a variety of file formats or printed directly from the editor. Better yet, they have a free version that is not as limited as other free version sites.
Another application that will help those of you who want to teach abroad would be Duolingo. We’ve all heard of it, but something you may not think about is how much it will help you with your ESL teaching abroad. It all depends on where you teach. For example, if you are in South Korea, there is an English section for Korean speakers. It’s definitely worth a look. This is the pinnacle of gamification. Duolingo can also help you get around the country you are in. Being able to talk to locals is seriously satisfying! Happy teacher means a happy classroom.
There is an abundance of free resources out there available for TEFL teachers if you just know where to look. We recommend taking the time to sift through the material and avail of anything useful for your lessons. We hope that this blog has made it a little easier for you all!
To get a TEFL certificate you must take an accredited TEFL course. The minimum training required by employers worldwide is 120 hours. You can choose between accredited, government regulated Level 5 or combined TEFL courses. You’ll find TEFL courses are either online or combined in-class and online experiences.
Getting a TEFL certification from a recognised, trusted provider is essential when it comes to receiving high-quality training and finding a job. Always go for a globally recognised accredited certification. It’s also worth double checking company reviews to make sure customers are satisfied with their training.
What’s the difference between accredited and government regulated Level 5 TEFL courses?
The Accredited 120 Hour Premier TEFL Course is what we call one of our fast-track courses. This is the minimum recognised worldwide.
- You have 10 modules to complete usually taking 4-6 weeks.
- Each module has a multiple-choice test at the end, and you need 80% to pass.
- You’ll get your digital certificate on completion and can buy a hard copy from us if you’d like one with an embossed logo.
Level 5 Ofqual-regulated courses offer more in-depth training. If we look at the 180 Hour Level 5 TEFL Diploma in comparison:
- Learners typically spend 12 – 14 weeks to complete 11 modules.
- The pass mark is 100% and assessments are multiple-choice plus open-ended answers. Don’t worry, you can redo quizzes to get 100%. Our academic team will review your answers at the end of your 11 modules and may ask for some questions to be reattempted. Some questions may require you to provide academic references.
- You’ll get your digital coursework completion certificate from us after module 11. Following successful assessment from our academic team, we’ll be able to claim the licence for your Ofqual (government) certificate from our accreditation body Highfield.
The Ofqual-regulated Level 5 course range is for those who want to gain a higher-level, more recognised qualification.
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers teach English in non-native English speaking countries. TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) teachers teach English in native English speaking countries. CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is a separate qualification you can get to teach English.
TEFL: One of the most accepted certificates worldwide, this allows you to teach English to non-native speakers across the globe.
TESL: As a TESL teacher, you would likely be teaching English in your home country to students who have moved or live in an English speaking country. In other words, they are continuously surrounded by the language and will be using it every day outside of the classroom, unlike TEFL students who are likely learning in their home country.
CELTA: A very prestigious certification that follows a strict regulation created by Cambridge University. You must complete a 120-hour TEFL course and six hours of teaching real ESL students. Most of the programmes are held over a month and are full time. However, you may be able to find some courses that are part-time and are spread over three months. Due to its intense nature and requirements, the cost tends to be much higher and can be up to €1700!
Yes! Teaching English as a foreign language – online or in-class – will give you an abundance of transferable skills. From time management to problem-solving and communication, you’ll have plenty of experience to impress future employers. As your TEFL certification never expires, you can get back into TEFL whenever you wish, too.