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The Different Types of English Language Teachers

Do you have what it takes to be an English language teacher? You should know that English language teachers are not just one type, there are differences between English language teachers, their specialties and qualifications.

Types of English language teachers

1. EFL EFL teachers are English language teachers who teach English as a Foreign Language.
2. ESL Teachers under this category teach English as a Second Language.
3. ESOL ESOL teachers teach English for Speakers of Other Languages

As you may have noticed, these three types of teachers have one thing in common: they all help people trained in other languages (usually their mother tongue) become educated in English. This field of teaching may also be known by other acronyms (and terms) namely:

1. TESL Teaching of English as a Second Language.
2. TEFL Teaching of English as a Foreign Language.
3. ELT English language teaching.
4. TESOL Teaching of English for Speakers of Other Languages.

You can see that the first three types of English language teachers are just called by the other 4 names and acronyms but their function is the same: to teach the English language to people who have a mother tongue different from English.

The English language teaching field has grown in so many ways. For one thing, English language teachers may choose to get international accreditation to boost their credentials particularly if they are planning to migrate to another country. One country that officially requires this, for instance, is Australia which requires potential English language teachers to present the results of their TOEFL exams (yet another acronym to describe English language teachers it stands for Teaching of English as a Foreign Language.)

At present, there are two umbrella terms to subdivide the field of English language teachers. For those English language teachers concentrating on American English, they rely on the TESOL system. English language teachers who are well versed in British English opt for the ELT system. Countries which used to be territories of the US (such as the Philippines) generally use American English, while countries that may have been under the British in the past (like India) will usually use British English.

An English teacher should be aware of the traits of the English language so that he or she may be better at teaching it.

1. The phonemes of vowels
2. The phonemes of consonants
3. The structure of syllables
4. Vowels which are not stressed
5. The timing of stress
6. Connected speech.

In grammar, the points to take note of are:

1. Articles
2. Grammar tenses
3. Modal verbs
4. Functions of auxiliaries
5. Idiomatic usage

In vocabulary, a teacher should be honed in:

1. Word derivation
2. Phrasal verbs
3. Size of lexicon.

Some teachers specialize in either written or spoken English or specialized field such as:

  1. Business English
  2. English for Finance and Economy
  3. English for journalists
  4. English for the travel industry
  5. English conversation
  6. Creative writing for non-native English speakers

If you are looking for a teaching certificate, TEFL is the certificate of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Premiere TEFL is a company that assists people who are looking to teach ESL abroad. They provide you with all the materials that you will need to work in a foreign country. There are also systems in place to offer support for newcomers.

Courses for TEFL can be from 120 hours up to 300 hours with training and assessment depending on the level of expertise and type of teaching you would like to do. There are specialized training centers and online courses as well.


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