What Are the Different Types of TEFL Resources?

Mark Wollacott

There are many types of TEFL resources for teachers and for students. First, there are resources aimed at helping people become TEFL-qualified teachers. Secondly, there are resources for helping teachers develop and find work. Thirdly, there are resources for helping teachers to teach and to create lesson plans.

There are resources to help instructors teach and create TEFL lesson plans.
There are resources to help instructors teach and create TEFL lesson plans.

TEFL is short for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Teachers can be native or non-native English teachers and must be educated to a high degree and have especially good English. TEFL-qualified teachers work around the world, including in English-speaking countries. They teach students who are learning English as a second, third or even fourth language. These can be short summer courses, long academic courses at schools and universities or even evening or private classes for adults.

Former TEFL teachers may serve as an excellent resource for current TEFL teachers.
Former TEFL teachers may serve as an excellent resource for current TEFL teachers.

Prospective TELF teachers are able to learn in three ways. First, they attend a full-time class, second they learn online or third they do an online course with a weekend on-site section. The validity of the course and the reputation it gives the student depends on a course by course basis. On-site full-time courses are traditionally the best, but also the most expensive. Local colleges and teaching schools have resources for learning about the courses and for what books are required to complete it.

The Internet is also filled with websites allowing qualified teachers to find job opportunities. These include semi-government sites such as the British Council and those run by private firms. Classified ad space in a number of English-language publications in countries such as China and Poland also list jobs. There are a large number of private English companies that also provide resources for prospective teachers and information on finding a job.

As well as academic institutions, a number of past and present teachers have released books on teaching English as a foreign language. Such TEFL resources, when combined with free online TEFL resources, are excellent for developing new teaching techniques and lesson ideas. Such books range from course books to books that specialize in teaching certain elements of English, such as teaching speaking or listening. Other books, such as dictionaries and grammar books, are essential for understanding the language.

Some web sites are designed primarily for teachers in Japan and provide TEFL resources ranging from songs to worksheets and include lists of lesson plans and games as well. These resources can be used to generate new ideas or to be used in an emergency. Many games, work sheets and activities can be adapted to meet the needs and styles of the students being taught.

One of the overlooked TEFL resources available to TEFL teachers is other teachers. They are an invaluable source of support, ideas and help. New teachers also help because they may have fresh approaches to teaching.

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