Why A TEFL Course Isn’t Enough to Teach English In Thailand

You want to teach English in Thailand but you’re not sure where to begin. Should you take a TEFL course in Thailand? Should you take your TEFL in your home country? Or should you take an online TEFL course?

I know your pain. I was in your shoes 7 years ago. And I was tricked into taking an online TEFL course. Worst mistake ever.

Not only did the online TEFL not qualify as an official 120-hour TEFL (most online TEFL courses don’t, and most schools in Thailand want teachers with a 120-hour TEFL certificate), but the TEFL course failed to prepare me for life as an English teacher in Thailand.

When I got to Thailand and taught my first class, I was lost. And the experience was so bad I was going to tell the class I had to use the bathroom and then never come back.

That day I went back to my apartment and did what came next. I enrolled in a 120-hour TEFL course in Thailand, which turned out to be a great decision.

I learned how to teach English as a second language the right way. I shook off my nerves as I practiced teaching in real companies. And my confidence grew.

But after a few years of teaching I realized there was much more to teaching English in Thailand than what I’d learned during my TEFL course in Thailand. Not so much in ESL teaching methods, but in the problems I faced teaching Thais and dealing with Thai customs and traditions in the classroom.

Most of what I learned about these topics—the important ones—I learned the hard way. Through a lot of trial and error.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with TEFLs. They’re necessary to teach ESL anywhere in the world. But if you want to teach English in Thailand a TEFL isn’t enough.

Why? I’m glad you asked.

TEFL courses don’t always teach you how to teach English in Thailand

And Thailand plays by its own rules.

In Thailand, traditions and customs are woven deeply through the fabric of Thai society. You must be mindful of these traditions and customs in the classroom, especially when teaching adults.

I know one teacher who got fired for leaning over the shoulders and heads of her older Thai students all the time. That’s right. Fired. It might seem like drastic measures but in Thailand you never want to approach someone from behind and hover over them.

And online TEFL agencies won’t tell you the truth about teaching contracts in Thailand

How would you like to get your TEFL through an online agency and then that agency puts you in the middle of the farmlands for one year?

Sure, you’ll gain teaching skills. You’ll enjoy the new environment for a little while. But after a few months of teaching all day and spending all night in a one-room apartment you’re going to crave a social life.

And instead, wouldn’t you rather have control of your life? Your teaching hours? Where and when and who you teach?

This is why you need to take your TEFL in Thailand and then explore your choices, before you sign a teaching contract.

But even if you take your TEFL course in Thailand it won’t be enough

Before you take your TEFL course in Thailand there are things you must know about teaching in Thailand.

Wouldn’t you rather learn the important things before paying for a plane ticket and spending hundreds, or even a thousand dollars, on your TEFL course?

So where can you find supplemental material for your TEFL course?

You can scan blogs.

You can watch videos.

Or you can browse forums.

But it would take hours upon hours to curate all the right information.

P.S. Want to save time? Download the Teach English in Thailand Audio Guide and equip yourself with the skills and insight to successfully teach English in Thailand.


By | 2016-11-13T22:51:09+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Blog|

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