Hey friends! I was so happy when Emmy, a past TAPIF assistant, reached out to me offering to share her TEFL knowledge, as I know that many future teachers in France have some questions regarding whether or not to invest in one of the many certificates being offered. So, without further ado, here's Emmy with any and all things TEFL!
My name is Emmy and I am a TAPIF survivor. Ok, that’s dramatic. My year teaching abroad in France really was the best time of my life. But it’s no secret that TAPIF can be a logistical nightmare. The good thing about TAPIF is that you save money by not going through a provider. The bad thing is that, well, you don’t have a provider which leaves a lot of TAPIF-ers feeling underprepared.
As you know, there is sometimes no rhyme or reason for how TAPIF works. I was one of the unlucky assistants who didn’t receive their contract until late summer and quite frankly had no idea if I’d be landing in France on the date written on my plane ticket. I was also one of the majority of assistants who walked into the classroom and felt like a total fish out of water.
I didn’t study education or English as an undergraduate and it was my first time ever in a classroom. How should I know how to teach English?! It’s since occurred to me just how weird it is that one of the requirements to be an English teaching assistant in France is a basic level of French when what would be infinitely more useful is having a basic level of English and specifically English teaching.
Which leads me to two questions that have boggled my mind since I starting working at CIEE two months ago: Why don’t TAPIF participants know about TEFL?! and If TAPIF-ers knew about TEFL, would more of them take it? I know I certainly would have!
In light of my new role on the TEFL team at CIEE and my past experience as a TAPIF English teaching assistant, I am here to fill you in on all things TEFL. Here are some of the common questions I’ve already received from some of you:
What the heck is TEFL?
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is a 150-Hour accredited course that certifies you to teach English as a foreign language almost anywhere in the world ("almost" as in you probably can’t go to North Korea anytime soon). TEFL trains you to take charge as an English assistant and gives the tools and experience needed to establish a strong rapport with students, employers, fellow teachers, and other school administrators.
TEFL, TESOL, TESL, ESL…too many acronyms. What do they all mean?
Emmy is a 2016-17 TAPIF alumni who taught for the Academy of Nice in Hyeres, France. She worked in two elementary schools with kids age 6 to 11. Upon her return, Emmy started working for the CIEE Teach Abroad and TEFL programs as their content marketing intern. She hopes to continue to facilitate teach abroad opportunities for years to come and help TAPIF participants in any way possible!