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TEFL / TESOL / Teach English Abroad / English Teaching Jobs - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about TEFL / TESOL / TEFL Courses / English Teaching Jobs / ESL Jobs in Thailand

What is the difference between the TEFL and TESOL certificate?

In the world of teaching English abroad, there is a wide variety of terms and acronyms. For example, you can find references to CELTA, DELTA, TESOL, TEFL, EFL, ESL, ELT, ESOL, EAL, TEAL, and TESL. These similar sounding terms are often confusing for those who are considering a career in teaching English abroad. However, the simple truth is that many of these acronyms are virtually synonymous with one another. For example TESOL and TEFL are virtually interchangeable. Practically speaking, having either a TEFL or a TESOL certification essentially enables native English speakers to teach English in a variety of foreign countries.

TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
For all intents and purposes the terms mean the same with TESOL being more common in America and with large state sector colleges in Britain (e.g. the Institute of Education in London) while TEFL is more common in U.K. Language Schools and in the U.K. press. There is a slight technical difference since TESOL refers to all learners whose first language is not English, including ethnic minorities living in this country whereas TEFL refers only to "foreign" students. Potentially, therefore, a TESOL course encompasses more than a more narrowly defined TEFL course.

What do these acronyms mean?

TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language

This applies where English is learned and taught in an environment where English is not the official or unofficial first language. Examples: China, Spain, Laos

TESL - Teaching English as a Second Language

This applies to situations where English is learned and taught in an environment where English is used on a daily basis as either an official or unofficial second language. Examples: India, Singapore, U.S. immigrants.

TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

This term is used for both the TEFL and TESL situations, where the mother tongue of learners is for students is other than English. It is the process of developing teaching skills among those native-English speakers who aim at teaching non-English speaking students.

ESL - English as Second Language

This term is now widely used in situations where English is taught to non native speakers in a native or non-native English speaking country. Examples: U.S.A., New Zealand, India, Thailand, China, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Portugal etc.

ELT - English Language Teaching

A general term for the teaching of English in any of the mentioned learning situations.

ESP - English for Special Purposes

The term is used for the particular English required for special situations. Examples English required in business situations, for academic purposes, or in the tourism industry. Some TESOL training courses contain ESP courses.

EYL - English for Young Learners

English language courses that are specially planned and presented for young learners. The focus here determines the entire handling of the curriculum.

CELTA - Certificate in English Language Teaching for Adults

What are the prospects of teaching English Abroad?

English teaching jobs for either ESL, English as a second language, or TEFL Teaching English as a Foreign Language are in the highest demand to date. We have connections with teaching institutions all over the world including Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. The educational requirements do vary from country to country, but apart from differences in requirements, we can help you find a position for teaching English in a variety of countries worldwide.

Teaching English abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person will ever have. Not only is there a charm of traveling and working, but the school schedule allows ample time for their own cultural exploration and learning. For a recent college graduate, it is the ideal way to get work experience, earn money and travel all at once.

Obtaining a certificate to teach English abroad is simple, fast and affordable with the programs offered at the ACT Institute. Following this short period, ACT will help place you in a job. You will negotiate directly with your new employer to work out pay, travel and lodging, but ACT will always be available to help you with this process.

What are the eligibility criterions for the ACT Program?

The requirements for the ACT online and in class courses are:
  • High school Diploma or equivalent
  • Fluency of the English Language.
  • Ability to obtain a passport for job placement.
  • Background check for post certification job placement.
The requirements for the ACT online and in class courses for international students are:
  • High school Diploma or equivalent
  • Fluency of the English Language.
  • Ability to legally work, or obtain a working visa, for the country of employment as a teacher.
  • Background check for post certification job placement
  • ACT recommends that non native English speakers have a 550 TOEFL score (220 CBT) or an IELTS 6.0 to enable you to successfully complete an online or in class ACT certification course.

Do I need teaching experience to join the ACT Program?

No prior teaching experience is required to join the ACT program.

ACT online and in class programs provide the tools and lesson plans for you to be a successful English teacher. ACT also provides optional volunteer/observation ESL teaching for its graduates in the USA. Potential teachers with no prior class room hours have the opportunity to gain classroom experience in the USA before beginning a teaching job abroad.

How often do I speak with instructors while taking the online course?

Students and graduates chat online, by email, video, or telephone with ACT instructors. ACT Instructors are available online from Monday to Friday giving ample opportunity for students to interact. Certification is granted based on an evaluation of your assignments and TESOL lesson plans.

Why should I take a TESOL course from ACT ?

Asian College of Teachers (ACT ) is an internationally recognized teacher training organization with educational quality control mechanisms that ensures highest standard of education in this field. They have been training students to teach English overseas since 2007.

ACT certification, and a Bachelors or High School Degree, are the standard requirements for teaching English abroad, and with a certificate, you can teach virtually anywhere in the world. Some of the most interesting teaching opportunities currently include, are China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand, Latin America, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East.

ACT offers TESOL courses to suit every individual’s learning needs and objectives. The numerous programs are perhaps one of the most varied in this field.

ACT Institute presents a whole range of in Class and Online TESOL Programs that are designed to teach all age groups – from young learners to adult business professionals.

The ACT courses are interactive and involve students in a broad range of practical activities.

ACT is accredited by prestigious organizations like TESOL Canada, College of Birmingham (COB), London School of Teaching and Training (LSTT) and Pebble Hills University (PHU). 

Upon successfully completing course from ACT, the institute will assist you in obtaining a teaching job.

How does ACT Institute help the trainees in their job hunt?

At ACT Institute, we provide assistance at every stage of job search, and work diligently and try to place our in the country of their choice. ACT Institute provides teacher placement in Asia, Latin America, The Middle East, Europe, after completion of the TESOL certification. Different countries like China, Poland, Spain, Greece, Korea, and Japan have slightly different requirements regarding background education, and knowing which countries you will have the best opportunity of finding employment can be an invaluable asset. We are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to job placement and provide invaluable assistance and support in your job search in whichever country you would like to teach English.

What is the procedure to be followed by trainees in their job search?

There are 3 stages to be followed:
  • For job placement you have the option to post your resume online for schools and Universities worldwide to view.
  • Next, your resume and picture are published in an email. ACT then represents you, submits your resume to employers in the country of your choice, and forwards you a variety of teaching options to choose from.
  • Finally, you have the option to publish your video resume on TESOL Café for thousands of TESOL employers to view worldwide.

Does the ACT Institute provide lifetime job placement support?

With your certification from ACT , you will also receive the benefit of a lifelong job placement service. ACT knows all the various ins and outs of teaching English in a wide variety of countries, and they work hard to get you placed in the country of your choice. Getting an ACT certification is ultimately the first step in an adventure that will change your life.

Can I teach TESOL, ESL inside the USA with your certification?

ACT Institute currently provides volunteer, internship, or online ESL positions inside the USA.

Each state in the Union has different requirement regarding teaching ESL inside the public school system. Other qualifications such as Bachelors or Masters Degree, and specific requirements for teaching in a particular state, will be the final determining factor for employment inside the USA. TESOL graduates can also teach ESL in the United States of America.

If you want to give something back to the world community, and you love working with students of all ages, you can find a job teaching English as a second language. TESOL jobs are available in communities all over the world.



  • My experience was amazing, challenging, fulfilling and rewarding in every way. I am so happy I took the course with ACT. I believe I have met people I will continue to travel and experience new things with, and I am so excited to start teaching and begin impacting lives!

    lisa ruderman - Placed in Kasintorn St Peter, Nonthaburi

  • TEFL TestimonialsI heard great things about this TESOL course from 4 different people who went through it last year. I have always wanted to travel and teach, so this program was perfect for me.

    Avery Anderson -Placed in Plengprasit sailom school-BKK

  • TEFL TestimonialsAfter looking at other programs in Thailand, I found ACT was offering the lowest price. Also, Kiersten and I came together and her friends had previously done the ACT program and they had nothing but good things to say about the program.

    Blaine Sheldon -Placed in Rajprachasamasai School Under The Royal Patronage Of His Majesty The King-Samutprakarn

  • TEFL TestimonialsThe ACT program seemed to be a great way to receive hands on training. It was a great learning experience. Sangeeta and Pak did a great job throughout and I was continually impressed with them and how professional the company was.

    Peter Gorgui -Placed in Kehabangpli School-Samutprakarn

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