What is Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)?

This is the instruction of English to speakers of other languages (e.g., Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, etc.) while living and working abroad. EFL instructors can work for private language schools, public and private elementary, middle or high schools and universities/community colleges, or organizations such as the Peace Corps. English is typically the language of instruction, but it does help if the teacher knows something of the language of that culture. See the catalog for specific information about the TEFL minor/certificate.

For advising guides, check out the Department of Languages Blugold Insider page. Just use your UWEC username and password to log in.

TEFL, Minor

24 credits

This minor pairs well with a range of majors because of the demand for specialized knowledge in the TEFL field. Beginning Fall 2016, the languages department will no longer offer a minor in TEFL. However, the certificate will continue to be an option for interested students. 

Change your major

To change your minor to TEFL, please contact the languages department using the information below, and they will help get you started.

Frequently asked questions about TEFL

What is the difference between TESOL and TEFL?

Aside from the acronym difference, professionals in the field use the distinction between second language environments (where English is spoken in the community outside of the classroom), and foreign language environments (which the students' native language is spoken outside of the classroom). For your academic purposes, this distinction explains whether you want to teach in the U.S. (a second language environment) with a state of Wisconsin license (TESOL) or if you want to teach overseas in Japan, China, Mexico, Poland, Romania or Korea (TEFL).

Can I obtain the TESOL Minor for an in-state license and do the TEFL Minor or certificate so I can teach internationally?

Yes, you may do the certificate for only two additional classes (ES 409 and FLG 375). You may not do the two minors (TESOL and TEFL) because there are too many overlaps in course work. But you may add the TEFL certificate to your TESOL minor with very little additional course work.

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