To successfully complete your online TEFL course, you’re required to complete 20 hours of practicum. These practicum hours allow each student to gain first hand experience working with real ESL students, whether it is in an actual classroom setting, or by tutoring a non-native speaker privately.
Where can I complete my teaching practicals?
You can do a web search for English language classes offered in your community. You will find that many different organisations will offer English classes to non-native speakers. Some examples of class sites are language schools, ethnic community centers, community colleges, park districts, local libraries, and faith-based organisations such as churches, mosques or synagogues. You may also find a non-native English speaker to whom you can offer one-on-one tutoring.
You are free to find a location close to you and arrange hours at your convenience. Whether they may occur during the day or in the evenings, or over the weekend, you’re in control.
When can I begin my teaching practicals?
Students may begin their practicum as soon as the course starts; at this time, it is advised to begin your practicum experience with observation hours unless you are an experienced TEFL/TESOL teacher.
You can do your hours at different locations if you choose. Some students prefer the continuity of remaining at one location, whilst others enjoy experiencing different language learners throughout the practicum experience.
You can also conduct your observation, tutoring, or student teaching at various times. You can begin your hours as soon as the course starts, then you have up to 60 days after the course has ended to complete your 20 hours. Some teacher trainees prefer to wait until they have been enrolled in the course for some time before teaching, while some will begin as soon as the course starts. Others wait until the course has ended and will begin teaching during the 60-day period after certification.
You have full control of your practicum, to ensure you have the best possible experience teaching for the first time!
I’m already a teacher at home – will this count towards my teaching practical hours?
Your current classroom hours will apply toward your practicum only if you are teaching English skills to non-native English speakers. For example, if you are usually a Biology teacher but you are offering extra tutoring assistance to an English language learner, then this time spent will count toward your practicum.
We do require that you complete your practicum hours concurrently with the course. However, if you have had extensive TEFL/TESOL experience locally or abroad, then you may have a portion of your practicum hours waived. This situation will be determined on a case-to-case basis, so please speak with an advisor from the Student Affairs department to gain approval and authorization.
How do I record my practical teaching hours?
You’ll be provided with specific documents on which you will log your days and hours of observation, tutoring, or student teaching. These time log forms must be signed and verified by a cooperating teacher or tutored student. A brief evaluation form will be provided, that your cooperating teacher or tutored student must complete about your experience. Lastly, you will complete an assignment, for which you will be required to write a reflective essay on your experience.