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Teaching English As A Foreign Language Assignment Sample

Introduction - Teaching English As A Foreign Language

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Teaching English as a foreign language is a process in which English is taught to the learners for their leisure activity, interest in the language, or the requirement of their jobs in a new country or region (Bienkowska, 2019). In this essay, the TEFL is discussed in detail. The history of English and its growth over the years in many countries have also been discussed. The process of teaching English as a foreign language consists of elements that impact the entire process of learning such as the learner, the teacher, and the method used for teaching the language. The elements of TEFL will be discussed in the essay. Further, the essay will discuss the different approaches or techniques of TEFL used in different countries. Furthermore, the challenges related to the TEFL such as wide syllabus which makes it difficult for the teacher to select the correct program and materials to be used, benefits such as it helps in reducing the language barrier in a foreign country, and the strategies that can be taken to overcome the challenges of teaching English as a foreign language will be discussed.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

There are numerous languages spoken in the world, with globalization the economies of different countries coming together to interact with one another. The interaction will become effective only when the communication between the parties is effective, to conduct effective communication, there must be a common language between the parties (Fauziati, 2010). English is widely spoken in different countries hence the popularity of the language has increased manifolds. TEFL refers to the programs that are designed to teach the English language to people who are not native English speakers. The learners may learn the language because of their interests in the language or due to the work requirement. There are different programs designed for different proficiency and requirements of the learners. The learners can select short-term or long-term programs of TEFL. There are various techniques used in the program such as reading, communicative language training, blended learning, etc.

History of English language.

The language, English started during the 5th century AD when Germanic tribes invaded Britain. One of the tribes, Angles originated from a place called “Engaland” and spoke a language called, “Englisc” fr5om where the world “English” and “England” have been derived. In the period between 450-1100 AD, Britain people developed the language spoken by Germanic tribes into a language which is known as old English now. After 1100, till 1500 the language further developed to middle English which was developed as the French invaded Britain. The language also caused a social division where lower-class people spoke English and the upper class spoke French. By 1500 AD the people of Britain had been in contact with several people around the world that further developed the language into modern English where the pronunciation played an important role as the use of vowels become specific. Modern English is also further divided into early modern English and late modern English. Hence English is a member of Germanic languages, whereas the Germanic itself is a branch of Indo-European languages. This explains the correlation of the language with other European languages such as Swedish, Danish, French.

Figure 1 Source: English Club, n.d.

Elements of TEFL.

Learning a language for a non-native speaker can be a challenging task hence, the TEFL is designed with its elements to make the process of learning effortless. In this section of the essay, the different elements of TEFL will be discussed along with the importance of each element in the teaching process.

Learners: the first element of TEFL is the learner for which the program will be designed. The program may be designed differently based on the requirement of the learner and the duration one can devote to learning the language. The learner can enroll for long-term or short-term courses based on the requirement such as a person willing to learn a language for a new job can learn the basic level in a short time and later learn the proficiency level along with the job (Coskun, 2017). Whereas the students and people who want to learn English for leisure or future opportunities can enroll in the full-time courses available at the school or private institutes. Despite the differences in the duration of the course, the syllabus of the program is standard which is taught in different countries. The age of the learners also decides the structure of the program. The public-funded programs are often oversized whereas private tuitions have limited students’ batch where the learners are given more attention as compared to the public-funded classes.

The Teacher: The teacher plays important role in the learning process as a teacher facilitates the learning process by taking numerous examples and customizing the learning process based on the understanding level of the learners. While selecting the teacher for teaching English as a foreign language, three factors must be considered. The factors are knowledge of the teacher, the teaching skills of the teacher, and the methods used by the teacher to make the learning process interactive and easy for the students to learn (Bienkowska, 2019).

The teacher knowledge must be measured based on practical knowledge about the language, different content of the language such as pronunciation, understanding of the terminologies, vocabulary, grammar, etc. while evaluating the teachers’ teaching skills, the ability to restructure and simplify the concepts must be given priority as not every student can understand the standard examples. Other skills that must be evaluated are correct pronunciation, the experience of living in native English-speaking countries, experience as a teacher, and the ability to construct one’s teaching material (Ahmad and Rao, 2013). Another factor about the teacher that impacts the learning process is the method of teaching adopted by the teacher. The different techniques and approaches used by the TEFL teachers are discussed in the next section of the essay. The methods or technique of teaching in TEFL can vary based on the nature of the language used goals and objectives of the learners, syllabus used in the learning process, and duration of the program. Several approaches can be named here such as direct method, grammar-translation method, audio-lingual method, communicative approach, mixed approach, etc. these methods are discussed in detail, below.

Techniques/approaches of TEFL.

Communicative approach: This approach is widely used in different programs to make it easier for learners to learn a language. In this approach, practical exposure is provided to the students by providing them the opportunity for real communications in the language that they want to learn. The accuracy of the language is given less priority and the focus is entirely on using language in real-life scenarios (Mason and Payant, 2019). The teacher, in this case, plays the role of a supervisor where the responsibility of the teacher is to organize the events in form of games or activities that encourages the learner to use the language, and later the teacher can mention all the mistakes and improvements of the students.

This method has proven to be very effective in helping the learners to learn a language quickly as it helps the learners to use the language in real-world scenarios, measure their performance, and it is a collective activity hence, healthy competition is created between the learners which further motivates the learner to perform better and learn the language efficiently and quickly.

Eclectic approach: This approach is also called the hybrid approach or customized approach of teaching the language as in this method, the teacher uses different methods in different lessons as per the requirement understood by the teacher. Some days the teacher might use the grammar-translation method to teach an understanding of the grammatical errors and correct usage in the communication while to teach other lessons the teacher may use the audio-lingual approach or direct method (Kostikova et. al, 2018). This method is useful to customize the learning material and strategy as it can be changed according to the requirement and understanding level of the learners and the teaching skills of the teacher.

Audio-Lingual method.

This method is designed based on the behaviorist theory of psychology which states that “mechanical exercises that reinforce structural patterns and practice vocabulary”. It is used to make the language easy to apply in real communication. Along with the real-world spontaneous use of the language, the method also focuses on the correct use of grammar and pronunciation of the language. This method is often used by the army to train their men to speak a language where they have been posted. This method can train the person to speak a language like a trained parrot as the method uses multiple sessions for practicing the language (Ahmad and Rao, 2013).

This approach believes that the process of learning a language is a mechanical habit formation hence, the method increases the use of sensory organs like hearing and speaking. Analogies used in this method help the learner to form a firm foundation of the language in the brain. This method is the most appropriate for spoken language as pronunciation and grammar are given priority while the learning phase. However, this method is criticized as if the practice involves repeated conversations mechanically, it can lead to trained parrots and not properly understanding the language.

Direct Method.

In this method, the learners are asked to restrict or minimize the use of their mother language and use the second language, English while they want to speak anything. This approach forces them to use the language while an analogy is built between the use of the mother tongue and the second language. Reading and writing are given less importance in this method while listening and speaking the second language are given more importance (Abduramanova, 2021). The students are often asked to memorize a few sentences or dialogues and use them while communicating. Continuous use of the language while relating it with their mother tongue can also help the learner to make their responses in various situations. This method is appropriate for beginners, but it is not very useful for people who are at the intermediate or advanced level of learning the language.

The Grammar translation method.

This method gives importance to the writing and reading of the language. In this method, the teacher provides learning material that explains the correct grammar usage in the communication, and the learners are encouraged to learn the language by writing the correct language after the understanding of the grammar of the language. The students convert the texts from their native language to the English language and develop an understanding of the grammar and wide set of vocabulary (Ahmad and Rao, 2013). This method, however, doesn’t give much importance to the pronunciation of the language which can create language understanding barriers while speaking the language. This method is beneficial in improving the understanding and use of the language at the intermediate or advanced level.

Qualifications of the teachers for TEFL


CELTA is a qualification which the people need to take from Cambridge to teach English as a foreign language. It is a must to take the CELTA qualification for a person to become an EFL tutor. CELTA is a highly recognized English teaching qualification across the globe. This qualification especially from Cambridge is the most requested degree by the employees. Even three out of four EFL teaching jobs have requirements of the person to have this qualification degree from Cambridge.

In Cambridge, this qualification aims to focus on the development of practical techniques in the person. To get this done, the qualification involves face-to-face sessions, teaching practices which are required. The teaching practices tutors of Cambridge teach people for being eligible to become an EFL teacher by taking CELTA qualification help them to become more confident and knowledgeable (Çay and Cenk, 2021). People get to learn these teaching practices under this qualification individually or in the group as well. Whether people want to become eligible for being an EFL teacher or just want to acquire teaching skills, CELTA is the best degree they can take.

CELTA is basically for:

  • People who want to become an EFL teacher
  • Teachers who have no experience- the freshers who want to grow in the career of being a tutor and teach English as a foreign language
  • People who want to travel across the globe and teach English
  • Teachers who already have the experience but want to polish their skills

Introductory Programs

To become an EFL tutor and teach the English language across the globe, people can take introductory degrees as well. These can include a TEFL certificate and TESOL endorsement (Kraus, 2019). They can also take add-on certifications. These programs go on for one or two semesters. These programs aim to train these teachers to become better at teaching English as a foreign language.

Master’s Degree

Other than CELTA and introductory programs, there are some master’s degrees too which people can take to become an EFL teacher. These degrees include:

  • MA (Master of Arts) in English with a specialization in TESOL
  • MA (Master of Arts) in MAT (in teaching) with a specialization in ESL
  • MEd (Master of Education) in TESOL
  • MA (Master of Arts) in English with a specialization in TESOL

Certification Programs

The certification programs include SIT TESOL certificate, Trinity certificate in TESOL, and TESOL core certificate program.

Challenges with TEFL

  • Going and living in a different culture

If the teachers who teach English as a foreign language take the classes offline, they need to go and live in a foreign city. Going there, adapting their culture to live a smooth life, learning the language people usually speak there, etc. are the challenges and barriers which these teachers need to overcome (Mahjoub and Taghizadeh, 2021). Being in a new city is a challenge in itself. Being in a new country is an even bigger challenge than EFL teachers have to overcome. Adapting the culture of a new place is not just a single challenge of living there, but settling down in a new place where you do not have anyone closer, where sometimes you do not know anything, any place are the challenges too.

  • Lack of Interpersonal skills

Teaching English as a foreign language needs many interpersonal skills which the tutors must-have. Teaching English to a room full of students who are foreigners can be intimidating which needs skills to make it a practice. The tutors who teach English as a foreign language often get chances to interact with people, understand their concerns, develop a bond with them, etc. All of this requires a tutor to have effective interpersonal skills. If the tutor lacks these skills, it will make them ineffective in what they do. This can become a hindrance to the growth of EFL teachers. Also, an EFL tutor with a lack of interpersonal skills will find it challenging to talk to people, take or give them feedback, or measure their progress.

  • Lack of effective decision-making

Being an EFL teacher makes you your boss. An EFL tutor does not need to report to anyone. Instead, have to take the whole responsibility of managing everything is on their own which requires effective decision making (Shepherd et al, 2019). These tutors who teach English as a foreign language need to set their curriculum on their own, organize all the teaching activities, measure the progress of students, and boost their morale to learn English. All of this requires the tutor to have an effective decision-making ability to take these decisions quickly and effectively. From planning the teaching activities to marketing own way of teaching, discussing topics with students, giving them assignments, everything requires the EFL to make sound decisions. Not being able to take these decisions is a big challenge for tutors who teach English as a foreign language.

  • Time-management

Being an EFL tutor is not as easy as it sounds. It requires good management of time because the tutor needs to manage many activities, assignments, feedback, the progress of students at a time. Also, these teachers need to manage their other activities too with all these professional things. The EFL teachers do not just need to give time in the classes, but they also need to take out free time to schedule the tests, plan the lessons they are going to teach in the upcoming days of the week, review the feedback of students regarding their satisfaction with the level of teaching, etc. It all takes time which the tutor needs to set and manage with other routine activities which are very challenging.

  • Diversification of Language

The EFL teachers mostly get a chance to teach the language to students who are foreigners and usually speak their native language. Even if they speak English, it can have differences like American English, Indian English, Australian English, etc. (Teng, 2020). This can be a challenge for the tutors to recognize which kind of English they need to teach according to the understanding of the students. Adapting the tone and language of students- the people whom tutors teach English as a foreign language is a challenge that needs to be overcome.

Methods to overcome the challenges of TEFL

  • Being Flexible

It is one of the methods with which the tutors can overcome the challenge of adapting new environment when they have to go and live in a different city to teach English as a foreign language. Being adaptable and flexible will allow the tutors to easily adapt to the culture of the new city, country. Also, it will allow them to explore the new place and enjoy being there.

  • Develop Interpersonal skills

Being effective at teaching English as a foreign language, and overcoming the challenges of a tutor of EFL, the development of interpersonal skills can be done. Interpersonal skills can be defined as the skills to communicate well with people both in groups and at the individual level (Manevska et al, 2018). Developing interpersonal skills will make it easier for the tutors to easily measure the progress of students, take and give feedback to them, etc.

  • Improve decision-making abilities

The EFL teachers can adapt decision-making improvement methods to make improvements in the skill and abilities of decision-making. For improving their decision-making abilities, the tutors will need to follow certain steps. These include setting the desired-outcomes tutors to want to achieve with teaching EFL, doing their SWOT analysis, stimulating the outcomes, trusting their instincts, and identifying their own cognitive biases.

  • Adapt time-management methods

The tutor should adapt effective schedule planners to manage their time for doing all the required activities and tasks to teach English as a foreign language (Aeon and Aguinis, 2017). The time-management methods will allow the tutors to take out time even after the classes and manage all the activities of EFL.

  • Develop an understanding of diverse languages

To overcome the challenges of understanding and handling diverse languages, the EFL tutors need to develop a good understanding of the differences between American, Indian, British, and other types of English. Apart from English, the tutor will need to develop an understanding of other languages as well which requires.

Benefits of TEFL

There are various benefits for a teacher who teaches English as a foreign language. Some of these include:

  • Work across the World

English is a language that people speak worldwide. Though there is a national language of every country English is one of the most basic languages which people of different countries across the globe usually speak. By the past few years, the demand for learning the English language has become higher which enhanced the demands for English teachers as well who teach it worldwide. Usually, every job does not allow people to anywhere, across any part of the world. But being a teacher who teaches English as a foreign language gives this opportunity to work anywhere in the world due to the high demands of learning this language.

  • Valuable experience

Teaching English as an abroad/foreign language makes the teacher gain an immensely valuable experience because they most of the time live in another country, work there. In all this, they gain a new and fresh experience every time they get a chance to go to a new country and teach English there as a foreign language (Rahimipour, 2021). Teaching English as a foreign language will give a chance to the teacher to get out of their comfort zone, push themselves, adopt the new culture and norms to build more confidence in themselves.

  • Diverse opportunities

There are diverse job opportunities in teaching English as a foreign language. A teacher can teach English while being at home or by going to another country and living there, Teaching English as a foreign language will never keep a teacher jobless because as discussed above as well, it is one of the highly spoken languages. One degree in TEFL and you can teach it to the students regularly in a college, take interview preparation classes of people online or offline, make people learn business English for job or business purpose, etc.


To conclude, it can be seen from the evaluation of the TEFL process that, teaching as well learning English as a foreign language is a complicated and time taking process. However, learning the language can help the learner in many ways such as higher-paying jobs, desired courses from a globally recognized college, or reducing the language barrier in the connected world (Ahmad and Rao, 2013). In this work, the history of the English language is discussed that explains the relation of the language with other European languages. Further, the essay discussed the elements of TEFL which include learner, teacher, and the method of teaching, these three elements serve as the base of the TEFL learning process and can change in any one element can change the entire process of learning the language. The approaches used for teaching the language such as the communicative method, direct method, audio-lingual method have been discussed. It can be seen that; eclectic method can be considered as the most appropriate method as it can help the teacher to customize the method of teaching according to the requirement for each learner. Further, the challenges associated with teaching English as a foreign language have been discusse4d along with the strategies that can be undertaken to overcome the challenges (Kostikova et. al, 2018).


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