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Why New Teachers Should Complete a TEFL Teaching English as a foreign language can provide aspiring teachers with an opportunity to learn about new cultures and regions while pursuing their dream of teaching. Moreover, the qualifications for teaching abroad are less restrictive in many non-English speaking countries. Many schools in these countries only require that a teacher be a native speaker and hold a college degree. Given this fact, an aspiring ESL teacher might believe getting a TEFL is a waste of time or money . Therefore, they will decide not to enroll in a TEFL course. However, this is a grave mistake. In this essay I will argue that any new teacher without a TEFL will lack the crucial skills of lesson planning and teaching English grammar to nonnative speakers. I will also address the objection that self-study provides all the same benefits without the monetary cost of a TEFL. By demonstrating all the above I will provide any aspiring ESL teacher with multiple reasons to enroll in a TEFL course. The assumption that language fluency and a college degree qualify a person to teach ESL is false. It is quite possible that one could display full command over the English language but be a very poor teacher, given the complexity of the language. For instance, a person could write perfect English prose, but if they were never instructed how to teach the twelve different English tenses to nonnative speakers, they would have difficulty teaching tense to a class of Korean 14-year olds. The English language contains many other nuances which are challenging to teach even to native speakers, such as proper punctuation of a relative clause, the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, modality and conditional statements. This challenge is exacerbated by teaching to nonnative speakers. However, a TEFL course will offer a dive into grammar from the perspective of teaching it to nonnative speakers of all ages and cultures. Thus, preparing the teacher for the challenges ahead. In addition, the course will demonstrate how to weave those teachings into an effective lesson plan. Expert level knowledge of English is useless for teaching unless it can be efficiently transmitted to students in an engaging and meaningful way. Effective ESL lesson planning is not a skill one would pick up unless they were exposed to proper teaching methodologies. An accredited TEFL course will educate future teachers on methodology and how to use it. A TEFL course will expose new teachers to methods such as ESA (engage, study, and activate). The simplicity and logical flow of this method will enable first time teachers to write a competent lesson plan. Sample lesson plans and activities for each phase will also be covered in the course material. For example, a teacher will learn to engage students by showing them a movie clip and then having a class discussion, prompt them to study new vocabulary and grammar with crossword puzzles and fill in the blank sheets, and activate their language fluency by having them create a travel brochure. Many examples like this one are demonstrated in the TEFL material. A good lesson plan can inspire confidence and growth in students, and a poor one will only frustrate and confuse them. Therefore, without a firm understanding of how to create and implement a good lesson plan a new teacher will be undermining their purpose as a teacher. However, isn’t it possible that someone could obtain the above skills on their own, without taking a formal course? The objection raised above carries some force. However, self-study, if done properly, will require the same investment of a teacher’s time and effort. Consequently, the only consideration in favor of not taking a course is the money saved by the teacher. Yet, money is not really saved; it is lost! According to goabroad.com, TEFL certified teachers earn more money than non-certified teachers . Therefore, the $300 (roughly) dollars to obtain the certification is an investment that will pay dividends. Also, many countries like China require a TEFL to legally work as an ESL teacher. It follows, by earning a TEFL, a teacher has access to more job opportunities. In short, the personal benefits gained by earning a TEFL far outweigh the cost of the certification. In closing, I have shown how a TEFL will provide new ESL teachers with necessary skills to teach English abroad. Also, I have shown that by self-studying a teacher is losing money and limiting their career opportunities. Therefore, I can confidently affirm any new ESL teachers should become TEFL certified.