What is a Teaching Practicum?
TEFL Practicums are comprised of observation* and practical teaching and tutoring sessions in a live ESL learning environment – either in class or practice teaching and tutoring ESL students in some capacity.
*Although in-class practicums necessarily include observation prior to taking on the teaching role, observation only is not considered practical teaching experience on its own.
You may choose to dedicate part of your practicum to observing a live ESL class led by a professional instructor, but you must do a minimum of 6 hours of live teaching, or tutoring in some capacity, with genuine ESL students. You can choose what suits you to a degree or proceed according to advice from the teacher you are observing or the school offering the practicum hours. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the more teaching you do, the more you’ll benefit from the practicum.
Practicums offer real teaching opportunities and real teaching experience. 20 hours of practical teaching will enhance your CV, open up job prospects and give you invaluable teaching skills that allow you turn your TEFL course teaching theory into real practical teaching skills – before you go abroad to TEFL in class, or start teaching online.
Practicums can be done in a classroom setting, online, or both. They can also be done with a group of students or one on one, and with different age groups. You can choose to focus on one or two teaching situations if you know what you wish to pursue in your TEFL career, or you can try out different teaching situations to find what suits you best.