Teaching Practicum

Compliment your 120 or 150 hour TEFL course with a 20 hour Teaching Practicum. Apply the theory you have learned in a practical teaching situation, and hit the ground running on your first TEFL job!

Practical application of the skills you have studied for in your TEFL course will enhance your employment opportunities and give you confidence!

While practical experience is not required by most employers, it is highly recommended – especially for teaching in South Korea, Vietnam and China, where standards and expectations are as high as the salaries.

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.

In-class practicums:

20 hours of classroom-based observation and supervised teaching of a group

1 on 1 teaching – in person

Online practicums:

1 on 1 teaching online via Skype or Zoom

Group teaching online via Zoom

Mixed online and in person / classroom:

You can choose to do both online and classroom / face to face teaching sessions, as suits  you. This will help you know how to apply your knowledge and skills in both settings, learning different teaching methods based on the same TEFL theory.

The minimum total of 20 hours can be achieved with flexible teaching sessions, to suit your schedule and availability.

The Benefits of a 20 hour TEFL Practicum

While most schools will accept teachers with no experience and just a TEFL certification, some favour those who have done an additional teaching practicum. A 20 hour teaching practicum shows prospective employers you are serious about TEFL and able to ‘hit the ground running’.

Teaching practicums offer a number of benefits for both candidates and employers.

  • On completion of the practicum, you will have 20 hours of observation and real teaching experience under your belt – and on your CV. This will help your job applications stand out and fulfil any teaching experience requirements your prospective employers may have.

  • Practicums provide a great opportunity to apply what you have learned, to hone your TEFL skills and knowledge, and put any first-time teaching mistakes behind you before you start your first paid TEFL contract!

  • Practicums will help you find your teaching rhythm and get over any ‘stage fright’ you might otherwise experience. You’ll be set to teach with far more ease and confidence.

  • You’ll gain baseline practical experience to adapt faster to any school-specific requirements when you start teaching.

  • You’ll be able to design your own lesson plans with ease. It will also assist you in tailoring other aspects of your teaching and identifying your strengths and teaching preferences.

  • One of the biggest benefits will be for your overall self-confidence – both when applying for jobs and as a new teacher in a foreign country or teaching online.

  • Employers who do not require teaching experience form their candidates nevertheless invest in the most enthusiastic, dedicated and promising candidates. A 20 hour practicum will show that you are a worthwhile investment for these schools.

Arranging your Teaching Practicum

You will be responsible for arranging your own practicum, before travelling abroad. Practicums can be done with language institutes, other class sites, and / or with private students.

In-class sites include:

  • Local TESOL language schools (if you are in an English-speaking country)

  • Community Centres and Colleges that hold ESL classes for immigrants

  • Other institutes that may host ESL classes, or help you find your practice students. These can include churches, synagogues, mosques and temples, libraries, town halls and community centres

Online schools

Online teaching practicums can be arranged with of the many online schools you will find online or refer to our section on teaching English online – https://teflgraduate.com/teach-english-online

When to start your practicum                                                                   

It’s up to you and what suits your schedule or preferred way of learning and applying what you learn.

  • You can start when you start your course, beginning your practicum with observation. It may certainly help you understand the theory and retain what you learn far better.

  • You can start while doing your course, at any stage, beginning with as much observation as you need before you start your practice teaching toward the end of your course.

  • You can wait until you have your TEFL certificate and have learned everything you need to start practicing your teaching. Generally, it’s recommended that you don’t wait too long to do it. It’s better to start when all you have learned is still fresh in your mind.

What you will need to do your practicum

You will need a computer and a printer/scanner – to print or scan lesson plans and any other material you may need.

In-class observation and practice teaching:

  • Notepad and pen

Online practice teaching:

  • A quiet room where you will not be interrupted by people or pets!

  • A fast, stable and reliable internet connection!

  • Skype or Zoom

  • Teaching props

One on one private tutoring:

  • A quiet location – whether in a building or park.

What is the cost?

TEFL Graduate charges a small admin fee of £20/$27


Contact info@teflgraduate.com to get started.