Make no mistake about it, TESL means Teaching the English Language as a Second Language. Besides Malaysia, not many countries will give you this career choice. So, unless you have the passion in these areas, this course will not be suitable for you.
The most important passions for TESL
If you have ever wondered what it takes to hold a qualification TESL, the ingredients are simple. You need to have a passion for teaching and love the English Language. The good thing about having a TESL qualification is that you will be among the few in this niche market. On top of that, you have a direct pathway into the teaching career.
How Good is a Teaching Career in English?
One thing for sure, TESL is a very specialized area. You will need to love the language or you will find it difficult to teach. Besides that, you must (or you probably know by now) that a teaching career is very different as compared to other professions. You will have to live with a salary which is lower than many of your peers.
How Significant is TESL?
If you really must know, Malaysia is among the few countries that recognize TESL because it is officially the second language. Other countries that use English as their supporting language include:
- Czech Republic
What are the options available for you?
Take some time to understand some of the common terms in this profession. You know what TESL stands for, there are others.
- TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language. If you have this qualification, you can teach the language in countries where English is not their native language. If you want to chart your career in more countries around the world, this might be right for you
- TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This is a newer course which basically covers the TESL and TEFL. In other words, you can pretty much teach English in most countries.
Take note that you might come across certain universities that offer degrees in English Language or Literature. Having those degrees does not guarantee you a job as an English teacher. You learn about the language’s traits and elements but you are not trained as a teacher of the language. So it is entirely different. You are not taught how to use the English Language in TESL but on how to teach it to students.
Eligibility to study TESL
You can get into a TESL course through your SPM or ‘O’ Levels. All you need is a minimum of 5 credits with a good one in the English Language. If you have a level higher, you can enter this course with at least 2 passes in ‘A’ Level or an ATAR 65 at the Australian Matriculation. 2 principal passes are required for STPM or its equivalent.
Your pathway to graduation
The TESL pathway is quite straightforward. If you join the course through a Pre-University qualification, you will enter Year 1. The degree will usually take 3 years. If you come in from SPM, then you will join a Diploma in TESL course (which is 2 years). Upon completion, you will enter the second year of the Degree program.
Where can you study TESL?
Most public universities in Malaysia offer this course under their Faculty of Education or Language Department. However, if you opt to study in private institutes, you can check out the following.
SEGi University – a Popular avenue for TESL
You can study the Bachelor of Education (Hons) in TESL at their Kota Damansara campus. The course fee is about RM60,000 for the entire 3 years with scholarships available.
HELP University – Education and TESL
HELP offers a unique degree which is in Education specializing in TESL. This means that you are taught to be a teacher with a focus in teaching English. This means that you learn the teaching models as well as what makes English learning effective.
Universiti Selangor – Affordable and fast-track
This university offers an affordable course in TESL which is a diploma in this specialization. From RM18,000 you can fast track to start working after you complete the diploma.
Infrastructure University – Convenient and Economical
The 3 years degree is offered to those who like teaching the language from RM45,000 for 3 years. Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur is an award-winning institution and is among the few that offers the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages or TESOL.
Asia e University – Bachelor in Education (TESL)
As an open university, you will enjoy flexibility in studying for your degree in education with a focus on TESL. You will enjoy a different experience in this university as it is catered to working adults and part-timers.