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March 15, 2021

Certificate Spotlight: TEFL

A certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language helped Kevin get an immediate increase in pay

“You’re the one,” the job interviewer told him. At that moment, Kevin Barros del Duca became the newest technology teacher at a local private school in Colombia. His friend had told him that the school was looking for a teacher who was fluent in English, and Kevin’s confident response — “Okay, I can do it” — paved his way through the interview.

Discovering talents through service

Kevin Barros del Duca

Kevin first began practicing English for fun with mission companions during his full-time mission in Argentina. After returning home, he saw how the private school that employed him valued his English skills, even while he just worked as a technology teacher. Kevin also quickly realized how much he enjoyed teaching. He had recently completed BYU‑Pathway Worldwide’s foundational courses, PathwayConnect, and was serving again as a volunteer missionary to help other students complete the courses. “I love helping others learn and have fun at the same time,” Kevin said. “I love to see that process.”

This newfound passion for teaching encouraged Kevin to continue pursuing his degree. In BYU‑Pathway’s model, a bachelor’s degree is built by stacking together three marketable certificates and an associate degree that can lead to improved employment long before a student completes their full degree program.

Finding the perfect certificate

As Kevin considered his certificate options, he wanted to pick one that could help him improve his teaching skills. So he selected the Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate, commonly known as TEFL (or TESOL) — the perfect fit for an aspiring teacher. It was also a great way to help others receive the same blessings he had experienced from being fluent in English.

Kevin with his completed TEFL certificate

Soon after beginning his certificate courses, the school Kevin worked at offered him an improved position as a language teacher. “I started studying to know how to teach a second language and, at that very moment, I got a job to work as a [language] teacher,” Kevin said. “I was working at a real job, applying what I was learning.”

Earning course credits while simultaneously working as a teacher was valuable, but it was only the beginning of the blessings from his certificate. Kevin saw an immediate increase in pay after completing his certificate, as well as new opportunities to teach. He felt especially grateful that he was able to receive the blessings of higher education without having to pay a large amount of money.

“If you want to study TEFL here in Colombia, you will pay a lot of money,” Kevin explained. “I didn’t even have to pay half of what I need to pay here to get a TEFL certification through BYU‑Pathway.”

Exercising faith greater than challenges

Kevin’s experience with certificates and as a service missionary gave him valuable skills and helped him understand students’ experiences better. Kevin knows firsthand the challenges of learning another language. As a native-Spanish speaker, he often felt intimidated or inadequate as he first practiced his English language skills. However, Kevin saw his efforts pay off, and now he can testify that learning another language is possible!

Kevin and loved ones studying “Come, Follow Me” together

“Don’t worry about your accent or about your culture,” Kevin advised students learning a new language. “Just trust yourself, trust God, and you will get it.”

Taking things one step at a time helped Kevin identify the Lord’s hand in his education. Each step in faith opened a new opportunity. Since earning his TEFL certificate, Kevin has identified an interest in teaching science and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied health from BYU‑Idaho, supported by BYU‑Pathway. Additionally, he is working on receiving a degree in microbiology from a school in Colombia. Juggling work, multiple courses, friends, and family often feels like too much to handle, but Kevin is a firm believer in taking steps toward higher education — no matter the challenge. “Go ahead. Do it,” he encourages. “There will be help if you keep walking.”

Learn more about the TEFL certificate and other certificates offered through BYU‑Pathway Worldwide in the degree list.

Article contributor: Kayloa Gurr

Comments on "Certificate Spotlight: TEFL"

Kevin’s story stimulated me and made me more determined to earn a degree and contribute through service.

nkashama says:

How can I make BYU my priority?

Malvin says:

Hi Kevin. What a very inspiring story. Thank you for your advice to keep on going forward with faith that help will come. May the Lord bless your endeavours.

Great work, the Lord will help you achieve your plans. Nice sharing with us.

Siope F. Nuku says:

Congratulation Brother…

James E.B. Johnstone says:


richard chibuike chukwuma says:

How can I get my certificate?

Kaytee Johnson says:

Information on available certificates can be found here, and you can apply at this link:

Maria Ponce Guevara says:

Kevin, congratulations!

Ula says:

Amazing Kevin!

tanyanyiwa says:

This is inspiring to me as I was struggling to know which course to take. Just reading this enlightened my heart and mind on things I love to do in life, teaching is one of them.

Arlyn Teodocio says:

Thank you Kevin for an inspired story you shared, you add my eagerness and determination to continue learning especially in teaching, honestly during my childhood life, its been my dream to be a teacher but due to many obstacles and discouragement from others I was not able to make it to the course besides my family experiencing hardships financially, but my heart says, I know my dream to be a teacher will come, even I don’t really know when that happen, I put my trust and heart to the UNKNOWN, now I can say that my dream to be a teacher is on process because of this inspired program of the the BYUPathway Connect Worldwide, my gratitude forever though its not easy for me as a mother but I can feel His loving tender care, because the Holy Ghost is always in rescue.

Vivian says:

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. It´s wonderful. I´m from Venezuela, but I live in Ecuador and I want to get the TEFL certificate with the help of our Heavenly Father.

Vanina Estela Peme says:

Thank you you for sharing how faith, hard work, and trusting the Lord pays off. Keep up the courage to finish up your studies.

Dennis Guardario Quitoy says:

That’s what I am planning to take. Thank you for a successful story ☺️🤠☺️☺️☺️🤠

Leonard Fanuel. says:

What an inspiring story, thanks for sharing.

Natoi says:

Wow … It was nice reading it.
I chose to do the same certificate and this article came at the right moment.

Diane Leck says:

Congrats Kevin!

Proserlita Mommy Dongaraz says:

You’re amazing! Thanks for sharing, it’s really inspiring.

Isaac Ojambo says:

I love it


Congratulations Kevin


The best way to predict the future is to create it, because opportunities don’t happen but we create them.

what an inspiring story Kevin.
Trusting in the Lord in all aspect of life is the key. You are amazing with all your plans and achievements. Thank you for sharing..

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