Teach English Abroad – Where do I Begin?

Step 1: Travel Abroad

The New Teacher

There was a day when English Language Teaching Jobs were readily available to those with no formal TEFL qualifications but who were deemed qualified simply by virtue of being a native speaker.

This is increasingly not the case in the current ELT climate where the student of English as a foreign or second language has become increasingly more sophisticated in terms of knowing what s/he needs to learn, how s/he learns best and the results s/he expects to achieve.

How does one get started?

Formal TEFL qualifications are generally aimed at postgraduate level, although many courses will admit non-graduates if they can demonstrate an ability and level of maturity which would enable them to succeed on the chosen course of study.

That said however, more and more countries are insisting on a first degree before issuing work permits to EFL / ESL teachers and indeed some consider first degrees over formal TEFL qualifications.

Entry qualifications, generally termed as being at ‘Certificate’ level, can vary in length from a few days to several months with concomitant variation in content and cost. However, most employers tend to favorably consider courses of a minimum of 120 hours and which include teaching practice.

These are not confined to native speakers and thankfully the profession is generally re-assessing the quality and benefits that non native speaker teachers can bring to the learning/teaching situation. Before deciding on which course to take, it is important to candidly assess your own needs.

Identify in which country/countries you would like to work or travel abroad, not only in the immediate future. This done, research the standard qualifications required in your selected countries. Now you are ready to teach English abroad!

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