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Do I need a TEFL qualification to teach English abroad?

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Text read 'TEFL and teaching abroad' in bold green letters in front of a photo of a classroom of young learners.

A certificate in TEFL – namely Teaching English as a Foreign Language – is a globally-recognised qualification that is always in demand at schools who wish to hire English-speaking teachers to educate their students in the language.

Here are just some of the benefits of being certified in TEFL before you set off on your worldwide teaching career.

Have destination options

There are countries all over the world looking for English language teachers, but in some of these it is national standard practice to only hire those with a qualification such as TEFL. Having the certificate means you are not limited in where you can go and will provide you with the freedom to travel and teach in many more places over the course of your career.

Stand out

Whilst English language teachers may be in demand internationally, there are also a lot of teachers seeking employment. With a TEFL certificate, one of the world’s most widely-recognised teaching English as a foreign language qualifications, you will have a competitive edge in the job search. Standing out will let you have first choice of the countries you teach in and the schools you are employed by.

Achieve better pay

Schools want the best English language teachers they can find and are willing to pay for it. The more qualified you appear to be at teaching English as a foreign language, the more job offers you will receive and the more money schools will be willing to pay you for your skills! It will not be long at all until getting your TEFL certificate will prove to be a worthy investment.

It’s affordable

Luckily, studying for TEFL is not actually too much of an investment in the first place.

TEFL is not usually taught as a degree programme so does not cost as much as a Bachelor of Education, for example, but TEFL courses will still see you dive into complex teaching and English language concepts that will help you in a practical sense, across many hours of expert-taught study.

Considering the money you could earn and the life experiences you will gain by being able to move to any corner of the world, a TEFL qualification may end up being the best purchase you ever make.

English is a prominent language

You will not need to worry about job security if you have proven teaching English as a foreign language skills because it is one of the most internationally-used languages in the world!

In fact, with almost 60% of people on Earth able to speak English, more people speak English than any other language.

English is a global ‘lingua franca’, meaning that it is a default language of communication when two people of different native tongues meet. It is also used prominently in international business and trade, in global sport and in pop culture, so there will always be motivations for organisations and individuals around the world to hire English language teachers.

It doesn’t expire

If you are on the fence about getting your TEFL certificate, it is worth remembering that it lasts for life. Even if you manage to get a position now without the qualification, it is almost inevitable that a school you wish to work with in future will demand it. Why not get certified now at the start of your teaching English as a foreign language career so you never have to worry about getting employed again?

Gain lifelong connections and support networks

When you are studying for your TEFL certificate, you will be in the midst of experts as well as your peers. Your tutors know everything there is about teaching English as a foreign language and may have even travelled the world to teach themselves. After completing the course, you will be able to contact them for advice, to hear their experiences and to share with them your achievements within the field.

Similarly, you will have developed a network of learners on the exact same path you are one. Whether they are fellow trainees you met on your TEFL course or other English language teachers you meet abroad, you will build a support network to grow with and learn from.

Having these connections may also lead you to hearing about your dream jobs and being recommended.

Be a better teacher

You may be able to teach and you may be able to speak, read and write in English, but training in a specialist teaching English as a foreign language course is key to knowing how to combine the two effectively. As part of a TEFL qualification, you will learn how to properly convey the complex concepts and components of the English language to non-native speakers effectively, as well as developing your own deeper understanding of them.

Having confidence in your skills and in your English language knowledge will truly boost your enjoyment and success as an English language teacher abroad.

Discover the perfect teaching programme for you at Notting Hill College, and learn more about our Level 5 Certificate in TEFL and Advanced Certificated in TEFL courses today.



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