Qualifications to Teach English Abroad

The qualifications you need to be an English teacher overseas depend largely on the country where you want to work.

In most cases though, you will need a 120 hour TEFL certificate as a minimum.

A TEFL certificate opens the doors to literally a world of opportunity.

Not only will you see the world in a way regular tourists never will, but you’ll also meet friends for life and get the chance to sharpen your teaching skills.

Plus, with a huge demand for English teachers worldwide, all you need is an internationally recognised TEFL qualification to start your adventure.


What are the different qualifications?

There are lots of different certificates out there which fall under the umbrella of a ‘TEFL’ certificate.  You may see other acronyms like “TESL” and “TESOL” but they all pretty much mean the same thing.  None of them are any more beneficial to you when it comes to your job prospects, except perhaps the Cambridge CELTA certificate.

The CELTA is no doubt the most widely recognised course and has been the gold standard of teaching English certificates for a very long time.

It is important to note however that the ‘A’ in CELTA means ‘adults’.  The CELTA course is designed to prepare you to teach adult learners, not children.

Many of the techniques you learn do not apply to teaching young learners so you may need to take the young learners extension to the CELTA course if you do plan on teaching children.


How long do the courses take?

The CELTA course takes 4 weeks.

Other courses have options from 40 hours, 60 hours up to 120 hours but we strongly recommend taking the 120 hour course.

Many of the better quality courses are a blend of online and in person modules.

The online elements can be done from any device at anytime so you can work at your own pace.   It’s worth taking the extra time now to get the strongest possible qualification so that you don’t run into any obstacles later on.

The requirements for work permits in some countries do change from time to time.  When they do tighten things up you want to make sure you qualifications are strong enough not to be affected.

More importantly though you will be better prepared for your first teaching position if you take a longer, more comprehensive course.


What will you learn on a TEFL course?

Different TEFL courses have their different curricula, but there are some basic elements you should expect to cover in your course.

Below is a basic list of what you should expect to learn from an online TEFL course:

  • Planning and preparing lessons
  • Classroom management techniques
  • How to meet the needs of your students
  • Grammatical knowledge
  • What language skills are and how to teach them
  • A toolbox of go to activities you can apply to any topic

Which TEFL courses do we recommend?

There are many TEFL course providers out there so do your research.

We’ve worked with many teachers over the years and have found that those with a TEFL from i-to-i are usually very well prepared.

They often have great deals on so check out their latest offer on the 120 hour TEFL certificate here.

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