The good news is there is no real age restrictions on who can take a TEFL course and then go on to teach English abroad. At ITTT we do require you to be at least 18 years old to enroll on our courses but there are certainly no upper age limits. Over the years we have successfully trained people of all ages, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers as English language teachers. As long as you are a native or near-native English speaker who is keen to learn new skills and is open to new ideas, then your age should be no barrier to your success.
Can older teachers find jobs teaching English abroad?
Although a large number of new TEFL graduates are in their 20s, it doesn't mean they are always the most sought after by employers. Yes, there are many employers around the world who are only interested in recruiting younger teachers for various different reasons. However, there are plenty of situations where more mature teachers are equally popular. If you have any previous experience in teaching or training related employment, then you will have little problem landing a teaching job. In fact, simply having plenty of general life experience can often go in your favor. One factor worth remembering is that roughly half of all EFL classes are for adult language learners, with the business English sector being one of the fastest growing. Many employers in these areas prefer their teachers to be more mature to help create a good rapport in the classroom, whilst any history in the world of business will also go strongly in your favor.
Are some regions better than others for older EFL teachers?
Age can be an issue in certain countries where visa requirements include an upper age restriction. When choosing where to teach it is advisable to thoroughly research any visa or work permit restrictions that may apply to your age range. A certain level of flexibility in where you look for work will also help you to find the right job. Certain regions are more likely to offer opportunities for all ages, with Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East all being particularly good areas to explore.
How can I level the playing field as an older EFL teacher?
When looking to teach English abroad it is worth noting that more than half the jobs available worldwide require candidates to conduct an interview in person. This creates a great opportunity for teachers of all ages, as you get to meet the employer in person and show them that you are fit, healthy and professional in your approach, regardless of the age on your passport. The bottom line is, if you are keen to teach English abroad then there are jobs out there for everyone.