What qualifications do I need to be a TEFL teacher?

If you have decided to pursue a career in teaching English abroad, it is now time to figure out what the requirements are to get you started! While there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to teaching abroad, the most commonly required qualifications to become a TEFL teacher are:

  • An accredited TEFL qualification with a minimum of 100 hours
  • Be a native or fluent English speaker
  • Having a degree helps, but is not essential
  • An adventurous spirit!

Do I need to be fluent in English to get a job in TEFL?

Although it may seem self-evident, fluency in English is a prerequisite for TEFL instructors. If you don't speak English well, we recommend looking for another job.

Do I need to be a native English speaker to get a job in TEFL?

Non-native English speakers with fluency in the language can find work in many areas, including South and Central America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. In some regions of the world, though, being a native English speaker is almost a necessity. If English is not your first language, countries like China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia are probably no good for you.

Do I need a TEFL qualification to teach English?

If you want to work in TEFL for a respectable wage, you will usually need to show that you have finished an accredited 120-hour TEFL course from a reputable course provider.

If you are a native English speaker with no official TEFL certification, you may be able to get work as a TEFL teacher. However, this will most likely be a low-paying job in an unattractive location. Therefore, a TEFL certification is highly recommended.

Can I get a TEFL job if I have completed a TEFL taster course?

You could definitely get away with a TEFL taster course (also known as a TEFL foundation or TEFL introduction course) if you just want to undertake a few days of volunteer teaching. This type of beginner course will certainly help you navigate your way through the volunteer experience. However, if you want to work as a paid, full-time English teacher, you should take at least a 120-hour TEFL course.

What is a 120-hour TEFL certificate course?

A 120-hour TEFL course is usually the minimum standard qualification for obtaining a paid TEFL position in classrooms around the world.

A comprehensive 120-hour TEFL course will teach you how to create well-structured lesson plans, how to teach the various types of lessons you will be expected to deliver (vocabulary, grammar, and the four skills – reading, writing, listening, and speaking), how to create appropriate materials and activities for a class, and how to manage a classroom full of students.

Both online and classroom-based 120-hour courses are available. Employers in most countries accept either, but if you plan to teach in a certain country or school, check to see if they have any specific criteria before enrolling in a course.

Should I take additional TEFL courses to enhance my job opportunities?

As a 120-hour TEFL course has become the international standard qualification for teaching English abroad, it can be advantageous to obtain more TEFL training hours to stand out from the competition.

If you want to teach English in a school for children, you should think about adding the specialized TEFL course in teaching English to young learners to your portfolio. Should you be interested in following a career in teaching business English, go for the specialized course in teaching business English.

It might also be a smart move to choose one of our convenient TEFL course bundles. They include a set of high-quality courses and save you money when purchased in the bundle format.