What qualifications do I need to teach English abroad?

What qualifications do I need to teach English abroad?

Wondering how to get a job teaching English abroad?

This one’s easy. To teach English abroad, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in any subject/major, and an ESL teaching qualification (such as a TEFL certification) at the minimum!


For more on getting TEFL certified to teach English abroad, check out the following:


 

English teaching job requirements for graduates of all majors

If you have your bachelor’s degree but no formal teaching qualification or previous teaching experience, you’ll be best suited for ESL jobs abroad (more commonly known as TEFL jobs for those of you who hail from the UK). With your bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification, you could be teaching English in China, South Korea or Japan in no time!

For the latest ESL teaching vacancies in China, check out Teach Away’s Explore Program >

These English teaching jobs abroad are usually found in language schools attended by adults, and also children after school hours. A TEFL certification (at least 100 hours in length) is the minimum ESL qualification normally required for a teaching job with ESL/language schools around the world.

While it’s true that there are select teaching opportunities out there with overseas schools that claim you don’t require any qualifications at all - just strong native English speaking, reading and writing skills - approach these roles with caution. More often than not, these salaries tend to be much lower and working conditions may not be up to industry standards.

 

ESL jobs

 

As a general rule, reputable, well-paying ESL schools abroad are usually more selective when it comes to requirements for their teaching positions.

Why’s that? Well, for starters, there are a few other issues with teaching without your bachelor’s degree and TEFL course that will affect both you and the students you’ll have responsibility for.

If you don’t want to venture overseas, there are also lots of opportunities to teach English online with your bachelor’s degree and TEFL. Discover the perks of teaching English online here and check out our latest online English teaching jobs!

If you’re serious about being a capable English teacher, your main goal should be for your students to be successful. In order for them to achieve their best in their English classes, you’ll need some basic skills and knowledge around effective teaching techniques for English language learners (ELLs). You’ll also need to have an understanding of their challenges and strengths in their English classes, depending on their cultural backgrounds, age and education levels.

That’s why Teach Away partnered with OISE University of Toronto to create a TEFL course that covers the essential knowledge employers overseas look for when hiring ESL teachers from overseas.

 

TEFL quiz

 

English teaching job requirements for licensed teachers

If you have a formal teaching qualification (for example, you majored or have a master’s degree in education) you’re a great fit for English teaching jobs in international elementary and high schools around the world. This holds true regardless of whether you’re a new graduate or experienced teacher in your home country.

Many lucrative teaching English abroad programs in the Middle East are currently seeking licensed English teachers for positions with the Abu Dhabi Education Council, UAE Government Schools and Abu Dhabi Technical Schools. Interview dates are coming up shortly, so be sure to get your application in, stat.

Wondering which countries pay English teachers the most? Check out our list of countries where ESL salaries are highest! >

Don’t forget, you still have to be a qualified English teacher in your home country to be considered for these roles. A TEFL certification is also considered a huge indicator of your ability to manage the challenges of the international classroom as a first-time teacher abroad and can really help your application stand out from other candidates.

For more details, check out our blog on why it’s still worth getting TEFL certified if you’re a qualified teacher.

Don’t worry, though. While many certified teachers do choose to teach English abroad at language schools or international schools around the world, a teaching license is typically not required for most ESL jobs abroad.

 

graduate teach abroad

Visa requirements to teach English abroad

A quick aside regarding teaching English abroad without a degree - to obtain the correct work visa to teach in most countries abroad, a bachelor’s degree is generally required. This is often the legal immigration requirement to be allowed to find work in many countries and there’s very little that you can do to get around that fact.

Many countries will also only grant visas to ESL teachers from countries that they consider to be native English speaking locations (that’s the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand). Plenty of countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Mexico and Brazil, for example, strongly encourage applications from non-native English speakers looking to teach English abroad.

 

Want to know how much money you can make with your TEFL certification?

teach abroad salary calculator

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