There is a common misconception that a TEFL certificate is something very expensive which you must have before you teach overseas or online. This is not always the case.
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. You may also come across the following acronyms; ESL (English as a Second Language), TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language, ELT (English Language Teaching), TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). All these terms mean similar things and the terms can be used interchangeably – making the subject quite confusing!
TEFL qualifications are not always a prerequisite for teaching overseas or online. Having said that, gaining a TEFL qualification which is as highly accredited as possible is a good idea. Completing a course before you start work can give you skills and confidence which will mean you can ‘hit the ground running.’ Having a TEFL qualification is also likely to increase your chances of receiving job offers. If you have already established yourself as an ESL teacher, gaining an accredited qualification can enhance your career.
China requires teachers to have at least a 120 hour TEFL. Schools in China often help with the cost of your TEFL course.
Summary: You need a TEFL to teach in China but you do not need to have one before you apply and it may be subsidised by your employer.
Korea: No, but it helps!
A TEFL qualification is not essential for teaching in Korea but having one (of any length) shows potential employers that you have a real interest in teaching and can help you attract job offers, help prepare you for the classroom and is a great addition to your cv. The job market in Korea is quite competitive at the moment so having a TEFL qualification can help you stand out from the competition. It will not however mean that you will be paid more than candidates who do not have TEFL qualifications nor does it guarantee that you will receive job offers.
Summary: Having a TEFL is not essential but having one of any length, online or contact based, can help you receive job offers from Korea. Have a look at our TEFL courses here
Thailand: No, but it helps!
A TEFL qualification is not essential for teaching in Thailand. However, you are likely to receive a higher number of job offers if you have one and it can have a positive effect on your salary.
Summary: Having a TEFL qualification is not essential but having one can have a positive impact on receiving job offers, will help prepare you for the classroom and is a great addition to your cv. Have a look at our TEFL courses here
Teaching English Online: Probably!
We currently have a high number of candidates applying for these positions, but many are being rejected either because they don’t have enough experience, relevant qualifications or enthusiasm. Having a TEFL qualification is very likely to increase your chances of being offered an online teaching position. Check out TEFL Courses here. Pay particular attention to the Bridge TEFL Teaching Online courses: Foundations in Teaching English Online and Advanced methods in Teaching English Online.