What qualifications do I need to teach English) abroad?
You may be wondering what type of teaching job overseas you would qualify for or whether you can teach English without a TEFL certification.
Requirements for TEFL Jobs:
The answer to this is that you will require a Bachelor’s degree (in any discipline) for most TEFL teaching jobs and, for many countries including China, you will also require TEFL certification. Don’t worry about finding your way through the maze of accredited TEFL courses – TFA can advise you on the level of TEFL qualification that will be required (a 120-hour course is now the standard for most teaching abroad programs) and you can check out our own (accredited) TEFL courses at: http://www.tfa-academy.com/course.
What types of TEFL jobs are there and how do I know what will be the right job for me?
TEFL jobs abroad tend to vary based on the type of school (public school or private academy), the age of students (from kindergarten right up to adult teaching) and also the location. So choosing the best TEFL job for you will depend on your personal preference in these areas.
Public School or Private Academy
Public schools tend to have larger classes, so you could have 30-40 students in a class, compared to 10-15 in a private academy. You will, however, normally have a teaching assistant (native speaker) with you. The benefits of public schools for many TEFL teachers are that you have a regular Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm (type) working schedule, sometimes with the bonus of a meal or two per day provided. Private academies (also called training schools) tend to operate more flexible working hours, so you could be working afternoons and evenings (which can be great if you like mornings off or a later start) and your days off (generally two consecutive days) will probably not be over the weekend. There are pros and cons to each.
Teaching Young Children, Teens or Adults
The other main differentiator between various TEFL jobs abroad will be the age of the students you teach. A lot of private academies are set up for kindergarten/elementary age, so you could be teaching English to very young children, even as young as pre-school age. This of course, won’t be sprung on you, as the age of students will be clear from the outset and part of the choice you will make. Some schools will have a range of age groups, from kindergarten to high school age, which provides variety for the teacher. There are also a lot of English teaching jobs available for the adult age group, so if you prefer teaching older learners, which can include teaching Business English, this would be the option for you.