Top Tips for Teaching English as a Non-Native Speaker


Hello! Liza is here and if you are guys getting on this stream, let me know if you hear and see me.

We are about to start. Today's live session is devoted to teaching English as a non-native speaker.

Okay, let me check if anyone is here. Hello! my name is Liza, and today we will talk about teaching English as a non-native speaker. Let me show the name of the session. Hello guys, if you are watching right now, write down a couple of words. I can see your comments, and let me know where you are from? I'm curious. And let me introduce myself quickly. I'm now staying in my hometown in Russia. It is called Yekaterinburg. It's pretty cold today, but the day is so sunny, so I had to close my blinds because my home office space is close to the window.

Okay, let's see. There are some people from the Philippines that's so cool. I should say it's sunny in the Philippines now, hopefully. There's someone from Sweden that's cool as well. All right, and people from Malawi, Uganda, have joined us as well. There are many new faces that's awesome. And here is someone from Azerbaijan. Nice to see you, Nargis. Okay, and Turkey's here, excellent thank you guys for sharing your locations. We are excited to have this many people today and let me remind the name of the session again. Today we are talking about teaching English as a non-native speaker, and I will also share my personal experience and tell you about how to build a successful teaching career.

Just give me a second. I'm going to share my presentation right now. Okay, here it is. Yeah, like this, so quickly write down some comments if you can hear me clearly and if you can see me clearly and if the presentation is showing up already. Let me know please can you see it?

All right, so if you can see the presentation and hear me, let me know in the comments, please, so that I can keep going all right. Excellent, thank you so well. The first point of the presentation is the introduction.

So let me tell you about myself. My name is Liza. I'm from Russia, so I am a non-native English speaker, as you guys probably. I'm currently teaching English online, but I also provide in-class lessons.

I'm specialized in general English, and I often work with young learners as well. And I'm also a TEFL and a TESOL expert at ITTT, so that's who I am, and I'm happy to be here to talk to you today. I, frankly speaking, feel a little bit nervous because I usually don't deliver any webinars, so I typically work with private students with private people, so it's just unusual, and it feels so I don't know nervous
but I hope you'll enjoy this session, and after it, we will talk a little bit more about the TEFL itself, and you will be able to ask your questions if you have.

And right now, let's keep going. So first of all, just a reminder, please don't forget to subscribe to our primary social networks if you like YouTube or Instagram, please reach us there we usually share some useful content and always interact with our audience, so please feel free to message us on whatever social networks you are using we are excited to work there with you. Right now, we are heading to the main point of the presentation. If you haven't heard the topic's name, it's teaching English as a non-native speaker how to build a successful career.

So let me tell you about my personal experience first, so as you can see in the pictures, I used to work in China as a non-native English teacher. I had been teaching there for three years, and my work there started from an agency, and then I transferred to direct employment. By saying that I worked through an agency when I just found my first job in China, I didn't know how to navigate there, so a third-party agent located my first position. So I found an agency here in Russia that offered some job searching services and employment services in China. So they found a position for me and helped me move, and a little bit later, like after the first year of my work there, I found a direct employee-employer and started working on my own without any agent because they took their cut.

If you guys have any questions about China about different job searching modes, please write down your comments. I will get back to them a little bit later when we have the q. A session after the main presentation, and right now, let's see the next point, so today I'm going to tell you a little more about career development. Hence, if you are interested in teaching English. You look at this job as a future career, so if you want to do it for the rest of your life or maybe be an essential part of your life, this webinar should be beneficial for you. This point shown on the screen now is critical. It's something that happened to me, and it was like a huge discovery. I obtained a BA in linguistics, so I am not a general teacher, so my education is not related to teaching itself. Still, I decided to take this job to take this opportunity to deliver my English knowledge to some other people, some children, and so on. And while I was teaching while I was studying at university. Several years ago, I decided that I had to try to work as a tutor just merely because I needed some money, and it was something I could do at that time, so I decided to try teaching. It was quite hard. I should say because linguists are not teachers. Quite simple, but at that time during the university study, I didn't know anything about TEFL, I didn't know anything about other educational options for those people who have not majored in teaching, and when I finished university, I knew that I couldn't find a job as a linguist quickly because this field is quite limited so I decided to proceed to teach and thankfully found this opportunity in China.

I jumped at it right after graduation, and then I realized that I needed some teaching skills. I had no idea about working with students one-to-one, working with groups, so I didn't know anything, and that's why I decided to look for some courses on the internet and found this one a 120 hours course in TEFL certification. Of course, I decided that it's a significant investment. It will pay me off quickly, and I decided to take it because I needed to know how to teach.

I needed to learn some methodologies and approaches to work with different kinds of students, so I just decided to take the course as a first step. And yeah, right after this course, I found my first job in China. At the very beginning, I didn't feel like it was maybe an asset. When I finished my work with the agent and started looking for a job on my own, TEFL certification was something that employers paid attention to because they saw that it was not just a person from the street you know who wanted to make money teaching English. After all, they knew how to speak English, but they saw that it was someone able to teach English, at least because they got this certification and obtained the teaching course.

From my perspective, TEFL certification is a significant first step to obtain before looking for a position in a real classroom or even online because it gives you a gist of teaching in general.

Then I understood that I couldn't stop working on my teaching skills and personal skills, and that's why I decided to keep looking for some additional training. There are several examples of the certifications I had myself, and I should say the employer delivered several training pieces in China, which is exciting about some employers. There are some excellent job providers who are interested in dependable teaching professionals. They not only hire you, but they also aim to train you themselves, and that was the way I got my training in multiple intelligences and the Letterland phonics. At that time, I didn't even know anything about those training, and they helped me a lot in understanding teaching in general.

And also it's a great idea to search for training on your own. There are so many massive online courses right now; they are called MOOCs. You can type on the google search MOOCs and find
thousands of different services like Futurelearn, Coursera, Udemy, etc. Some of them are for free, some of them require some fees, it depends but in general those courses are for a broad audience, and you can have those courses just for free as an observer or a listener. For example, I took one class on Futurelearn and paid some money to get a certificate. It was a quality course as well, and it helped me learn more about early childhood teaching, which is an entirely different area in general English teaching.

So if you are interested in teaching English, don't forget about the many opportunities you have for your self-development and your teaching skills development.

I also want to mention how to find a job in general. Be proactive, don't be afraid to tell about your services, to know about your skills. Suppose you have already obtained a TEFL certification or maybe a language test. In that case, it's a fantastic decision to share with your friends and possibly your audience on social networks that you are a teacher. That's a real mistake that many people make, not only teachers but maybe some other professionals. They feel afraid and ashamed to share that they possess some skills. So you have to tell everyone that you teach, nothing to be ashamed of, and where to find jobs. It's pretty simple.

There are many job listings. Start from the ITTT TEFL website, we've got a separate section in addition to that different job offers we also have constant job guidance and if you are interested if you have already finished our course or you are currently a student at ITTT you will get this opportunity of job assistance as I mentioned.

Don't forget about social networks, it's a powerful tool to deliver information to others too. If you started teaching, make a post on Instagram and tell everyone you have been offering classes.

And one of my most favorite ways to look for students is word of mouth. I found several students myself by word of mouth. Last time I just told one of my friends at the gym that
I am an English teacher, and she said, like wow, my daughter needs a tutor. Can you please help me? Of course, I wanted to help because I was looking for a student.

Another idea is to create your website. That's what I lack now. I'm going to make my website, but I don't have enough time to do it. Hence, if you do start from there, it's an exciting way to find students. It's relatively expensive, probably because you have to invest in promoting it online, but at least it's a way to show your credentials. You can put all of your certificates on your website, maybe some feedback from your students, and your prospective students will
see that you are a professional.

So if you are willing to take a TEFL course or if you know anyone interested in English teaching so
wait for this opportunity and save the linkю

And right now, I'm going to answer your questions, so if you've got any questions on English teaching in general, TEFL, or career-building, write it down in the comment section, and I'll start answering.

There are some questions already, so let me start answering them.
Are the Chinese agencies speaking to non-native teachers?
Chinese agencies are not that picky. They look for those who have a decent accent or maybe just some slight accent which is not that obvious, like when it is difficult to judge where you're from, but the most important thing is how you look. I'm humiliated to share this truth, but that's something to know about the Chinese market. They usually are pretty picky in terms of faces, so they typically judge by your face. If they don't like the way you look, they probably won't hire you. They won't tell you the truth, but appearance may be the real reason. But it shouldn't stop you. Some many people and agents are pretty educated and able to understand that it's not the appearance it's skills and knowledge.

Talking about agents. Sometimes agents offer school candidates for a position. Still, the employer chooses just a different person, and there is no explanation like why sometimes they are pretty picky
to native teachers. And it's tough to understand why they do.

I hope that I answered this question. And let me see some other ones.

After I get my certificate, should I inform ITTT for job placement? I want to work abroad as a non-native
English teacher, but I don't know where to start.

Start from the job section on the ITTT website, don't forget to contact our manager. They will assist you
and guide you on this point. There is no 100% guarantee of employment, but the ITTT TEFL job service will try its best to help you.

What is the first step to joining if you have been watching this webinar from the very beginning?

As I have already mentioned, my personal experience began with a TEFL course. I took the 120 hour TEFL course, but you can choose between many other options on our website, so please go to and look for the most convenient way to have a course.

Which are the best websites for job opportunities about English teaching abroad?
So, there is a website called Go Overseas. It's is our partner. You can start by looking through this website. There are also other references on You can look there as well. But, if you look for jobs abroad, it's better to narrow your search to a particular country. For example, in China,
many job offers are listed on the Chinese social networks, such as WeChat, it's the biggest
messenger and the most extensive social network. There are many private chats for native and non-native English teachers. Recruiters share jobs constantly on those chats. If you don't know about this way of job search, it isn't easy to find a job in a particular country just using google search. Try to narrow down your search to a specific country, look for some developed services in those countries, and it will be easier to navigate. It will be easier to find your perfect position through such services, but you can start with our job service. Our managers will try to help you.

What was the main problem you faced regarding the fact that you are non-native, and how have you managed this?

I'd say that at that time, the biggest challenge was not about my origin but my age. When I went to China, I was 21 years old, and at that time, the Chinese government started changing its visa policy. It was tough to apply for a work visa, which meant that I couldn't work there legally. So when you guys look for jobs in different countries like China, Korea, or anywhere else in the world, you always have to check their visa policies because they constantly change the application. They continuously change some age limits, educational backgrounds, and so on. So it's essential to make sure that you
follow all of their requirements. I can say that I was constantly judged for being non-native. It didn't happen to me, but I met many people who felt insecure because they were considered the origin.

Can non-native teachers teach in native English-speaking countries like the US? I have been teaching at the British council in India after completing my CELTA last year but planning to move to the US.

It would help if you tried to look for such a position in the US because some people work in public schools in some US regions where immigrants are more common. For example, in California or Florida. Teachers who have an EFL background themselves are in great demand in such places. But the thing is, you have to be proactive to look for such a position, so it depends on you if you can find this job in the US. I think that you can do that because you are a real professional. CELTA and TEFL certificates are in great demand worldwide, and they allow you to teach just anywhere.

What are the requirements to get a TEFL certificate?
The main requirement is that you are over 18 years old, and that's pretty much. You can apply even if you don't have any teaching experience, even if you don't have any teaching education. So go to, and you will be able to apply without any expertise.

Will it be possible to take a TEFL course after COVID-19?
It is possible to take a TEFL course right now. So, COVID-19 isn't a problem. You can apply for an online course. Online courses are self-paced so that you can use them for any of the course options right now, but as for in-class courses, it's a bit different. There are some locations that currently don't provide courses, but they will restart when the COVID situation clears up.

As for the age limit, I have already mentioned that the only age limit is 18 years, so you can't take a course if you are under 18. If you are over 18 - welcome, you can start right now. Yeah, that's it.

Do I have to get teaching experience in my country to find a language school to work abroad?
It depends on some countries having visa policies requiring some teaching experience in your
home country, but it always depends on a particular location. For example, in China, they need to provide a statement that you have just two years of working experience in general, not teaching but any other field. So they request that you have at least two years of work experience after your university graduation, and that's all. As I have already mentioned, you need to check different countries' policies because they constantly change the rules.

What companies accept non-natives for online teaching?
So, as I've said, there's ITALKI, that's the most popular online platform that allows teaching non-native English speakers. So you can try to create a profile on this platform, and you should be okay with that.
There is also another platform - Cambly, you can teach there as a non-native teacher as well. There are some other platforms. I work through ITALKI, but it's competitive. So two leading platforms are ITALKI and Cambly, but there are other platforms as well. That's an idea for the next live stream. I'll do research and reach you guys back with some different variants of online teaching platforms.

Can we get a certificate from this seminar? This live session is not educational. We don't teach
anything right now, so we don't provide any credentials afterward. You can apply for a TEFL course. We have online and in-class options and offer certification upon successful completion of the course.

I'm studying English language teaching at university in my country, so will this situation boost my chance to find a job placement abroad?
It can be an asset because you are trained to teach English as a second language or
as a foreign language already, and you will get your bachelor's degree. BA is vital when you
apply for jobs abroad because some countries require you to have a bachelor's or master's degree. So again,
look for job offers, look at their requirements, if they suit you, then go to the country's embassy website and check out the visa policies. Maybe it's a requirement to have a bachelor's degree in the land of your choice.

Do I need to do any language test before enrollment to the CELTA course to prove my language proficiency?
I'm not sure about CELTA because ITTT offers TEFL and TESOL courses. For TEFL and TESOL, you don't need any language tests to enroll without any statement of English proficiency. There is no such requirement for our TEFL and TESOL courses. You need to be fluent in English.

Okay, so it looks like these were all of the questions. If you guys don't have any other questions, I will come back to this discount point. So let me share the link to give you this 30% discount. One second let me do that right now. So I'm going to send the link to the live chat. Please make sure you click on it and save it. So this link gives you a 30% discount. It's a special limited-time offer if you are willing to take a TEFL Course, it will be a definite benefit.

There is one more question. Will ITTT want me to prepare a lesson plan and micro-teaching before awarding with a TEFL certificate?
It's better to check the current requirements, but yes lesson plan is a part of the TEFL certification. You will probably need to create a lesson plan, and then you will get approved if it is successful. There is no observed teaching practice in the general course, but we have a different option. You can apply for the observed teaching practice course, and you will have this service separately. Our course instructor will make an assignment for you to deliver your teaching somehow, and then they will observe it, and you will get feedback on your education and evaluation of your work.

I am planning to take a course as a requirement to teach English abroad. Do I need your help with what is preferable: CELTA, TEFL, or TESOL?
Generally speaking, TEFL and TESOL are the same. The differences are in the abbreviations. TEFL stands for teaching English as a foreign language, and TESOL is teaching English to speakers of other languages.
You can choose a caption to type in your certificate when you finish your TEFL course or TESOL course. For example, I took a TEFL course in 2017. Just let me show you my certificate, it's here. So when I completed the course, I chose to have a certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages. So I decided that TESOL worked best for me. So you can choose between either TEFL or TESOL.
And CELTA is a different course. ITTT is not providing it. It's a separate program related to English language teaching. And it has some more specific requirements. You need to check the CELTA providers.

I have my 120-hours TEFL and 50 hours for teaching young learners. I'm planning to do the diploma course this coming year. On the website, it is said that I can get a free course. So can I take the free
course for teaching online and after to finish my diploma?

The free course is provided upon successful completion of the main course, but you have to check the requirements. So if you've done your general certification, you can write an email to our manager or contact us on Facebook and ask the same question. The educational manager will help you with that better.

Will you please tell me the name of the job websites again for finding jobs abroad?
I have already mentioned that we've got our job assistance on Let me share the link right now. So it's here. You can go to the website page related to jobs and look for some options over there, but if you are willing to look for a position on your own, please consider some specific countries, as I've
mentioned. For example, in China, they have this social network WeChat, and on WeChat, many groups list different jobs. But you need to know precisely what are the names of those platforms. The same situation occurs in any other country. For example, if you want to find a job in Russia, you need to look for Russian websites. If you're going to find a job in Turkey, you need to go to the Turkish websites. My general suggestion is that you start from the page, and you will be able to
get this gist of jobs possible.

If there is no other question, guys, I will be finishing today's live session. Thank you all for joining me today. I hope that I was helpful and found out some useful information. And if you haven't copied the 30% discount link, please do that right now again. Here it is. And let me check the chat box once again if there are any other questions.

Let me thank you for your good words. Yeah, it was pretty nervous for me to talk to you because it's my first time, but I hope you enjoyed it. I definitely did. And I hope that you will be able to find a job, you will be able to take a TEFL course if you need it and I hope that everything will happen for the better in your life during this magical month. And yeah, thank you for joining me today. Thank you, guys, and good luck to you too in your teaching journey. I hope to hear from you again, so I am going to have these live sessions weekly. Next Tuesday I will come up with another topic. If you, by the way, have any suggestions and if you want to know anything about English teaching or online education, let me know in the comments section of this life event. I will read them through, and your ideas can help me develop another topic for the next time. And this Friday, my colleague Linda will have her live session, and she will also share some helpful information about TEFL and TESOL.

So thank you so many guys once again. Here is a link that gives you a 30% discount. It's a limited-time offer; please make sure you save it and apply for your TEFL course. It will be a crucial step in your life. I think so because that's what happened to me several years ago and yes I hope to hear from you again.

Last but not least, let me remind you about our social networks again. So if you are really into Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, or any other social network, follow us, subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you like to listen to podcasts, please, join us on the mainstreaming services like google podcasts, iTunes, etc. We post everywhere, so please feel free to join our communities. We are excited to talk to you. Thank you guys for joining me today and bye, see you, next time guys.

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