A TEFL certification is often a primary requisite for English teaching positions as it equips a teacher with the fundamental skills and expertise to plan and deliver quality lessons. Despite the EFL industry's lack of strict regulation, TEFL certification has gained wide recognition from governments, schools, language centers, and individual employers as the standard qualification for educators in this specific educational field. The good news is that a TEFL certificate is universally recognized, making it welcomed by potential employers in nearly all countries where English teaching occurs. No matter your preferred location, a TEFL certificate is highly likely to be valued and accepted by a broad spectrum of employers.
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While a TEFL certificate is widely recognized worldwide, it doesn't imply that any certificate will suffice. Initially, you need to consider the course provider, as not all providers are equally respected. It is important to choose a course from a reputable provider whose certification is widely accepted by employers. Companies like ITTT have a long-standing reputation for providing high-quality certification, with their qualifications well recognized within the English teaching community. Before selecting a TEFL course, it is advisable to conduct online research about the course provider to ensure the ensuing qualification aligns with your career aspirations and preferred work locations.
Another significant aspect to consider is the duration of the course. TEFL courses are generally classified based on the average study length, often indicated in the title. Courses with less than 100 study hours are typically considered introductory, as they lack sufficient time to cover all crucial subjects that employers expect you to understand. Many providers offer introductory courses for those seeking a TEFL overview, planning to volunteer as a teacher, or considering working as a teaching assistant. However, if your goal is to secure well-paying teaching jobs, you will require a certificate of at least 100 hours - an unofficial but widely accepted industry standard.
Take a look at our popular online 120-hour TEFL course page.
Though a TEFL certificate with over 100 hours is generally required for most teaching positions, there are other factors to consider when selecting a suitable teaching destination, such as your nationality, age, educational background, and first language. In some countries, notably in Asia and the Middle East, it is a legal requirement for foreign teachers to be native English speakers from specific English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, the US, and South Africa.
Additionally, some countries and employers require teachers to hold a degree in any discipline. While this doesn't necessarily impact a person's ability to be an effective English teacher, it is legally required in some places and preferred by some schools and language centers. Finally, age can be a factor, with certain countries imposing mandatory retirement ages for teachers, ranging from 55 to 65. As these requirements can vary from one country to another, it is recommended to research specific requirements for your chosen potential destinations before making any travel arrangements.
Also read: TEFL, where can I teach?