All you really need to teach English abroad is a strong desire to try something new and a teaching qualification that will show potential employers that you have undergone some level of teacher training. The internationally recognised qualification in this situation is a TEFL certificate and these courses typically have few set requirements.
What level of English is required to take a TEFL course?
Having a good level of English comprehension is the most obvious requirement for taking a TEFL certification course. Non-native English speakers are just as welcome as native speakers provided they have a good understanding of written and spoken English. The number of jobs available for EFL teachers worldwide is immeasurable and there is often a shortage of qualified teachers in many areas. Thanks to this strong demand there are plenty of vacant positions waiting to be filled and non-native English speakers are welcome to apply for jobs in most countries. Interestingly, at ITTT we typically enroll more non-native English speakers on our TEFL courses than native speakers.
What age limits are there with TEFL courses?
Once again, the huge worldwide demand for TEFL qualified teachers means that there are plenty of job opportunities for teachers of any age group. To enroll on a TEFL certification course with ITTT you simply need to be over 18, there are no upper age limits. All over the world you will find teachers of all ages working in a variety of classrooms, from young students taking a gap year to pension-age retirees looking for a new direction. There are genuinely no end of options for TEFL qualified teachers no matter what their age.
What educational background do I need to take a TEFL course?
At ITTT we have no prerequisites when it comes to your academic background. As long as you have a solid grasp of the English language and are keen to learn how best to teach it, you are welcome to join any of our certification courses. After the course, you will find there are a few countries where you have to possess a degree to be eligible for a work permit. While this is the case in some popular teaching destinations such as China, Japan and South Korea, there are many more countries that are open to all educational backgrounds. Because of this, we have no qualification requirements when enrolling on our TEFL courses.
Do English language teachers need to be bilingual?
No, EFL teachers do not need to know any language other than English. It is possible to teach English without knowing your student's language because all our TEFL certification courses follow the immersion principle of language learning. Regardless of the different languages spoken by the teacher or the students, during a TEFL lesson English is the sole language used by everyone involved. The immersion method simply tries to replicate the conditions that language students would experience if learning the language on their own in an English speaking country.
Do qualified teachers still need to complete a TEFL course?
Plenty of qualified teachers decide to take a change of direction towards teaching English as a foreign language at home or overseas and many assume they require no further qualifications on top of their existing teaching credentials. However, this is not usually the case as teaching English requires a whole different set of skills and knowledge than many existing teachers possess. While having a mainstream teaching qualification is an advantage when applying for jobs, most employers will still expect a TEFL qualification to ensure you have the specific understanding that this unique sector of education requires.
Do I need to know a lot about grammar to teach English abroad?
Part of the knowledge required when teaching English to non-native speakers is a clear understanding of English grammar. However, it is not necessary to have this knowledge before you enroll on a TEFL course as English grammar will make up a significant part of your training. While any existing knowledge would be an advantage, the majority of trainees start their TEFL course with only a basic understanding of English grammar that is gradually expanded as the course progresses. By the end of your training you should have absorbed enough information to confidently teach crucial grammar subjects, although a full and deep understanding will only come for most teachers after an extended period of teaching regular classes.