You’re a certified teacher with a degree in education, looking to teach abroad. With your qualifications and experience, right off the bat, you’re probably wondering whether you actually need a TEFL certificate to teach abroad.
We hear this question a lot. And while it is possible to find a job teaching abroad without a TEFL certificate, there are several important reasons why we highly recommend certified teachers get their TEFL certification under their belts before starting their teach abroad job search.
Here’s why it’s worthwhile for certified teachers to get TEFL certified before they head off to teach abroad – regardless of whether you’re looking to teach English or teach your subject specialization.
You’ll qualify for more, better-paying teaching jobs with a TEFL certificate.
This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule for every school overseas, but on the whole, most reputable international schools or private language schools require their teachers to possess an internationally-recognized TEFL certificate.
With a TEFL certificate, you’ll not only qualify for more teaching jobs abroad, but for higher-paying jobs as well. As well as opening doors to jobs at more established schools, having a TEFL certificate, in combination with your highly-desirable training and real-world classroom experience, sets you apart as a strong candidate for the most sought-after teaching jobs abroad.
You don’t want to miss out and have your application rejected out of hand because you don’t have this common requirement in the bag.
You’ll be ready to put your best foot forward during the job interview.
It almost goes without saying, but during the interview, potential employers will ask you to go into detail about your approach to teaching in the foreign-language classroom – whether you’re an ESL teacher or teaching a different subject entirely – everything from your approach to planning lessons, to managing a classroom full of students where you don’t speak the native language.
If you can’t speak confidently on these subjects, then you risk falling flat at the interview stage and losing out on job opportunities to lesser-qualified candidates who have undergone TEFL training and are more comfortable with TEFL terminology and practices.
At its core, having a TEFL Certificate shows prospective employers that you do, in fact, possess the professional tools to teach all ELLs successfully.
You’ll gain the skills to become a great teacher abroad.
Not only will you be a more attractive candidate to prospective employers, but a TEFL Certificate gives you the fundamental skills necessary to be a competent and effective ESL teacher. You’ll also learn how to build strong relationships with students across cultural and language barriers.
Remember, ESL teaching is challenging and should be taken seriously. You don’t want your first few months in a new country to be a struggle while you get to grips with managing your classroom. By completing your TEFL certificate, you can ensure you’re truly ready for the real world of teaching abroad.
This equally applies to certified teachers who are new to ELL teaching abroad. You might very well assume that if you’re going abroad to teach your chosen subject, a TEFL certificate isn’t for you. However, in a very real way, you will still need to consider yourself as a language teacher – even though you could be teaching, say, science or math. You’ll have a diverse range of ELLs and non-native English speakers in your classroom. One student in your class may be vastly more proficient in English than somebody else. You might even be teaching students who are just starting out learning English!
You’ll need to learn strategies that help you reach all of the students in your class. The challenges for ELLs are doubled: they could be learning, for example, new math skills and a new language, all at once! Understanding the theories about language acquisition and the variables that contribute to language learning can help you reach your students more effectively. A TEFL certificate will help you anticipate challenges in the ELL classroom and give you the skills to overcome them.
Want to find out more about the differences between teaching abroad versus teaching at home? Read our blog post here!