TEFL job

Can I Teach English in England or any English Speaking Country?

Can you teach English in England, Ireland, Australia? English speaking countries are difficult job markets but an English speaker with a TEFL certification can still teach in dozens of countries around the world.

We often get this question so let's dive right in.

Are There Jobs for Teaching English in England or any English-Speaking Country?

Can I Teach English in an English-Speaking Country?

A native English speaker with a TEFL certification can realistically teach English in up to 100 countries around the globe from Argentina and Spain to Japan and Thailand. Unfortunately, however, English-speaking countries are not typically viable job markets for teaching English abroad, particularly for Americans.

Why is It Hard for Americans to Teach in England or in an English-Speaking Country?

1. There is a Lack of Demand for Foreign English Teachers

While many English-speaking countries have large immigrant populations and high demand for English language instruction, they do not need to import English teachers from other countries as they do in non-English-speaking countries from China to Chile.

2. It is Difficult to Get a Work Permit or Visa to Teach English in These Countries

With some exceptions (see below), it is difficult for Americans in particular to get work permits to teach English in other English-speaking countries. One exception for Americans is Australia where is it possible to get a work visa.

Read more: What Is a Visa and Do I Need a Visa to Teach English Abroad?

TEFL in England & in an English-Speaking Country: Are There Exceptions? 

Yes, there are a few exceptions:

1. You Already Have a Work Permit or Permanent Residency in Another English-Speaking Country

Along with having a college degree and an accredited TEFL certification, you may be able to gain employment as an English teacher. Prior experience and a background in education (including prior experience teaching English abroad) will enhance your ability to gain employment as well.

Examples of such cases would include those who are married to a national of another English-speaking country or those who have been posted by their spouse’s employer in another English-speaking country.

2. You Can obtain a Working Holiday Visa

Citizens of the UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and in some cases South Africa, between the ages of 18 and 30 (sometimes 35), may qualify for a working holiday visa that provides them with the ability to live, work and travel in other major English-speaking countries.

These visas must be processed prior to arrival and requirements (typically, proof of financial resources and health insurance) for obtaining a working holiday visa will vary from country to country.

Read more: Working holiday visa arrangements between specific countries

(Note: visa regulations and agreements are subject to change at any time.)

The United States has working holiday arrangements with New Zealand and Australia that enables Americans between 18-30 years of age to live and work in those countries for one year (and vice versa).

Read more: Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand

Read more: Working Holiday Visa in Australia

You should contact the consulate or embassy in any country where you are interested in applying for a working holiday visa to learn more about the requirements and the application process.

It is not a common occurrence as you typically are limited to a 6-month contract at one employer and most will hire locally however some foreign students may want the American dialect.

3. You Can Teach English in Canada

Canada has a large immigrant population and strong demand for English language instruction.  Those who can qualify for a working holiday visa in Canada, or who have legal working rights in Canada (including Canadian citizens) will need to hold a TEFL certification specifically accredited by TESL Canada

ESL Jobs in USA

4. You Can Teach in Your Home Country

This is your home-court advantage. If you are American and want to teach in the US, you can do that. If you are from the UK and want to teach in England, that's where the majority of English teaching jobs go.

If you have a TEFL certification and usually a four-year degree and/or professional ESL teaching experience (including teaching English abroad), you may be able to gain employment as a private tutor or at an independent language school as an English teacher. 

Most major English-speaking countries have large immigrant populations of non-native English speakers who require English language training to work and assimilate in their new country.  Hence, demand is strong. However, competition for professional English teaching positions are often competitive and most positions are part-time so making a livable wage solely by teaching ESL in a language institute will be challenging.

Teaching ESL in public or state schools (as well private schools, community colleges and other venues) may be an option for those with a state teaching license and/or an academic background in education. Requirements will vary within each country and each school and jurisdiction (school districts and states in the U.S., for example).


Discouraged or Apprehensive about Teaching English in a Country Where English isn't the Native Tongue?  Don't Be!

Even if your dream of teaching English in Dublin or London may seem dashed, don't let that stop you from teaching English abroad and experiencing the international adventure of a lifetime!

Teach in Europe and go on vacation, it's cheap and quick to get to the UK from Europe!

Consider the following:

  • There are more than 250,000 Americans and other native English speakers teaching all over the world from Argentina and Italy to the Czech Republic and Vietnam and 90% of them don't speak the local language in the country where they teach, and virtually all of them are having the time of their lives.

  • In Korea alone, there are 25,000 Americans and other native English speakers teaching English (receiving free airfare and housing and making enough to save $1,000 a month after expenses) and virtually none of them spoke a lick of Korean before landing in Seoul.

  • English is the most widely spoken language in the planet, so even in countries where English is not the mother tongue, it will likely be widely used and understood. As an English teacher abroad, you will encounter thousands of other English speakers - both locals and expatriates - nearly anywhere you go in the world to teach English, particularly in bigger cities.

But how will I communicate with my students if I don't speak their language?

Through your TEFL course, you will learn the teaching methodologies and techniques required to succeed as an English teacher, even when you don't speak your students' language.

Read more: I Don’t Speak a Foreign Language – Can I Still Teach English Abroad?

TEFL in English-Speaking Countries

Want to learn more about hundreds of thousands of opportunities to teach English abroad? Check out the following articles!


Posted In: ,

Want to Learn More About Teaching English Abroad & Online?

Request a free brochure or call 773-634-9900 to speak with an expert advisor about all aspects of TEFL certification and teaching English abroad or online, including the hiring process, salaries, visas, TEFL class options, job placement assistance and more.