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Can I Teach English Abroad Without Teaching Experience or an Education Degree?
Written by: John Bentley
Last Updated: December 18, 2020
YES! Every year, more than 200,000 English speakers get jobs teaching English abroad, and more than 90% have no prior teaching experience and no degree in education, or even English. In fact, up to 20% of them don’t even possess a four-year college degree! With up to 1 billion people taking some form of English class each year, the demand for native or fluent speakers to work as English teachers is virtually insatiable. From summer camps and kindergartens to public schools, language institutes and corporate training, English speakers with no prior background in professional English teaching or a teaching degree are employed in more than 100 countries around the world.
But how will I be able to teach and communicate with my students?
You will teach in a 100% English immersion classroom. Students are paying for a full immersion experience every day by a native or fluent speaking English teacher to speak, listen, read and write in a new language. Instead of flying to an English speaking country and living abroad for several years to have English surrounding the student, they take language classes from you. You will not typically be required to know a foreign language. Taking an accredited TEFL certification class will provide you with the teaching skills you need to communicate and provide effective instruction to your students, even though you may not speak their language.
How will I learn to teach English?
An internationally accredited 120-hour TEFL certification will provide you with the skills in methodology, lesson planning and classroom management that you need to succeed as a professional English teacher abroad. You will also earn a qualification that thousands of schools and language institutes around the world require when they hire new english teachers.
A TEFL certification course that meets international standards will incorporate several key elements:
- At least 100 hours of academic coursework;
- 6-20 hours of live practice teaching with actual ESL students (not role-playing with other teachers-in-training!);
- A curriculum that is accredited by a recognized, independent accrediting body;
- Instruction provided by experienced university-level instructors.
TEFL classes are either full time for 4 weeks (20 days of classes) typically 9 am to 5 pm, homework at night or part time (11 weeks) in an online TEFL class.
You also want a TEFL certification course that provides lifetime job search guidance to provide you with the resources, guidance and expertise you need to find and interview for jobs teaching English abroad.
Too many aspiring English teachers have take a second-rate TEFL courses or classes from organizations that did not provide quality job placement assistance so they are left with a piece of paper stating that they are TEFL certified, but they are unable to find the quality job opportunities that they should be qualified for.
John Bentley is Co-Founder & Senior Writer for International TEFL Academy (ITA), the world leader in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad. A graduate of Harvard University and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, John is a recognized expert in the field of TEFL. His articles have appeared across the field's top websites, including GoAbroad.com, StudyAbroad.com, InterExchange, GoOverseas.com, Adventure Teaching, & many others. He has also spoken as an expert on Teaching English Abroad & TEFL certification at major conferences like MeetPlanGo and Lessons from Abroad (LFA) in Portland & San Diego.
Want to Learn More About Teaching English Abroad?
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.
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