English teaching certificates or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificates, are what you earn by successfully completing a TEFL course. TEFL courses can be completed either online, in a classroom or through a mixture of both and this will qualify you to teach English abroad in a non-native English speaking country.
Absolutely anybody can take a TEFL course to earn an English teaching certificate as long as they are fluent in English! Plus, you’ll need to make sure that your qualification is for at least 120 hours as this is the minimum needed to be able to get a job in the TEFL industry.
No, you don’t need any previous qualifications to take a TEFL course! Anybody can enrol and you don’t need any prior knowledge of teaching or any teaching experience – everything will be covered in your course.
This being said, for certain countries, you can only obtain a work permit if you hold a Batchelor’s Degree. For example, Vietnam, China and Thailand all require teachers to hold a degree but there are plenty of other countries where you can teach without a degree.
Check out our blog to learn about places where you can teach English without a degree.
The short answer is that you can use an English teaching certificate in pretty much any non-native English speaking country. Some of the most popular TEFL destinations are: China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Mexico, UAE, Cambodia, Argentina, Spain and South Korea.
There are a variety of different types of English-teaching roles to choose from as well as different working conditions…
In a school – Probably the most popular type of role, teaching in a school constitutes working in a classroom full of children aged between 3-18 years. The type of school can vary widely, too, depending on where it is, how well-funded it is, etc.
In a language school – In this type of role, you could be teaching children and / or adults of all ages. You may have smaller classes and possibly work more evening hours too.
Online – Online English teaching is a fast-growing industry as it allows teachers to work online from anywhere in the world. You’ll have the choice of working freelance or for an online language school, depending on how flexible you’d like to be.
One-to-one – Much one-to-one teaching is done online but it can also be conducted in classrooms or cafes / restaurants. For external classes, you would normally be teaching an adult i.e. training them for English exams.
It’s actually simpler than it may sound to get started as an online English teacher once you’ve completed your English teaching certificate. First of all, you’ll need to decide whether you’d like to be a freelance teacher or work for an online language school.
If you choose to work as a freelance teacher, you’ll need to set up a website or advertise your services on an English teacher platform. You’ll be able to set your own rates and find your own clients so this can be an attractive option for some.
Otherwise, if you choose to work for a language school, they’ll advertise for you so you won’t have to find clients yourself. They’ll also set your rates and hours of work so you may not have as much freedom as teaching freelance but arguably, more job security.
There are 5 main types of English teaching certificates to choose from. Whichever one you choose should be based on the type of role you are looking for.
This type of TEFL course doesn’t include any classroom training so it’s best for those who, for geographical reasons, can’t attend classroom dates. You’ll still have access to tutors and your English teaching certificate will be just as valid as if you did classroom training. See our courses
This type of TEFL course includes both online and classroom training. The majority of the course will normally be online with around 20 hours in the classroom. These are more desirable that just online courses as it is desirable to have a mixture of both types of training. See our courses
This type of TEFL course is solely based in the classroom. There are very few TEFL courses that are 120 hours and take place completely in the classroom due to the level of commitment involved. It’s usually best to complete a smaller number of hours in the classroom combined with a larger number of hours online. See our courses
This type of TEFL course is usually fewer hours (around 30-60) and focussed completely on a specific type / aspect of TEFL teaching. For example, Teaching English Online or Teaching Teenagers. Specialist TEFL Courses can usually be combined with Online TEFL Courses in a course bundle, to make sure you’re fully prepared for your new career. See our courses
This type of TEFL course are much more advanced than the ones we previously discussed. You will need to commit to a 6-week full-time schedule in a classroom based in a specific city. This type of course is best for those who want to have a long career in teaching English abroad.