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  • 5 things you must check before choosing a TEFL course June 21, 2010
    Unfortunately there has never been one single regulatory body for the TEFL industry, notes Jimmy Krangol. Right now there are numerous TEFL schools springing up everywhere, all claiming that their course is better than the rest or, that they offer the most accredited TEFL certificate. It can be a daunting task trying to select the right [...] […]
  • Teaching English in Korea… an unofficial guide May 8, 2010
    Over the last few years Mike Pickles has received many questions about teaching English in Korea. He has prepared this unofficial guide to give teachers basic information on the background of teaching English here so that they can be better informed before committing themselves to any particular job. Unfortunately some people come to Korea under [...] […]
  • 7 reasons to TEFL in Thailand April 28, 2010
    It’s hardly difficult to see Thailand’s appeal, claims Emma Foers, what with its gorgeous beaches, buzzing cities and fantastic food – but just in case you need a little persuading as to how amazing TEFLing there would be, check out these seven reasons to teach in Thailand: 1) Enthusiastic kids Don’t believe anyone who tells you that [...] […]
  • 3 easy steps to becoming a TEFL teacher April 22, 2010
    You may have heard a little rumour that, as a fluent English speaker, you can magically get paid to teach English in amazing places all over the world. It sounds a bit too good to be true, but in fact, Emma Foers suggests, it’s not! Teaching English abroad is as simple as 1, 2, 3… Step [...] […]
  • Keeping control of your TEFL class April 12, 2010
    There will be times in your TEFL career when you are really challenged in terms of student motivation and classroom management, notes Bruce Haxton. Students, especially children, can be temperamental – but one of the things you’ll quickly learn is that how you behave as a teacher largely dictates how your students behave. Here are [...] […]
  • 6 things to check before accepting your TEFL job March 15, 2010
    It’s tempting to get carried away with the excitement of going to a new country and being accepted for a job is a great feeling, notes Bruce Haxton, but before you start packing your suitcase, make sure you check out the conditions – they’ll make or break your experience of teaching abroad! Here are 6 [...] […]
  • What type of English can I teach? March 1, 2010
    In this article Chris Soames looks into your options as a native speaker. If you’re a British TEFL teacher, you’ll be asked the question ‘do you teach American English?’ more often than you’ll hot dinners. Your response should always be a firm, but polite, ‘no’. This is nothing to do with snobbishness or a belief that British [...] […]
  • Being Certified in TESOL or TEFL has Benefits February 23, 2010
    By Frank Collins TEFL and TESOL are acronyms for teaching English as a foreign language and teaching English to speakers of other languages. If you plan to teach English overseas then getting a TEFL or TESOL Certificate is a prime requirement. Subscribe to The ELT Times by Email Nowadays there is huge demand for TEFL and TESOL certified [...] […]
  • How are TEFL courses structured? January 28, 2010
    What to expect from your four-week TEFL course by Bruce Haxton. So you’re interested in Teaching English as a Foreign Language [TEFL] but you don’t know which course might be for you? Or maybe you’d just like to know more about what to expect on day one on a course you’ve already booked? Well, there are [...] […]
  • How to Fact Check January 25, 2010
    How to write more accurately and improve your grade, by Celia Webb Fact checking is an important part of writing an accurate article. Meticulous authors do research prior to committing their thoughts to paper. Not all authors are so careful. Editors and readers serve society and themselves well when they read with a judicious eye. Just [...] […]

Is a TEFL certificate necessary?

Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa, the creator of and writer for TEFL Tips, discusses the merits of TEFL certification.

As far as visa requirements go, while countries may require a degree, I don’t know of any that require you to have a TEFL certificate. Although TEFL certs won’t help with visa requirements, they will make your life much easier as a teacher. Intensive TEFL courses, whether they be CELTA, Trinity, or any other course, will teach you how to teach English. Knowing the language and being able to teach it are two different things. There’s nothing worse than having a student ask you to explain something and for you to not know the answer.

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These courses will teach you things such as grammar, how to teach vocabulary, language level, popular activities, different methods, and more. Not only do they help you learn about what to do in the classroom, the course trainers can give you advice about which countries to teach in, what to look for in a contract, and may even offer job placement. They’re a great way to get your foot in the door. If you decide to make teaching English your career, you should try to get higher qualifications as well, such as a PGDE or MA.

If you want to take a TEFL course, read Choosing a TEFL course to find out what you need to look for to find a good course. If you can’t take a TEFL course due to time, money or other reasons, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of other ways to learn about TEFL. See Learning about TEFL and Teaching.

About the author

Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa is the creator and writer for TEFL Tips, The LA Job List, and The Ultimate Peru List. She enjoys answering people’s questions about TEFLing and Peru.

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2 comments to Is a TEFL certificate necessary?

  • Interesting post. I did a CELTA before I went to teach in Japan (even though it wasn’t necessary), and I was so glad I did. I felt a lot more confident about teaching than I would have otherwise. I know some of my colleagues took a while to get to grips with being in front of a class as they hadn’t taught before, whereas I was able to feel comfortable from the start. Also, a CELTA is much more in-depth than any training I received on the job, though of course it’s just a starting point and you find your own way as you become more experienced.

    One last point – to teach in a language school in the UK you do need a qualification.

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  • Malky

    Aye you’d be best off with a cert no questions.

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