Requirements To Become A TEFL Teacher
What qualifications do I need to become a TEFL teacher?
In most countries, you will need a degree and a TEFL certificate. Additionally in some countries there is no official requirement for a specific qualification but in practice a TEFL certificate is almost always required to get a job.
We suggest that you check the requirements for the specific country that you plan to work in.
What qualifications do I need to do a TEFL course?
Do I need to be a native English speaker?
No! In fact, we have many ICAL TEFL Students who are not native English speakers (that is, they don’t speak English as their mother tongue).
Our courses are open to all and the course material is written in plain English in a user-friendly style that makes it accessible to everyone.
Having said this, all ICAL TEFL students whether they are native or non-native English speakers will need to express themselves in correct English. This means that if an assignment contains more than just an occasional error it will simply be returned un-graded for the student to re-work and correct.
To read more about Non-Native speakers working as TEFL teachers.
Should I use American or British English?
ICAL TEFL teacher trainers are based around the world (the USA, the UK, Ireland, Canada and many other countries) and they are well versed in all the main variants of the English language and have no preferences.
Do I need to know grammar?
You do not necessarily need perfect grammar to become a TEFL teacher (or indeed to do one of our TEFL courses). But you will need a basic understanding of English grammar.
If you are a native English speaker then your grammar is almost certainly good enough but you might not know all the ins and outs of grammar and the why behind English grammar structures. If you speak English at a near native level you are probably better at English grammar because you have had to figure it out as a second language learner yourself already. If you are concerned or would like to confirm your knowledge, it may be worth considering our Grammar Foundation Course before or after taking on the full TEFL course.
Can I take this course?
We do not discriminate against any student for reasons of gender, sexual preference, age, nationality, political, religious or moral beliefs, and so on.
However, to register for one of our courses, you must have a good level of English.
This means that you must be able to read and write English at a high level (eg, at “Proficiency” level). We do not test you on this, however when we receive work from you, if it contains more than just one or two mistakes we will return it and ask that you rework it and bring it up to an acceptable level.
Also note that you don’t have to have any previous qualifications to join our course – we believe in making education available to as many people as possible!
Do I need to learn a foreign language if I plan on teaching abroad?
That said, some jobs may ask for the ability to speak another language, but this is not the norm and any such jobs would clearly advertise that requirement.
If you want to learn a little of another language then we encourage you to do so, but there is no reason why you should need to to enter a career as a TEFL teacher.
About Specific Courses
Which TEFL course should I do?
Do I need additional teaching practice?
There are several benefits to doing additional teaching practice.
- It helps to consolidate what you learn on the TEFL course
- It will make you a better and more confident teacher
- It looks great on your CV and will make you more employable
In some countries and for some jobs (particularly the better jobs and those with higher pay) some previous experience will be a requirement or at least a beneficial thing to have.
I want to teach [specific audience], do I need to take another course?
No, you don’t!
The standard ICAL TEFL Certificate Course is a comprehensive course that covers all sorts of teaching scenarios including Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL), Business, English for Special Purposes (ESP) and so on. In fact, the aim of any of our courses is to prepare you for any teaching situation and different age groups.
So whether you are teaching immigrants needing to improve their English to find work, students taking private lessons to pass an exam, refugees looking for a new start in your country, young learners or teenagers in a formal school setting, you will be ready for the job!
In addition, your ICAL Personal Tutor will be able to help you tailor some of your course work to suit your teaching needs, should you have specific requirements.
QUALITY AND RECOGNITION
Are your courses accredited?
Are your courses internationally recognized?
Just as an example, ICAL graduates work in the USA, China, Japan, Korea, Italy, Greece, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, India, Finland, Russia, Spain, Vietnam, Thailand, Costa Rica… and many others too numerous to mention!!
General Course Questions
How long does it take to complete the online course?
ICAL TEFL courses have been designed for self-study at your own pace. We don’t put pressure on you to hand in work or complete assignments according to OUR schedule. Instead, we work to YOUR schedule.
This means you can fit in a course around your own work life and free time. In other words, you can take as long or as little time as you like to complete it. If you work already or are still attending a university, you can still take one of our courses.
The fastest student completed the ICAL TEFL Certificate Course in 22 days while at the other end of the scale we have had some students take several years! On average though, most students complete their course within about 4-8 weeks.
We recommend that you submit at least one assignment per year, if you can’t work any faster. If you don’t manage and more than 12 months go by, don’t worry. We can help you reactivate your course.
See our Terms & Conditions for details.
Do I need to get anything for this course?
The standard 120 hour course consists of 5 modules which are available to you in sequence as you complete and pass each assignment. You will always have copies of each assignment with your tutor’s extensive feedback to reference even when you’ve finished the course.
The Certificate and related papers (Marksheet & Reference Letter) are sent in electronic format upon successful completion of the course.
How do I apply for a course?
TEFL Careers & Finding A Job
What can I do with a TEFL certificate?
Many TEFL teachers work by teaching in companies, in nursery schools or kindergartens, or even in higher education colleges and universities. Although to do so you would probably need a higher degree and a few years’ experience first.
If you don’t fancy being a teacher, you could also become a language teacher’s teaching assistant in a public school (state school) or in a private language school or chain.
How much can a TEFL teacher earn?
You should also keep in mind that the cost of living in many countries is much lower than in the USA or Europe and a moderate salary can feel very generous in certain areas of the world.
Can I work as a TEFL teacher in my home country?
About You TEFL Certificate
Does my certificate expire?
If, after graduation, you lose your certificate or need additional digital copies of any of your final graduation papers, we are able to issue digital replacements for a small fee.
What does the certificate look like?
Depending on the course you take the certificate may have a different title; the student name will be yours and under this will be your unique ICAL TEFL ID number. Finally, the date will be when the certificate was issued. Here is a sample of what an ICAL certificate looks like:
Can I get my Certificate as a hardcopy in the post?
By default, all ICAL graduation papers (Certificate, Marksheet, and Reference Letter) are sent in electronic format by email. We have found that most people prefer to receive them this way for easy forwarding on to potential employers or along with job applications.