Common Misconceptions about Teaching English Abroad

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Teaching English abroad is a confusing business – all those different courses and opportunities, and that’s before we started on the grammar. So it’s only normal that we get asked lots and lots of questions. So, to help clear things up, we’ve put together a list of the most common misconceptions about teaching English overseas you know just how easy it really is!

1/ Do I need to speak another language?

The most popular question asked, but surprisingly the answer is no. You don’t need to speak anything but English to teach abroad – this way you create a complete English speaking atmosphere in your class to maximizing how much your students learn as they try to understand you. And don’t worry – your TEFL course will show you exactly how to teach English to students with only the most basic language skills.

2/ Do I need any previous experience?

Many people think you need to have some kind of previous work experience or even a teaching degree to find jobs abroad. All you really need is an i-to-i TEFL qualification and your plane tickets! Teaching experience will help your chances of landing the best jobs but certainly isn’t necessary to get your TEFL adventure started.

3/ Do I need a degree?

You don’t need to have a degree to be able to teach abroad, but some countries require you to have a degree for visa purposes. There are still loads of countries that don’t require one such as China, Ecuador or Indonesia to name just a few!

4/ Do I need to do a CELTA course?

Ahh… the much wondered question of many keen TEFL teachers – “which course is right for me?” Well the CELTA (Cambridge Certificate in English language Teaching to Adults) course is an internationally-recognized 4-week residential course, which is designed for people who want to make a full career out of TEFL. It costs upwards of £1,000/$ 1,597, so is certainly a commitment. However, it is more prestigious than an i-to-i TEFL course due to the depth of training it offers.

i-to-i TEFL courses aim to have the same outcomes as CELTA courses, which means they give you the same skills, but squeeze it all into a shorter length of time. If you only plan to spend a year or two teaching abroad then the i-to-i TEFL course will save you a lot of time and money, while giving you the skills you need to get paid teaching work anywhere in the world. Our TEFL courses are also internationally recognized and accredited by the ODLQC.

Both are winners… it really depends on your plans.

5/ Will I only teach children?

As soon as you think about teaching you just automatically think of teaching young children, but that’s not the case as learning a new language is demanded by loads of people. There are loads of opportunities to teach professionals, teenagers, retirees or young adults so if you don’t want to be teaching children you really don’t have to!

6/ Can I teach English even if it isn’t my first language?

We usually recommend that non-native English speakers have a Cambridge CAE, IELTS level 6.5 or equivalent for teaching overseas. However, if you can speak English well, you don’t need to be able to prove it to us!

A lot of schools abroad prefer to employ teachers whose native language is English, but because the demand for TEFL teachers is so big, there are loads of schools worldwide who will happily employ any fluent English speaker who has a TEFL certificate. So don’t worry if you’re a non-native speakers there are plenty of opportunities out there!

Have questions about teaching abroad? Post them below!

Teaching English abroad is the perfect opportunity for any English speaker to explore the world. As long as you’re a fluent English speaker, a TEFL course is your ticket to the journey of your life.

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