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How to start my TEFL career?

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  • Darshan
    22 June, 2020 at 10:09
    • Total posts: 1


    I have recently completed a 168-hour online LvL 5 TEFL course and an additional 30-hour course to teach Young Learners with The TEFL Academy and I’m ready to get started with my TEFL career.

    I’ve been searching the internet high and low to get my TEFL career started, but I’m getting confused with all the options available, as well as getting confused if a country requires a degree or not.

    Let me explain: The ‘World-TEFL-Factbook’ The TEFL Academy provides explains where a degree is required and where it isn’t, but when I look for a TEFL job application in a country, i.e. Spain, where a degree isn’t required according to the factbook, most job applications I’ve found in Spain state that a degree is required, which is very frustrating and confusing.

    I’m hoping that with this forum post, I can get some information as in what to look for, as well as read other teachers experience to help me get started.

    I prefer to get started in Europe, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and because I currently live in The Netherlands, I figured that finding a TEFL job in Europe would get me started faster/easier, than starting in Asia or South-America.

    Thank you for reading my post and I await your replies.

    Kinds regards!

    22 June, 2020 at 10:34
    • Total posts: 268

    Country vs employer degree requirements

    Hi Darshan

    Congratulations on completing your TEFL course!

    The confusion with degree requirements comes because there are two separate things to consider:

    1. Is a degree legally required to teach in a particular country?

    If this is the case, then it is out of the hands of individual language schools and employers, because the country’s legislation says that foreign teachers must have a degree, usually in order to obtain a work visa. In these cases, job adverts you see will sate that you need a degree. If someone is willing to employ you without a degree in a country where one is legally required, I would advise steering clear – you can land yourself in all sorts of trouble for working illegally. Please have a look at this article about TEFL without a degree for more about this.

    2. Is a degree required by the individual employer?

    In countries where a degree is not legally required, individual employers may still state that they require a degree anyway. In these cases, it is not because of a legal requirement, but because they, as individual employers, have decided that they want their teachers to have a degree, for whatever reason. This is, of course, their right, even if we as teachers don’t consider that a degree is necessary to be a good teacher.

    However, because it is not a legal requirement, there may be some flexibility with some employers. If you can convince the employer that you will be an asset to their teaching team, they may be prepared to waive their degree requirement. This becomes easier when you have some experience under your belt. It can also be easier if you are “on the ground” and able to go into the school and show them what you’ve got. A CV sent by email may go automatically into the “No” pile if they require a degree and you don’t have one.

    Hope that helps to explain things a bit!


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