Hello everybody. I got my TEFL certification in Czech Republic and am about to be shipped out to teach ESL for the Peace Corps. After the Peace Corps I plan on applying to a few jobs, particularly in Asia. I know I will be well qualified to get a good enough job there. My question, however, is that I see a lot of the “upper” jobs ask for you to be a licensed teacher in your home country. Does this mean that I should get my teacher’s license after the Peace Corps or will a TEFL be enough? I guess I had a misunderstanding that a TEFL (along with a master’s) was the only certification that you really needed.
30 March, 2018 at 6:22
Total posts: 52
Licensed teacher / TEFL certified = big difference
There’s a BIG difference between being a licensed teacher and being TEFL-certified, both in terms of salaries and benefits, and the type of schools you can work in. The qualifications you should get depend on where you want to work.
If you want to teach in International Schools, i.e., schools which teach the British or American national curriculum, you need to be a qualified and experienced primary (elementary) or secondary (high school) teacher in your country of origin. Typically, overseas employers look for a minimum of two years’ experience gained in your home country, but there are definitely some job openings for the newly-qualified.
Being TEFL-certified means you can teach English as a Foreign Language in private language academies, camps, or ‘cram’ schools. Depending on which country you’re working in, you may find some opportunities to teach English as a Foreign Language at local schools or universities, but with minimal qualifications, I wouldn’t bank on it.
You mention having a Master’s degree. If that Master’s is related to teaching, e.g., TESOL, Applied Linguistics, etc., you may find there are more doors open to you. Again, it would depend on which country/region you’re working in. If it’s completely unrelated, it will do little more than satisfy visa requirements.
8 April, 2018 at 10:08
Total posts: 11
International schools ask for qualified primary or secondary school teachers
As Briona states many international schools (which generally pay better than TEFL) ask for qualified primary or secondary school teachers, which in the UK would mean having Qualified Teacher Status – in America it’s probably called something else.
However, I have known TEFL teachers (often with a DELTA, and sometimes an MA) who have made the move into International Schools. This has generally been in countries with smaller ex pat populations and so perhaps less demand for these positions. I have also met people working as teaching assistants in International Schools, getting comparative salaries to TEFL teachers, and then being put through an international PGCE by the same school in order to at least part qualify as UK teachers. So it’s perfectly possible to work this situation to your advantage, although if you’re thinking somewhere like China or Korea, I’d say it’s less likely you’ll get it. Somewhere off the beaten track with a few international schools might be your best bet.