I think the biggest hustle in China education history is that foreign teachers must have a TEFL certificate to be hired. Although I personally think this should be the law, it is not. People that say that is a mandatory requirement are usually those trying to sell you a TEFL training program directly or indirectly. And since there is still no global standard for TEFL training, everyone claims their certificate is the best one to have for China. Until recently I taught for years in China and was bever even asked by an employer if I had a TEFL certificate.
To be fair, large chain schools in China like EF do require that their teachers have a TEFL certificate and if they do not they enroll them in their own pricey TEFL training. So, in the end it comes down to another way to make money from teachers. But I must say that considering the thousands of China foreign teachers who never taught anything before arriving in China, they themselves should be the first ones to say “I need this training” so long as the trainers are experienced and competent.
Questions about contracts, expat labor rights, teachers requirements and visa laws for China are found at http://chinascamwatch.org
8 March, 2017 at 20:04
Total posts: 9
In my experience in Asia this is true. TEFL and 2 years experience are ‘soft’ requirements. TEFL and TESOL are treated the same, but are different style programs.
I paid 1200USD for a 120-hour TEFL training program in 2010. It definitely helped me to get jobs and be a more successful teacher on those jobs.
Laowai Lao Shi
27 March, 2017 at 8:55
Total posts: 26
I personally think the CELTA is worth taking for my own personal improvement as a teacher but there are many people trying to persuade teachers inbound to China that a TEFL certificate is “REQUIRED” to teach in China. This is absolutely false.
To be blunt, If enough people believe the lie, some two dozen companies will make more than $50 million this year alone. I have had three teaching jobs in China and not one of them asked me if I had a TEFL certificate.
Before applying for teaching jobs in China be sure to review http://chinascamwatch.org and the r/ChinaTEFL sub at Reddit so you don’t get screwed.
30 June, 2017 at 16:28
Total posts: 3
I just got my TEFL certificate based on my recruiter’s advice, and after five job interviews, someone finally asked me if I had one. So although it may earn you some extra consideration, a TEFL certificate is not a “MUST HAVE” in China to teach.