Am I too old for TEFL?

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  • Stallan
    27 March, 2015 at 11:16
    • Total posts: 2

    I hope someone can give me some advice on this.

    I am a 58 year old male with an OU degree and a Trinity Cert which I took at Sheffield Hallam Uni several years ago but never used. I am currently a self employed home worker but am thinking of giving this up as it is not paying the bills.

    One option would be to use my TESOL qual but I am worried I may be too old to cope! I guess I am also a bit concerned about working abroad in case I get scammed. One thought was to do something in the UK first to get some experience but I would need paid work (not volunteering) because of my financial situation.

    Any suggestions as to how to move forward with this – or should I forget about it and do something else?

    2 April, 2015 at 13:23
    • Total posts: 1

    Reply To: Too old for TEFL

    Hi Stallan,

    Saw your post and thought I’d try to follow up.

    10 years ago I received my TEFL and went straight to work in China. Pay was good and the apartment was actually nice. I ended up staying 8 years, my last job was paying me $2,500 per month (USD) and housing was free.

    Lots of schools now are advertising "maximum ages", but my friend from Canada is now 67 and just took a job at a college in Fujian Province. Similar terms as my former gig.

    I can’t speak for other countries, but in the case of China common knowledge is to stick with colleges/universities/high schools. So long as they’re providing a Z (working) visa, they’re legitimate (public schools = government run). Any school not offering that is usually some kind of scam.

    I’d start checking with Dave’s ESL Cafe for jobs, I used that board almost exclusively.

    Not sure if this’ll help, but here’s my little blog on teaching in China:

    Good luck, if there’s anything else I can answer please let me know!

    2 April, 2015 at 16:06
    • Total posts: 57

    Reply To: Too old for TEFL

    There is no question that you won’t be able to find meaningful and well-remunerated work at your age. Some countries even give preference to those over 50 because of their "life experience" knowledge. I know that more and more people are venturing into this line of work in their 60’s and even 70’s.

    You will encounter job ads that only want someone very young (example: ATL assistant jobs in Japan). You won’t usually find anyone over 42-43 in those jobs. And working holiday visa positions are usually for the very young: 22-30. But they are just a speck in the sea in terms of total number of TEFL jobs available.

    I’ve heard of many older teachers (50’s and 60’s) working ever so happily in Taiwan – a fabulous country in every way teaching English as a foreign language.

    I know some countries might tighten up visa restrictions a bit once in your 60’s. But, if a school really wants you, there may be ways around it,.

    Don’t hesitate to apply anywhere as you have the credentials. The work is there. You just have to apply.

    Check out this site. I think it will inspire you. http://www.internationalschoolsreview.c … rticle.htm

    Best of luck in all your future endeavors. :D

    6 April, 2015 at 13:31
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: Too old for TEFL


    Thank you for your encouraging response. I will look into Taiwan as an option as it seems the most positive towards "older" teachers. Time for research!


    21 August, 2015 at 10:04
    • Total posts: 1

    We get people doing CELTA through us all the time 50 and over, many people use it to have a comfortable retirement

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