Best country to turn up and teach with no qualification

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LordMavis
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Best country to turn up and teach with no qualification

Unread post by LordMavis » 23 Mar 2018, 09:44

Hi everyone,

I'm not necessarily planning to do this, and I know it's problematic - ethically and otherwise - but I'm wondering what the best countries to just turn up and teach in without any TEFL qualifications are these days. I know it may be preferable to get a qualification, but just assume that's not a possibility. Assume instead that I'd be preparing myself to teach English using free resources, informally without any qualification to show for it.

I'm 30, have a BA degree in anthropology, white native English speaker, British. Otherwise work as a freelance writer online.

My first choice, and I suspect the easiest country to do this, would be China. But I'm wondering:

- Where best to do it - i.e. what cities, as well as what countries [doesn't have to be China, just picking that because I'm learning the language anyway]
- How easy is it? How do you do it?
- What are the major differences to teaching with a qualification, in terms of pay, conditions, assistance with accommodation, etc. [ideally want thoughts from people who have actually done it]

Any ideas?

Briona
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Re: Best country to turn up and teach with no qualification

Unread post by Briona » 23 Mar 2018, 12:46

Hi there, and welcome to the forum,
LordMavis wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 09:44
I'm wondering what the best countries to just turn up and teach in without any TEFL qualifications are these days.
I'm afraid the days of being able to show up somewhere and land a job based on your being a native English-speaker are long gone. Quite aside from the fact that a degree and a TEFL certificate are almost prerequisites these days, if you need a visa to enter/work in a country, it wouldn't be advisable or, in some cases, possible, to just rock up and start teaching.

LordMavis wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 09:44
Assume instead that I'd be preparing myself to teach English using free resources, informally without any qualification to show for it.
I don't really understand what you're getting at here, but it sounds as though you are planning to give private classes on an ad hoc basis. The thing is that both schools and private students want continuity, not someone who'll breeze in, give a couple of lessons unrelated to anything, and ride off into the sunset. Furthermore, depending on where in the world you teach, students can be very demanding. European students, for example, would not pay someone who didn't know his present continuous from his present perfect.

Contrary to popular opinion, a normal TEFL lifestyle does not go hand in hand with round-the-world travel. If you want to travel and make money en-route, you might be better off looking into online teaching. There are loads of companies that pay you to teach Chinese children. However, even they require a certain commitment, e.g., X number of hours each day/week for six months.

LordMavis wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 09:44
My first choice, and I suspect the easiest country to do this, would be China. But I'm wondering:

- Where best to do it - i.e. what cities, as well as what countries [doesn't have to be China, just picking that because I'm learning the language anyway]
I've been teaching for over eight years and during that time the TEFL industry has changed dramatically. Once the go-to for those without qualifications, China has been tightening up regulations, and fining and deporting, or even jailing those working illegally. Is it still possible to work on a tourist visa? Probably. Is it a risk I'd take? Hell no!

Work visas, not just in China but in much of Asia, are now dependent on qualifications, experience, nationality, medical history, etc. While there are some exceptions (Cambodia and Laos, I think), wages are subsistence level so if you are trying to fund your travels, you might need a Plan B.

As an EU citizen (for now at least), you have the right to move to any EU country with the aim of looking for work. However, the jobs market is very competitive, especially in the more desirable locations, so I wouldn't recommend it if you're not prepared to invest in a TEFL qualification. Most TEFLers in the region have a first degree and a Celta or Trinity CertTESOL and at least a year or so's experience. Many have a Master's, often related to EFL, and some proficiency in the local language(s). Sadly, an inexperienced newbie with no TEFL certificate stands little to no chance of finding decent work.

LordMavis wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 09:44
How easy is it? How do you do it?
How do you find work? Well, if you don't need a work visa, you time your arrival for the peak hiring time, get a local SIM card, and any paperwork required (social security number, etc.) and go round the schools with your CV. If you need a work visa and you don't have one, you'll be limited to online teaching, or finding private students. You should join expat/teaching groups on Facebook and find out how and where people advertise.

LordMavis wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 09:44
What are the major differences to teaching with a qualification, in terms of pay, conditions, assistance with accommodation, etc. [ideally want thoughts from people who have actually done it]
If you're working illegally and you don't get paid or you're treated badly, there's nothing you can do. You can't call the police or report them to the appropriate Government body because you're the one breaking the law. The powers that be will throw the book at you rather than the school. And employers know this and will happily take advantage of it.

Accommodation assistance is not a service schools/employers typically provide in Western Europe. Some Eastern European schools will provide accommodation for you, and it's commonplace to do so in some Asian countries. That said, if you're not officially employed by a school, they are under no obligation to help you with anything.

LordMavis wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 09:44
Any ideas?
If you want to travel, TEFL isn't really the answer. If you want to teach, I'd strongly recommend investing in a TEFL qualification, even if it's just an online TEFL course. And if China is where you want to be, you should familiarise yourself with the visa requirements.

Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, please ask.

Briona
Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar

LordMavis
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Re: Best country to turn up and teach with no qualification

Unread post by LordMavis » 23 Mar 2018, 13:17

Thanks for the detailed answer Briona, certainly does help. I suppose what I had in mind was teaching as a seemingly (but apparently not very) easy way to relocate to China, to find a place to live and see whether I like it, before returning after the year's contract perhaps to working online - whether that means teaching English online, writing, or a combination of the two.

As you say, I'm probably better off looking into visa requirements. And that's useful to be reminded about the risk of being taken advantage of by sub-standard schools

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John V55
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Re: Best country to turn up and teach with no qualification

Unread post by John V55 » 27 Mar 2018, 00:59

Don’t even begin to think about winging it in China. If you already have a degree, go to countries like Thailand or Cambodia, do a TEFL certificate, get some experience and you won’t have to break any laws. Takes time, but time better spent doing it legally than sitting in a deportation centre.
Change My World: Politics, education & emigration http://changemyworld.forumotion.com

justin123
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Re: Best country to turn up and teach with no qualification

Unread post by justin123 » 08 May 2018, 13:06

Hi. We used to teach English in foreign countries but now we teach online, make 4X the money, and no lesson planning! Y’all can see our pictures at teacherdevantravels.com. My wife makes $22/hr with a flexible schedule and travel abroad.

Romeo
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Re: Best country to turn up and teach with no qualification

Unread post by Romeo » 24 Apr 2019, 04:59

I am new to this site (and I realizer that this is an old post)... however I just got back from Vietnam where I taught in Ho Chi Min under a tourist visa. The school was great although they did not help with accommodations. I had actually wanted to get a work visa but the school wasn't interested. This is very common in Vietnam, not only in HCM city but also Hanoi now as some of my friends are teaching in some northern provinces as well. 7-8 out of 10 foreigners in Vietnam I know are teaching English with tourists visa with/without teaching certificates. However I would not try this is in China. I also like the idea of teaching online and making the double the money.
“Let's be part of the solution… not the problem”

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John V55
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Re: Best country to turn up and teach with no qualification

Unread post by John V55 » 06 May 2019, 13:14

Don’t bother Romeo. You are not going to make anything like the suggested income teaching online. You can see the spam of Justin123 above who claims his wife makes $22 an hour teaching online, that’s around 702 Baht. If she’s making that what’s the company behind it making? Double that? Who is paying over 2000 Baht an hour for an hour’s lesson online?! It’s not a scam, it’s simply misleading because the most you’re likely to get is a few hours every w/end at 150 Baht an hour and they can’t get people to do it hence the magical high paying figures to lure people into it.
Change My World: Politics, education & emigration http://changemyworld.forumotion.com

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