High school student - want to be English teacher!

Help, tips and advice in teaching English

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High school student - want to be English teacher!

Unread postby NoraA » 27 Mar 2012, 22:55

Hi, my name's Nora! I thought this would be the best place to ask questions about teaching English abroad. I want to teach English abroad after highschool. I've researched whether I need a degree or not, but I always get mixed answers. So my question is, do I need a bachelors after highschool to teach English abroad? I want to have many options as to the countries I'm able to teach in. If I should pursue a degree, which degree would be most helpful in teaching abroad?

Also, would it be advisable to get my TEFL certificate during university, or should I do it after?

Sorry for the long question, I'd appreciate your help! :)

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Re: High school student - want to be English teacher!

Unread postby Lucy » 28 Mar 2012, 17:05

Hi Nora,

The reason you get mixed answers on this question is that there isn’t one rule that fits all countries. In some countries, teachers are required to have a university degree and in other countries, it isn’t necessary. You can check which countries have this requirement by looking at consular websites. If the country you wish to work in has this requirement, you’ll have to get a degree before you can teach there. There is usually no legal way to get around this.

As for type of degree, I haven’t heard of preferences. Of course, language degrees would help when you learn to teach a language. But, I’ve worked with EFL teachers who have science, language or journalism degrees; the range is pretty big. Most schools don’t specify the subject of the degree. If you want to be sure, you can take a look at job ads and see what schools are looking for.

As for getting your TEFL certificate while at university, it’s difficult to say. You need to consider how much time you will spend on your degree and how much time on a certificate. You could always do a cert during the summer holidays, if time permits. You could also look out for a part-time certificate course which is spread out over the year. The certificate is very intensive; so, you need to double check the amount of time you will need to spend on it each week, as well as how much time you need to spend on your main university studies.

All the best! Lucy

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