I feel under-qualified to take the course and teach

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I feel under-qualified to take the course and teach

Unread postby smacnaro » 28 Nov 2011, 01:30

Truth of the matter is, I don't have a degree in anything. I have been through high school and technical schools. I have a lot of life experience, but I have never taught (besides a few religion classes when I was younger). I have a nagging feeling that I am under-qualified to even take a TEFL course. I am currently signed up to take one in Florence, Italy in March. I don't want to doubt my decision, it is a huge commitment. I have a very strong desire to immerse myself in other cultures, and I thought that teaching my native language would be rewarding. I guess no matter what, I am going to go through with it. I just want to know if not having a degree will hinder my chances of being successful.

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Re: I feel under-qualified to take the course and teach

Unread postby Briona » 29 Nov 2011, 00:29

Hi Sarah,

Firstly, you don't need a degree to do a TEFL course. Secondly, having a degree doesn't necessarily mean you are smarter than non-degree holders or will make a better teacher. There is one massive disadvantage to not having a degree though and that's that many countries require you to have one for visa purposes. No degree means no visa.

You haven't said where you want to teach but be advised that the list of countries where you can legally work without a degree is rapidly decreasing. Currently your best bets are China and Ecuador - there are a couple of others but those are the big two. Of course if you hold a passport from an EU member state, the whole of Europe is open to you. That said, if you want to work in Europe you should maximise your chances of finding a job by taking a CELTA/Trinity CertTESOL.

Hope that helps. If you have any other Qs, please ask.


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Re: I feel under-qualified to take the course and teach

Unread postby Dziekuje » 03 Dec 2011, 16:39

I took my CELTA 12 years ago at the age of 36 with no degree. Yes there are restrictions on where I can work but I have found a reasonably good job in Poland and make a living here. As Briona says some countries will not take you simply because you don't have a degree but you can still find work if you are a European citizen.

Make sure your qualification is accredited either by Cambridge (CELTA) or Trinity (TESOL), I did my CELTA with IH London and they helped me find my first position. You will certainly be eligible to work in a lot of private European language schools with a CELTA although some may be fussier. It also depends on how desperate they are! I applied to one polytechnic who advised me that they normally insist on a masters degree for lecturers, but apply again next year as the requirements change!

In short if you are a European citizen, check it is a proper qualification and then go for it!

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