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Teacher but not TEFL Certified

Posted: 22 Apr 2010, 21:42
by Talia

I am currently a teacher, with a multiple subjects and a special ed credential in mild to moderate disabilities. I am curious if I need to get a TEFL Certification in order to teach overseas? In particular, I am interested in teaching in South America, Colombia would be ideal since I lived there as a child. While I don't mind taking a month during my summer vacation and going somewhere interesting and doing the course, I just wonder is it really needed? Can I just send out resumes to potential employers? Thanks in advance, for your replies.


Re: Teacher but not TEFL Certified

Posted: 23 Apr 2010, 05:00
by systematic
The need for a TESOL certification is generally at the discretion of the employer. If your degree is already in a linguistics or educational field, and/or you have a state teachers' licence (or something like a British PGCE), and/or significant teaching experience in a related field and can provide references, an employer might not insist on a TESOL cert. Normally the requirement will be mentioned in the job ad. However, schools are notorious for poorly composed job ads and the best job ads are often written by professional recruiting agencies.

You may possibly find it to be much less productive to send resum├ęs/CVs to schools and other potential employers who are not currently advertising any vacancies.

Do check out our job application tips, particularly item 5.

Do note however, that the governments of most countries nowadays insist on a bachelor degree (often in any subject) for legal employment which usually means obtaining a visa and a work permit.

Hope this helps.

Re: Teacher but not TEFL Certified

Posted: 23 Apr 2010, 12:37
by Talia
Thank you, it does indeed help. I do have a Bachelor degree and the additional credentials which allow me to teach here in California, but was curious about the TEFL certification process. There are quite a few programs offering TEFL certification courses, however, there isn't any central accreditation body that verifies the validity of their certification courses. While there are some that I found - Ascentis and courses that are affiliated with Cambridge or Oxford - the list of organizations that offer TEFL certifications is daunting, especially on the internet. If I actually go abroad for a month, I'd like to make sure that it wasn't just a wonderful vacation with classwork interspersed and that I have a certificate that is worth more than the paper it is printed on.

I will most certainly check out the job application tips. Thanks again.