Can I Do TEFL Without A Degree?

Finding the best TEFL course can be a daunting task. There are a plethora of offerings, especially online, and knowing which to select and who to trust can be difficult. This article will highlight what you need to look out for in a Best course and what requirements are needed for entrance into a TEFL course.

Current demand for TEFL teachers

Teaching English as a foreign language opens the door to travel the world, exploring its wonders and inspiring future generations all whilst earning yourself a living. With more than two billion people using or learning to use English (The British Council, 2013) and many countries requiring proficiency in English for further education, business dealings or for entering particular fields, TEFL is a huge business that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide.

Consequently, there is an overabundance of companies offering courses, advertising themselves as offering everything you need to land one of these surplus staff stations. You need to find out some exceptional courses.

Different countries = different requirements

Each nation around the world has its own set of requirements for English teachers and instructors. The accreditation you will require to teach different sets of learners in each country will depend on that country’s own criteria and standards. For many nations, K-12 English teachers will need to have a teaching degree or alternatively a degree in English.

Pre-K, Adult TEFL instructors or teachers outside of government-controlled schools can be hired however with TEFL certification alone and less economically advantaged nations may relax their requirements to attract native or native-like English speakers.


What will a TEFL certificate do for me?

A TEFL certificate will equip you to teach English language skills, organize courses for specific students and develop or refresh your knowledge of English grammar. This certification will help you stand out in job applications, verifying that you have completed the required training to teach English as a foreign language. There are occasionally teaching jobs that do not require any training or prior experience, but having a TEFL certificate will make your job search, and definitely your job thereafter, much easier.

Obtaining an accredited certification will provide access to many opportunities in a variety of places around the world. One of the best things about TEFL certification is that it is accessible to almost anyone whether young or old, native or a non-native English speaker, university or high school graduate and whether or not you’ve had any prior teaching experience, such is the demand for instructors.

Pre-requisites for TEFL courses?

TEFL courses in and of themselves don’t have any pre-requisites, but the level of the qualification will. When applying for a postgraduate TEFL qualification (which is Level 8 in Australia and Level 7 in the UK) you will be required to have a bachelor’s degree first.

To apply for a Level 5 TEFL course you do not need a degree but you will need to have fulfilled the requirements for entrance into a Level 5 qualification. A Level 5 course is one that has been assessed according to a standardizing, qualifying organization and regulated by them as a Level 5 qualification.

In general, the requirements for a Level 5 course are a GCE certificate or equivalents such as an American diploma or high school certificate. You must be eighteen years of age or older and, if required by the training organization, you may also need to have achieved a certain ILETS score. To pass the Level 5 TEFL course you must maintain a certain proficiency throughout to ensure that you achieve the required grades and complete the qualification.

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The TEFL advantage

Designed to educate students about all areas of TEFL the Level 5 course includes aspects of language and linguistics such as grammar, phonetics and phonology as well as aspects of pedagogy such as classroom management and lesson planning. Many courses will also offer you guided and critically appraised teaching practice which is looked upon favorably by employers.

As discussed above, there are countries in which you do not require a degree to teach English or do not require a degree to teach English to certain learners at particular institutes. In these places however you’ll almost certainly need a TEFL certificate.

With a TEFL certificate, your choices will be considerably greater even without a degree. Whether or not this degree is required to teach TEFL is, as we pointed out earlier, usually determined by the nation where you will be teaching. Some nations have regulations or limitations on visas that require foreign teachers to hold a degree in order to be able to receive a work visa.

Language schools and other institutions are required by law to comply with these standards and will state in their advertisements for employment that a degree is required. If you hear about instructors getting past visa restrictions by volunteering or participating in intern programs, it is possibly true. They might also be operating illegally which we do not recommend. These teachers expose themselves to possible exploitation by less-than-honest employers as well as risk getting into legal problems with the country’s government.

Having a degree can certainly open up more options, especially if that degree is in education, but there are still plenty around even without one. There are also techniques to improve your chances of finding great opportunities abroad which a good course provider will also help key you into. In general, however, for entrance into a TEFL course, a bachelor’s degree is not required.

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