How to become an English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- applying directly
- professional development training
Some employers may expect you to have a degree or postgraduate course that gives you qualified teacher status (QTS).
Useful subjects include:
- modern foreign languages
- education studies
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
You can take Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) courses at colleges and private training providers all over the world. They vary widely in cost and length.
You can do:
- an intensive full-time course lasting 4 weeks
- a part-time course lasting from 12 to 36 weeks, depending on the training provider
- a distance learning course where you may need to arrange your own teaching practice
The most common TEFL qualifications are:
- Certificate In Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Cambridge CELTA) and (Trinity CertTESOL)
- Level 5 TEFL Diploma
You'll usually need:
- an excellent standard of English
- A levels or equivalent qualifications
You could get experience as a paid language assistant in schools abroad. You do not necessarily need a TEFL qualification to work in schools, but if you want to teach in a private language academy, you will.
Each country has different eligibility criteria, for example, age limits and standard of English, so check carefully to make sure you meet all the requirements for the country you want to work in.
You may need foreign language skills for some jobs.
The British Council has information about working abroad as an English language assistant.
You can work as an EFL teacher in further education. You'll usually need a teaching qualification like the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training, which you can do through professional development.
After the Diploma, you can get qualified teacher learning and skills status (QTLS).
To work in schools in the UK, you'll usually need to be a qualified teacher.
Teaching roles can be a few hours a week to full time, depending on where you work. There are likely to be more jobs available during holiday periods, as many course providers cater for overseas students visiting the UK at these times.
Rates and pay and hours vary widely when teaching abroad, so make sure to check job offers carefully.