Friday, July 12, 2024

Teaching English as a foreign language: What you need to know


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Teaching English as a foreign language generally involves teaching English to individuals who grew up learning and speaking other languages.

In order to teach English as a foreign language effectively, a good education and teaching skills are a prerequisite. We look at what you need to teach English as a foreign language successfully.

A university degree

While it is not a general rule, most schools would require a  4-year university degree for you to teach English as a foreign language. A degree can be in any subject and not necessarily English.

Be fluent in English

It goes without saying that for you to teach English you must be fluent in the language. Majority of employers  have specified that to be considered candidates must be citizens or have lived in the following countries: USA, UK, Australia, and South Africa. Bottom line: Candidates must be native speakers of English.

A TEFL certificate is a plus

Getting certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is highly encouraged to ensure you’ll feel confident leading a classroom and crafting lesson plans. TEFL certified candidates have a major advantage over other non-certified teaching candidates.

Clean criminal record

In most cases you will be required to teach English abroad. Most employers require candidates to prove they have no criminal record. A police clearance certificate is therefore mandatory.

Be outgoing and fun

Remember that you will be teaching English to people who have zero to little knowledge of English. It is important to be skillful, fun and outgoing. Introverts will generally find it difficult to teach English as a Foreign Language.


Employers tend to prefer candidates who can demonstrate proven experience. However, you can still secure a teaching job provided you are fluent in the language.

Have a valid passport

You will need a valid passport if you want to teach English abroad.

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