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It’s been a busy week. Perhaps it’s the freezing weather we’ve been having, but suddenly, everyone seems interested in leaving their jobs and goIng off to teach English abroad.
So, if you’re thinking about travelling to a sunnier country for the summer, or even for longer, what do you need to know?
The first question we are asked is whether it’s worth doing a training course to teach English before you go to another country or whether the fact that you speak English will be enough.
Well, there was a time when an English speaker could teach English abroad without any qualifications and that’s still possible, even in Europe. However, it’s getting a lot more difficult as countries introduce new ‘quality control’ measures and there are more and more qualified teachers to compete with. (Which is great news for students and the profession as a whole.)
There is a wide variety of ‘TEFL’ courses available, but as we’ve said above, if you want to be a good teacher with happy students then you really need to do a course.
Check that your training organisation is accredited by an independent accreditation or regulation body.
If you want to know whether a UK training provider is ‘officially recognised’ you can use Ofqual: https://register.ofqual.gov.uk
Simply add the name of the training organisation to the search tool.
A good training course is worth the investment. And really, if you want to work for a good school with decent working conditions, then you will need a recognised qualification.
The two qualifications recognised by the British Council (and good schools) for teaching English as a foreign language are: the University of Cambridge CELTA and Trinity College (London) CertTESOL.
Again, you can check a qualification on: https://register.ofqual.gov.uk
Some years ago, I read an article on the website of one of the leaders in English language teaching and teacher training – IH Barcelona. The writer said he couldn’t understand why people would invest large sums of money to get a qualification that wasn’t recognised when they could get the very best for the same price.
I have to agree!
I see lots of teachers who have paid well over a £1,000 who suddenly find that they cannot teach in an accredited school in the UK, or a British Council school abroad.
Their expensive certificate is certainly not opening many doors for them!
Good luck with your training. If you’re looking for information to teach English abroad, the we have more information in our ‘advice’ section.