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June 22, 2007

Q and A- Teaching Certificates

Hello Readers,

This month's question comes from someone looking into which TEFL certificate to obtain for teaching abroad. Thanks, John, for sending in your question!

Dear Ms. Rueckert,

I have been looking into teaching ESL overseas for about a year now and it seems that there is a great deal of conflict in the information available. I am hoping that you can provide some insight.

I am a single, 50 year old with a B.A. in Psych and Soc, two years teaching in the inner city (not a certified teacher) and five years experience living overseas while in the Air Force.

Would you be so kind as to ...

...give your opinion as to the market and which credentials I should look into? One source says without in-residence training there is no chance of being employed while another reports that an-on-line course is all that is needed to land a position. Yet another says simply go to the country and apply while on a tourist visa. I don't see myself actually considering this last option.

I realize that I am probably imposing and if you are unable to assist me I certainly will understand.


Hi John,

While it may be possible to get a job with an online TEFL, you should know that there is a vast difference between the content and reputation of on-site and online courses.

I highly recommend looking into doing a CELTA course (accredited through Cambridge University) before moving abroad. See the following website for more details: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/teaching/celta.htm

Or, if finances are not a problem, you could do a CELTA course in another country (a full-time course takes 1 month to complete) and then look for a job while you are there (it's often easier to find a job locally than internationally).

However, if you'd rather find a job before hand, you might want to look into organizations like JET, Peace Corps, VSOs, etc. These organizations usually provide training themselves at no cost to you.

Websites available for job searching overseas include:


Hope that helps.

Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

*To read more ESL Questions and Answers, please click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker who hails from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked with students of all ages and levels. She worked at universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, and did private tutoring as well. Besides teaching, she also worked as a head teacher, an education manager, and a material development manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she also writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing. Carol is also currently working on her MA in TESOL at Oxford Brookes University in England. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at June 22, 2007 03:55 AM

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