There is a number of frequently asked questions about TEFL courses (teaching English as a foreign language courses), especially about the necessary qualifications and their further application. Some of the answers to such questions are listed below.
Does TEFL imply any age limit?
There is no established age limit to qualify for the TEFL. It is necessary, however, to be a high-school leaver (be over 18). Many people take up teaching English to foreigners as their second career later in their life. There is a tendency to do it after retirement from the first job. As a rule, host schools and colleges give preference to the teachers with more life experience who are mature and contribute not only to the studying process but also to the life of the community they start to live.
Is it obligatory to be qualified to teach EFL?
Everything depends on the country and on the specific institution you want to work at. Some schools/colleges have no requirements concerning qualifications, and being a native speaker of English suffices. While others want you to have a college degree in any subject (not necessarily connected with teaching or linguistics). It is obvious, however, that having any of the TEFL certificates will be an additional advantage for you when applying for a job, and will be appreciated by most of the institutions.
Can I teach EFL being not a native speaker?
It is possible when your knowledge is sufficient (or you are a bilingual, for example). Most companies and schools, nevertheless, prefer hiring native speakers even if their qualifications are lower than that of the non-native speakers. Such a prejudice has caused some problems for qualified non-native speakers in finding a job as teachers of EFL.
If the level of your language skills is not high enough, the only possibility for you is to teach in your own country, or some distant parts of the world.
Can I complete TEFL course not being a graduate?
While many centers demand having a university degree in some discipline, it is possible to find those, that require no formal qualification but only a reasonably high knowledge of English language.
Are there any standard international TEFL qualifications?
• No. The qualifications’ requirements differ from country to country. However, there are some general trends in requirements:
• North and Central America as well as much of the Far East put much emphasis on the good first degree in any subject;
• the European Union, the British Commonwealth and much of South America and Central Europe prefer the candidate to have completed a 70-hour TEFL course, which includes observed teaching practice, and often a college degree in any discipline;
• Africa and many other poorly developed countries may not require any qualifications other than being a native speaker of the English language.
There is a big number of different TEFL courses that is recently offered; however, the most preferable ones are London, the Cambridge/RSA or Trinity College certificates.