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TEFL without the TEFL

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by stumigoo, May 17, 2011.

  1. I think I am probably nearing the stage of my early career that I am close to packing the whole thing in and taking a step back. I have applied for a number of overseas positions without much luck and I am determined to teach somewhere other than 'Bonnie Scotland'. So I have been mulling over the possibility of applying for TEFL-esque jobs internationally. I am aware that for many people it might be a step back for a fully registered, fully qualified teacher, but I am at the stage where I simply need to do something.

    Do schools asking for TEFL teachers employ people without a TEFL qualification? Having read some of the websites of schools that are looking for TEFL teachers many of the staff seem to be TEFL trained but not teacher trained, and many have no degree. Would I be in a better position to get a job (MA Undergrad, PGDE Secondary RE & Philosophy), especially as I have nearly three years teaching experience. I suppose I could just bite the bullet and take a TEFL course, but do I really need to?

    Also is TEFL-esque teaching a viable career path or is it simply a short term step?
  2. Yes, you can find a job without a TEFL degree, but would you really want to? TEFL in itself is a step back. Some are not so bad, but the good ones will always ask for a good TEFL degree. The schools/companies who hire someone without a degree are usually at the lowest rung of a shaky ladder. You also have to take into account that in some countries, the TEFL degree is a visa requirements. Your PGDE wouldn't necessarly work because it's not related to teaching languages. Believe me when I say that in some countries like Vietnam, they are unlikely to let you in without the right qualifications. If you are going down the TEFL road, my advice is to bite the bullet, follow a top course, and you will find plenty of jobs, including some pretty decent ones. As for whether it's a viable career path, it can be. I know someone who was in a similar situation as you. They had a PGCE but struggled to find a job. So they went abroad to do the TEFL thing. The money was fairly decent and eventually he found a job in a proper international school. The fact that he had lived abroad was a nice plus on his CV.

  3. the hippo

    the hippo Established commenter Community helper

    I cannot really agree with the suggestion that doing some TEFL teaching must, inevitably, be a step backwards. Yes, you should definitely bite the bullet and do the CELTA, as this is an internationally-recognised qualification and it will look very good on your CV. Teaching in international schools usually involves teaching some students whose first language is not English, so a CELTA would be a definite bonus.
    At the risk of getting this thread deleted by the moderators, I would recommend an outfit called International House. A CELTA course is very practical, very hard work and it virtually guarantees you a reasonably-paid job at the end of it. It costs about a thousand quid and takes a month. Do it!

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