TEFL is short for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. In most cases, you’ll need your TEFL certificate if you want to teach ESL (English as a Second Language).
But there are situations when you won’t need to be TEFL-certified to find a job as a teacher of English abroad. You could very well find a job as a teacher abroad (without a TEFL) when:
- You are highly experienced. In case you are already a well-experienced teacher, you may qualify even without a TEFL. If you have an interesting and impressive resume that’s full of great jobs and you have recommendations, degrees, certificates and a lot of experience as a teacher, some schools might not have a problem with hiring you.
- Other certifications. We know several certifications available for teaching ESL that may get you the job you’re looking for. Apart from the TEFL certificate, there is also the TESOL certification (which is more or less equivalent to the TEFL), and the CELTA and DELTA certificates, but these last two are more intensive. If you’re holding one of these qualifications, there’s no need for TEFL certifications on top of that.
- You’re holding a visa. Most ESL teachers abroad require a TEFL certificate to receive a working permit and a visa. However, if you already stay in a country on another visa, like a marriage or a retirement visa, you might well be able to teach without the need for the TEFL certification.
So in case one of the above categories apply to you, you may very well qualify to teach English as a Foreign Language abroad.