TEFL teacher: what it is and why to become one | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

TEFL teacher: what it is and why to become one


If you really enjoy travelling and would love to make a difference in people’s lives, becoming a TEFL teacher might be something suitable for you. EDUopinions today will go through what it is like to be an English teacher abroad and its requirements.

Why should I become a TEFL teacher?

The shorter answer is that becoming a TEFL teacher gives people the opportunity to travel the world. The longer one is that being a TEFL teacher means you face some criticism. Every day you stand in front of a group of students and educate them, guide them in any way they may need. Even if not every class will be great, your students will make every single moment worth it. It might take a while for classes to start going well. Being a teacher is the joy of being yourself and creating a wonderful and comfortable atmosphere for your students to enjoy learning and feel free to ask questions. It’s not something you can describe simply with words. It’s the feeling you get when you know you are in the right place.

Qualifications to become a TEFL teacher

Depending on where they are in the world, schools ask for different things. In Europe, it is usually required that you hold a University degree. However, in many places in South and Central America, schools are more lenient and only require you to speak excellent English. Next is the actual teaching English as a foreign language qualification. There is a minefield of options here – a multitude of TEFL courses, CELTA, TESOL – and it can be tricky to know how to make the right decision for you.

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It all comes down to this – where would you like to be teaching? If you don’t know yet, find out. Will you be able to spare a weekend, or a few weeks, a month, aside from your schedule to complete the course? Can you prioritise it? If you can’t, perhaps an online course is the best direction for you, something you can complete whilst continuing to work to earn money towards your new life. Generally, the CELTA qualification is recognised all around the world. It’s an intense 4-week course, (or 3 months part-time, if you need to work alongside), and isn’t cheap. However, you are completely submerged into the TEFL world, usually made to teach on your second day, and no doubt will have an emotional as well as educational journey throughout the course. If you are serious about becoming a TEFL teacher I highly recommend spending the money and investing the time in yourself and choosing the CELTA.  


Imagine there is something you do every day that requires you to consistently muster a huge amount of energy. No matter the weather, your mood, your financial or personal situation, you show up. You have the ability to reach multiple cultures, people, hearts, minds… in one day. They reach you too. Sometimes you have to travel a lot for achieving that. Other times along metro lines. Imagine inviting flexibility, openness, and imperfection into your life. Imagine learning constantly, about any subject, any career, people’s lives and situations… this is what it means to be a TEFL teacher.

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Wanderlust at heart, Irene loves to discover new places and meet new people. She writes about lifestyle, travel tips and blogging. At EDUopinions Irene creates compelling content for college students and works as the Community Manager. When she is not working or writing, you can find her reading a good book with a hot cup of tea or exploring new places to try Matcha tea and gluten free pastries.

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