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How to teach English abroad?

How to teach English abroad - 9 steps to getting a job teaching English in a foreign country. Get the skills you need to be a successful ESL teacher overseas.

If you want to teach English abroad the first step is to complete an internationally recognised TESOL / TEFL course from TESOL Training International in Cebu. You’ll discover skills you never thought you had, and it will give you all the tools necessary to give those from different cultures the ability to stand out from the crowd and level up their careers.

Teaching English abroad is a great way to fill a gap year, or to take a change in career direction. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a great way to travel the world, see some amazing things and meet people who will become life long friends. The skills you will learn during your training with us and those gained in the field will stay with you for life and stand you in good stead in other activities. Who would have thought you could be so organised and self-reliant?

So, let’s try to answer some questions you may have before you take control of your destiny and teach English abroad.

Do I need a degree to teach English abroad?

Most definitely not. However, as with all things, some countries requirements are stricter than others. China, for example, used to not require a degree to obtain a z-visa, now it does. Having a TEFL / TESOL certificate from an internationally recognised in-class course is a great way to distinguish you from the other job applicants. It shows that you take your career seriously and portrays you as a professional.

If you do have a degree, great. You’ll have many more opportunities to teach English abroad, but don’t rest on your laurels. TEFL / TESOL certification from a recognised training course such as the one we supply, will open more doors for you. In countries such as Japan and Korea, where the TEFL job market is tough, only those with degrees and TESOL certification get offered the best teaching positions.

"As every country has different requirements that must be met to fulfil their work visa requirements, you will have to do some research."

Currently, a degree is NOT required by these countries if you want to teach English abroad.

South America






Costa Rica

Dominican Republic





















Middle East & North Africa




Do I need a TEFL qualification?

No. YES, of course! Remember, getting TEFL / TESOL certified is as much for your own benefit, as it is for an employer. For you it will give you the skills and confidence needed to stand in front a class of students for the first time. For your employer, it shows that you care about your professional image and that you want to be able to offer your best to the students. You will come across employers that don’t care whether you have a degree, or TEFL certification when you want to teach English abroad, but you will find they are often not so reputable and don’t really care about you or the students, they will only care about being profitable. Would you feel happy in that situation?

Which TEFL course is right for me?

There are many companies that offer TEFL / TESOL courses to help you teach English abroad, and you can find courses in almost every country around the world. From the prestigious CELTA from Cambridge University and CertTESOL from Trinity College in London, right through to a $30 online Groupon certificate that is not worth the paper it is printed on. (There's a rumour floating around at the moment, that these ‘worthless $30 TEFL certificates’ are being rejected under China’s new Z-Visa requirements, don't get caught out!)

The TEFL / TESOL Certificate course that we offer at TESOL Training International – Cebu, sits nicely in the middle. It offers you in-class training that is both internationally recognised and accredited. It fulfils all of the learning requirements needed and is offered at a realistically competitive price.

If you want to teach English abroad but can’t spare the time to spend a month with us at our training facility in Cebu, we offer an ‘online’ equivalent TEFL certification course. Unlike many (most) other TESOL / TEFL online providers, our course still comprises of exactly the same modules and content as our in-class course, you will even have to provide video evidence of your 6 teaching practice sessions. It’s worth noting that an online course, even ours, may not be as acceptable to some employers. This is because they understand that 120 hours of classroom training is better.

What will I learn on a TEFL course?

Course content will change from provider to provider, some will be better than others. But, as a minimum your TESOL / TEFL course should include:

  • Evaluating Student Levels and Abilities
  • Teaching techniques for Different Levels
  • English Language, to include, Phonology, Lexis and Grammar
  • Lesson Planning
  • Classroom Organization and use of the Board
  • Testing and Assessing Students
  • Working with Reading, Writing, Reading and Listening Skills

But, whatever course you choose, to meet international standards it must:

  • Meet international standards for the regulation of acceptable English language teaching certification?
  • Include 120 or more hours of training and input?
  • Include lessons that cover teaching skills, classroom management, language awareness, phonology and how to apply, prepare and teach these skills effectively?
  • Assess trainees progress continually during the course through projects, assignments, teaching practice and also include a final exam?
  • Have moderation and inspections by an independent teaching body or professional?
  • Meet the approval and recognition of respected, independent professional bodies and individuals?
  • Update its input to reflect developments in language teaching?
  • Offer a certificate at the end of the course that is valued and internationally recognized?

How much is a TEFL course?

We could ask, how long is a piece of string? There are huge discrepancies and no standardised prices. You will pay a different amount depending on country, provider and course. However, in saying that, and discounting those worthless $30 Groupon ‘certificate mill’ certificates, you could pay anything from $500 to $1500 and more. Currently, our price for an in-class 120 hour TESOL / TEFL certificate with at least 6, 1 hour mentored teaching practice sessions is only $500*

Are my English language skills good enough?

To be able to teach a subject, you have to be reasonably proficient in that topic. If you want to teach English abroad it is no different, your students will expect big things from you. If you are Native Speaker then you should have nothing to worry about, but if your first language is not English, then your level of proficiency should be high. Your instruction on your TEFL course will be in English and you will be expected to use English during your teaching practice and demonstration sessions. If you think that your English language skills need improving, it may be prudent to tackle those prior to undertaking an intensive training course such as our 120 hour in-class TESOL / TEFL course.

Do I need to speak the local language?

It often helps to be able to speak a little of the local language in your day to day activities, but in an English language classroom there should be an English only policy. Students learn more in a truly immersive atmosphere, so using the local language in the classroom detracts from that learning experience. Having said that, young learners may benefit from a bilingual teacher. During your training with us at TESOL Training International – Cebu we spend time with you in that area and teach you techniques you can take with you when you teach English abroad, and use in an English only classroom.

Where can I find teaching English abroad jobs?

There are thousands of jobs available if you want to teach English abroad, it is an ever growing market place. Many countries around the world place a huge importance on it’s employees being able to communicate effectively in English, as such finding work after you have completed your TESOL Certificate course with us at TESOL Training International in Cebu is easy. You will go equipped with a qualification that is both internationally recognised and worthwhile. After you have successfully completed your training with us, you can take advantage of our ongoing job assistance program.

There are also many websites who offer new teaching positions around the world every day. Your search could begin below:


ESL Cafe

ESL Job Feed

ESL Employment


ESL Boards

If you have already arrived in the country you would like to teach English abroad in, you will find teaching jobs listed in English language newspapers, on notice boards in building lobbies and convenience stores, online forums for expatiates and blogs. Of course, nothing beats knocking on a few doors of English language academies, and introducing yourself directly. It’s amazing how many schools need extra staff, but have yet to advertise for them.

(* price correct as 11th February 2019, but may change without prior notice)


Langrich Logo

Langrich-On, Inc.,  one of the biggest and leading Online ESL schools in the Philippines, offering English lessons to Japanese students, has sent many of it's teachers to take the TESOL Certificate Course offered by us since January 2014. The third batch is now taking the March training.

Our Location

TESOL Training International Cebu Location Map

Our Contact Details

TESOL Training International - Cebu
The Grove
2211 V Rama Avenue, Guadalupe
Cebu City