What is it?

Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) basically refers to teaching English to students where English isn’t their first language. TEFL can take place in an English-speaking country or abroad and TEFL teachers don’t necessarily need to be native speakers. 


To teach English as foreign language certification is usually required by schools and language institutions. In some countries you won’t be considered unless you are certified. This however isn’t always the case and you get away in some places without being certified, usually if you have significant experience in teaching. However, for those with none or little experience we recommend getting certified.

There are organisations, covered in this chapter, that offer courses to become certified. Courses aren’t that expensive and completing a course will enable you to understand the basic theory, practices, and perspectives when it comes to teaching English as a foreign language. When you are certified you can apply for higher paid jobs and broaden your job search altogether.


The biggest benefit, should you choose to teach English as a foreign language abroad is that you will be able to travel and get paid at the same time. English teachers are in demand across the world so there are fair few places to choose from.

Another fantastic benefit is that you will gain a better understanding of different cultures. Teaching English as a foreign language in a local a school or abroad offers a unique opportunity to get a learn about different cultures, customs, and tradition from students.

There is also a career benefit of TEFL. On the job you can learn practical information for future roles and the experience itself looks great on a CV