Articles for Teachers

Teaching Abroad Without Certification
By:Bryan Schatz

Teaching abroad is a popular option for those looking to stay overseas for an extended period of time. The most common and likely teaching position that you may find will be in English instruction. While having English teaching certificates such as the TEFL or TESOL greatly increases your options, they are not absolutely essential to garnering a teaching position. For many locations, your native ability to speak the English language suffices as certification in and of itself.

Research institutions and organizations that accept applicants of English instruction who do not have a teaching certification. There are dozens of websites, as well as print publications such as Transitions Abroad, that are dedicated to providing access and contact information to prospective international teachers.

Develop a cover letter and resume detailing your education as well as any experience you have had relating to teaching or tutoring. Some programs require that you hold a bachelor's degree in English in order to be accepted, but the degree can often be in any field. Include volunteer experience as well as experience you have had traveling and/or living abroad in your cover letter and resume.

Choose a position that you wish to apply for and fill out an application. While not all programs require a separate application specific to their organization, the majority of them do, such as Geo Visions, Inter Exchange or the Language Corps, in which the training period includes TESOL training and certification. Make sure that you fill out an application during the time period that is concurrent with the dates you would like to begin teaching.

Pay any required application fees. Again, not all programs will have an application fee but many--especially programs that are dedicated to volunteer positions--will have application fees that must be paid before your application will be reviewed.

Consider signing up for government-sponsored programs such as the Peace Corps, in which your training will be included. Look into Japan's Jet Program (Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program) for a possible assistant teaching position.

Educate yourself about your position. Simply being a native English speaker or having experience in a certain field does not guarantee that quality teaching skills will follow. Get access to teacher resources and ask the program about resources and training they may provide.

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