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Have you been thinking about teaching English as a Foreign Language, but don’t have a college degree? While it is a little easier to find work with a degree, (in any subject!) there are plenty of opportunities out there even if you don’t have one. Check out this step-by-step guide, put together by the “pros” here at TEFLPros, on just how to teach English without a degree.
English has become the international language. There’s an especially huge demand for learning how to speak it! Students of all sorts want to improve their conversation skills. They need someone to correct their pronunciation, to help them increase their vocabulary and to fix their grammar mistakes. So, how can you take advantage of this ever growing market? Read on to get started in this exciting field with or without your degree. Your TEFL adventure awaits!
If you don’t have a degree, earning a TEFL certificate from a reputable school is a must! It’s important to show prospective employers that you have the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful English teacher. You’ll need a certificate that’s accepted by online companies and language schools around the globe.
TEFLPros is the only 120-hour accredited course on the market that offers over 50 hours of video training – 17 of which are real classroom lessons led by real TEFL teachers! Check it out for yourself for free HERE 🙂
Most companies prefer that you have experience teaching English, but what if you don’t have any? You don’t have to spend a fortune on a TEFL course that has an in-person teaching component. Instead, there are two easy and practical ways to get some experience under your belt.
First, if you want to practice online, you can volunteer with a language exchange website or app. What’s a language exchange? Basically, two people agree to split a designated amount of time in half. You speak in one language for the first half and in the other language for the second half.
Second, you can also volunteer at your local community center, school or community college.
Finally, getting volunteer experience might be easier than you think. Do you know anyone who is a non-native English speaker and would like to improve their skills? Your opportunity to learn more about this profession might be as simple as helping out a friend 🙂
Teaching for an online company (or two!) is a great way to go, especially until Covid is in our rear view mirror. On the other hand, the pandemic may be behind us sooner than later. So, you could be teaching abroad sooner than you think! Of course, you can always choose what’s behind door #3, and do both! You can start off teaching at an online company. Then, leverage your newly minted skills when you apply for jobs abroad.
If you’ve worked with kids in the past and enjoyed it, you’ll probably really enjoy teaching English to children, whether online or in person. Online programs spell things out for you pretty clearly. Lesson goals, vocabulary and grammar structures are presented, slide-by-slide, in a very user-friendly way. The most successful kids’ English teachers have lots of energy, keep the lesson moving, and know how to bring on the fun! They smile constantly, use their own props and engage kids in lots of games.
If teaching the little ones isn’t your cup of tea, think about how you could help adults improve their English, especially their conversation skills. Do you have a background in business? Maybe you’ve worked in customer service or sales? Have you trained a new employee? Teaching specialty courses is a great way to boost your earning potential as an English teacher.
If you don’t have a degree, you’ll want to do everything you can to make your resume stand out. You can do this by highlighting any teaching or tutoring experience you have, even if it isn’t in a traditional classroom. If your plan is to work with children, mention any babysitting or coaching you’ve done. Likewise, mention any work you’ve done at an after school or community program. If you’d like to work with adults, mention any training or on-boarding of new employees you’ve done. Also, share any achievements you have in areas such as business or marketing. Finally, don’t be afraid to mention hobbies like travel, photography, cooking or sports.
Be as prepared as possible for your interview. Learn everything you can about the company and how it operates. Anticipate the kinds of questions you’ll be asked and practice answering them. Along with the typical, “Tell us about your strengths and weaknesses.” You might be asked to explain how you would teach a specific kind of lesson or how you would handle a specific classroom situation.
Pro Tip: When you’re shopping for a TEFL certification, think about these additional skills. Does the course offer any type of resume or interview support?
Most online companies, especially those that cater to adults, require that you have a short video to introduce yourself. They want you to share things like where you are from and what kind of English you speak. Are you a native speaker? Do you have an accent? (American, British, Australian) They want you to tell about your experiences as an English teacher and any specialities you have, such as teaching Business English or teaching test prep. Check out our blog on how to make a stand out intro video.
If you’ve decided that teaching kids is your thing, know that most online companies that cater to kids require you to record a very short demo lesson. Don’t worry, they walk you through exactly how to do it and there’s tons of youtube videos to give you ideas! You’ll want to do your very best in the demo lesson because it will help you move on in the application process, and might even affect your pay. So, our recommendation – prepare well and practice your video, a lot!
Teaching at an online school is a great way to earn extra income during the pandemic. You can get to know interesting people from around the world from the comfort of your living room couch!
If you’ve decided to try out online teaching first, here are four of the many companies out there that hire teachers without a degree. We like these four because their platforms allow teachers to set their own rates. You may have to set a lower rate at first, to get students, but after a while, your teaching can speak for itself – no degree needed!
As things slowly return to normal, teaching abroad at a brick-and-mortar school will be an adventure of a lifetime! You can live amongst locals, experience a different culture firsthand, learn the lingo, eat delicious food and see spectacular scenery. What’s not to love?
So, if your heart is set on going abroad, you’ll be surprised at how many countries you can teach in without a degree. According to goabroad.com, at least 12 countries that hire English teachers without a degree. They’re located everywhere from South America to Southeast Asia – Cambodia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Greece, Spain, Romania, Mexico, India, Russia, Poland, Nicaragua and Slovakia!
We hope these 10 steps have given you some ideas on how to teach English without a degree. May they lead you to the teaching job of your dreams!
We wish you Happy Teaching in 2021!