Theoretically, it is still possible to find a teaching job without any kind of qualification, although this is becoming less and less likely every year. Employers and students are now much more aware of the difference that a TEFL certified teacher can make in comparison to a native English speaker with no formal training. Generally, if you want to land a good quality job in a good school, a TEFL certificate is now all but essential.
Why is having a TEFL certificate so important?
Firstly, many popular teaching destinations have tightened the rules regarding foriegn teachers in recent years, with several now insisting on a TEFL certificate when applying for a work permit or visa. On top of this, the increasing popularity of teaching English overseas has enabled many employers to be more selective when filling vacant positions. This means that those with TEFL credentials will often jump ahead of those without a specialist teaching qualification in the race for the best jobs. It is also true that the schools and language centers that offer the best rates of pay will typically expect their job applicants to have received some amount of formal training.
As well as considering the official requirements and your potential salary as a teacher, there is another very important aspect to think about. Do your students deserve to be taught by someone with no specialist training in English language teaching?
What will a TEFL certificate course teach me?
The basic purpose of a TEFL certification course is to provide the trainee with a wide range of specialist skills and knowledge that are essential if you want to give your students the quality of lessons that they need to progress. A good quality course will cover English grammar in some depth, including the tense system, conditionals, modals and passive voice, and how you can teach them effectively in the classroom. Plenty of time will also be put into teaching skills, such as lesson planning, testing procedures, and classroom management. By learning about all these individual topics you will put yourself in a good position when applying for jobs and be able to provide your future students with a suitable environment for improving their English language abilities.
Is a TEFL certificate really necessary for teaching English abroad?
The bottom line is: If you would like to work in a professional teaching environment, earn a competitive salary, and provide your students with a high standard of instruction, a TEFL certificate is most definitely required.