TEFL for Non-native speakers - Premier TEFL

TEFL for non-native English speakers

Many myths shroud teaching English as a foreign language. A source of common confusion stems from the belief that only native English speakers can get hired as TEFL teachers. And it’s simply not true!

Admittedly, there are more paid TEFL jobs for teachers from native English speaking countries such as the United States, Great Britain or Australia. But if you’re Spanish, French, Dutch or from any other non-English speaking country and dream of teaching English abroad, listen up – this advice is for you.

Where to teach English as a non-native?

Not native? No problemo! Discover five of the best countries to teach English as a fluent English speaker.


Internships in Argentina for non-native A mix of incredible food, buzzing cities and the home of the tango – Buenos Aires is undisputedly a charismatic destination. If you are looking for a beautiful country with a European feel in South America then Argentina is for you. You don’t need a degree to apply for this 6 paid month internship including 4-weeks of classroom teacher training.
See if Argentina is for you


Internships in Brazil for non-native Be in Brazil for Carnival and satisfy a bunch of bucket list wishes. With two start dates per year this paid TEFL internship in São Paulo is perfect for young graduates fluent in English.
Your homestay housing is central to this 4 month teaching adventure. Get ready to be greeted by your new Portuguese speaking família.
Carnival-cravers read on


Internships in Cambodia for non-native Immerse yourself as a TEFL teacher for 12 weeks and hit the capital Phnom Penh. Beginning with airport pickup and fully organized accommodation you’ll feel the warmth of the Khmer culture instantly. During weekends off explore iconic Angkor Wat temple and sample delicious local cuisine.

Get acquainted with the Khmer

China (schools)

Internships in China for non-native As an English teacher in China you’ll have it all…free housing, meals, monthly allowance, flight refund plus free Mandarin lessons.
Fluent English speakers will need a degree and some teaching experience for this 4.5 month internship in Sichuan Province. Teach 15 hours per week and hang out with pandas on weekends.
Say ‘nĭ hăo’ to life in the East


Internships in Romania for non-native Land a summer camp teaching contract for three or four weeks to teach English in the home of world famous Count Dracula (and of course, visit Dracula’s Castle). Near-native English speakers from Europe are rewarded with hotel accommodation, meals plus pocket-money in return for fun English lessons in a choice of two locations.
Be a European summer camp teacher

Check out our 240 hour TEFL course for non-native speakers
Check out our 240 hour TEFL course for non-native speakers

Can I get a TEFL job if I am not a native speaker?

Yes, even if you are not a native English speaker you can still get a TEFL job. There are plenty of schools that accept non-native especially if you have great credentials such as an accredited TEFL certificate, a degree, or teaching experience.

How to get a TEFL job as a non-native?

The best way to get a TEFL job as a non-native is to exceed the job requirements. That way, you’re sure to impress recruiters. Here is a step by step approach on how to get a job as a non-native:

  1. Get TEFL qualified: The minimum TEFL training employers seek is usually 120 hours. Become a specialist English teacher with Premier TEFL’s Expert TEFL Course giving you 240 hours of tuition.
  2. Finish your Bachelor’s degree: Having a degree as a non-native English speaker boosts your employment chances. However there are still options as you’ll see from our placements.
  3. Get some teaching experience: and especially teaching to young learners. The closer you can get to what you will want to do abroad, the better. Relevant teaching experience gives you credibility for future employers. They’re taking less of a risk when hiring someone with experience, if you can get experience locally or volunteer that’s great.
  4. Have a great resume that stand out for the recruiters: TEFL recruiters are inundated with resumes and CV’s daily. The world of TEFL never stops recruiting; as a contract-based industry schools always needs to hire ahead. Make sure your resume is relevant for teaching and if you have no experience make sure you highlight all your transferable soft-skills that you’ll use as a teacher.
  5. Apply to jobs that specifically accept non-natives: You did all the previous steps and are ready to apply, bravo! Look for internships and jobs that accept non-native applicants to improve your chances of success. We made a great list of destinations to help you go get that TEFL job!


Monique’s Cambodia Story

“As Europeans, perhaps more than in other regions of the world, we are so much oriented towards developing early on a plan of life and career and driven by security (more than ever “alleged security”) that we end up being trapped in career and limited horizons, missing the most exciting opportunities that life offers and there are plenty.” — Monique, TEFL intern in Cambodia

Ana’s China Story

“I started learning English very late compared to other people around me — I was nine when I started. One could say I’m a late bloomer because only in 8th grade did I develop an enormous passion for the English language and from then on, that passion only grew.” — Ana, TEFL intern in China