TEFL for non-native English speakers


Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is subject to many myths. One such myth being that only native English speakers can get hired as TEFL teachers and it’s simply not true! For sure, there are more TEFL teachers from native English speaking countries such as the USA, UK or Australia…but if you’re from Spain, France, the Netherlands or any other non-English speaking country and want to teach abroad, this advice is for you.

Where to teach English as a non-native?

Not native? No problem! Discover 7 of the best countries to teach English as a fluent English speaker.

Argentina

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

Brazil

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 college students and 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 família.
Carnival-cravers read on

Cambodia

Immerse yourself as a TEFL teacher for 2 weeks in the tourist mecca of Siem Reap, world famous for its UNESCO heritage site. 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

Chile

With placements throughout Chile, weekends off could see you breathing in air of the driest desert of the world in the North, while a jeep ride away is the awe-inspiring Bolivian salt flats. Southern-placed English teachers can follow the penguin trail and enjoy the views whale-watching. Feel localized instantly at your home-stay housing.
Land the Hispanic life…¡vamos!

China (schools)

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

China for home tutors

Based in incredible Shanghai or Beijing, you’ll travel to your rent-free accommodation and get ready to meet your host family. Fluent English speaking don’t need a degree to apply for this paid home-tutor gig which also includes meals. Share your language skills and culture for around 24 hours per week during this 12 week placement.
Live like a local in Shanghai and Beijing

Colombia

Calling fluent English speakers to spend 5 months teaching English to achieve its bilingual goals by 2020. Get a 2-week hotel orientation, great monthly allowance plus bonus. On your weekends off relax on the stunning Caribbean coastlines and sample the world’s greatest coffee. While college education is required, first-time English teachers are welcome!
Check out government-sponsored Colombia placements

India

After a 2-day relaxing beach holiday you’ll travel to you teaching location for full orientation. Fluent English speakers simply need to be over 18 years old with High School education to apply for this 4 month paid TEFL placement. With accommodation, meals and free Hindi lessons also included you’ll have plenty of time to plan your weekends off.
Soak up the mesmerizing culture of India

Romania

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

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 in China as a home-tutor and in India.
  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!

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