How to Teach English Abroad: Qualifications and Requirements

Teaching English abroad allows you to travel the world, embrace new cultures and establish a lifelong career that makes a real difference to others.

To get started, it is important that you choose a teaching qualification that will be recognised and valued by employers on a global scale.

From initial training courses to continuous professional development, LSI / IH Portsmouth can help your language teaching career flourish. Let’s take a look at the qualifications you need to teach English abroad.

how to teach english abroad

Image credit: English First

Best Qualification to Teach English Abroad

In order to be suitably equipped to teach English in a proper school, you must undertake certain examinations. This acts as proof of fluency, proficiency and the ability to enrich students with the knowledge and skills they need to adopt the language themselves.

A TEFL qualification is your key to demonstrating this high level of understanding.

What is TEFL?

TEFL stands for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’. It is for those whose first language isn’t English. 

At LSI / IH Portsmouth, we offer the CELTA course which is an intensive, initial TEFL qualification designed for people with little or no previous English language teaching experience or training. 

What is CELTA?

CELTA, which stands for ‘Cambridge Assessment Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults’, is the most recognised initial English Language Teaching qualification in the world. It offers hands-on teaching experience that confirms to institutions worldwide that the applicant is capable and trusted to teach English as a foreign language. 

Administered by the prestigious University of Cambridge, teachers with a CELTA qualification will enjoy higher levels of employability than those who take less well-regarded TEFL courses.

CELTA Entry Requirements

No previous English language teaching experience is required to study for the CELTA qualification. The key necessities are that learners must be at least 18-years-old and have a minimum English language level equivalent to level C1/C2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. 

Let’s take a closer look at these language reference levels:

  • A levels: English Basic User, with A1 being beginner and A2 being elementary level
  • B levels: English Independent User, with B1 being lower-intermediate and B2 being upper intermediate level
  • C levels: Proficient English User, with C1 being advanced and C2 being fluency level

Ideally, those partaking in CELTA will be able to:

  • Express ideas fluently and spontaneously
  • Understand with ease everything heard or read
  • Speak confidently in social, academic and professional settings
  • Summarise information from different spoken and written sources

At LSI / IH Portsmouth, we require students to hold an education level equivalent to that required for entry into higher education. For example: A-Levels or similar. Once you successfully enrol onto CELTA, you can begin the 120-hour course which will prepare you for working in a variety of EFL teaching contexts around the world.

Anyone who meets the entry requirements can take the CELTA course here at LSI / IH Portsmouth. It is a popular career option for a range of students, including:

  • Recent graduates seeking a career in teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • Current TEFL teachers without a formal qualification
  • Experienced teachers in other fields who would like to move into EFL teaching
  • Professionals who would like a career change
teaching english abroad

Image credit: English First

The Benefits of Teaching English Abroad

As we’ve already mentioned, there is a wide range of benefits that can come with teaching English abroad.

For example, there is always going to be worldwide interest in learning English. Because of the growing number of learners, this creates a constant demand for English teachers globally. No matter where you go, there is the potential to gain a fulfilling experience, plus you’ll have the luxury of deciding where you go to teach English as a foreign language.

Teaching English as a foreign language opens up so many doors. For example: you could teach English as a foreign language in the UK, online or abroad – whatever best suits your preferences. You can teach a variety of age groups, e.g. young or mature students, and apply your knowledge and expertise to specific types of English classes, like Business English. You could work in a school, summer camp, language centre or be your own boss as a freelance teacher. The opportunities really are endless!

Living and working abroad also shows a willingness to adapt and push yourself out of your comfort zone. This will instantly enhance your CV and help you stand out from other competing applicants. Teaching in itself will build your confidence and leadership skills, as well as make you a better communicator, these being just a few of the many transferable skills you’ll gain. 

English Teacher Training Courses at LSI / IH Portsmouth

LSI / IH Portsmouth is the number 1 English Language Centre in the UK. We offer part-time, full and intensive courses to help our students maximise their English skills in their own time, with a social life that will make your learning experience even more worthwhile. By choosing us, you’ll acquire valuable skills that will benefit you wherever your life and career take you. 

Plus, our jobs board is updated on a regular basis with career opportunities from around the International House network. Once you have gained your required qualification, we can help you get started with TEFL straightaway!

If you want to find out more about how to teach English abroad, or want to enquire about English qualifications offered at IH/LSI Portsmouth – simply get in touch with us today.

No matter where you are in the UK and Ireland, the International House family can also help facilitate your language learning process through its other partner organisations in Belfast, Galway, Manchester and Bristol