Everything you need to know for teaching IELTS

Being a TEFL teacher is a fantastic experience. A rewarding and stimulating course will lead to international opportunities such as teaching in international schools, universities, colleges, or businesses. What if there was a way to guarantee a constantly exciting future for yourself and your students? What if using the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), you could assist someone in obtaining permanent residence in a “native” English-speaking country, thereby opening up large parts of the world to your students or helping people advance their careers in specific industries? You can achieve this through teaching IELTS. So, what is it, how can you participate, and what does it entail?

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally recognised certification program that allows non-native English speakers to work and live in countries where English is the primary language. It is one of the world’s most well-known and highly regarded English proficiency exams.

There are nine levels in IELTS, ranging from Level 1 (little to no English expertise) to Level 9, ‘Expert user,’ where the student thoroughly understands the language and is fluent in both written and verbal forms of English. The higher your score, the better your chances of obtaining a job, visa, or university place.

Woman Teaching english online

What qualifications do you need to teach IELTS?

To teach IELTS, you do not need any formal qualifications. Getting started in this area of the TEFL industry is much more challenging without certifications, and students benefit greatly from learning from someone who has completed fully accredited training.

To teach to a high standard, you should complete an exam preparation course to give your students the tools and expertise required to take the exam.

Your first stop should be our 30-hour Teaching Exam Preparation Course. You’ll learn about the significance of exams, why passing exams like the IELTS can significantly impact people’s lives, practice mock exams, and sharpen your existing TEFL tools.

Where can you teach IELTS?

There are several methods for teaching IELTS.

Given the availability of distance learning opportunities, teaching English online may be the best option. That makes sense, given that many students hoping to take the IELTS exam will study abroad to move to an English-speaking country.

In certain circumstances, in-person instruction may be an option. People who do not speak English fluently and want to advance their career prospects will likely see in-person classes as a great way to improve their language skills through face-to-face interaction and learning support.

Finally, there is tutoring. One-on-one exam preparation, whether online or in-person, is an excellent way for students to address any lingering issues with grammar, syntax, phrasing, or any other issue that bothers them before taking the exam. It’s also a good option for TEFL teachers already working abroad; tutoring on the side can be profitable and is a great way to supplement your income.

Why should you teach IELTS?

Naturally, IELTS is in high demand. Consider the stakes: obtaining an IELTS certification could be life-changing for anyone who needs to speak English fluently. Giving people the opportunity to relocate to another country, study abroad, or advance their careers? That will always be significant.

It is also a specialism for IELTS teachers, requiring advanced TEFL study and qualifications. As a result, IELTS jobs are likely to pay more because they require applicants with a more advanced skill set, previous TEFL study, and, most likely, classroom experience.

Above all, it’s advantageous. While TEFL teaching allows you to meet people worldwide, interact with English learners of all ages, and expand your skill set, nothing beats helping someone completely change their life.

As an IELTS teacher, you have tremendous opportunities. Whether it’s someone you’re teaching online or someone who gets the chance to move to an English-speaking country, you’re making a remarkable difference in people’s lives.

Teacher leaning on a table with several school kids sat around the table working


IELTS teachers vs IELTS examiners

It’s critical to understand that being an IELTS teacher and an IELTS examiner is different.

As a teacher, you prepare students for exams, which you can do with a TEFL certificate and advanced IELTS preparation training. Meanwhile, an examiner is trained to mark and grade the tests based on ability.

Examiners require a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree, a reputable certification in TEFL, or a teaching degree. You must also have prior experience teaching adults (over 16s). The applicant must be approved by a current IELTS examiner trainer, followed by a certification assessment. They are monitored three times in their first year and then up to four times yearly.

The same rigorous checks are not performed for those teaching IELTS preparation, nor is a degree required to begin preparing students for the exam.

How to get started teaching IELTS

Now that you’ve learned how IELTS preparation classes work and the benefits and requirements, how do you start?

Here is our step-by-step guide to mastering IELTS!

Get a 120-hour TEFL qualification.

To begin, you’ll need a high-quality certification that is provided by renowned Provider. Where better to start than with a 120-hour TEFL course from the world’s most accredited TEFL company?

The industry standard is a 120-hour course; Our 120-hour TEFL course includes tutor support, flexible learning, and top-of-the-line course materials. This is the most popular course for preparing to teach English abroad – and it will prepare anyone for future career plans that may include working as an IELTS teacher. This leads us to…

Do a specialist course.

Our previously mentioned 30-hour exam preparation course is an excellent foundation for becoming an IELTS teacher. This specialised training enables students to comprehend the examination process, develop theoretical knowledge of international testing, and learn how to conduct classes that generate exam process knowledge, address knowledge gaps, administer mock exams, and prepare students for IELTS.

Finding work as an IELTS teacher with this specialised training is more accessible. If you want to help students achieve their goals, you must learn this.

Learn about the test.

Learning the test is, of course, a component of that specialised training. Mock exams are excellent practice, and it is critical to understand the intricacies of passing an IELTS exam. How can you help students reach the required standard if they are unfamiliar with the test?

When learning about the test and how to prepare students, it’s a good idea to try out some mock exams yourself – you might be surprised by what’s on there, and knowing your weaknesses is essential. Turning your weaknesses into strengths can only improve your ability to teach students.

Get experience

After you’ve completed all of that, it’s time to get out there and gain some experience.

That could begin with TEFL teaching to gain experience teaching students of all ages, learning the industry, and broadening the scope of your life experience to relate to students. Or are you ready to dive right into IELTS preparation? There are numerous ways to get students of all ages on the path to acquiring the English skills they need to thrive in English-speaking countries and the opportunity to obtain a visa, attend university, or advance in their careers.

Check out our TEFL and other TEFL courses to get started on your path to becoming an IELTS teacher!

Also Read –

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and it’s a certificate you need if you want to teach non-native speakers English. With a TEFL certificate, you can teach students of all ages – from young learners to adult business language learners – anywhere in the world. It’s recognised globally and is the key to kick-starting your English teaching career abroad, home or online.

To get a TEFL certificate you must take an accredited TEFL course. The minimum training required by employers worldwide is 120 hours. You can choose between accredited, government regulated Level 5 or combined TEFL courses. You’ll find TEFL courses are either online or combined in-class and online experiences. 

Getting a TEFL certification from a recognised, trusted provider is essential when it comes to receiving high-quality training and finding a job. Always go for a globally recognised accredited certification. It’s also worth double checking company reviews to make sure customers are satisfied with their training.

What’s the difference between accredited and government regulated Level 5 TEFL courses?

The Accredited 120 Hour Premier TEFL Course is what we call one of our fast-track courses. This is the minimum recognised worldwide.

  • You have 10 modules to complete usually taking 4-6 weeks.
  • Each module has a multiple-choice test at the end, and you need 80% to pass.
  • You’ll get your digital certificate on completion and can buy a hard copy from us if you’d like one with an embossed logo.

Level 5 Ofqual-regulated courses offer more in-depth training. If we look at the 180 Hour Level 5 TEFL Diploma in comparison: 

  • Learners typically spend 12 – 14 weeks to complete 11 modules.
  • The pass mark is 100% and assessments are multiple-choice plus open-ended answers. Don’t worry, you can redo quizzes to get 100%. Our academic team will review your answers at the end of your 11 modules and may ask for some questions to be reattempted. Some questions may require you to provide academic references.
  • You’ll get your digital coursework completion certificate from us after module 11. Following successful assessment from our academic team, we’ll be able to claim the licence for your Ofqual (government) certificate from our accreditation body Highfield.

The Ofqual-regulated Level 5 course range is for those who want to gain a higher-level, more recognised qualification.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test is one of the leading tests taken by non-native English speakers to prove their English proficiency for work, education and migration. Over three million people take the IELTS test every year, so it’s no surprise that IELTS preparation teachers are in high demand.

Yes! Teaching English as a foreign language – online or in-class – will give you an abundance of transferable skills. From time management to problem-solving and communication, you’ll have plenty of experience to impress future employers. As your TEFL certification never expires, you can get back into TEFL whenever you wish, too.

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