When deciding to change careers, many things cross your mind. Will I be any good? What will I be like as a graduate teacher? Will I like the job after putting in the work? Do I need another language to teach TEFL or other qualifications? We can’t answer these for you, but there is something that we can help you with!

In short, all you need to teach English abroad or online is a TEFL certification. However, there are some discrepancies in this that we will now cover for you in this blog. 

Do I need another language to teach TEFL or other qualifications? Confused and making decisions.

Types of TEFL Qualifications or Courses

Before we get down to it, let’s first discuss which qualification to choose to teach English abroad. TEFL courses are designed to teach English as a foreign language, meaning that students learn from their home country or while travelling. This is in contrast to students learning a colloquial language in their home country. There is an emphasis on grammar, sentence structure, and universal pronunciation through the in-classroom or online approach. 

TEFL Courses are best if you are looking for jobs abroad or online or simply like to keep your options open. They can be completed online and have maximum flexibility, so you won’t need to take any time from your day-to-day. 

There are two main types of TEFL courses; The minimum requirement of 120 hours or getting the level 5 qualification. The course you choose will depend on your qualifications, experience, and goals. We’ll let you know the ins and outs in a bit! 

Having another Language

TEFL teaches you how to teach English to non-native speakers without the use of translation. Gone are the days of how we learned languages in school as new proven methodologies show that this is no longer the best learning method. Teaching English by definitions, word associations, and activities is more effective. After your TEFL course studies, you’ll be able to follow these methods and create lesson plans for your school. 

With this in mind, you don’t need to have a second language for teaching English or the local language. It is not even listed as a preferred requirement for most TEFL jobs. Those that list a second language as a requirement are normally bilingual language institutes. 

Do I need another language to teach TEFL or other qualifications? Talking with locals

So, it’s not required, but what do we recommend? You have landed your dream job abroad and are set to go! Knowing the local language of a country that you are moving to will make your experience 100 times better. You will be able to make friends with locals easily, the order in restaurants and bars, and even barter with the retail industry (which is a huge part of the culture in most TEFL hotspots like Asia). 

Another advantage to knowing the local language is for emergencies. You don’t want to be in a sticky situation, like a moped accident and not be able to let them know what’s wrong. We know this sounds a little morbid but better safe than sorry! 

Professionally, knowing the basics of the local language might be advantageous for your career. Speaking with the principal or parents means that you will excel at your job and be qualified enough to get promoted to a headteacher or school manager. 

Not knowing a second language is definitely not the end of the world and definitely not required, but at the same time, it does have its benefits. Learning the basics before you go and then picking up some colloquial language while there means that you will, in turn, have a better and unforgettable experience abroad. 

Having Other Qualifications

Our TEFL Courses will help you become a skilled, confident teacher, ready to teach TEFL abroad or online. Whether it’s the 120 hour TEFL Course or the Level 5 TEFL Course, TEFL certifications stand on their own, and no other qualifications are needed in conjunction with it. The course materials will start from the basics and work upwards so that you won’t need any prior training or experience afterwards. 

For the most part, you need any other qualifications. However, for reasons such as visas for certain countries, you will need a Bachelor’s Degree. This is a country requirement more than a job spec, so the subject you majored in doesn’t come into play. It can be in any discipline, and with this, you’ll be able to apply for visas for certain countries. There are a few TEFL hotspots that we’d like to mention. You’ll need a Bachelor’s Degree for countries such as Thailand, China, Japan, South Korea, UAE and Vietnam. 

Do I need another language to teach TEFL or other qualifications? Travelling the world in style

Speaking of the UAE, they now require a Level 5 TEFL certification. If this is on your list of places, you’ll need to opt for the higher qualification! 

Although not required, we have to mention that if you have a Bachelor’s of Education degree, this will definitely stand to you, and you will see a difference in your paycheck! Even more so if you have experience in this field. 

What to do if your Skills are Limited 

There are many benefits to having a second language, having extra qualifications or having experience. If your skills and experience are limited, don’t worry! This is definitely not the end of the world. Teachers globally are extremely high in demand. If you have a TEFL certification, enthusiasm and willingness to relocate, you are highly likely to secure job placement. 

You can do a few things to ensure the best possible placement. Firstly, we would recommend getting the level 5 TEFL certification online. You have a government-regulated qualification on your CV/resume, and your education section will present better. 

We would suggest that you start with an Internship or supported job program. These programs will have the support needed throughout your journey. They accept teachers with no experience, and most have western management to help with the language barrier. They may also have weekly language lessons when you’re in-country, which is a lovely bonus! 

If you don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree, avoid job postings in the countries that require one for the work permit. Some schools may even say that they can get around it, but we don’t recommend going this route as you will end up on a student visa with maximum legal work hours or no proper visa at all.

Preparation to start teaching English abroad normally takes about 4 to 6 months as visas are issued and the school term starts. During this time, download Duolingo or sign up for tutor-led lessons to learn the language basics. You’re doing really well if you can order a meal at a restaurant and ask a question! 


How do I get a TEFL Certification Online? 

To get your TEFL certificate, you’ll need to enrol on a course and complete the tests or assessments. After completion, you’ll receive a fully accredited, internationally recognized certificate. You can search through our course range HERE. 

What other languages should I know before moving abroad? 

This will depend on where you’d like to go. English is a global language, and you’ll find that most places, huge cities, will be able to speak the basics of English. With this in mind, it is always a benefit to know the local language. TEFL careers don’t require a second language, so you won’t need to have a high standard. 

What are the best ways to learn a new language? 

There are many ways to learn a new language. This can be self-study or tutor-led. The method you choose is dependent on your budget and time. If you have the budget to get lessons from a professional and have a limited time before you go, this is the most effective and fastest way to learn. If you have a bit of time and find it easy to pick up languages, language learning platforms are free and easy to use, the most popular being Duolingo. 

How do I make my CV look better with limited qualifications? 

There are a few things you can do here. Please read our blogs to know all the ins and outs, but in short; list your Level 5 TEFL Certification under education, learn the basics of a new language and list under skills and achievements, use your work experience but tweak the responsibilities to include skills such as supervision, training new staff, working on your own initiative and public speaking/confidence in the classroom.

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