10 Qualities Needed to be a Great TEFL Teacher

You may have completed a TEFL courses and certification and are seeking for a TEFL internship or volunteer job. If that’s the case, you’re undoubtedly thinking what qualities a good TEFL teacher should possess.

There are a few things that you can only learn on the job, especially a TEFL teacher No matter how much training you have before beginning to teach English as a Foreign Language. There’s nothing to be afraid of as long as you have the necessary skills to take on the challenge! Here are a few qualities that we believe every TEFL teacher should have.

teaching in classroom


The ability to communicate effectively is undoubtedly the most crucial TEFL qualities that any teacher can possess. It doesn’t matter if you have a PhD in education, or know more about the English language than anybody else on the planet. if you can’t communicate successfully with your students if you don’t have solid communication skills.

Because of the language barrier, TEFL teachers in particular must have excellent communication skills. You might be wondering how TEFL teachers work with students who speak little English, but did you know that nonverbal communication accounts for the great bulk of communication? Even among people who speak the same language! Don’t overlook the significance of voice tone, body language, and gestures.


Things don’t always go as planned. Technology fails, students do not respond as you expected, your lesson plan does not cover the entire lesson, or an exercise takes far longer than you anticipated. As a teacher, you must learn to deal with the unexpected while maintaining control over your class.

Adaptability is very important in the field of TEFL. If you’re a new teacher teaching overseas for the first time, you’ll encounter the obstacles of a new job, new company, and a new country and culture. TEFL teaching involves a great deal of adaptation. For some useful hints, see our page about making the most of your TEFL experience. 


Empathy is necessary for forming bonds with others. This is a talent that should not be overlooked. An empathic teacher understands their students, which aids in their development as communicators.

It’s impractical to expect all of your students to learn in the same way and at the same rate. Some children suffer hidden obstacles that affect their capacity to learn as well as their classroom behaviour. Therefore it’s critical for a teacher to make these students feel heard.

teaching in class


Lesson time is valuable, and you want to make sure you’re making the most of it. It’s easy for a class to devolve into chaos if no one has good organisational abilities.

Many of our interns have had similar experiences when they first started teaching English as a second language. When a teacher shows up to class without being adequately prepared for the first time, it’s generally enough of an ordeal to make them swear they’ll never do it again!

To read our TEFL Intern stories click here!


is gained by experience. It’s natural to feel scared and unprepared while attending your first TEFL class, but these feelings will fade with time and experience.

Many freshly qualified TEFL teachers are terrified of grammar — what if a student asks a grammar issue to which you have no answer? The truth is, this is extremely likely to occur – and that’s fine! With practice, both your grasp of English grammar and your ability to deal with challenging queries will increase.


Everyone learns in their own unique style and at their own pace. Some students will make the same mistakes over and over again, and it may feel as if nothing will ever click for them.

Never exhibit irritation — there are a variety of reasons why a student may be having difficulty learning anything, and they need to feel comfortable and supported in order to learn properly. Allow them time to assimilate information and practice, and keep in mind that what comes naturally to you might be a tremendous hardship for someone else.

English Language Teaching


A competent TEFL teacher has both a passion for teaching and a passion for the English language. If you enjoy what you do, you will instill that excitement in your students, resulting in a more conducive learning atmosphere.

It’s not uncommon to hear from long-serving TEFL teachers that they got into teaching as a way to travel and see the world. They intended to do it for a year or two, but they quickly acquired a passion for teaching and realised there are other career options in the field .


Good teachers know how to stimulate and elicit the best performance from their students. This is linked to a lot of other abilities. The motivational teacher is a strong communicator, empathic, passionate about their subject, and knows how to bring it to life.

Being able to motivate pupils requires an understanding of what motivates individuals, as well as how they learn most efficiently and what they love. You want them to be motivated to study.


It is critical to listen to your pupils in order to have a positive relationship with them and to be an effective teacher. Only by listening will you be able to comprehend your pupils’ requirements, as well as what they enjoy and struggle with.

As a TEFL teacher, it’s extremely crucial that your students speak more than you do. Language students must participate actively in the learning process rather than passively listening to a class.


Being adaptive is an essential quality for a successful TEFL teacher. If you’ve relocated abroad for a teaching post, you’re probably already open to a new way of life and culture. You must, however, be willing to adapt to a new working environment and a different educational system than you are accustomed to.

Days and classes in the TEFL field might be unpredictable. You might realize that you have unexpected new students in your class one day. Students may be on a school excursion or attending a local festival, resulting in shockingly low numbers. You’ll have to think quickly in these scenarios to adjust your activities or restructure your lesson to accommodate more or fewer students.

If you’re transferring from one institution to another, especially in a different nation, you’ll need to be flexible. In fact, if you’ve previously taught in another nation, it may be more challenging for you because you’ll have to adjust to a new way of doing things. There will be new students, class sizes may be larger or fewer, there may be a significant variation between city and rural schools. Learners’ ability levels may vary from one location to the next.

To be a successful TEFL teacher, a TEFL teacher must possess a variety of  qualities. These aren’t the only qualities you’ll need, but they’ll serve as a solid foundation for any TEFL teacher. Don’t let the lack of these attributes deter you from becoming a teacher; as long as you’re willing to put in the effort and have your own goals, it shouldn’t be an issue. Teaching is a learning experience in and of itself; you may uncover qualities you didn’t realize you have. 

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.

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