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The importance of TEFL

miealex (29 posts) • 0

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to pick your brains. I have been teaching abroad now for 9 years and have experience in various institutions ranging from kindergarten up to high school with a few years teaching adults as well.

My question is, how important do you believe it is to have a TEFL certificate to work at higher education institutions in China? I do currently work and live in Kunming but I wonder if in the adsence of having a TEFL certificate, can teaching experience carry you through? I have a degree but it is not in a "related" field (education for example).

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I have an interview for a position next week and wonder if the topic of having a TEFL certificate will come up.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Lanajot (52 posts) • 0

If you have proof of your experience, it should be enough. They usually ask for at least two years’ experience or a TEFL certificate.

tigertiger (5000 posts) • 0

My understanding is slightly different to that given previously.
If you are not going to be teaching English, then a tefl certificate is not mandatory, but employers like it if you have it.
If you are going to be teaching English a recognised tefl certificate (e.g. TESOL/CELTA etc.) is mandatory. This is required for your work visa application, in addition to meeting the other mandatory requirements. .
If you going teach subjects other than English language in higher education, then usually a bachelors or masters degree in a relevant field is looked for. If you are going to teach in further education (non-university tertiary colleges), or at secondary level, then not always.
If you applied with a resume/CV, then you should be qualified, otherwise they would not have asked you to interview.

miealex (29 posts) • -1

Yes, I have a lot of experience teaching but I dont not have a TEFL certificate. My worry is they may have overlooked that so if it is not mentioned in the interview I wonder wether it is worth bringing up? I dont want it to get to the stage of applying for visas before it comes up.

tigertiger (5000 posts) • 0

Assuming from your post that you are applying for a job as an English teacher. I would bring it up before interview. This will save you a trip, and time. If they don't need a TEFL cert, they will not be employing you legally. It will probably be a part time gig, with no work visa.

octobersky (8 posts) • +2

miealex, I think experience counts for more than a TEFL, but if you've been teaching for nine years already, why not get a TEFL/CELTA and be done with it?

tigertiger (5000 posts) • +1

I have to agree with otobersky, on getting certified, as that is what I did. I had been teaching English for 6 years when I chose to do a CELTA, as it is one of the certificates recognised world wide. Some institutions and governments (e.g. China) do not recognise online or some distance learning courses.

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