What do you need to know prior to your TEFL course.

Do you have to be a native English speaker?Many countries prefer teachers that are native-English speaking, although a recognized TEFL certificate is seen as more important. A bit of an accent is not serious, although a strong foreign accent is not accepted even with a TEFL qualification. The Asian countries prefer people with a North American accent, while European countries prefer British accents. A neutral accent will also help. You must however have and excellent command of both the spoken and written English language. Non-native English speakers are sometimes required to do a serious of tests to proof their English communication capabilities.Must you be able to speak the learner's language?Even though it can be an advantage when applying for an English teaching job, it is in most cases not a requirement. Some classes may have learners from four or more language groups, and if you can speak one or two of them, the other students will still not be able to understand. A thorough understanding of the country's customs and culture may help more. It is however recommended that you try to learn at least the basics about the languages of your students as it will show that you care about their culture. What are the age restrictions for teaching?The minimum age is 18 and the retirement age is normally 65 years. Teachers younger than 21 and older than 40 years may find it harder to get work in most countries. Is a degree required?No, but it will help to gain entry to Asian and some Middle Eastern places. University graduates have an advantage and frequently get the higher paying jobs although a TEFL certificate will suffice in most cases.Are there long term career paths with TEFL?Although most of the teaching positions work on short term contracts, there are some permanent positions available and the prospects for promotion to department head do exist. The TEFL certificate is however not enough for this and you will thus need either a higher TEFL certificate or a degree if you plan a long term career in TEFL. European countries give preference to EU members since the employment process entails less paperwork.Where can a person find work?There are ESL and EFL jobs worldwide from Asian countries, Latin America, South Africa, to European countries, and even in Australia and the UK. Where can a person find the highest paying TEFL jobs?Salaries on average are not high and most people teach overseas because of the experience, cultural diversity exposure, and to see other countries, while doing what they love most ? teaching. The highest paying teaching positions if you hold a TEFL certificate are in Europe, Middle East, Taiwan, and other Asian countries.