Your home is your office, and you can take it with you wherever you go (that is, if you’re able to go anywhere). So, you start looking for online English companies, and you ask around looking for a connection or two to get your foot in the door. You may or may not get confused as one person tells you that you don’t need a TEFL Certification, and another telling you that you do. All you want is to find a job, get started, and get a steady flow of students. Why does this have to be so confusing from the onset? Here it is: In most cases, if you want to work online, you will need a TEFL Certification. Companies want to know that they’re hiring trained professionals instead of people who just want to talk. Even in companies where a TEFL Certification is not needed, it can still be beneficial, mostly because you’ll have skills that will leave companies not requiring it surprised, and wanting more.
Most reputable online English companies are based in Asia. When checking out their websites or advertisements, you’ll find that they’re always looking for teachers. To be specific, they’re looking for teachers who, at the minimum, have their bachelor’s degree, and preferably in a subject that is related to teaching. It’s a reasonable request. They want to work with people who’ve been to school, and understand the pressures of working with tight deadlines, a massive workload, and have a certification from an accredited institution demonstrating their academic capacity. They also want people who are, at the very least, familiar with the job that comes with Teaching English to children and adults. That’s right. They want people to have gone the extra mile and took a 120-hour TEFL Certification course. They want people who know not only know how to speak English, but they also want people who know how to teach English Online. When looking for potential teachers to help their growing workload, they want to know that the people teaching their classes are qualified. They want to see that you’re prepared to do the work. In short, a TEFL Certification will qualify you to Teach English Online the same way that a TEFL Certification will qualify you to Teach English everywhere else. Do job requirements differ from country to country? Continent to continent? Let’s break it down, shall we?
TEFL Certification for Online English companies in Asia
As mentioned earlier, most online English companies are based in Asia. It’s a prime location for people who want to get a foot in the door and gain experience. It does come with a caveat, though. Countries like Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China typically want documents verifying your academic achievements, including a TEFL Certification from an established institution. In some countries, fraud and forgery ran so high, laws were passed in various Asian countries requiring candidates to submit not only their diplomas and certifications, but their transcripts as well. That’s right. They want assurance that the person they’re talking to about joining their company is for real. To be safe, make sure you have all these documents ready to present within a moment’s notice, and guess what? It does get better. The people who work at these companies will also contact the academy where you did your TEFL to verify that you participated in a certification course. This is simply the first thing that they will look at before they consider taking you on as a teacher with their organization. Once upon a time, one could get away with simply saying that they went to a TEFL Certification course, and they could develop what skills they have over time. Such is not the case anymore. In other words, your bachelor’s degree and a TEFL Certification are the very least what you need in order to become a teacher for a company in Asia. If you want to work for one of these companies, you need to have your TEFL Certification, at the very least.
TEFL Certification for Online English companies in Europe
Now, while the market for Online English companies isn’t as extensive as it is in Asia, there is a growing demand for teaching English online in Europe. With the Coronavirus, it has become standard for academies to provide all of their services online to ensure that students are able to get what they need while in lock-down. Like countries in Asia, companies will also require that you have your bachelor’s degree and a TEFL Certification if you want to work for an online school based in Europe. The demand for teachers will always be there, especially in countries like Spain, so they want to be absolutely sure that they’re bringing in the right people to teach their classes. Background checks aren’t as extensive, but that doesn’t mean that one should simply rely on that. Bring your documents and be ready to present them to potential employers if you want to work for them. In most cases, schools, whether working for a board of education, or a private academy, they will want to see a copy of your TEFL certification in a job interview. People in Europe are more socially connected, so a quick call might be all they need to do to confirm your attendance in a basic 120-hour TEFL Certification course. Also, it shows that you take your work seriously.
TEFL Certification for Independent Teaching Platforms
For aspiring teachers out there who want to go their own way, carve out their own niche, there is a method at their disposal that they can use. They can apply to an independent platform, make a short video of themselves, and try to get students that way. The great thing about it is that they don’t have to worry about a boss hovering over them, making sure that every little thing gets done. They can work on their own terms. You still have to apply to have your profile displayed on these independent platforms. After you input your personal information, there will also be a section where you upload your certifications, like your post-secondary certifications, and even your TEFL Certification, so that they can be verified by staff who work at the platform itself. That’s right. Even they want their candidates to be qualified. After all, they have a brand to promote. Like any other company in the world, platforms like Verbling, Udemy, or italki want professionals teaching their language courses. It helps bring their students back, and keeps their teachers working. In other words, just like online English academies based in Asia and Europe, independent platforms have verification methods to ensure that the prospective teachers applying to present themselves and land students are, in fact, the real deal.
So, how does this all connect with what was initially argued at the beginning of this blog? In most cases, a TEFL Certification will qualify you to Teach English Online. Some companies allow applicants to submit their bachelor’s degree. In this case, or quite possibly to the curious individual who simply wants to do conversation classes, opportunities run a little scarce, and pay rates go down. If you’re hired as a teacher without evidence that you’ve gained the necessary experience, there’s a chance you’ll be underpaid, and possibly, overworked. The idea of teaching English might hit you as more abuse than an actual job where you get paid. Also, various companies can be ruled out because they won’t consider teachers without a TEFL Certification. If you think about it, it’s only logic that teaching companies, online or otherwise, consider teachers who have teaching certifications. Also, whether you’re working with people in a classroom or on a computer screen, there is a certain tried-and-true method that has worked when it comes to imparting important language points to learners. Where can we learn these important skills if not with a TEFL Certification course? You want to experience the life that comes with working online as an English Teacher, so it’s important to take it as seriously as you would if you aspired to be anything else. If you take the courses, do the homework, plan the lessons, make mistakes, and improve on yourself the way you did when you were pursuing your studies at university, then online English companies, or any company for that matter, will be more than excited to talk to you, hire you, and value you for the talent that you innately have, and developed.