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TEFL for non-natives...Possible?

 
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GregorySz



Joined: 05 Jan 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:19 pm    Post subject: TEFL for non-natives...Possible? Reply with quote

Dear reader(s),

I am considering to do a TEFL course and become an English teacher.

My "problem" is that I am not a native English speaker, but a Hungarian. I used to live in Australia for a year, studied in Finland in English also for a year and lived more than 6 months in the UK as well. Although you would probably spot that my accent is not a native one but it's very mild.

For me TEFL seems to be a great experience, but as I read more and more about it (for example on sites like this also) I can see it can be difficult to find a job even for a native one.

Yet I am far from doing a profound jobresearch but as I scaned some of the job offers the vast majority of them is exclusively for natives...

Is there any non-native or even native here that has some experience on this matter, either personal or from somewhere else that he/she might have seen "on the road"? Is it possible to work as a TEFL techer not being a native English speaker?

Any comments are appreciated very much. Thank you!

Gregory
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 1339

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's certainly possible. I've worked with many fine NNS teachers. There is a preference for natives, which is understandable really. But just because you're a native speaker doesn't make you a good teacher.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 615
Location: US

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:50 pm    Post subject: Re: TEFL for non-natives...Possible? Reply with quote

It really varies between countries depending on 1) policies for granting work visas for teaching English, and 2) preferences of employers. In some places, you cannot legally get a visa to teach English unless your passport is from one of a limited number of countries. Other places allow exceptions to this based on certain critera -- e.g., in Japan, you can get a work visa to teach English if you have at least 3 years of verifiable, full-time English-teaching experience, or at least 12 years of your education was English-medium. Other countries don't have any such regulation for getting a work visa for teaching English. Do you have any specific areas of the world that you are more or less interested in?

Many places in the world, just being able to speak the language isn't enough to get a job teaching it anymore (even for native speakers). More and more employers are requiring English teaching experience or training -- do you have either? If not, you might want to ask yourself why someone would want to hire you (I don't mean that as a jab at you -- just saying you should look at it from the potential employer's perspective).

From what I hear (from people posting on here), there are options in some parts of China for inexperienced, untrained, non-native-but-proficient English speakers. You might want to check the China forum for more info. Also, this topic has been discussed here quite a few times before, so a search of the forums might help you find information.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not just possible, but fairly common. You'll still need the usual training certs though, probably.
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jpvanderwerf2001



Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Posts: 1077
Location: New York

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Sasha points out, getting certified is the first big step.
I recommend doing a CELTA; you'll then have a decent chance of finding teaching work in many countries.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4309
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregorySz:

You didn't mention if you have a university degree. Lack of one could be a major deal breaker.
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GregorySz



Joined: 05 Jan 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for all the encouriging and also realistic comments.

As a matter of fact, no, apart from a few private classes, i don't have experience in teaching, so the remark of rtm is fair and was rather appreciated than taken as a jab at me! Smile

I know it comes as a requirement at most cases also, but I have a degree (law), although not obtained in a country where English is the official language.

My priority destination would be Spain, or Central and/or Latin America, for cultural interest from the one hand and because I speak Spanish fairly well (I guess that could be an advantage perhaps & also maybe a good chance for me to improve it even more) on the other.

Certainly I am aware of that i need a certificate. Partly for the aforementioned reasons I am considering to take a normal four weeks course in Spain.

OK. I will take a look at other threads also with the same/similar topic.

Thank you once more to all!!
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