This post is based on an email from a reader and is somewhat common. She is going to seek a teaching job in Korea and wants to get over there as soon as she can. She wrote:
The only worry I have now, is that I have no teaching qualifications, I’m very tempted to complete a TEFL online course, but obviously won’t be able to do this before I apply.
To which I responded: Most TEFL training courses designed for high school graduates and that always was the case even for CELTA and the big expensive name brands. So, with a good college education and having practice taking examinations, you can probably finish an online course more quickly than the hours assigned to the course.
You can apply for jobs saying that you are in a course and will complete it by such and such a date. Most TEFL schools will give you a letter of some sort to say that, for example, you are taking the course and are expected to graduate by a specific date.
Korea does not generally require a TEFL certification [update: Korea is beginning to require TEFL certs for many jobs], so you can certainly apply anyway. BUT you are correct to consider getting a bit of training. The unemployment situation in the USA and UK means that applying for and getting such jobs is becoming MUCH more competitive and it will help you have have an edge that many applicants won’t have.
I place people in China and jobs last year that would have gone begging on into September are already booked solid. A lot more people are looking for work.
Best bet to get an online TEFL Certification done inexpensively and at your pace: TEFL Boot Camp.
She also asked:
Also as a more general question, do many schools tend to employ more than one ESL teacher?
Most schools have several, some have many – and some have a lot lot! Very few schools will have only one teacher. Most will have something like three to ten depending on how big they are. I once taught at a school where there were 35.
TED’s Tips™ #1: The job market for teaching English abroad is still very strong, but high unemployment levels in the USA and UK mean there is more competition for the better jobs. People with no experience should get some training – just about any kind would help a lot – to help them land their first job overseas.
The BEST EFL Teaching Jobs in China: Government Colleges, Universities and Secondary Schools offer the most reliable and worry-free jobs in China. Click on the Link if you would like to Teach English in China