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In our globalized world, English has become the most sought-after and essential language all over the world. And why not! when it is an official language of more than 50 countries in the world.
Non-English-speaking countries, developed and developing countries alike, are in continuous search of qualified TEFL/TESOL teachers. The reason behind the quest of learning the English language has its own merits in making the country’s population globally competitive, which leads to job generation in the service sector of their economy.
Not only the service sector, but a large chunk of citizens with English speaking competencies also find lucrative jobs in the science and technology field in advanced countries, which are an asset in developing their native country back home.
The Need For TEFL/TESOL Qualification
A foreigner with fluency in English has a plethora of opportunities in non-English countries. But you need a special skill to teach English abroad to a non-native student well. That’s where the TEFL/TESOL certifications come into the picture.
Speaking and teaching being a different ball game altogether, almost all countries in want of English teachers are asking for TEFL/TESOL certification if you are not major in English as a subject. For some recruitment and scholarship program, these certifications may not be mandatorily required but are considered an asset during the selection procedure.
What is TEFL or TESOL?
As the name suggests TEFL stands for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language.” Also, TESOL means “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.” So, what are TEFL and TESOL? Are they different? Are they have a preference over another? You can browse through some FAQs provided at the end of this article for clarity.
First, we will talk about the top reasons you should pursue TEFL/TESOL certification.
- You want to make a living in a foreign country.
- Teaching English is your passion.
- You love traveling and want to experience the rich culture of different parts of the world.
- You are looking for a social cause in the upliftment of underprivileged children across the world.
Your dreams may come true. But hey! What about the money?
If you can afford it, you get set to go. Directly go to the country you wish to pursue your dream.
And if you cannot, this article will take you to the various scholarship programs that will make your quest affordable.
Scholarship For Aspiring English Teachers
Haven’t you heard about various grants or TEFL scholarships provided by the very governments who are aspiring for English teachers?
We will go through them one by one for some best opportunities with their eligibility criteria. But for simplicity, we will categorize these scholarship opportunities in the following ways:
Category 1: Open for English speakers from multiple countries
Category 2: Country-specific (Mainly U.S.)
Category 3: Voluntary Program
Category 4: Crowdfunding
There may be some specific country-wise requirements, but a few things are common in all the countries. Those are:
- Willingness to teach and share expertise with children and teachers.
- Have a good command of the English language.
- Basic competency in the local language- To be able to interact with the local population becomes very essential. Else it would be another set of a challenge living abroad and particularly in the least developed areas where it is just getting started for learning English.
- Adopt to living and appreciate the local culture.
- Obey local laws.
- Have clean criminal records.
- Perform his/her duties diligently- The duties vary from teaching a class to developing the curriculum with a local teacher. The training session is another niche responsibility for foreign teachers.
- Be both mentally and physically healthy.
- You need to present your medical certification, sometimes a self-assessed one.
Let’s review them one by one.
Category 1: Open For English Speakers From Multiple Countries
English Program in Korea (EPIK)
Established in 1995,
Affiliation: Korean Ministry of Education
Aim: To develop the English-speaking ability of Korean students and teachers, and to promote cultural exchange between Korea and abroad.
It requires you to be:
- Citizens of native English-speaking countries (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, and India).
- Studied English from 7th grade to graduation. (for countries like South Africa and India, a letter from the school will be sufficient to prove it)
- Korean citizens residing in the above countries also need proof from schools.
- Bachelor’s degree holder
- A TEFL/TESOL certificate– min 100 hours (completed before 6 weeks to final arrival to Korea)
have a teaching license or certificate, majored in teaching in education-focused subjects.
- For a Korean citizen under 35, you must have either completed mandatory military service.
or have received an official waiver to join the program.
Those who are in colleges and completed a minimum of 2 years and want to learn and teach together can check Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK) program. And 1 year of TaLK experience is counted as a 100 hour TEFL/TESOL certificate.
Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme Hong Kong
Established in 1998.
Program: A subsidy program for primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong to employ English teachers from abroad.
Aim: Exposure to authentic English language and cultural enrichment to local students. To assist local teachers in teaching resources development and give professional training to them.
Contract Period: two-year contract (renewable)
Allowance: Gratuity at the end of each contract and special allowance to compensate additional living expenses partially (case to case basis).
- A native-speaker or near-native speaker of English
- Preference to experience in teaching English
Recruitment is categorized separately for primary and secondary schools.
Recruitment of Primary NETs: For Assistant Primary School Master/Mistress
- A bachelor’s degree in English from a Hong Kong university or equivalent (First Preference)
A bachelor’s degree in any subject from a Hong Kong university or equivalent (Second Preference)
- A recognized teacher training qualification in primary education (First Preference)
A recognized teacher training qualification (Second Preference)
Candidates without teacher training can also apply (Third Preference)
- TEFL/TESL certification or equivalent recognized by the EDB (Hong Kong education board).
Recruitment of Secondary NETs: For Graduate Master/Mistress (for students aged between 12 and 19)
- A bachelor’s degree in English Language/Literature/Studies or equivalent but not primary education specialist obtained after 3 years’ full-time study from a Hong Kong university or equivalent (First Preference)
a bachelor’s degree in any subject from a Hong Kong university or equivalent (Second Preference)
- A PG Diploma in English or equivalent
- The teaching of English as a Foreign Language or a Second Language (TEFL/TESL) qualification min at the diploma level, or equivalent.
- Min 1 year’s PG teaching experience at the secondary level or above.
Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET)
JET recruits college graduates—mostly native speakers of English—to Japan as “Assistant Language Teachers” (ALTs) and “Sports Education Advisors” (SEAs) in Japanese schools or as “Coordinators for International Relations” (CIRs) in local governments and boards of education.
Duration: a one-year program
Initiative: Japanese government and administered by various ministries
It currently recruits participants from around 40 countries, which makes it the world’s largest exchange teaching program.
The holders of Japanese passports have to give up their Japanese citizenship to participate in the program.
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Not have participated in the JET Program since 2018 (including April 2018 arrivals)
- Not declined the position earlier
- Not have lived in Japan for six or more years in total since 2011.
- Command on Japanese language (proficiency test N1 or N2 equivalent desirable)
Weightage for applicants having:
- Teaching experience
- Higher Japanese language fluency
Do you have to have a teaching certificate/TEFL/TESOL?
Not compulsory but such certification will be an asset during the selection process.
If you don’t have the above certificate, CLAIR provides partial grants worth 15,000 yen (for 2020-21) for around 200 JET participants to have one.
- Be a current JET participant.
- Do not hold the above certificates or did not start paying to have the certificate before the application process.
- Pursue certification of 100 hours or more entirely online.
Category 2: Country-specific (Mainly U.S.)
English Language Fellow Program: US Department of State
The EL Fellow Program is a 10-month long fellowship program that promotes English language learning and English teaching capacity abroad.
It also supports the fellows to hone their skills, gain international experience, and mingle with other cultures. The projects are sponsored by U.S. embassies for projects like classroom teaching, teacher training, service training, curriculum development, etc.
To date, thousands of participants of this fellowship program have delivered projects in more than 80 countries.
The eligibility criteria are.
- US citizens only
- Degree in TESOL or equivalent English language teaching
A graduation degree and a recognized TESOL/TEFL certificate (120-course hours)
- Classroom TESOL teaching experience (min 2 years)
Fulbright Scholar Program
The Fulbright Scholar Program provides opportunities to U.S. graduates for research, study, and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries.
English teaching assistant awards is one of many Fulbright scholar program awards.
The program places students in various countries to help with the capacity building of local teachers and students in the English language. Applicants can opt for only one country and the requirement and eligibility vary according to that.
- US Citizens only.
- A bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
- Meet the English language competency.
- Strong preference to first ever Fulbright grant.
- higher education undertaken at U.S. educational institutions.
North American Language and Culture Assistants Program (NALCAP): SPAIN
NALCAP is an educational exchange program in the United States and Canada.
Promoted by: The Education Office of the Embassy of Spain, Located in Washington D.C.
The primary goal of this outreach is to foster strong ties among the citizens of Spain and these two countries.
It envisages students from the US and Canada becoming brand ambassadors in Spain and learn Spain’s culture and language in exchange, thus encouraging cultural exchange among these countries.
Stipend: 700 to 1000 euro depending on the assigned region
Duration: 12 to 16 hours per week.
Over 35,000 Americans and Canadians have participated in the program so far are testimony to this beautiful opportunity.
- Having the U.S. or Canadian passport.
- Holder of a BA or BS degree or enrolled in a BA or BS program. Applicants having an Associate Degree are also eligible.
- Have a native or alike competency of English, or French language (Canada)
- Be aged 18 – 60.
- Have a basic level of Spanish.
- TEFL/TESOL not mandatory.
Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF)
Initiative By: Teaching Assistant Program is an initiative of France Education International.
Managed by: Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.
Goal: To improve English-language competencies in French schools and help American Francophiles with excellent teaching experience and French culture.
Every year, TAPIF hires over 1,500 American English language teaching assistants.
Role: Teaching 12 hours per week in up to 3 schools.
Location: In all regions of metropolitan France and the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion. Applicants will be given three preferences to choose from.
Contract Length: All teaching contracts last 7 months, from October 1st through April 30th.
Renewal: The TAPIF program can be applied for max 2 Times. Renewal for a consecutive second year is done based on the positive review of the host institution, or fresh application is called for if the gap persists in second time application and previous contract.
Stipend: €976.49 per month gross, approximately €785 per month NET and 30-35% increment based on the cost of living on case to case basis
- A permanent resident of the United States. For U.S. Green Card holders, please check eligible countries here. Countries involved | CIEP (france-education-international.fr)
- 20 to 35 years old.
- Before the program starts, you need to have at least 3 years of higher (post-secondary) education.
- English Teaching Certification: TEFL/TESOL certification is an asset during selection but not compulsory.
- A native speaker of English with the majority of studies in the United States.
- Proficiency in French is required (minimum B1 level) or a French-language test.Check here-
- France Éducation international (france-education-international.fr)
- La page est introuvable – Le français des affaires (lefrancaisdesaffaires.fr)
- Preference for prior teaching experience.
Category 3: Voluntary Program
The English Opens Doors Program: Chile
The program, an initiative of the Chilean ministry of education and supported by UNDP, was started in 2003 with the mission to improve the English language skills for students at the Chilean public schools by recruiting native or near-native English speakers from foreign soil.
It is a voluntary program serving students, teachers, and communities. The other purpose is to motivate the Chilean population to speak English and participate in cross-culture exchange.
Location: all over Chile – from Arica to Punta Arenas. Volunteers are asked for preferences.
JOB Role and Responsibilities
- Works with a Chilean teacher to develop a 45-minute-long class curriculum focused on speaking and listening skills.
- Teaches to students aged 10-18 years old.
- Works in public schools throughout Chile.
What requirements do applicants need to meet?
- Speak English fluently: Skype interview for the near-native English residents.
- Possess a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university.
- TEFL/TESOL: Not mandatory but an advantage in the selection process.
- The age limit is 21 to 35.
The benefits offered and costs for volunteers:
- No application fee is charged, you have no visa charges, but the minor cost associated with the visa application process may have to bear by you.
- You will be entitled to a volunteer stipend ($100,000 CLP per month).
- You will get a basic bank account, emergency health insurance, and a sim card number there.
- Accommodations and meals are given by your host party.
- You will go through weeklong training in Santiago. In addition to this, you will have access to an e-learning resource for Spanish learning.
- Various travel arrangements are also made after you arrive at Santiago capital.
- Also check- TEFL Certification in South Africa
Teach and Learn With Georgia (TLG)
Administered by: Georgian Ministry of Education and Science.
It looks for native English, French, Italian, and German language speakers to assist and teach along with local teachers in public schools in Georgia. Teach and Learn with Georgia (TLG) has motives to improve Georgia’s participation in the globalized world by increasing proficiency in foreign languages.
How to apply
Applicants have to submit a statement of purpose signifying their interest in the program.
The statement of purpose should include the followings:
- Personal Information: – academic, professional, and personal backgrounds and explain how they make you a good candidate for the volunteer program.
- Experience: – history of cross-cultural and volunteer experiences
- Teaching experience: – if any
- Additional information- as relevant to your volunteer program
Stages of selection: Selection will be phased in three stages.
- Your Resume/CV, copies of passport, educational documents, photographs, and medical self-assessment form
- Two Reference Letters
Second stage: Videoconference
Third Stage: This stage hasadditional requirements if you’ve successfully gone through earlier stages. They can ask for your criminal records and medical documentation.
Category 4: Crowdfunding
Last but not the least, crowdfunding can be the best way to make your dreams come true. Scholarship programs and volunteer programs don’t cover every expense you would be incurring on foreign soil. At least for initial days, you might have to shell out some pocket money. For ex. Visa fee, traveling, accommodation, food, etc.
To make ends meet, you can share your story and passion online to get money from generous people all over the world.
Fund My Travel
Fund My Travel is one of the crowdfunding websites which provides you their platform to raise fund for your meaningful travel abroad. You can create campaigns for almost everything from family emergencies to community projects.
Here how it works.
Step 1: Create your campaign: Tell others your part of the story such that they get excited about your cause. Photos and videos are the best means to express better.
Step 2: Let others know: website provides in-built social media and mail addresses. This can be considered as the most important step in achieving your goal.
Step 3: You get funded: Donation reaches your account. You can also track your offline support via the website page.
Step 4: Fund My Travel take 5% of your donation as its administrative charges. Have a look below, how a campaign is created in the Fund My Travel site to finance her teaching dream abroad. If you can, help her to achieve the targeted money.
Bonus Tip: Do check with your institution from where you are pursuing TEFL/TESOL certification, whether they have any internship/job assistance/ scholarship for you after your course completion.
Your graduation might be different than the language studies. But if you are comfortable in the English language, a TEFL certification can open another lucrative job front for you. TEFL scholarship or not, you can always pursue your dream abroad and have a rich cultural experience in that country. Even if you might want to teach other subjects in the English language (like science subjects), there is always a possibility to pursue that too.
Also Check this Video
Frequently Asked Questions:What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL?
When it comes to the requirement of English language faculty, both the terms are used interchangeably. or we can say it is an umbrella term for teaching the English language to non-native speakers.
But there is one exception. When you pursue a degree in teaching English, you will have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in TESOL, not TEFL.
When it comes to certification and applying for jobs, both are similar; they are simply two terms used interchangeably.How long does TEFL certification last?
TEFL/TESOL lasts a lifetime. It does not expire.What is the scope of the TEFL course? Who should do this course?
If teaching is your passion, or you want to experience cultural prosperity in the different parts of the globe. Then TEFL is one way to go. You only need command on your English Language. That’s it. As far as scope is concerned, the certification gives you the skill to demonstrate and huge advantages over other applicants in the selection process.Who can take up the TEFL course?
Accredited TEFL certification is for those who have command over the English language and has a passion for teaching.
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