TEFL / TESOL Teacher


OFO No: 235301


What is a TESOL or TEFL Teacher?

  • TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

English is currently used as the world’s primary business language and this means there is a great demand from non-English speaking countries (eg Korea, China, Indonesia, Thailand, etc) to employ either TESOL or TEFL Teachers. And parents want their children to learn.


TESOL/TEFL Teachers may find work all over the world.  This can be a very exciting career for people who want to explore the world.  Many young people choose to do TESOL/TEFL teaching as part of a gap year before settling down however, some enjoy it so much they embrace this profession and continue to teach English for the rest of their lives.

Some teachers study further and specialise in ‘Business English’ etc. This is branch of English teaching is also in demand and particularly lucrative.


Another option to consider – is to teach English online.  If you have a computer and good internet access you can even teach from the comfort of your own home.

What does a TESOL or TEFL Teacher do?

  • Teaches people (from very young to old) for whom English is a foreign language.
  • Assesses exactly how difficult it will be for a student to learn English.
    Note: Many employers train their teachers and supply the lesson plans as well as assess the level of the students.
  • Researches interesting tried and tested lessons
  • Prepares lesson plans
  • Designs new teaching materials
  • teaches students one-to-one and in small groups
  • Teaches students English language skills using a variety of different methods
  • Gives homework, sets exams, marks exams and tests
  • Gives positive feedback to students, parents or guardians or companies paying for the student’s tuition

Are you . . . ?

  • In possession of a degree (preferably a BA English)
  • Passionate about English as well being good at English grammar?
  • Passionate about teaching?
  • A clear speaker without a heavy accent?
  • Tolerant and patient?
  • Interested in other cultures?
  • Creative – be able to design exciting lesson plans?
  • Organised?
  • A good communicator?
  • Happy to live in a non-English speaking country – if you want to work overseas.

How do I become a TESOL or TEFL Teacher?

Many public and private schools offer the TESOL/TEFL programmes that are usually aimed at people who have a Bachelor of Arts degree.

These programmes usually range from 3 months upwards and include practical exercises/teaching as well as theory.


There are a lot of scams being run so please check out that there the training institution:

  • a physical address,
  • a landline telephone number and
  • a registered business with permanent physical business address.
  • the lecturers and trainers should also clearly list their qualifications on the TEFL/TESOL website.

This is an international organization with good accreditation and can act as starting point for your search for a reliable source of standards and information:


Here is a South African Organization:



Find an employer

These sites list countries where you can teach and employers.



This is a very informative video by Palessa Jonas, a South African who is teaching in Korea. But she also talks about online teaching.


Once you have watched this video, there are many other videos on the YouTube channel which may be useful or at least interesting.