TEFL is an acronym for a qualification to teach the English language. A TEFL certification does not technically expire. However, if there is a significant gap between your certificate and the job application, it is advisable to retake the course. Refreshing your certification gives you a higher chance of employment.
A TEFL certification typically takes about two to three months to complete working for most people. It is an online course, so there is not a final deadline that pressures you to work fast. Some TEFL courses will offer in-classroom instruction and learning. But in today’s digital world, these TEFL courses can costly and are not necessary. Hence, there are so many reputable online providers out there today. Many will even come with online tutor support if you have problems in any particular area of the course.
It is not a requirement of the TEFL certification that you speak a second language. The only requirement is a fluency in English. However, knowing the local dialect of the area you in which you intend to teach will certainly be helpful in your life outside of the classroom. Indeed, some employers will have their requirements that go above and beyond the requirements for TEFL. In other words, while a TEFL certification is one of the requirements, it’s advised to augment your resume holistically to compete for the top available positions.
Overall, getting a TEFL or TESOL certification is a worthwhile investment for any English teacher who wishes to work abroad. It is relatively low-cost, it does not expire, and it is a minimum requirement for employment at a reputable institution. While it is possible to find work without a TEFL certification, it should serve as a red flag if potential employers do not require it.
To obtain a TEFL or TESOL certification, you must work with a third-party TEFL accreditation firm that administers the certification. Avoid accreditation firms offering their coursework at a discount. This is a common way to identify less reputable external accreditation bodies.