Becoming an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher requires a few qualifications that are necessary here in Australia. But more importantly, you need a passion for languages and an in-depth understanding of the English language.
Many people think that it is quite difficult to become an ESL teacher and that it requires very specific qualifications. But fortunately, the requirements have been changed and are continuing to change. This ongoing change does not mean that potential teachers will not have THE needed knowledge, BUT it will rather mean that teachers can come from completely different sectors and bring with them a new variety of skills and experience. Of course we cannot teach English to non-native speakers without the relevant grammar, vocabulary, phonology knowledge of the language. This is the ONE requirement that will remain and cannot be changed. EVER.
The current requirements are as following according to NEAS (National English Accreditation Scheme):
A recognised degree or equivalent
You can complete a degree in any field of study. You decided to study criminology at university because it sounded ‘thrilling’, but at that point you realised that this type of work does not really suit your personality (or you have been experiencing nightmares about murderers knocking on your door). Then you hear about the wonderful world of ESL teaching and you wonder if you have to study another degree that is somehow related to teaching. The answer to this is: NO. Your exhilarating criminology degree will be sufficient.
There is a ‘but’ though!
A recognised TESOL qualification
Now you need to pair your (related or not related) first degree with a TESOL qualification. There are various different schools or centres that offer TESOL courses. If you want to work in a NEAS quality endorsed school, you need to ensure that your TESOL qualification meets all the requirements outlined by NEAS.
Your course should definitely meet the following:
- 100 face-to-face contact hours or the equivalent in online or distance modes
- A focus on TESOL and not just a unit
- at least six hours actual teaching practice
- supervised teaching practice and assessed by a qualified teacher in a classroom setting
To make sure that you have found the right course, check www.neas.org.au .
And it is as easy as that! Once you have gained some hands-on experience during your TESOL qualification, you can start your career in the ELICOS sector. It is time to transform your passion for the English language into a wonderful classroom performance. Your first degree might bring some interesting skills into your teaching methodology, which will distinguish you from the others.
So don’t worry if your degree that is unrelated to this field! As long as you have a thorough grasp and love for the language and the TESOL qualification, you will rock that classroom.
If you are eager to embark upon this exciting journey and have some questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Explore English so that we can help you to take the first step into the ESL direction. Why not get paid to travel the world teaching English?