From ABC to ESL: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Qualifications

The required qualifications to teach English online vary. Some companies will hire you with no degree and no experience, and others require a TEFL, TESOL, CELTA or MA in a teaching or linguistics. It just depends on what platform or company you apply to.

Qualifications to teach ESL: What Do You Need?

The required qualifications to teach English online vary. Some companies will hire you with no degree or experience, and others require a TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, or MA in teaching or linguistics.

It just depends on what platform or company you apply to.

First, here is a breakdown of all the certificates.

What is a TEFL certificate?

A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate is a qualification that provides individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to teach English to non-native speakers. It is a widely recognized credential that helps individuals pursue a career in English language teaching, both domestically and internationally.

TEFL certificates can be obtained through in-person training programs, online courses, or a combination of both. The duration and intensity of the programs can vary, ranging from a few weeks to several months.

Many language schools and educational institutions prefer or require teachers to hold this qualification. Getting your TEFL certificate demonstrates a certain level of professionalism, competence, and commitment to teaching English effectively.

What is a TESOL certificate?

A TESOL certificate is similar to a TEFL certificate. Many institutions even use the terms TEFL and TESOL interchangeably, but double check. Specific terminology and requirements for certificates vary between countries and institutions.

TESOL courses typically cover a range of topics, such as second language acquisition theories, instructional methods and approaches, curriculum design, assessment and evaluation, classroom management, and cultural sensitivity in language teaching.

The CELTA certificate is awarded by Cambridge Assessment English, a division of the University of Cambridge, and employers and language schools worldwide highly regard it. The CELTA course typically consists of intensive training that combines input sessions, teaching practice, and observation.

Many reputable language schools and institutions require or prefer teachers to have a CELTA qualification. It is considered a benchmark for quality and demonstrates that the holder has undergone rigorous training and assessment in English language teaching methodology.

What is the difference between a TEFL or TESOL certificate and a CELTA certificate?

CELTA certification is geared towards teaching adult learners. If you are teaching kids, a TEFL or TESOL certificate may be a better fit. Also, more traditional schools are likely to require a CELTA. Still, many online companies consider a TEFL/TESOL certificate to be sufficient.

Can I Teach English Without a Degree?

Yes! It is easy to teach English online without a degree. There are many E.S.L. companies that do not require a degree from applicants. Many companies will hire you to teach English online with no experience besides knowing English!

If you want to teach English online without a degree, then the following companies are best.

No degree needed: Best Online E.S.L Companies

Easiest and Most Flexible

Teach English without a Degree

Cambly is the easiest platform to earn money from home while teaching English online. You teach adult students and it’s mostly a conversation platform. You pop on and off anytime and teach for as long as you want to keep receiving phone calls. Cambly tracks the minutes and pays you weekly.

Palfish ESL

The Palfish platform is an interactive app with lessons delivered on compatible iOS/Android phones or tablets. You do not need a degree, certification, or working experience to work at Palfish. Just send a video with your application. Palfish lets students call ‘online’ teachers (known as Free Talk) to help correct their grammar and pronunciation, rather than learning something class-based. They also offer Official Kids Courses to children aged 3 – 12.

More ways to teach English online without a degree

  • Acadsoc
  • Amazing Talker
  • Skima Talk
  • Open English

There are lots of opportunities to teach English online without a degree. No student is identical, so there is no archetypal online English tutor.

Foreign students include anything from the Chinese graduate school applicant who wants a seven on their IELTS exam, to the businessman preparing for his job interview with a foreign company, to the 5-year-old learning basic phonics and the ABCs with her mom’s help.

Online English teaching can cater to all kinds of students.

How to get a degree to teach English?

These are many of the students you might encounter teaching English, and each is looking for very different qualifications. You need to find your niche.

If you decide to get certified, it is easy to get a Teaching English Online Certificate. A simple online TEFL Certificate can raise your pay significantly.

If you find that you are a good fit for many different kinds of teaching, even better! Juggling a few platforms can help you weather storms (such as one platform having a dip in student enrollment ) and will create a more solid earning base for you.

To have another language is to possess a second soul.


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