ITTT FAQs – Where can I teach English abroad as a non-native speaker?
Teaching English abroad is one of the most popular ways to earn a living overseas no matter where in the world you come from. Although there are some countries where only native English speakers are accepted, there are plenty of other places around the world with opportunities for non-native speakers with a TEFL certificate.
In countries where restrictions are in place, the term ‘native English speaker’ generally refers to teachers from the United State, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Other countries where English may be a first language, such as India or the Philippines, are generally not accepted.
In Asia, Thailand and Cambodia offer a number of opportunities for non-native speakers. In Latin America you can find numerous teaching opportunities for non-native English speakers as there are few official restrictions. Options in Europe tend to be quite slim for non-native speakers, but if you are citizen of an EU country your chances may be better as a work permit is not required to teach in EU member states.
As a non-native English speaker there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a job. Although not an official requirement in every country, a TEFL qualification will improve your teaching skills and show potential employers that you are serious about teaching. Previous experience is also a plus and volunteering at home before you leave is a good way to gain experience. Being able to prove your English proficiency is also recommended and attaining a high score on the IELTS or TOEFL tests is a good way to do this. Also, being able to meet your employer in person or over Skype gives you the chance to show off your English skills and dismiss any doubts they may have about your accent.