Many people are confused as to why international teaching jobs are persistent on applicants having a TEFL certificate. Many ask the question of how is it that I have a B.ED degree or a PGCE which takes longer than 4 weeks to complete but still need the TEFL certificate.
The answer is quite simple. The B.ED and PGCE do not provide what a TEFL, CELTA or even a TESOL provides. These are specialized teacher certificates of international recognition. These teacher certificates prepare teachers to step into a classroom to teach confidently. They provide hands-on practical and theoretical training on how to conduct lessons. Teachers who possess these certificates are always made a priority with schools.
Many teachers believe that their honors degree is a credible degree yet we need to understand that the honors degree is not very recognized overseas as the understood qualifications are usually in the following order, Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. Anything in between becomes questionable, and if you have to explain your qualifications then its best to not go there. In regards to an honors degree, a British curriculum school would accept it as it is a commonwealth degree, and so if you are applying to work in a commonwealth country or a system that does recognize the commonwealth degrees then this is fine.
The same can be said about higher diplomas and advanced certificates which in South Africa, for example, equates to degrees and some higher than your degree. This is fine if you intend to remain to teach in South Africa, but if you are looking to go abroad, please just focus on the degree and a teaching certificate.
People also ask about the PGCE, and while some countries may look at it (Commonwealth countries and British curriculum schools), this does not apply to the majority.
We need to focus on what the international community wants! Too often we focus on what the university dictates, and this is wrong because universities’ don’t even know how the various industries are progressing. Many people don’t even know how to write a proper CV.
My advice to people is simple; research your industry before even studying towards entering the industry.
Here’s a fact, many teachers overseas don’t even have a B.ED or even a BA degree, all they have is a diploma and TEFL, CELTA or TESOL and sometimes not even a tertiary qualification. Just the fact that they are from an English speaking country and possess one of the mentioned teacher certificates, is all they need.
These are specialized certificates that teach things like English for special purposes, meaning, teaching business English, Medical English or Engineering English. These certificates not only allow you to work at schools but also at universities, language centers or even companies who are in need of a language teacher. Does your BA, B.ED, PGCE prepare you in the way a TEFL would??