So, You Decided To Teach Abroad?

Did you recently graduate high school and want to go abroad? Or graduated college and do not know your next steps, but are interested in going abroad? No, fret. There are multiple routes you can take to teaching English abroad including attaining a TEFL, TESOL, or TESL certification. These certificates can be attained online, in-person or abroad in countries like Thailand, Ecuador and more. So, what’s the difference between each program?

Well, from my research I have discovered the pros and cons. But first, let’s focus on what each acronym means and which route is best for you. It’s not necessary to be certified but can certainly place you in better schools, a bigger pay difference and you will be more respected.


This program provides the skills needed to teach English in a country where English is not the primary language such as Japan, Chile, or Russia to name a few. TEFL certification is globally recognized.

The minimum for a TEFL certification is 100-hours but 120 hours of TEFL training is commonly expected alongside a teaching practicum.


The TESL certification prepares one to teach in an English speaking country to students whose first language is not English. For example, workers or recent immigrants or exchange students in countries like England, U.S., and Australia.

Careers that use TESL include language support and ESL teachers to name a few. This certification is relevant for those looking to teach English in their home country.

TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of another Language

This certification is relatively newer and encompasses both, TEFL and TESL. It allows you to teach English overseas or in a native-English speaking country. However, TESOL courses cover a broader range of topics in less depth.  TESOL courses are not as widely recognized and are sometimes incompatible with some curriculum plans.

Now, you understand the acronyms and main difference between  the three certifications. There are many programs online but not all are accredited. Stay tuned to know how to spot a good certification program.



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