Teaching English to students in another country is a great way of experiencing a new environment while being paid to teach. You get to discover a new culture and gain valuable experience working in a school or for an overseas company.
There are many organisations that provide placements or assist foreign schools with recruitment. You typically need a degree or relevant qualification, and a certificate that confirms you can teach English to people who do not speak English as their first language.
There are several different names for the teaching English qualifications. The most common are TEFL and TESOL
TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
The reality is that both of these qualifications serve the same purpose and confirm you have completed a training course to teach English to people whose native language is not English. For the purpose of this article we will refer to the qualifications as TEFL certificates.
Getting an Apostille for your TEFL
If you want to teach English abroad you may be asked to obtain an apostille for your TEFL certificate. Your certificate will need to be checked for suitability, and then certified by a solicitor. You can have either the original document certified or request that a copy is made. The apostille can then be issued by the FCO.
You may also need to get the document attested with an embassy in London. For example. We are currently attesting documents with the Chinese embassy in London and also attesting documents for Vietnam.
Can we legalise all TEFL certificates?
There are many organisation the provide TEFL courses and issue qualifications. However, not all TEFL service providers are recognised in the UK. The UK apostille can only be issued to TEFL certificates that meet the following criteria-
The company issuing the TEFL must be based in the UK. While many ‘appear’ to be UK based with phone numbers and a UK address, they are often overseas businesses using a UK developed learning program. Check if your TEFL was provided by a genuine UK based service. We cannot legalise documents that were not issued by a UK company.
The certificate must clearly show that the TEFL qualification was obtained by following a training course. It cannot be called a diploma, degree or masters. It must not sound like a university has issued the document.
If you are unsure if your certificate can be legalised do not hesitate to send us a copy by email. We can check which organisation issued the document and if the qualification can be processed.
There are many reputable TEFL course provided from UK based services. One of the market leaders is a company called i-to-i.com. They are accredited in the UK and their certificates are accepted by the FCO and the embassies in London.