- Many people find themselves overseas and encounter "You speak English, you teach English" opportunities. A lot of professional TESOLers began their careers and learned of their innate passion via unexpected opportunities such as these. However, in the long term, to have a true career in this field, a degree is what opens doors and establishes you.
Bachelor's degrees in TESOL or TEFL are rare. A master's degree is more common. Many ESOL/EFL teachers have bachelor's degrees in related fields, such as education, language studies, or international relations, and then specialize in TESOL/TEFL as graduate students. Some U.S. states offer add-on TESOL certificates to education degrees at the bachelor's level, but these are not specialist certificates, rather they are awarded to teachers of other disciplines who have learned strategies for including English Language Learners (ELL's) in their instructional approaches.
Some companies offer TESOL/TEFL certificates and on-line training. These companies do not deliver the same quality of education as degree programs associated with accredited universities.
An effective way to learn more about potential studies and jobs in the TESOL/TEFL field is to visit www.tesol.org, the website for TESOL International, the largest non-profit organization in the field. Further, each U.S. state and most foreign countries have TESOL affiliate organizations.