First of all, most employers will not consider applicants who do not hold a TEFL certificate. Managers, Headteachers and Language Centre owners rightly regard this as a basic requirement which demonstrates that you are ready to work seriously as an English language teacher. For obvious reasons, this is especially the case if you do not have any previous teaching experience.
Admittedly, you may be able to find one or two desperate employers who will take you on even if you do not hold a TEFL certificate. But, be warned, these employers will almost certainly not give you a proper contract or any of the legal rights or benefits that come with standard terms of employment as a teacher. They might be operating illegally by employing you. In addition, they may well be very unreliable when it comes to payday and, given the chance, would almost certainly choose some who does hold a TEFL certificate in place of you. It isn’t usually worth it!
The types of schools that will employ an unqualified teacher are usual the dubious ones with poor reputations. Why on earth would they employ staff illegally to teach sub-standard classes to their customers? It sounds like a poor idea of a business, and an employer to be very wary of indeed.
Whilst it may be possible to get away with teaching unqualified for a few weeks or so, there is little to no chance of it turning into a genuine career for a teacher who does not hold a TEFL certificate.
Even more importantly, think for a moment of your students. They, or their parents, have paid significant sums of money for English language tuition by someone who they expect to be a professional teacher who has received training. If you have no experience and no relevant qualifications, how can you guarantee them value for money? It’s almost impossible to do so because you won’t be properly prepared. Would you recommend paying for tuition with an unqualified tutor to a close friend or family member?
Without relevant knowledge of grammar, lesson planning, classroom management and so on, any language lesson is likely to be a total disaster and waste of money and time for those involved.
There are lots of TEFL courses out there, both online and on-site and at a wide range of prices. Do some research into the on-site courses located close to you and compare them with the online courses which are growing in popularity every year.
You will definitely find a TEFL course which is suitable for you and through your studies will develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to teach English professionally. You will be qualified to teach for the rest of your life – TEFL certificates do not come with an expiry date on them. That’s why enrolling on a high quality TEFL course is worth every penny.