Frequently Asked Questions
What is TEFLOne?
TEFLOne is a free placement service for native English speaking EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers who are looking for rewarding positions around the world.
How do you differ from other recruitment companies?
We were once in the very same position you are in now so fully understand the challenges ahead and the obstacles in the way. Through our extensive combined EFL teaching experience of almost 40 years to all ages and levels, teacher training, curriculum development and managing schools, we know how to separate the good schools from the bad.
We understand the differences between good and bad schools, and are extremely selective about both the schools we work with and the teachers we place. In multiple countries, we have a 100% contract completion record, which means both the teachers we place, and the schools we choose, are happy with the agreement. We don’t know of any other recruitment agency in the industry that can make this claim.
At TEFLOne, we make what can be a very stressful and confusing experience as simple and straightforward as possible and our recruitment track record since our beginnings in 2007 is second to none. We are more than just a recruitment agency, because we walk our candidates through every stage of the application process and in many cases will be communicating with them right up until they board the plane.
Additionally, because we are a smaller company, we tend to develop relationships with the teachers we place, and can make sure that we are setting them up for a position they are satisfied with. There’s no “Get them in the job and be done with them” at TEFLOne, (which is why we have such a good record).
We also rely heavily on word of mouth, which means most teachers we place are friends of current teachers or graduates from the TEFL course training centers we work with. We like to keep it on a personal level like this.
Why should I go through TEFLOne rather than apply directly to a school?
When schools have vacancies and you meet all the hiring requirements and successfully pass an interview, the school may try to sell you a position with them which can make it very difficult to make an informed decision.
At TEFLOne, we have no interest whatsoever in selling a position or hyping up a vacancy or country or location within a country, etc. We simply assess your suitability and provide you with vacancies we feel from our extensive experience, would be best suited. The pros and cons of each position will be addressed in our interview and you would be provided with a great deal of reading material as well as having our consultants on hand to answer any questions.
As mentioned above, we work on a more personal level and respect any concerns or decisions you make. It’s not in our interest whatsoever to place you in a bad school (see below), so we do our best to avoid this. Applying directly to a school gives you no such guarantee.
How can your services be completely free?
Unlike many recruitment companies, we do not charge teachers for our services. Schools trust us to find great teachers and pay us a fee for each teacher we recruit for their positions. However, if you do not complete your contract or leave the position early, we do not receive payment. Therefore, every effort is made to ensure we place the right teacher in the right position. Our figures for the last couple of years include a 100% contract completion rate of all teachers placed in multiple countries. This is unheard of in the TEFL industry and something we are extremely proud of!
As such, we aren’t going to jeopardize this record to make a quick dollar. If there’s any chance you will be unsatisfied in the position we are offering you, we’ll find you a better school.
Who do we work with?
We only work with reputable schools and this ensures that after arrival you are taken care of both in terms of living in the country and the actual teaching job itself. All the schools we work with provide assistance with finding suitable accommodation and setting up bank accounts plus help with the day-to-day problems that may occur.
How long does the average position last?
All contracts in all countries are for 12 months. The schools we work with invest a lot of time and money into each teacher they employ and as a result of this, require a 12 month commitment.
The majority of teachers we place in our positions choose to stay a lot longer than 12 months and at present, the average length of stay for our teachers in Japan is approaching 3 years!
When are the arrival/start dates?
Each position will have a set arrival date and a set contract start date. We generally have positions starting each month year round in all countries. However, the majority of vacancies in Japan tend to have a January or late March arrival date. Most vacancies in Taiwan and Vietnam tend to start around June or July and China positions generally have start dates in line with the academic year (late August and February arrival dates).
Are there opportunities for career development?
This is one area where we really stand out from our competitors. One of our very first candidates from way back in 2007 is now the Director of Studies of one group of schools we work with. He is responsible for overseeing the operations of well over 50 schools in his country. Another TEFLOne recruited teacher who started his teaching career in Taiwan went on to manage a large group of schools throughout Vietnam. The same applies to other countries where TEFLOne recruited teachers seem to climb through the ranks to top positions in the industry.
In fact, there is usually at least one TEFLOne recruited teacher in the Head Office of most companies we work with including Senior Teacher positions, Assistant Director of Studies, HR, Teacher Trainers, National Service Managers and more!
The majority of our positions involve excellent levels of academic support with many opportunities for career development….unless interested in just a gap year, we suggest you only focus on schools that allow you the opportunity to get better qualified and progress on both a professional and personal level.
Can I save money to repay my student loan?
All salaries of the positions we recruit allow teachers to save money. However, the amount of money you can save and send home totally depends on your lifestyle, location and of course the rate of currency exchange between the country you are working in and your home country. Of all the countries we work with, the highest cost of living is in Tokyo, Japan but even in Tokyo there are ways to get by cheaply and still have a great time. If serious about saving money, we estimate you would be able to save up to 5,000 GBP per year.
Will I receive academic support and additional training if necessary?
Yes definitely. The schools we work with are generally large chains which put a lot of emphasis on teacher support and progression. You can start out as a complete beginner and be given all the help you need.
Many companies provide a week-long training/induction course upon arrival, and have academic staff in the head office to assist you with any questions. Some companies even have online resources for their teachers!
Will I have help with class discipline?
This is one of the main concerns of inexperienced teachers, knowing how to control the class, and what to do if there are any problems.
A well prepared teacher should be able to avoid most problems, and the training mentioned above will go a long way to helping this, but in the vast majority of cases, schools will already have their own discipline system in place, and you’ll be informed of this when you arrive. Most of the time, your school manager will handle severe discipline cases, and many of your classes will have a teaching assistant to help with class control.
You’ll also find that other teachers will have a wealth of tips of tricks to help you keep your students engaged and under control.
Can I be put in contact with other teachers at the school?
Yes and this is something we encourage. As experienced as we are at TEFLOne and as informative as we are during the interview and throughout all post interview correspondence, contacting teachers already at the school where you will be working to get their inside perspective is a must! We would strongly discourage you from applying to other companies where this is not permitted.
Do I qualify?
If you possess a full university degree, a TEFL certificate and are a native English speaker then we would welcome an application from you.
My CELTA qualification is specifically for teaching adults but the majority of your positions seem to involve teaching children. Do I need additional qualifications?
No, you will find a lot of the CELTA methodology transferable to the YL classroom even though your teaching practice would have been to adults. Also, any of our positions that involve teaching YLs will provide you with YL teacher training which usually lasts one week before you begin your own teaching schedule. If still concerned about this, most TEFL courses, including the CELTA, offer extension courses specifically for teaching children.
How can I improve my chances of securing employment through TEFLOne?
We are in the process of producing the ‘TEFLOne Job Seekers Pack’ which will be available for download on our site in the near future. This guide will provide you with everything you need to get ahead of the competition and secure your dream job in the TEFL industry. In the meantime, check out our blog for weekly tips and advice on job seeking. The best advice we can offer you is to put yourself in our position and ask yourself one simple question – “What would I look for in a teacher?”
My TEFL qualification is not a CELTA or Trinity Cert TESOL. Can I still apply?
The majority of our positions in Asia now require a CELTA/Trinity Cert TESOL or equivalent TEFL qualification (120 hour classroom based course which is externally moderated and includes at least 6 hours observed teaching practice to real students). Cambridge CELTA Course Online is also deemed equivalent to the face to face course and a more flexible way for you to get qualified.
We can also proceed with candidates holding other online or introductory TEFL qualifications for positions in both Taiwan and China should all other hiring requirements be met and if you have previous experience working with children.
I am not from one of the countries listed in your hiring requirements, can I still apply?
As much as we would like to further the applications of teachers who meet all criteria but are not native English speakers or do not hold passports from the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, unfortunately we cannot. We have to operate in accordance with the government of the countries in which we recruit.
I don’t have a TEFL qualification yet, can I still apply?
If you have enrolled onto a TEFL course but not yet completed it, please do not hold back as we would love to hear from you. However, it is unlikely we would proceed to interview until you are at least half way through the course as we will be testing your teaching knowledge during the interview.
Would I be a good teacher?
Teaching is an extremely enjoyable and rewarding profession and provides the platform to finance world travel at the same time as giving something back to the local community. If you are outgoing, hardworking and looking for a new and exciting challenge, then teaching English abroad could be for you.
Will someone with more experience usually be chosen over those without?
Not necessarily! Due to limited vacancies but a very high demand for jobs with reputable schools throughout Asia, there is a lot of competition and previous experience will definitely strengthen an application. However, we have recruited teachers without any prior experience other than the teaching practice from the CELTA/Trinity Cert TESOL or TEFL course.
There are many things we look for in an ideal candidate but at the end of the day, personality wins hands down. If you are outgoing, independent, open minded, passionate about working abroad and flexible on location, class types, ages of students, etc., we would welcome an application from you.
How do I apply?
Simply fill out our online application form (remember to upload your CV and a recent photo) and should you meet the hiring requirements, one of our consultants will get back to you as soon as possible, usually within one or two business days with information on potential positions and the next steps.
Bear in mind our assessment of your candidacy begins from your very first contact so if you do not hear back from us, there will be a good reason! Take care with your spelling and grammar, keep your CV simple and relevant and when sending your recent photo, remember what kind of job you are applying for!
Will I need to send a copy of my passport and degree certificate?
Scans of these documents are only requested should you be shortlisted for interview. A full university degree is one of the visa requirements of the countries we recruit and we would need to check this against your passport to ensure the school could obtain a visa and work permit for you. The university degree must be recognized, printed in English and the names on the degree certificate must exactly match the names in your passport.
N.B. You are welcome to blank out the non-relevant information on your passport. We would just need to see the picture, names, date of birth, place of birth and passport expiry date.
What happens after the interview?
Once we have interviewed you and checked your references, we will inform you within a few days following your interview of whether or not you will be considered for future positions. If so and depending on the country you are applying, we will either forward you to the school directly for a follow up interview or proceed to a formal offer of employment. If formally offered a position, we would provide you with all job offer material as well as 4 to 5 days to read through all information and conduct your own research before a decision is needed on whether or not you would like to accept. You would also have lots of opportunity to ask us questions in order to make an informed decision.
On acceptance of an offer of employment, either we or the school direct will be with you at every single stage right up until arrival in your new country.
How long does the application process take?
Once you have successfully passed our interview and accepted an offer of employment, your arrival date will depend on the start date of your position. When making offers of employment, we take into account the length of time it takes to qualify for the visa and this differs from country to country. For Japan, you would be looking at a start date around 3 months after your interview due to the long visa process of which we guide you through every step of the way right up until you arrive at Narita airport. For Taiwan, it is considerably faster and we have been known to have arranged for teachers to arrive in Taiwan as quickly as 3 days after the passing the interview!
Can we apply as a couple?
Unfortunately we find it very difficult to proceed with joint applications for all countries for the simple reason of too few available positions in the same area around the same time. We will happily receive your applications and keep your information on file just in case opportunities suitable for a couple or group of friends arise, but the likelihood is low.
Applications from friends/couples/partners interested in teaching in China or Vietnam should be a little more hopeful as we do sometimes get more than one vacancy in the same area around June in Vietnam and late August in China.
Can I apply for positions in more than one country?
You certainly can! Just check the boxes on our application form for the countries of interest to you. Should you have any order of preference of the countries you are interested in, please make a note of this in the comments section.
N.B. Please remember to check our hiring requirements for each country before submitting your application.
Will I need set up funds?
Yes and this is definitely something you need to take into consideration before applying. Although our positions vary considerably, you should at least have the equivalent of 1000 GBP on top of your flight money. This would be needed to support yourself for the first few weeks in your chosen country as well as cover your rent deposit for an apartment, day to day living expenses, visa and health test costs, etc. The required set up funds for some countries and positions will be lower than this.
Below is a very rough guide on suggested set up costs for each country we work with:
Japan – at least the equivalent of 200,000 Japanese Yen on top of flight money (around 1,200 to 1,400 GBP)
Taiwan – at least the equivalent of 60,000 New Taiwan Dollars (1,200 GBP) on top of flight money (80,000 NTD or 1,400 GBP if interested in Taipei positions where the rent and cost of living is higher)
Indonesia – at least the equivalent of 1000 GBP on top of flight money
China - at least the equivalent of 1000 GBP on top of flight money (more if interested in Beijing where 3 months’ rent deposit is required)
Vietnam - at least the equivalent of 1000 GBP on top of flight money
N.B. Our positions and the packages offered do vary a lot and some schools provide teachers with a relocation allowance, reimbursed outward airfare, free apartment or housing allowance, etc. Full details on each position and set up costs required would be covered in the interview and job reading material prior to any acceptance of a position.