last updated August 2013
Please note VicTESOL does not endorse any TESOL courses. The information below is current in August 2013 but VicTESOL advises all prospective teachers to obtain current and accurate information from the sector or employer where they wish to teach.
VicTESOL receives many enquiries from people who are thinking of becoming ESL teachers and who want to know what employment opportunities there are and what TESOL training courses they should undertake. Opportunities will vary depending on the following factors:
The following information is provided by VicTESOL for informational purposes only and relates mainly to employment in Victoria. VicTESOL does not claim that this information is comprehensive or complete, and recommends that individuals carry out their own research to determine the most accurate and up to date information.The information on this page was compiled in May 2011 with some minor modifications made in June 2012 and February and August 2013.To see what type of education and certification various jobs require, we recommend looking at job advertisements.
If you are intending to work overseas as an EFL or ESL teacher, in addition to general academic requirements, many countries have government or visa regulations with which ESL/EFL teachers must comply. In the European Union (EU), for example, most ESL/EFL jobs require candidates to have EU passports.
It is important to note that there is no accrediting body with the role of granting worldwide official recognition to any teaching certificate or diploma.
NOTE: The TESOL field involves many acronyms. See our Acronyms page.
Teaching in government schools in Victoria requires registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT). Contact VIT directly http://www.vit.vic.edu.au/Pages/default.aspx
The following may be required in schools:
Sub-major study in one of Linguistics or a second language (i.e. not the teacher’s first language) or
Appropriate TESOL Studies that includes the following core content:
together with teaching methodology which covers TESOL principles and approaches for a range of educational contexts, including factors affecting the development of language proficiency, and assessment procedures to facilitate appropriate placement of students with ESL needs.
For more information on school ESL visit the DEECD website
The following is a summary of some of the qualifications and experience requirements for different programs and settings for adult ESL.
Please note that these requirements can change when new commonwealth contracts are announced and often additional skills can be required by individual employers. It is best to check with the organisation you wish to apply to work in before you make decision about what courses of study to take. You may also need advice on whether your experience and qualifications are considered ‘equivalent’ to the requirements.
Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) The commonwealth funded SEE program (formerly known as Language Literacy and Numeracy Program - LLNP) is provided in a number of settings including TAFE, and community providers. The requirements for this program in 2013 are:
At a minimum, teachers and assessors must have:
AMEP (Adult Migrant English Program) is provided by AMES (Adult Multicultural Education Services), some TAFE and community providers.Teachers in the Adult Migrant English Program are required to hold qualifications as specified in the licence conditions of the Certificates in Spoken and Written English (CSWE). As a minimum, these are either:
Teachers holding qualifications from overseas institutions should contact the relevant State/Territory education authority.
For up to date information visit the NEAS website.
ESL courses in TAFE and community providers (ACE) are usually the Victorian ESL Framework Certificates. (Some TAFEs and ACE providers use the Certificates in Spoken and Written English which have similar requirements). The requirements to teach these courses are that the teacher is a qualified TESOL teacher and also has the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or equivalent. Please note these courses are being reaccredited in late 2013 and qualifications requirements may be updated.
A qualified TESOL teacher is a person who holds a postgraduate qualification that includes a supervised teaching practicum in TESL/TESOL or a 4-year B Education qualification with a TESL/TESOL method*.
*Approved qualifications include:
ELICOS programs. 'ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) applies to students studying in Australia on student visas. ‘Intensive’ denotes full-time study comprising a minimum of 20 scheduled course contact hours per week of face-to-face classes of English language instruction.'
A set of ELICOS standards includes requirements for teachers of ELICOS programs. These are as follows:
ELICOS teachers have the following:
a) a degree or diploma of at least three years full-time or equivalent (teaching or other)
b) a suitable TESOL qualification or qualification that contains TESOL as a
c) appropriate TESOL teaching experience or are formally mentored by a senior staff member with this experience.
National Standards for Foundation Programs
The national standards for Foundation Programs are a set of criteria developed to benefit international students undertaking foundation studies as a pathway into higher education in Australia.
The minimum requirements for teachers primarily responsible for academic English language subject areas are:
Other programs in the private sector for overseas students may have different requirements. Teachers wishing to work in this area are advised to seek information from the employer.
TESOL teacher training is offered by various universities in Victoria as either part of pre-service teacher training or as specialist post graduate qualifications.
CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is issued by the University of Cambridge ESOL, part of Cambridge Assessments, which is a department of the University of Cambridge. The certificate can be obtained after completing a 4 week full-time course or an equivalent period part time. The CELTA is a practically oriented short course which is widely recognised overseas. It teaches important practical skills but is normally not sufficient on its own to gain a CELTA holder employment as an ESL teacher in Victoria. Some ELICOS colleges require this qualification. The CELTA is accepted as a component in some university TESOL certificate, diploma and masters courses. In Australia, the CELTA course is usually full fee-paying.
Further information CELTA
English Australia offers an employment service for those seeking or offering a job in ELICOS in Australia and abroad: You can also subscribe to a mailing list for direct notification of new positions as they become available at http://www.englishaustralia.com.au/
A number of nationally accredited VET qualifications exist for TESOL such as the Certificate IV in TESOL. These can be searched on http://training.gov.au/Search under 'Accredited Courses'. These courses require fees. Claims about the opportunities provided by gaining such qualifications need to be thoroughly researched before being undertaken, in relation to working both in Australia or internationally.
IBSA (Innovation and Business Skills Australia) has included two new Vocational Graduate qualifications in Language, Literacy and Numeracy in the Training and Education Training Package (TAE10) with outcomes similar to those undertaken at a Bachelor degree level:
Graduate Certificate in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice and the Graduate Diploma of Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Leadership. A User Guide has been developed to support the delivery and assessment of the qualifications.
The user guide includes advice regarding these qualifications and TESOL in the adult sector on page 8.
A number of resources are also available to support these courses .
Find out more about the work in an international context TESOL’s FAQs