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Which degree is better for teaching English overseas?

I had originally been intending to apply for MATESOL programs, Master or Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages after finishing my Bachelor's degree.  Many professors have encouraged this, but recently I have had a few professors tell me quite the opposite, that this might not necessarily be what's best.  Many are encouraging me to simply get the TESOL certificate and not worry about getting a Master's degree.  

So my options are get a TESOL certificate, or get a Master's degree in TESOL.  What are your opinions?!  My original reasoning for the Master's degree was that I would have the extra credentials and that I would feel more prepared to teach in a professional environment.  

If you had to consider this for yourself, or perhaps already have, what was your decision and why did you make it?  

Sep 25, 2016 10:50 AM
Comments · 2

Hi Amanda.

I work with language teachers in Brazil and have been involved in training teachers for many years. If you intend to travel around the world teaching English as a second/foreign language, then having a CELTA or a DELTA is more important than having an MA.

This is simply because the Cambridge ESOL Certificates are more practical/hands-on and an MA tends to be more academic (at least here in Brazil). 

If you'd like to discuss this issue into more details, drop me a line.

Best wishes,


September 25, 2016

What are your exact intentions for teaching overseas? Where so you plan to teach?

In most cases, your qualifications just serve to fulfil visa requirements. You might already know that sometimes ESL teachers are hired "for their face" and very little consideration is given to their experience or qualifications.

If you are planning to undertake proper study for a certificate, remember to keep your standards high when applying abroad.

September 25, 2016
Language Skills
English, French, Spanish, Swedish
Learning Language
French, Spanish, Swedish