How to become a TESOL teacher

Become a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages teacher and help students from different backgrounds develop important new communication skills. 

Begin your TESOL career

  1. Earn a bachelor degree in education and teaching, or another relevant area, like arts and humanities
  2. Acquire a postgraduate TESOL certification, like a Graduate Certificate in TESOL or a Master of TESOL. You can study these qualifications online. 
  3. Consider whether you’d like to provide specialist language skills, like business English, to your clients or potential employers. If so, ensure you choose a course that covers business English.
  4. If you want to work outside of Australia, inform yourself of any additional requirements within the country you wish to work in. 

What is a TESOL teacher?

TESOL teachers help students from non-English speaking backgrounds learn how to write, read and speak English. These students can be international students, migrants, refugees, children, young adults or adult learners.

What does a TESOL teacher do?

TESOL teachers help students improve their English language abilities both in the classroom and online. They also guide learners on Australian culture and norms so they can confidently settle into their local community. 

TESOL teachers are typically employed by schools, universities, TAFEs and private English language colleges. 

Duties and tasks

  • Planning an English language curriculum
  • Implementing an English language curriculum
  • Teaching correct English pronunciation
  • Teaching correct English vocabulary and grammar
  • Introducing students to Australian culture and customs
  • Liaising between English learners and the broader community

TESOL teacher skills

To secure a role as a TESOL teacher, you’ll need the following skills and knowledge:

  • Native English-speaking skills or proficiency to teach the English language
  • An ability to work well with small groups
  • Time management
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Public speaking skills

TESOL teacher salary 

According to SEEK, as of 2022 the average TESOL teacher salary in Australia falls between $60,000 and $80,000 per year, or $40 per hour.

Industry bodies

Student stories and study advice

What is TESOL?

Want more than a traditional teaching career? Life as a TESOL teacher could be the ideal path for you. Let's explore what this teaching specialty is, and why it can lead to opportunities all over the world.

Why study TESOL

Studying TESOL online through Curtin University could be your passport to overseas teaching.

Buckling down in Beijing

Nahin enjoyed the best of both worlds – studying a Master of Education online, while teaching English in China. He was able to put his learnings into practise straight away.

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