Sunday, November 10, 2013

Are You Qualified to Teach English in Saudi Arabia?

This is a simple guide for those who wish to teach English in Saudi Arabia/Gulf region. These are the requirements needed to be met by most institutions. If you meet these requirements, then feel confident whilst applying to TEFL positions. If you do not meet all of these requirements, try to meet them before applying.

What Institutions Require


  1. Many institutions ask for native speaking teachers. They do not take into account that a person can be a native speaker without being the citizen of a native speaking country. And at times, it is visa requirements- that they can only make visas for specific countries. This reason might be true at times, at others it is just so a company will not be accused of not giving equal rights to all people and all stories of that sort. At the end of the day, the teachers required by institutions are usually from the following countries:
  • North America;
  • Britain ;
  • Ireland;
  • South Africa;
  • Australia;
  • New Zealand.
If you have the nationality of any of the above countries with the qualifications mentioned below, you are good to go. 

    2. A Cambridge CELTA or DELTA. This is a standard requirement for the majority of institutes in Saudi Arabia. The subject matter of your BA or MA should preferably relate to education, applied linguistics and TEFL, or English. This is not a must though, and the only major requirement is that you do have a graduate degree. A 120 hour TEFL certificate is also accepted in place of the CELTA. Recently, online TEFL degrees are not being accepted in Saudi Arabia as they used to in the past. Certifications obtained from face-to-face courses are required.

3. If you are going to teach preparatory year programmes at universities then having an MA is not essential, but if you are going to teach English modules for university courses then you should have an MA.


4. Work experience. The minimum required is usually two years, the maximum five. This is not always an essential requirement for all institutions, but it is for the majority. Some institutions will require that your teaching experience is with adult learners.