The short answer is NO… you don’t need a TEFL qualification to be offered a project with VESL and the vast majority of volunteers do not have any formal qualifications.
In general, applicants tend to have some experience of working with children or are able to show an appreciation of what might be expected of them at the interview.
Many of our Thai schools are able to make excellent use of those volunteers with less experience as language assistants, working alongside the school’s English teachers. Some volunteers without teaching experience and without TEFL qualifications are the best type of volunteer for these projects.
However, we do sometimes issue conditional project offers or recommend that people take a TEFL (introduction or taster course) if it is felt that the volunteer had the right character and attitude but would struggle to bring ideas to a classroom environment. This is more to do with gaining a greater appreciation of what is involved in teaching English than about gaining actual classroom experience but sometime. It all boils down to someone’s interview really.
If you’re in doubt about your ability – please fill in the application as best you can and let us give you honest feedback about your suitability… we may have the ideal project for you…