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Fraudulent Certification of English teachers overseas

Teaching English overseas is a dream for many who don’t know what else to do after high school, college, or…

By Stephanie Lim , in Blogs Secret Life of an English Teacher , on January 18, 2008

Teaching English overseas is a dream for many who don’t know what else to do after high school, college, or university. The appeal lies in the fact that a) you’ll get paid, and b) you’ll get the satisfaction of believing that you’re not wasting your life away while trying to determine what you really want to do.

Asia continues to be in high demand for English teachers. For the 2008 Olympics in China, ESL in Canada reported that this country needs to hire another 1,000,000 teachers.

Many native English speakers are jumping on the bandwagon because of the competitive wages and benefits that can include housing, and airfare. In other words, they can explore and have fun in a new country while earning money. To do so, some may even buy their certificates to get there.

ESL in Canada reported that 60% of certificates are fakes. Since 1980, an estimate of 142,000 fake certificates was sold in Asia to native English speakers.

Recruiters like Aeon (Japan), and Maple Bear (Korea) that hire teachers in English speaking countries stipulate a candidate to have their diploma / degree in any subject area and their Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate.

Hired to work in Japan (based on real certification), I was shocked to find out from veteran English teachers that many schools don’t recognize which certificates are fakes because they only do a quick scan to make sure that these teachers hold some kind of certification. Regardless, most teachers opt to teach privately. What this means is that they advertise themselves on English teaching boards online for students find for them.

Teaching English overseas can be lucrative, heck, I paid off my university tuition after working one year in Japan. With privates, you can make up to $40 an hour just to talk to a student at a coffee shop. Perhaps that’s why many teachers stay overseas. In any case, credentials of international English teachers remain a huge problem.


  • Recruiting Teachers Overseas is a big commitment and requires a great deal preparation, if fake certificates are an issue some ones not doing there job ! Here are some tips :

    Applicant Screening:
    • Screening Interview: conduct interviews with each applicant to determine that their character, personality, sense of responsibility and maturity level are appropriate employment with our clients.
    • Document Screening: closely examine each applicant’s resume to ensure that they meet educational and teaching experience requirements specified by our clients.
    • Criminal & Academic Background Check: a required criminal record clearance from all potential candidates, and Academic verification with university and other institutions attended by the candidate.
    • References: confirm employment and character references to verify the employments history and character of our applicants.

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