Good morning (it's early in the UK...),

I was wondering if anyone here had experience with teaching English abroad without being a native of an English speaking country?

I'm Swedish with work-experience in both South Korea (bartending whilst studying at SNU) and am currently working a Software Engineering job in England.

I'm fluent in English, Swedish and know myself around Japanese, Korean and French as well as having some elementary Farsi.

  • Could you clarify what it is that you wanted to know?
    – adipro
    Apr 19, 2016 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


In Japan, being a "native speaker" is required to obtain Instructor status, which is necessary to teach foreign languages in elementary, junior high and high schools. Technically, what is required is that you have received at least 12 years of education entirely in the language you want to teach (and not just language classes).

No such requirement exists for teaching at any other place (yes, including universities). Of course, this is only the requirements set by immigration, employers may and do set additional requirements to hire you. The only non-native English speaker I know who is teaching English in Japan has several English teaching certifications, and is teaching at a preschool, which is probably not for everyone.

There are many websites such as GaijinPot where job ads aimed at foreigners are listed, with most of them unsurprisingly being for English teaching, so you can have a look to see what employers normally demand.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.