Yes you can. Fluency in Thai is not a prerequisite for teaching English in Thailand. Even if they have command of the Thai language, most ESL teachers in language institutions across Thailand are not expected to communicate in Thai during classroom instruction.
Is there a need for English teachers in Thailand?
Generally speaking, there is a substantial demand for English teachers across the country. The desire to learn English in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries is at an all-time high, hence the increased demand for ESL teachers in these regions.
The flourishing economy means that more Thais can now afford to invest in English education. This opens up a plethora of opportunities for ESL teachers, especially those holding certifications like TEFL or TESOL.
The majority of schools now prefer ESL teachers who are ready to commit for a minimum of six months to a year, rather than temporary teachers who stay for only a couple of months before leaving. The demand is particularly high in metropolitan areas like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, as well as popular tourist resorts such as Phuket.
Private language schools also offer numerous opportunities. These institutions primarily serve working professionals and students aiming to enhance their English skills for business and travel purposes.
Also read: Where should I teach English in Thailand?
What are the requirements for teaching English in Thailand?
A degree is a fundamental requirement to teach English in Thailand. Though not officially required, an accredited TESOL certification is also essential to secure a job in the highly competitive Thai ESL market. A Master's degree is obligatory if you want to teach in a university, with an education degree providing an added advantage.
Possessing a TESOL certificate not only bolsters your likelihood of landing an ESL teaching job in Thailand, but it also offers leverage for negotiating a better remuneration package. A TESOL certification gives you an edge amidst the numerous teachers vying for English teaching positions in Thailand.
Unlike Cambodia or Laos, where a four-year degree isn't a necessity for teaching, a bachelor's degree is mandatory to qualify for a work visa in Thailand. English teachers are also required to present a clean criminal record. Furthermore, teachers from countries where English is a second language must attain a minimum score of 600 on the TOEIC exam or the IELTS.