No, TESOL certificates are valid for life, they do not expire. As soon as you complete your online or in-class training course you can use your certificate to find a teaching job, or you can keep it until you are ready to look for work in the future. A TESOL certificate is a very versatile qualification as it can be used to gain employment at any time, in any country worldwide.
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Although your initial TESOL qualification is valid for life, it is still a good idea to continue your development as an English language teacher as you progress through your career. Specialized courses such as the certificate in teaching business English (CTBE) and the certificate in teaching English to young learners (CTEYL) will expand your knowledge of these specific areas of teaching and lead to improvements in your overall classroom ability. Also, an advanced level course such as the TESOL Diploma will take your qualifications and teaching skills to the next level and open up a range of job opportunities that you might otherwise find difficult to access.
Your initial TESOL training course will cover many important areas of teaching including lesson planning, classroom management and correction techniques. You will also learn about English grammar and phonology, two vital areas of knowledge for any English language teacher. Much of this content will remain fresh in your memory, however, if you spend a while away from teaching you might find that you lose some of this essential knowledge. In this scenario, a TESOL refresher course might well be a good idea. By ensuring your skills and knowledge are up-to-date, you will start any new teaching job with confidence in your own ability and be able to provide your students with the level of instruction that they deserve.