" YOU SIMPLY MUST HAVE A TEFL CERTIFCATE TO TEACH ESL IN CHINA."
This is a blatant lie freinds. In truth less than 5% of expat teachers in China hold a TEFL certificate. You are told this lie because some unethical agent or recruiter will get paid a 20% commission for selling you an expensive TEFL course.
To be fair however, having a TESOL or CELTA certificate from an accreditted source will score you some extra consideration points when you apply at the top international schools and will help you become a better teacher. But do not delude yourself into thinking that a TEFL certificate will take the place of a 4 year university degree. This TEFL lie has been circulating for the last three years and it was originally started by the onlinetefl.com people in the UK. No matter who tell you this lie, be sure to call them on it and then hang up the phone. Agents who lie to you will also cheat you.
The TEFL lie is just one of the top 3 China ESL lies told to newbies. Here are the other two...
"It's no problem to come work in China on a L, F, M, or X visa and we will convert it for you you to a Z visa once you get here". (100% ILLEGAL!)
" I charge no fees to place you with a teaching job." In realty the recruiter collects up to 50% of your intended salary direcctly from the school who will never tell you what your salary would have been had you applied directly since the Principal will collect a kick-back from the agent/recruiter.