TEFL Jobs and Teaching English | Your Most Googled Questions, Answered!
Looking for a TEFL job but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Don’t worry about trawling through Google for hours, because we’ve answered all your questions about TEFL jobs.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in 2020, you will surely have seen the online frenzy about the world of TEFL and the opportunities to work online and abroad. TEFL jobs have recently become one of the most popular ways for people to make money in the midst of a pandemic. And it is showing no signs of slowing down as we approach 2021.
Teaching English is one of the most in-demand job opportunities out there. And thousands of teachers have reaped the rewards of its popularity. So studying for a TEFL qualification is a good way to test the waters to see if teaching English is for you.
What exactly is TEFL?
The acronym TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. When people talk about TEFL, this refers to a world of English teaching where learners are not native speakers of English.
The field of TEFL also represents one of the fastest-growing educational fields in the world. There are thousands of English language teachers working across the globe and online. The opportunities are limitless. There are also more people across the world learning English as a second language than there are native speakers of English. This means the current demand for TEFL teachers is huge and unprecedented.
Completing an internationally recognized and accredited TEFL course will give you the appropriate training to be a TEFL teacher anywhere in the world and it will teach you how to plan and deliver well structured English lessons to any student of any ability. But first of all, you need to look for the right TEFL course for you.
So, what should I look for in a TEFL course?
In a saturated market of TEFL companies and courses, it’s important to look for the course that’s right for you. When looking for the perfect TEFL course, you should start by looking at the 3 A’s: accreditation, affordability, and accessibility.
The first thing to look out for is accreditation. External validation is important, and in the UK, a course accredited by Ofqual is usually a good start. But be sure to keep an eye out for cheap courses that claim to be internationally recognized and accredited. The TEFL industry is notoriously known for its lack of regulation, so scam companies will try to take your money and leave you with a virtually useless certificate.
Next, how much can you afford to spend on a TEFL course? In-person courses tend to be more expensive, and the popularity of online courses has risen over the past year. They are often much more flexible and cost-effective for many aspiring TEFL teachers.
Lastly, how quickly do you want to become TEFL qualified? You have the option of in-person learning or an online course, so you need to decide which is more appropriate for you. At this moment in time, many people are leaning towards online TEFL courses because of their flexibility.
Who can do a TEFL course?
One of the most common questions about TEFL courses and jobs is “who can do it”? The short answer is “anyone”! Most providers will need you to be at least 18 years of age, but other than that, there aren’t a lot of restrictions. However, just because anyone can do a TEFL course doesn’t mean that everyone is suitable for one.
To take a TEFL course, you must be enthusiastic, motivated, and ready to learn. TEFL courses are not a walk in the park, and taking a course requires complete commitment from you. This means you must be willing and prepared to set aside some time to complete the course properly.
If you have no desire to learn and just want to get through it as quickly as possible, then you will struggle and find it boring. With the right attitude, you will gain the skills needed to be a great TEFL teacher and you will have an unending list of opportunities both at home and abroad.
Can I do a TEFL course online?
With the growing prevalence of online education, one question that frequently comes up is whether it is possible to study for a TEFL course online without sacrificing quality. The answer is yes – as long as your TEFL course is accredited and internationally recognized.
Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that online TEFL courses are not as good as in-person courses. In reality, it is quite the opposite. Online courses are perfect if you want to save money and learn in your own time, or if you cannot commit to in-person classes.
And luckily for you, it doesn’t really make a huge difference to employers whether you have studied in-person or online. When you start looking for TEFL jobs, you will find that one of the most common questions from potential employers is whether or not you have a TEFL certification. And most employers will require that you have a minimum of a 120-hour TEFL certificate.
Is teaching English a real job?
Teaching English as a foreign language has often been seen as a temporary job stint rather than a long-term career. But in the last few months, more and more people have reaped the rewards of English teaching both abroad and online. Yes, it can be a decent side-hustle if you want to earn a little extra money on the side. But it is totally viable to do it as a full-time job and career too.
When people think of teaching English, they often envisage themselves teaching young children their ABC’s. However, this is not the only type of educational opportunity for TEFL teachers. There are also business English classes with adults and classes for those who need to improve their language skills for their jobs, meaning you are not limited to just one age group or job type.
The reality is that it really is what you make of it. If you are in it for the short-haul, then it’s possible to earn a bit of extra money on the side. But if you invest in yourself and your skills then it is possible you could do this kind of job for the rest of your life.
Where can I go with TEFL?
Teaching English abroad has always provided a great opportunity to travel, meet new people, see the world, and learn about other cultures. With that being said, it’s not uncommon for teachers to teach abroad for a year or two before returning home. This means the TEFL job market always has fresh opportunities and needs teachers.
The demand for qualified teachers has always been high, and it has become even more important over the last few months. No matter the economical situation in the world, education always tends to be a priority. In 2020, it has become even more important.
If you want to teach abroad with a TEFL qualification, the opportunities are endless. Once you are TEFL qualified, you can teach anywhere in the world where English isn’t spoken as a first language. It means you will be able to find TEFL jobs in almost any country.
Can I teach online with a TEFL qualification?
As an online English teacher, you really do have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. So that could be at home in your pajamas or on a hammock in South America. All you need is a good WiFi connection and a recognized TEFL qualification to get yourself started.
So not only could you teach online from the comfort of your own home, but you could also become a digital nomad as the world opens up again over the next few months.
However, if you are content to work online, don’t forget how you can bring the rest of the world to you, albeit virtually. Meeting people from all over the world when teaching is wonderful. So this means you can travel without even leaving your own home. And even if you have your own life commitments, you are still able to set your own hours and fit classes around your own schedule.
Do I need to speak a second language to teach English?
This is usually one of the most common questions for beginner TEFL teachers looking for jobs. But you absolutely do not need to know a second language to be able to teach English. One of the most important things to remember is that the likelihood of your students being complete beginners is very low. Most of them will have had some sort of exposure to the English language/ This makes your job a lot easier to navigate.
Teaching English is an immersive experience for you and your students, despite the challenges you might have at the beginning. In fact, many employers may want you to speak only in English when teaching. This pushes your students to be active participants in the class and their learning experience is more authentic, especially if you are a native speaker.
Do I need to be a native speaker to teach English?
This is one of the most common questions asked about TEFL jobs and a myth that can be debunked quickly. Firstly, as a non-native speaker of English, you have been in the students’ shoes before. You have first-hand knowledge of learning English as a second language. This means that you would be able to relate to your students.
As a bilingual teacher, you have so much to offer your students. Many non-native speakers feel that they are at a disadvantage because they may not necessarily have the same skills as a native speaker. However, non-native speakers have had to learn English from scratch having already learned their mother tongue language. This can often give them an advantage when explaining things like grammar. Native speakers may not have this skill, having learned the language intuitively from birth. That’s why being a non-native speaker is not considered a barrier to teaching English.
How much can I earn?
This is often one of the questions about TEFL jobs that people want the answer for, but they are too afraid of asking. So here is the real answer. When it comes to teaching English, wages and salaries vary depending on experience and qualifications.
Try to think of English teaching like any other industry and visualize a pay scale based on these factors. In simple terms, the more qualified you are, and the more experience you have, the more money you could earn. Teachers with no qualifications and little to no experience will probably start off on the lower end of the pay scale. This is why it is a good idea to invest in getting TEFL qualified.
Many teachers will choose to work for an online teaching platform. But others will opt for a more flexible freelance role. If you work with a company, you are likely to go by their pay scales. But if you have your own private clients, then you will be able to set your own rates. This means not having to pay commissions. So, you could easily make up to £20 an hour.
There are a lot of things to consider before deciding if teaching English is right for you. And now that you have the answers to all of your burning TEFL questions, you should be ready to kickstart your English teaching journey.
It really is what you make of it. So, if you are motivated and determined, then you are sure to make a fantastic English teacher. The journey of a lifetime for you starts with the smallest of steps. So, don’t miss out on one of the most exciting opportunities you could ever have.