The last few years have seen many changes in the way people interact, work and learn. One of these impacts has been a big increase in the way the internet is used for day-to-day activities, such as shopping, planning trips and communicating with friends across the globe.
This adaptation has led to an even greater demand for learning English, as the English language dominates the online sphere. As a result, the number of TEFL (or Teaching English as a Foreign Language) learners has grown apace in recent times.
This provides an opportunity for an aspiring TEFL teacher to find their niche and teach English to a wide range of learning ages and styles. However, it can be difficult to know where to even start thinking about even beginning such an adventure, so below are some handy tips to help any TEFL tutor make their move today.
While many of us have never published a study on the pros and cons of moving abroad, it seems fairly obvious that a country with one of the two largest populations on the planet (besides India) will provide a massive amount of opportunities to teach English. First of all, most major cities have now instituted the teaching of English as a core part of the curriculum from an early age, so there are literally thousands of primary, middle or secondary school options to choose from.
Secondly, as a thriving and successful business manufacturing nation, the Chinese have close links with trading partners from around the world, meaning that adults who did not get the chance to learn TEFL growing up now realise the importance of having at least a working knowledge of English to speak with clients. Thirdly, because so much of the digital realm is written in English, the language provides a pathway for learners of any age to navigate their way around and function there, so TEFL is a key cog for people of all ages in this country.
Located almost on the doorstep of the UK, Spain offers a smoother and more predictable entry point into the life of becoming a TEFL teacher. For those setting out on this journey, the Spanish culture provides an easy-going, laid-back approach to life, combined with an ability to enjoy a good fiesta when the time is right.
For a more experienced TEFL instructor who might be considering the possibility of starting their own business, going to Spain also makes a lot of sense. This is because the conditions of living are relatively similar, and there are often a lot of expatriates who can form a sort of community to ease the pains of moving away from loved ones.
In terms of teaching, a lot of schools and academies often offer a split day with a nice long afternoon lunch and siesta, bookended by some work in the mornings and late afternoons or evenings. This approach to TEFL also provides ample time in that period to refine lesson plans, take a breather and recharge the batteries before going again in the later session.
Located at the heart of the Persian Gulf, Qatar is a country that is going places in the TEFL world. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup just around the corner, it is no surprise that Qatar is regarded as the place to be right now.
For a TEFL teacher, there are an array of teaching positions available, suitable for the new TEFL tutor all the way through to those thinking of making a more permanent move. For starters, the climate in winter is simply wonderful, with a nice steady heat of between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.
In addition, beyond the obvious football link, there are also top sporting events in the fields of swimming, tennis and golf, among many others to savour. On top of that, as most schools in the country are private, this often leads to a chance to top up the day job income by teaching an extra class or two on the side, to help a student keep up or make that extra leap in their learning.
For many years, Latin America has been emerging as a growth area in the world of TEFL, and it is not difficult to see why. There are millions of learners just ready to take the next step in their TEFL career, alongside a culture of tradition and mystery that appeals to so many.
From the Amazon rainforest, to the golden sandy beach at Ipanema, not to mention the awe-inspiring Christ the Redeemer statue, Brazil is chock full of incredible moments for any tourist to marvel at. This tourism interest is a major driving force in the Brazilian economy, and explains why so many people love to visit.
This creates its own opportunities for the TEFL teacher to tap into this growing TEFL market. Brazil has a population that has really grown in recent years, not just in terms of size but also in relation to wanting to learn English. Many Brazilians have friends and family in the English speaking world, especially in clusters of the United States like Connecticut, where Brazilian Portuguese is usually the second language spoken besides English.
Back in Europe, though right at the pivot point of Asia and Africa, Cyprus is a small island nation with a rich and complex history. In fact, even today the island is divided into a Greek half and Turkish half, making the capital city of Nicosia hugely rich in terms of cultural diversity. However, while many countries still have travel restrictions, Cyprus takes a much more reasonable attitude to this, requiring only a negative COVID-19 test result before entering.
There are of course plenty of schools and private academies across the island that provide plenty of working opportunities, but another benefit of being in Cyprus is the relatively low cost of living. This means that working from home becomes an option.
Being a TEFL teacher is not as daunting or as difficult as it sounds, and with a little bit of research into the topic, one should be able to find an online platform that works well for their particular working and teaching style.