How to,  Living Abroad

What Type of TEFL Teaching Job is Right for Me?

Today we are taking a break from our regular content to share a guest post all about teaching English abroad with the TEFL teaching Certification. The author, Naomi from tefl.org previously taught English as an English Language Assistant in France. She loves reading travel blogs and traveling herself whenever she can.

Being a TEFL Teacher

One of the best things about being TEFL qualified is all the flexibility you have in choosing how, where, and when you work as an English teacher. From teaching English in your dream destination far away from home, to offering online English classes from the comfort of your home, there are plenty of options to suit you.

Opportunities aren’t limited to only those with a degree or native English speakers, you just have to do your research to find out where you’re eligible to teach. Employer and visa requirements can vary, so it’s really important that you do so to avoid disappointment.

What Type of TEFL Teaching Job is Right for MeWorking out what you prioritise and hope to gain from your teaching experience is the first step in deciding which type of TEFL job is right for you. Do you want to choose when and how long you work? Or do you prefer a structured working day with a set salary? Would you prefer to teach adults or kids? Do you want to work in a traditional classroom, or would you prefer less formality?

Below we discuss the most common ways to TEFL. Hopefully this will provide some clarity and help you make a decision about what’s right for you.

Teach abroad in a school

Teaching English in the classroom is the traditional option, but by no means the boring one. It’s one of the most popular TEFL choices for a reason! Witnessing your students’ progress in person will give you a feeling of pride that’s hard to beat.

Certified TEFL teachers have the luxury of being able to work all over the world. Your contract is often renewed on a yearly basis, meaning you can work in as many different destinations as you like over the span of your career. Teaching abroad for this length of time (or more) gives you the chance to become a part of the community, meet friends for life and experience the culture in a way that’s only possible when you’ve spent a substantial amount of time in a country. In Spain they offer CIEE programs to teach English.

Work with kids in primary, middle or secondary school and organise interactive classroom games to put a fun spin on language learning! Or perhaps you’d be suited to working at a language school offering lessons to people of all ages outside of the typical working hours.

Work remotely by teaching online

Gone are the days of having to move abroad or work in a classroom to use your TEFL qualification. Rapid developments in technology have led the TEFL market to diversify and expand. Meaning that if you want to pursue a career without leaving the house, it’s possible.

Or maybe you do want to travel the world but don’t want to be tied to one location? Well, working remotely allows you this luxury. Apply to work via one of the many established online teaching companies and carry out lessons from anywhere in the world – all you need is a quiet space and a decent internet connection.

What Type of TEFL Teaching Job is Right for MeOnce you build up a strong reputation online, you’ll be able to generate a steady income. If you decide to teach with an online teaching company (which is recommended for first-time TEFL teachers), your lessons will be a fixed fee. However, the company will allow you to arrange your schedule and many even provide lesson plans. Once you’ve built up your profile as an online English teacher, your knowledge and experience will put you in a better position to go freelance, choose your fees and be in complete control of your own schedule.

Those who teach English online are given the option to choose where and when they work, so that your career fits in with your personal life, rather than the other way around.

Teach Business English

Many internationally operating businesses will need employees with the knowledge and vocabulary to conduct business in English. English is often considered the language of the business world, so it’s unsurprising that there’s a market for this tailored approach to teaching English.

You might already have a background in business and it makes sense to move into this area. However, it’s worth remembering that it can be challenging to start as an entry-level teacher. Many employers will look for you to have experience teaching adults, and potentially experience working in a business environment. Teaching Business English online can help you get this experience employers are looking for.

If you plan to teach Business English, you’ll need the skills and knowledge to utilise not only business terms but also the professional language for interactions over the phone, emails, and general conversation in the workplace.

Work at an English language summer camp

A great option for newly-qualified TEFL teachers is to work at an English language summer camp. You’ll gain experience and earn some money at the same time – all without committing to a long contract. You’ll be able to put your newly-acquired teaching skills to the test.

Working at an English language summer camp is an ideal way to find out what you’re suited to and if you want to commit to a longer period teaching abroad. It’s also an ideal choice for students who are thinking about pursuing a TEFL career after their studies.

What Type of TEFL Teaching Job is Right for MeVolunteer

If you choose to volunteer with your TEFL qualification, you can be sure that you’re putting your hard work to good use. Not only will you help make a difference in communities with limited English language resources, you’ll gain invaluable work experience too, all while being immersed in a new culture.

If you can afford to spend time volunteering, it’s a very worthwhile use of your time. Volunteering will teach you transferable skills that will put you at an advantage when applying for more competitive jobs in the future.

However you decide to teach English, knowing that you’ve got plenty of options and flexibility means that your career never has to feel like it’s standing still. Explore the options available and be the best characteristic as an TEFL teacher you can be.

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