Wouldn’t it be cool to travel the world and get paid for it?
It may seem like a far-fetched dream, but this is the reality of a TEFL teacher’s life. Basically, you get paid to teach English abroad.
As English is a global language, there is a demand for it in almost every part of the world. And where there is demand, there are jobs.
English is a tool that will open doors for many people, provide them with opportunities they could not have access to before, and as an English language teacher, you are the one who facilitates and supports this process.
Being an English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) teacher is an exchange: The door to the world is open to you to go out and explore, and in return you do the same for others by removing the English language barrier.
So how did it start? Keep reading to find out!
Here are our tips for teaching English abroad
1. DISCOVER A LOCATION
First and foremost, you have to narrow down your options. Having the whole world at your disposal can be overwhelming.
The sooner you can identify a general part of the world in which you would prefer to start, the sooner you will know what the process should be to set up as an English teacher.
For teachers based in Europe wishing to visit the rest of the continent, this is usually a much simpler process. You can place sensors for English Assistant programs across Europe, as with Meddeas, to get started, then choose whichever you feel is most appropriate.
Home will always be a short trip away, as with other European countries, giving you the perfect balance between travel and family time during the holidays.
For those who have the heart to travel further afield, platforms like Teachaway are the lifeblood of TEFL teachers, providing current listings of job opportunities, requirements and application deadlines at different schools around the world.
The process of arranging a work visa and organizing flights is usually done with the support of schools, and many of them also offer travel stipends to cover the costs of their teacher’s trips.
All that is left for you is to fine-tune the culture to avoid making any cultural mistakes upon arrival.
2. Do your research About what it takes to teach English abroad
Many schools require TEFL teachers to have a college degreeTeaching English abroad is often attractive to university graduates as an exciting opportunity to gain some life experience.
For this reason, your professors no doubt know a couple of students who are either currently working in this field, or who have worked in it for a while. Use this and ask them to contact these people to see if they are willing to answer any of your annoying questions about what to expect.
In the event that you don’t know any TEFL teachers or don’t have connections to anyone who knows someone you can ask, LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with people in the industry. With the click of a button, you can connect with various teachers to ask for their input on your questions or concerns.
For those who don’t feel open minded, blogs like the ones you can find written by The TEFL Org should cover just about every query you might have.
3. Learn the local language Where are you going to teach
The best way to delve into another culture is to start learning the local language.
Teachers of English as a foreign language often find themselves in an English-speaking bubble in the work environment. For those who want to expand their social circles and truly feel like a local when traveling, Getting to know a basic level of a native language can lead to making new friends, as well as making everyday life go more smoothly.
There is nothing like being able to order something in a restaurant in another language to give you that sense of independence and belonging at the same time.
Learning the language will not only help you feel settled, but will also give you new insight into how your students feel when learning English as a foreign language.
You will be able to empathize more with the anxiety they may feel when speaking, but also understand better the common mistakes your students make for translating their language into yours when trying to speak. Understanding these errors means that you will be able to make comparisons of how certain things are expressed in English differently from their language, which will ultimately make you more knowledgeable as a TEFL teacher.
4. Share your experiences To teach English abroad
Once you become an experienced teacher, the best way to move on to new adventures in different parts of the world is to talk to other TEFL teachers about where they have learned and learned.
Right out of the horse’s mouth is where you’ll get the most honest and useful information about where you absolutely should check and, most importantly, where not to go.
Your fellow TEFL teachers have no ulterior motives. They go on their own journeys, and you help them as much as they help you to continue to do so in the best and most informed way possible.
Going back to the beginning of your journey where you researched and read other teachers’ blogs, once you’ve gained some of your own experience, there’s no reason not to share your tips and tricks to inspire and help others by starting your own blog. The industry is constantly evolving, and new resources are always being developed, but Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) has always been a community of people willing to share ideas and help each other.
You can also share some articles on how to get experience like volunteering. Go this step forward to keep the content cycle of TEFL teachers scattered around the world in motion.
You all share the same passion: travel.
With these four key steps now under your belt, the final part of the process is becoming qualified. Earning a TEFL certification is your ticket to the first of many adventures you will have as a TEFL teacher.
TEFL companies will support you with all the information and resources you need to join the industry, then the rest will be up to you.
Whether it’s a 2-hour or 16-hour flight, the beauty of teaching English abroad is that you decide where in the world it takes you.