Nowadays, working options have never been more flexible. In the past, it was much more common to have a job for life, but the rapidly changing world has transformed the working landscape.
This has drastically altered how contemporary citizens can look at the employment marketplace. While it might at first feel like a negative to lose some of the security that comes with staying at one company for over half a century, the flip side is that there are lots of ways to turn this into a positive.
For one thing, having an open mind for differing work opportunities is actually exciting, and means that there are plenty of ways in which to adapt a skill set to modern circumstances. Additionally, it could also be a wonderful way to consider working abroad, and expanding both professional and travel horizons at the same time.
One such sphere where flexibility is paramount is in TEFL, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Below are five options to think about when contemplating a career as a TEFL teacher, as well as some useful hints to get the ball rolling.
Teach TEFL online
With so much of people’s lives already online, it makes sense to think about teaching TEFL online. The first step is to get certified, and this handy guide will lead the way.
Getting a reputable online TEFL certification is the perfect springboard into a TEFL career. This will equip the future TEFL teacher with the tools they need to teach the subject effectively, as well as handling any unexpected questions that students may have along the way.
These could be as simple as teaching the difference between the present simple and the present continuous in grammar, all the way up to differentiating between the minimal pair of words ‘ship’ and ‘sheep’. An effective TEFL tutor will want to get ahead of the game, and be ready to tackle any online classroom issue, and an organised TEFL course is the ideal way to get started.
Teach TEFL to young learners
From the time most people are babies, they are learning to process the world around them. This rate of development is often so quick, many parents feel that it goes by in the blink of an eye.
Therefore, it might be prudent to consider teaching younger learners, who are more likely to be able to take in new information quickly and easily. Many schools and even preschools now have TEFL as a part of their mainstream curriculum, so some adults want to ensure that their little one is ready for the challenge.
These adults could consider private classes with a professional and knowledgeable TEFL expert, who is patient and prepared to guide an infant through some of the basics of English. This might be in the form of play, or simple games that encourage language production.
Work for a TEFL company
Once the new TEFL educator has got their certification, one possible next step is to do some research to find out which online TEFL companies are in the market for a new teacher. There are some positives to starting out with a company, including the prestige of being able to add that company’s name to one’s resume.
Additionally, the administrative teams of these organizations often take care of a lot of the red tape around teaching lessons, such as taking payments, creating calendars, and placing students at the appropriate learning level. This could well be a big weight off the mind of a new TEFL instructor, allowing them to focus more clearly on their lessons and assessment procedures more clearly.
Create a new TEFL company
Alternatively, the more adventurous TEFL teacher might want to think about starting up their own TEFL company. However, this approach does contain an element of risk and reward.
Of course, cutting out all of the other steps in the process inherent in working for a company is likely to mean more of the lesson payment will end up in the TEFL teacher’s own pocket. Owning one’s own business comes with the advantage of setting one’s own lesson prices, as well as using a marketing strategy that really lets the TEFL tutor attract the students they want.
Having said that, there are some downsides to a new TEFL teacher going solo right away. For one thing, it may be difficult to find new students who are willing to take the risk with a TEFL tutor who has no direct experience in the field. Furthermore, there may not be so many students in the beginning, meaning that earnings could be lower to start with.
Teach TEFL in person
Although there are stories where teaching TEFL online can be profitable, there is also an argument to be made for going back to basics and teaching in person too. Once the new TEFL teacher has achieved their certification, going abroad to find a position in the real world could just be the right option for some.
One great possibility right now is Taiwan, located just off the east coast of the Chinese mainland. Taiwan is a hub of technological growth, with an infrastructure network that is second to none.
What is more, Taiwan has found a way to seamlessly blend old and new on their island, enabling a visitor to both step back in time and take a look into the future, all in one day. This makes it an idyllic location for a TEFL tutor to start their career in the classroom, especially as English is a vital language for the island.
Most schools have a dedicated English program, and this feeds into a university system which also appreciates the global importance of study and research in English. On top of that, many companies now have specific TEFL tutors in house, who are paid to ensure that the employees grow and develop in their language learning. In any case, Taiwan is most definitely an up and coming nation in the world of TEFL, and should be on the list of places worth thinking about.