One great example of a career choice that can really enable growth and consequently financial prosperity is to become a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher. Read on to find out more about the many benefits of this vocation, as well as some useful tips on how to get started in this field.
What is TEFL?
TEFL is the teaching of English as a foreign language. A new guide from the researchers at the tefl org has shown just how in demand this sector truly is, and how most nations around the world are calling for more and more TEFL teachers to assist them in educating their citizens.
A typical TEFL lesson used to take place solely in a conventional classroom environment, with a teacher standing at the front and students listening to the content along the way. However, modern technology has evolved to such an extent that many TEFL sessions are now taught online, meaning both TEFL teacher and learners are able to connect with one another from virtually anywhere on the planet.
Also, whereas previous sessions would more than likely have focused primarily on the fundamentals of grammar and some core vocabulary terms, these days the lessons can be much more varied, and range from topics as diverse as diversity and nursing, or even video games or restaurant etiquette.
What does a TEFL teacher need to get started?
Before commencing this rewarding job, it is pretty much essential to get a reputable and reliable TEFL certification to make sure that the chances of landing a prime position quickly are as high as possible. For one thing, a lot of countries actually do require a bona fide certificate of some kind as part of their own visa application processes, so applicants without one would then have to go to the trouble of getting one anyways.
What’s more, the courses are organised and run by a team of expert TEFL professionals, who are more than happy to share their wealth of knowledge and knowhow with new TEFL teachers. This provides the best platform for understanding the world of TEFL, and also to be able to ask any and all questions that might be connected with entering this domain.
Additionally, the program provides a great refresher course on the ins and outs of the English language, from how and when to use reported speech in grammar, through to some of the key differences between certain language items in British and American English. For instance, TEFL students who are huge football fans may be aided in showing off their language knowledge on their favourite team Glasgow Rangers, as well as all of the antonyms (or opposite words) that display their lack of support for Celtic, who play across the city.
Last but not least, the qualification is a wonderful way of making new friends, sharing thoughts and experiences before, during and after the program. Not only could these new buddies give moral and emotional support on the course itself, but they also become friends to share the world of TEFL teaching with, long into the future.
Where is a good place to teach TEFL right now?
One fantastic place to contemplate teaching TEFL - with that all-important TEFL certificate completed - is Japan. Japan is situated close enough to several other nations in the area to enable sightseeing, yet with a hugely rich and varied history and culture all of its own that merit consideration by itself.
For those who love the hustle and bustle of a big city, the capital city of Tokyo seems to be an excellent place to begin. With their love of the very latest cutting-edge technology, and a cosmopolitan attitude towards many features of contemporary living, this is a natural starting point for many who are new to TEFL teaching.
By contrast, smaller and less populated regions closer to the Satsuma peninsula may be preferable to those who enjoy a more calm and sedentary pace of life. With a more relaxed attitude overall in these areas, a more seasoned TEFL teacher could find that this allows them to find their niche more precisely, whether that be teaching at a kindergarten level, or working with older kids or even adults in a business type of setting.
On top of that, the whole nation of Japan is a nod to the contrast between traditional and modern. A lot of the inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun practice a religion called Shinto, which takes many of the elements of the more well-known religion Buddhism, and adapts them to represent many of the core values of Japanese life.
One legacy of this is that it is easy to find a quiet area, even in a crowded metropolis. For example, there are a plethora of parks and gardens dedicated to peaceful reflection and meditation, even in massive cities such as Kyoto or Hiroshima.
What are the financial benefits of teaching TEFL abroad?
Whether in Japan or elsewhere, there are a host of economic advantages to teaching TEFL overseas. One of these is that the salary rates are often high enough to support a comfortable form of living in most places, especially in a continent like Asia, where the cost of living tends to be rather lower than in some higher-tax locations of the planet.
Moreover, beyond the initial expense of a TEFL course, which is still quite modest compared to many other professional qualifications, the professional development of a TEFL teacher takes place a lot of the time in-house at a school or training academy. In other words, these educational institutions are the ones footing the bill for advancement in skills and abilities beyond the training phase, in most cases. So, overall, there are lots of monetary reasons why becoming a TEFL teacher in another country is the right choice.