Travel is one of the first topics that many people around the world use to break ice conversationally. This makes sense on a number of levels, from the pure enjoyment of seeing a new place for the very first time, to those bucket list adventures being ticked off with friends or family.
Therefore, as the world eases the restrictions on travel, it is entirely logical to begin thinking about the benefits of travelling once again. For some, it might be nice to simply top up the tan and get away from the daily grind for a few days. However, for others, the pull to work abroad full-time is much stronger, and this is a career choice that can be rewarding on many fronts.
For working abroad, there are a range of jobs that can be done, that utilise the native speaker ability of someone who possesses a strong capability in the English language. With so many millions of English language learners, it absolutely makes sense to consider the upsides of teaching English overseas. Below are just a few of the teaching options available to anyone who wishes to see the world and combine this with a desire to help others in their learning goals.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) online
In today’s digital world, it certainly is worth considering the possibility of teaching TEFL online. The first positive is obvious, as the remote neature of this type of work means it is theoretically possible to work from almost anywhere, provided there is a reliable WiFi connection and limited noise distractions.
Secondly, it also offers freedom to work both locally and remotely, whether that be helping someone who is learning English in France, or a student who is based on the other side of the world. Having an open mind, and a flexible schedule, can really enable a TEFL tutor to support learners from all four corners of the planet, all while getting to see the world for themselves.
A savvy TEFL tutor will also understand how to work within the online timeframe, in order to maximise their tourism time. For example, there are far fewer tourists at the main hotspots during the early morning and late afternoon, so going to explore the sights at these times, and fitting in a few lessons in between during the tourist rush hour, is a great solution for making the most of being abroad.
TEFL in the classroom
One of the more traditional positions that is now coming back into favour is the position of TEFL instructor in the classroom. These can be within a conventional school setting, at almost any age group from primary through to high school. Furthermore, many countries also have university and private academy vacancies, that offer the opportunity to work with either adult learners, or kids whose parents want to give them that little extra push in learning English.
For each TEFL teacher, there is always a balance to be considered, from quality of life, to salary, all the way through to climate and tourism opportunities. For instance, the salary in places like Qatar and the UAE is often quite high, but the weather during the summer months often reaches over 50 degrees Celsius, which is definitely not for everyone.
On the other hand, there are countries like Spain where the climate is typically much more agreeable, but the salary is usually not as high compared to the cost of living as can be found elsewhere. In each case, the TEFL teacher needs to weigh up the pros and cons of each place before settling on a final decision.
TEFL in companies
Nowadays, many global organisations have realised that there is a tremendous amount of value to be hand in ensuring that their employees are at least comfortable in speaking and communicating in English on a day-to-day basis. This has led to the evolution of a new market for TEFL tutors, namely teaching within a business itself.
There are loads of types of organisations that have this kind of set-up in place, from tech companies in Russia, to hotel chains in the Far East. What they all share in common is the main goal of helping their staff to improve upon their English performance, to ensure they remain as competitive as possible in the modern global marketplace.
For the employees themselves, whether they work at Disneyland Paris or another major multinational, the lessons are typically provided to them free of charge, or as an incentive to keep progressing within the company. As a result, they often come in highly motivated and ready to learn, saving a lot of time and effort spent on classroom management, that is often present in other forms of TEFL teaching.
Private TEFL lessons
One final option to consider is the ability to make a little extra side money through teaching TEFL lessons privately. Although this is not the easiest or most reliable way to make a consistent living, it is certainly something that can add short-term finances to the wallet, that may make paying for a day trip or weekend getaway that bit easier.
At schools, this could come in the form of some TEFL guidance to a fellow teacher, who wants to get better with their idiom usage, or a child who is having trouble with the conditional tenses. In the workplace, many employees have their own aspirations of progressing up the career ladder, and an extra class or two could be just the push they need to get them there.
Of course, private teaching is also a wonderful way to get to know the real country, sharing authentic anecdotes and experiences with a local who wants to road test their English on a familiar theme. However, it should be noted that most countries will not sponsor a visa based on private lessons, and thus they should be considered as an opportunity for occasional extra earnings, as opposed to the main bread and butter earnings that will support a full lifestyle abroad.