Want to travel the world and teach kids English? This guide will show you how to become an English teacher abroad after college!
For some students, the easy part of college seems to be getting the actual university degree. The reality is that the hard work often starts afterwards, especially when it comes to finding a job out in the big wide world.
Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of becoming a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher. This career is exciting and rewarding on a number of levels, and is a wonderful way to transition from the rigors of college into the world of work.
What’s more, being a TEFL teacher provides a fantastic platform to consider time working abroad. This allows the new TEFL tutor to combine work and travel, getting paid all the while.
Right now is an optimal moment to start a TEFL teaching career, with travel restrictions being lifted globally, and more governments and educational boards keen to expand English proficiency.
So, read on to find out some of the answers to the most commonly asked questions about TEFL, as well as some inside tips on how to make a great impression as a TEFL educator.
What is TEFL?
Put simply, TEFL is the act of teaching English as a foreign language . These can range from beginners, all the way up to more advanced learners, and each group has their own unique and specific language learning needs.
For instance, a complete newcomer to English might need help with the very basics of vocabulary, such as learning the letters of the alphabet or some of the fundamentals of – for example – a restaurant interaction.
By contrast, students who have spent longer with English may have more complicated concerns, like when to use which kind of modal verb, or how to get their heads around irregular verb formations.
In any case, a TEFL teacher needs a quality TEFL certification. Whether weighing up the advantages of teach English in Germany, or any other country for that matter, having a verifiable qualification in hand is likely to be extremely enticing to employers, making the TEFL instructor much more likely to land a job quickly.
What Makes an Interesting TEFL Lesson?
There are a litany of ways to make TEFL lessons engaging and valuable.
For one, some students love to learn more about cultural aspects such as food, whereas others prefer to focus on the nuts and bolts of grammar and syntax more explicitly.
Another important variable can be the class size. For instance, teaching an individual student online is likely to be totally different than working with a class of 30 kids in person.
Age is yet another variable to throw into the equation. Young children often learn more effectively through games and fun, while adults may wish to have a more concrete and tangible lesson objective to work through.
In any case, reading the room is a massive component of the success of a TEFL lesson, as well as good planning and a flexible attitude towards the growth targets of the pupils.
Preparing a plan for a lesson with kindergartners about the weather will probably be completely different to a class about how to write an effective college research paper.
Furthermore, classroom games can work with almost any age and English language level, as they add fun to learning while providing a useful way to engage learners.
Also, modern technology has allowed different types of media, from slideshow presentations to online video tutorials to be used in class.
What Do Students Expect From Their TEFL Teacher?
Students have a right to anticipate a TEFL educator who is passionate about what they do.
This could come in the form of sharing stories about their favorite pets, or even opening up about the differences between life back home and day to day living in the country where they are teaching TEFL.
Learners also hope to hear honest yet constructive feedback about their learning process.
In order for them to make the most efficient strides towards their learning goals, the TEFL tutor needs to be able to explain what is missing from their current English language knowledge, and give them advice on how to get there.
This is often best done in the privacy of an individual meeting, as opposed to in front of classmates or peers.
In this way, the student can be safe in the knowledge that the feedback is individualized and personal, and is solely designed to assist them in making gains in English.
Pupils could also ask their TEFL teacher to be interested in the things that interest them.
This might come in the form of listening to some of the music they like, or by getting involved in a class debate over who is the best sports team at the time.
How Can a TEFL Teacher Find Opportunities to Teach English?
For a TEFL teacher, it is possible to find TEFL work both online and in person.
This is, of course, subjective, but there are definite advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. For in-person instruction, this has been a method that has been in the TEFL domain for decades, so it is an approach that a lot of TEFL teachers are comfortable with.
That’s because they typically grew up with in-person instruction themselves, so they understand the fundamentals of such an approach.
On top of that, there is nothing quite like the buzz of having an engaged classroom firing on all cylinders.
This can come from something as simple as figuring out the correct way to pronounce the days of the week, or an idea much more complex, for example how to differentiate between the simple and continuous tenses in grammar.
On the other hand, the technological advancements that have taken place in recent years lend themselves extremely well to teaching TEFL online.
This could be especially useful to high flying students who maybe are progressing more quickly through the academic system than others, or for learners who simply feel more at ease behind the comfort of a computer screen.
Fortunately, working online as a TEFL tutor is something that can be done remotely, from pretty much anywhere on the planet.
So, it is possible to work abroad full time as a English teacher in person, while simultaneously topping up the experience and bank balance with a few extra sessions online.
What Else Might a TEFL Teacher Need to Get Started?
For a TEFL English teacher working online, then it makes sense to invest in some good technology.
A decent laptop or computer, a quality internet connection, and a high level webcam and microphone would all work well.
For a classroom TEFL teacher, then it might be worthwhile to pay attention to what other colleagues do to make sure their classes run smoothly.
Some take the time to set up motivational rewards systems to keep their students on track, while others may subscribe to a music platform that allows their learners to listen to some calming sounds as they work.
Hopefully you’ve understood how to become an English teacher abroad after college!
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!