Teaching English as a foreign language, also known as TEFL or EFL, is one of the best ways for expats to travel the world and experience life in many different nations. If you have itchy feel and you want to travel, but you want to pay your way whilst doing so and you want to see more of a country than just its airports and main tourism sights, teaching English as a foreign language to international students could be your passport to the adventures you’re looking for.
There are many schools, colleges and education boards all offering TEFL qualifications – but the best are certainly those externally validated by an official body such as the University of Cambridge, Trinity College London or SIT Graduate Institute to name but three examples. Armed with your qualifications and locally sought experience though, where are the best EFL teaching opportunities abroad?
After all, if you want to make a decent living and a good career out of your new teaching English as a second or foreign language qualifications, you need to know where your skills are really in demand. Fortunately a new survey reveals where in the world English teachers are really needed and wanted.
Is TEFL for You?
If you’ve never thought about teaching as a career choice and yet English is your mother tongue, you want to travel the world but you’re not sure how to pay your way, then getting into TEFL could be the right choice for you.
You don’t necessarily have to sit in a formal classroom environment all day long, you’re certainly not confined to teaching children in a school environment, and your skills and qualifications can make you very employable all over the world.
You’re just as likely to come across a job teaching English to businessmen as you are to finding one teaching English to school age children, and when you’re qualified and experienced, you could even consider setting up your own classes and inviting people from many different backgrounds and all different ages to attend.
Where to Start Researching TEFL Courses
There are many forums and platforms, websites and articles dedicated to TEFL and the EFL travelling lifestyle of expat teachers – so if you are interested the Internet is the best place to begin your research…
Remember that there are also many course offered from institutions globally to enable you to train and qualify. However, you need to ensure you train with a reputable organisation, that your qualifications are awarded by an external and respected institution, and that you gain the highest skills possible in what is a competitive career arena.
Where Are the Best EFL Teaching Opportunities Abroad?
Before you perhaps get to the point where you’re ready to sign up and skill up, we understand that you really need to know where your future skills will be in demand and really required.
Well, English First, the world’s largest private education company that specialises in language training, educational tours and cultural exchange, has commissioned an in depth study to determine where EFL teachers are most in demand around the world.
Following their review of over 2.3 million adults living in 44 countries they have revealed that Russia, Turkey and South America are really lacking in English skills – highlighting where you could perhaps best put your TEFL qualifications to good work. Additionally, China and India are shown to be lagging behind in terms of skilling up their citizens with the language abilities required to compete on a global business platform.
Interestingly the study also found a strong relationship between income levels and the level of English proficiency on a nation-by-nation basis – but this works in two ways. Of course the wealthier nations have more money to spend on education, which results in better English training for students from a very young age - in turn this results in more economic opportunities on a global level, and so the positive cycle continues.
However, for poorer nations to be able to have such opportunities they know they need to invest more in training and education – which is why there really are so many opportunities for well-qualified and skilled teachers.
Nations such as China, India and Russia are crying out for English teachers, and are leading the way in terms of recruitment and opportunities.
If you want to learn more, consider speaking to others who are already working abroad and enjoying the expat lifestyle thanks to their TEFL qualifications and experience – reach out via forums as a good starting point.