A new decade is on its way and (if you ask us) it’s the perfect time to TEFL. Everyone has their own reasons for getting into TEFL – some are looking for a career change or the opportunity to travel, others simply love teaching and the English language.
We could go on and on about the benefits of teaching English as a foreign language, but we’ve narrowed it down to 5 of the top reasons to TEFL in 2020. Keep reading to get inspired!
Learn new skills
TEFL is a great way to expand your skillset. A TEFL course will delve into the ins and outs of the language you speak fluently – and if you’re a native English speaker then you might be surprised at how much you’ll learn about your own grammar! The course will equip you with the skills you need to start teaching English for the first time, but it’s only the beginning. Teachers are always learning, so if you’re looking for a career that keeps you on your toes and forces you to continually develop then TEFL is perfect for you.
By teaching English you’ll pick up a range of transferable skills sought after by all sorts of employers. As a teacher you’ll develop great communication skills, leadership, impeccable organisation and time management, the ability to solve problems, strong interpersonal skills, and so much more.
What’s more, if you’re teaching English abroad it’s the perfect opportunity to pick up a new language. While it’s not a requirement for the job, living and working in a foreign country makes it so much easier to learn a language. Some employers will actually offer teachers language classes as a perk!
There are so many opportunities
Every year we talk about the increased demand for EFL teachers – and it’s true! In 2020, the British Council has estimated the number of people who speak English to some level will hit a staggering 2 billion. Out of these 2 billion only around 380 million are native English speakers, which means there are huge opportunities for qualified EFL teachers.
English language learners can be found all over the world; they’re of different ages, abilities, and have a variety of aspirations; and they study English in state schools, language centres, online, in summer camps, and more. This means there’s a wide variety of jobs on offer to qualified EFL teachers!
Teaching is challenging, there’s no doubt about that. But the rewards make it so worthwhile. It’s a job that will take you out of your comfort zone and continually challenge you, which is a great way to learn and develop both professionally and personally.
Moving abroad to start a new job is a huge challenge in itself. Adapting to life in a new country, dealing with culture shock, settling into a new job, making new friends, and navigating everyday life are challenges many EFL teachers face, but ones that can be overcome with time. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, after all.
See the world
With TEFL you can get paid to travel the world, from China to Chile, Spain to South Korea, and beyond! Living and working in a country is the best way to experience it: it’s an opportunity to really understand a different culture, pick up tips from locals you’d never get as just a tourist, and see a country with different eyes. EFL teachers can use their time off to explore the country they’re living in, like Helen who really made the most of her days off while teaching in Indonesia:
Throughout my year-long stay, I pottered around Java island visiting nearby Bogor three times, Yogyakarta – home of the famed Borobordor temples and Serang, where I enjoyed fresh mangos from the trees at my friend’s house. The availability of fruit across the whole year was a total joy! After a three-hour boat ride to Tidung Island, north of Java, I spent New Year’s Eve cycling under palm trees on the car-free island and tried snorkelling – something I felt was probably overrated. I was totally wrong. At the end of my contract, I visited Lombok and discovered coconut and brown sugar pancakes, then went onto the three Gili Islands: Air, Meno and Trawangan.
Make a difference
Why not give something back in 2020? While there are plenty of paid opportunities with TEFL, you can also volunteer your skills to help those with limited access to English education or who require support with learning.
You can find TEFL volunteering positions both abroad and at home. Most volunteering jobs are found in Africa and Asia, and contracts can range from a few weeks to several months. It’s a good idea to thoroughly research any volunteering programme you come across and only get involved with projects run by charitable organisations rather than for-profit companies.
Closer to home, you can find volunteering opportunities with organisations working with refugees. Find out more about how you can get involved over at Refugee Action.
Do you have plans to start a TEFL adventure in 2020? What are your reasons for teaching English? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out our previous blog post to find out where you should TEFL in 2020.