The best of The TEFL Org Blog in 2021

It’s been another busy year here at The TEFL Org! We launched a new course, gained even more accreditation, released our Guide to the World, and shared a range of blog posts every single week to help and inspire you at each stage of your TEFL journey.

Here are some of the top posts you enjoyed reading in 2021! 

Teaching Online in Thailand: Jesica’s Story

Jesica and her husband relocated to Thailand from Dubai to start a new adventure in 2021. Being a non-native English speaker and not having a degree didn’t hold her back once she was TEFL qualified, and she quickly found a position with the online teaching company, Preply.

In the beginning I took it as a challenge. Will I be able to teach a language that is not my native one? Will my students enjoy my lessons? Will my lesson plans work and my students actually learn from me? I might have not started with the vocational passion to teach, but after a month teaching online, 46 lessons and counting, I can assure you that it’s a very enriching and gratifying job.

Read Jesica’s story.

Free tools for online English teachers

From software, to marketing tools, to lesson planning – we covered some of the best free tools out there for online English teachers in this post!

When you’re first starting out as an online English teacher it’s normal to feel a little lost. While online teaching companies will supply you with everything you need to teach – from the tech to the actual lessons – if you’re going freelance it’s a different story.

Some teachers will choose to only teach via online companies, but if you’re aiming to maximise your earning potential you’ll want to focus on building your own business. Make sure to check out our post about how to be a successful online teacher for more about this!

So, those with the ambition to go freelance – this one’s for you. Working independently means taking responsibility for everything – from sourcing students, to the lesson material, and handling payments.

Read it here.

A female teacher holding up a piece of paper in front of a laptop with drawings on it

Teaching English on Cambly: Claire’s Story

Claire had just finished a Masters degree in Creative Writing when the pandemic happened, which wasn’t an ideal time to be looking for a new job! But after her brother mentioned TEFL during a phone call, she decided to pursue it, completing our 120-hour Premier Online and Teaching English online courses. Soon, she was teaching students all over the world from the comfort of her own home.

After a period of uncertainty in my own life, becoming an online ESL tutor has been both fulfilling and eye-opening. The positive energy I get from my students means I don’t even mind when my alarm goes off in the morning! I enjoy helping people pursue their goals, pass an exam that will allow them to advance their education, or simply feel more confident in business meetings. I love cheering them up after a bad day, and they cheer me up in return. In fact, they’re not the only ones learning something new. I’ve been taught how to cook a mouth-watering Omani fish dish, discovered how the Vietnamese celebrate Tết (or New Year), and explored my students’ home countries through their personal stories. It’s a privilege to have this insight into the lives of people around the globe. We’re beamed into one another’s homes to share our knowledge and celebrate all the ways in which we’re different—and the same! It makes the world seem like a much smaller, friendlier place.

Read Claire’s story

Career paths in TEFL

There are a lot of opportunities out there in the world of TEFL – not just geographically speaking! Find out about the various ways you could climb the career ladder as an English teacher in this post.

It’s a misconception that TEFL is something only young people do for a year or two before coming home and finding a ‘proper job’. While many people do only teach English for a few years to travel and experience the world – and there’s nothing wrong with that! – there are a wide range of career paths within the TEFL industry.

We’re going to take a look at some of the common career paths for EFL teachers beyond entry-level teaching roles to give you an idea of what’s out there. You might be surprised by just how many routes you can go down after you gain your TEFL qualification and a bit of teaching experience!

Read it here.

How to adapt to changes in the online teaching market

This year saw big changes to the online teaching market, with new legislation in China preventing companies from hiring foreign English teachers. We put together this post to help you adapt and find work elsewhere.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s learn to pivot. 

Recent changes in China have resulted in a big shake up of the online English teaching market. New legislation prohibits online teachers based outside of China from tutoring Chinese students, supposedly in a bid to reduce the amount of hours children spend studying outside of school. While there is still a lot of uncertainty over how this will play out in the long term, for now it means that online English teachers cannot work for Chinese online teaching companies. See our previous blog post for more information about these changes 

Read it here.

A woman writing on a blackboard

The TEFL Org gains USA accreditation with the DEAC

We were very excited to gain DEAC accreditation in 2021. The DEAC (Distance Education Accrediting Commission) is a US-based accrediting body, recognised by the US government and we were pleased to add it to our list of accreditors to become the world’s most accredited TEFL course provider.

Here at The TEFL Org, we’ve been leading the way in TEFL training since 2008, training over 140,000 EFL teachers and working hard to become the most accredited TEFL course provider along the way. Back in 2009, we gained our first accreditation when we became an SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) approved centre, which would be the first of many!

We’re always striving for excellence, whether that’s in the course itself, our customer service, or the support our staff give our students and graduates at all stages of their TEFL journey. Gaining DEAC accreditation is very much a part of our quest to provide you with the best TEFL training on the market.

Read it here.

The Paradigm Shift of Teaching English Online

TEFL Org graduate, David, has been travelling the world for 5 years now. Teaching English online has provided the income to support his digital nomad lifestyle, and in the wake of the pandemic he actually levelled up his business!

In 2016, I left my HR role in the UK to travel full-time. I’ve lived in countries such as Japan, Mexico, Belarus (more on that coming up!), and Colombia. Somewhat unintentionally, I decided to continue with this lifestyle once my finances were depleted. After completing a 120-hour TEFL course with The TEFL Org in 2017, and applying to numerous platforms including Preply, I made the decision to settle on Italki, largely as a result of lower commission per lesson. 

This way of life continued until early-2020, when, you guessed it, Covid-19 struck. I had been stranded in Sweden whilst visiting a friend when the entirety of Europe closed its borders, leaving me with no choice but to leave most of my belongings in Belgrade, Serbia and throw a dart at a map of countries which permitted entry. It landed on Belarus, specifically, the capital city of Minsk.

Read David’s story.

How to become a TEFL digital nomad 

Earning money while you travel the world certainly sounds appealing, but how do you do it? In this post we looked at how to become a TEFL digital nomad, as well as the digital nomad visas available around the world.

The digital nomad lifestyle can certainly be alluring. Imagine the freedom to work from almost anywhere in the world, travelling to new destinations whenever you fancy a change of scenery, and along the way meeting like-minded people in search of adventures.

Since teaching English online is something that can be done from anywhere, it’s no wonder it’s a popular source of income for digital nomads!

Read it here.

What are the start up costs for teaching English abroad? 

We helped you budget for your TEFL adventure in this post about the start up costs involved with teaching English abroad. A must-read for anyone planning to teach abroad!

How much does it cost to TEFL? What are the start up costs for teaching English abroad? Do employers cover them?

These are questions we’re frequently asked at The TEFL Org. Starting a new career and relocating almost always involves some start up costs, and TEFL is no different!

It’s hard to say how much exactly you need to get started teaching English abroad because it can vary depending on where you’re going, but this blog post will give you a rough idea of what to budget for. 

Read it here.

Top 5 questions to ask a TEFL course provider

Knowledge is power, which is why we’re always encouraging you to do your research. This post covered the key questions you need to ask a TEFL course provider before you sign up for a course in order to make sure you get the qualification you need. 

With so many different TEFL course providers out there choosing a course can sometimes feel like a bit of a minefield. It can be really hard to know what to look out for, which is why we’ve put together these top 5 questions you should ask a TEFL course provider before signing up.

You should be able to find the answers to these questions on a provider’s website, but if you can’t it’s important to get in touch with them to ask before making a purchase. It’s essential to make sure the course that you sign up for fits your goals and expectations. Avoid nasty surprises like hidden fees and feel confident that the qualification you’re studying towards will prepare you for teaching and is recognised by employers worldwide.

Read it here.

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