The world has become more and more globalized in recent years. This can be seen in the range of products that can be bought from almost every corner of the globe, to the types of films and television programmes that can be watched at home or at the cinema. Additionally, the rise of the internet and technology has brought about a new trend – great work from home jobs. People now have the opportunity to work remotely for companies located in different countries, further blurring the boundaries of international collaboration.
This may also be witnessed in the world of work, as it is easier than ever to search for a job online, and be able to make that transition to living and working overseas. In fact, right now is a great time to consider making this move, especially as there are so many career opportunities going in specific spheres.
One remarkable career move that individuals can consider is teaching abroad. One such domain that offers exciting opportunities is TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Read on to find out more about how to become a TEFL teacher, as well as some other options for teaching English in foreign lands, and discover some of the popular destinations where teaching the subject has gained immense popularity nowadays.
What is TEFL?
TEFL is where the English language is taught, usually with the help of a trained teacher. These lessons tend to focus on improving grammatical skills, from the present simple for beginners, all the way through to the difference between complex and compound sentences for more advanced learners.
In the past, almost all TEFL lessons took place in a conventional school setting, with the TEFL teacher at the front, and the students all sat at their desks. However, recent years have seen a shift in the methods of teaching types available, with online learning now a core component of many students’ curricula.
Additionally, TEFL has become a more integrated part of many countries’ overall learning frameworks, with it being blended into the teaching of other subjects, such as art or music. As a result, English is seen as an essential component of most children’s development in most nations globally, so there is a massive demand for TEFL teachers to support this development.
Other options for teaching English abroad include becoming a tour guide, helping foreign tourists navigate their way around famous global landmarks. Alternatively, many countries are also open to the idea of having business English teachers work directly within companies to help their employees become more confident in their English abilities. This can often be seen in industries such as hospitality, where hotels and restaurants routinely need to serve guests in English.
What does a new English teacher need to do to get started?
First of all, the best thing a new English teacher of any type can do is to obtain a reliable certification. Indeed, The TEFL Org conducted a study and found that teachers who took the extra step to get qualified were more likely to find a teaching position more quickly than those who did not.
Furthermore, these courses are specifically created for new teachers to hit the ground running, so that they are more prepared for life in the classroom, and all that it might entail. For instance, key aspects of these programs include lesson planning, behaviour management, and scaffolding lessons according to student needs, abilities, or other learning differences.
What’s more, the programs are run by experienced and helpful professionals, who have years of experience of handling all kinds of classroom situations. This knowledge and knowhow is vital in ensuring that the new teacher is fully prepared for what life in the field is really like, applying the latest theories and pedagogy into the teaching environment smoothly and seamlessly.
Last but by no means least, a lot of countries actually explicitly require a bona fide course as part of their visa requirements. Thus, actually being able to teach in some places is only possible through having a genuine certification to hand.
What are some good places to start teaching English abroad?
Right now, Japan is one of the most in demand places to teach English abroad, and there are a number of reasons for this. To begin with, it is possible to teach in big cities, such as Kyoto, or smaller towns and villages dotted along the coast.
This makes it ideal for teachers of all personalities and preferences to choose a location that works best for them. On top of that, the up-to-date infrastructure and easy-to-use transport system makes getting around as easy as pie, so that more time can be spent on enjoying tourist experiences and less time wasted waiting around for late trains and buses to arrive.
Furthermore, Japan has business English classes available for students of all ages and learning levels. Therefore, if a Japanese individual who works in a multinational company wishes to grow in their English language learning, there are opportunities to do this, either by studying in a group setting in an office environment or even considering paying an English tutor to help them with private lessons outside of the workplace.
At any age group or level of English, though, teaching in Japan is fun and rewarding. Students often arrive to class with an array of diverse and fascinating queries, and are genuinely interested in forming a pleasant connection with their educators. On top of that, the classes are taught to learners who are almost always open to learning something new, and prepared to invest their time and energy into improving their skill set.
What makes an effective English lesson?
For some, this will be about bringing English to life, from telling a good story to showing sides of modern culture that learners are perhaps not yet aware of. For example, many students are deeply curious about the differences between their home country and that which the English teacher has come from.
This can lead to a rich range of fascinating classroom discussions, with learners usually more than content to share their own perspectives and life experiences, as well as listening intently to what the teacher has to say. Consequently, both teacher and students can acquire a broader base of understanding about the world around them, simply by immersing themselves into an interesting classroom conversation.
For others, though, the needs may be more simple, such as how to get control of the continuous grammar function, or even how to pronounce the ‘schwa’ sound, which is actually the most common vowel sound in the entire English language. These vital functions could pave the way for many learners to progress beyond their existing learning level, and make huge future gains in their English language journey.
For these and many other reasons, it is well worthwhile to consider the benefits of teaching English in foreign lands. With international travel restrictions being eased, there is no better time to take the leap, and make the bold decision to become an English teacher today!