There are perceptions out there in society and the vast wacky Web that TEFLers are gap-year students in search of a quick buck rather than hard-working adult careerists. While no doubt there are a few those in the industry, there is a multitude of tenacious TEFL teachers making a successful career from teaching English as a foreign language or second language. And, importantly, there are career opportunities for you too!
Why Choose a TEFL Career
Choosing to become TEFL or TESOL certified is a decision to invest in your life and future! Holding a TEFL/TESOL certification can enable you to secure a primary or secondary income at any point in your life. And iTTi South Africa’s TESOL certification never expires, meaning you could use it now or later when you need to secure a TEFL job.
Once you are TESOL certified, you are able to use it for:
Teaching English online from the comfort of your home;
Teaching English online while travelling;
Teaching English overseas in the classroom;
Creating your own clientele of private students;
Opening your own language school;
Training other aspiring TESOL teachers;
Teaching in English centres around the world;
Joining nonprofits and embarking on humanitarian expeditions,
And so much more!
Each are valid, exciting career options, promising a lifetime of fulfilling experiences and a substantial income.
Who can TEFL?
Firstly, anyone who speaks English fluently and proficiently (including native and non-native English speakers) and is prepared to be responsible in the classroom can be a full-time or part-time English as a foreign language teacher.
Other target groups include:
University graduates: A “gap” experience in another country before starting a career at home provides memories for a lifetime and may even change the direction of your career path.
Mid-career change: Tired of a 9-to-5 desk job that’s not going anywhere? Most TEFL employers are happy to hire new teachers who have more life experience.
Post-career: You’ve finished your conventional career and are ready for something completely new. You’ve always dreamed of living abroad or working online from home, and TEFL is your chance to do just that!
Non-native speakers of English: Very often, non-native speakers have a deeper insight into the nature of learning a foreign language and can use this to their advantage to become excellent teachers of English as a Foreign Language.
Serious career teachers: If you’re a qualified school teacher and seeking a new adventure, you can gain additional teaching skills and experience in the classroom abroad or online. TEFL can also serve as a rejuvenating experience for the tired teacher.
Requirements to Kickstart my TEFL Profession
Essential to ESL or EFL teaching is a valid qualification, starting with an accredited TEFL or TESOL certification. Join iTTi South Africa’s 120-Hour or 220-Hour TESOL courses, which are internationally recognised and accredited. Your iTTi South Africa TESOL certificate will come with a unique reference code that can be searched in a database to prove it's international validity and legitimacy. A valid TESOL certification indicates to employers your professional integrity and reliability and the necessary English teaching know-how for the job at hand.
While having a degree is also beneficial for some online or abroad TESOL positions, it is certainly not a steadfast requirement. In fact, many TESOL teachers have opted to pursue higher education while teaching English.
You also need to have a C2 English language proficiency level, or in plain terms: have the language ability of a native speaker, fully able to understand speech, read and comprehend text and speak English fluently and at a natural pace.