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How to ace your EPIK class – South Korea

First off, let’s clear up what EPIK actually is! EPIK stands for the English Program in Korea (EPIK) and it was developed in the 90s to help improve the spoken English skills of South Korean students and teachers. It’s sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education and is a popular way of recruiting English teachers for public school positions. 

When you teach with the EPIK program you’ll be more of an assistant teacher to the current Korean English teacher and you’ll be able to help them prep lessons and materials for classroom activities. 

Now, let’s hear from Rocio about how to ace your EPIK class like a pro!

 

Hi, Rocio here! I’m going to let you know all about teaching within the EPIK program.

All first-time public school teachers in Korea must hold an open class – a class in which the English teacher’s skills and abilities are evaluated by the principal, parents and visiting teachers (both Korean and foreign). If you’re looking to renew your contract at the end of your current period, you want to your open class to go well.

South Korean students

The truth is that while these lessons matter for the reputation of the teacher, they’re not always the best reflection of how daily classes actually unfold. A lot of the times open classes are more of a show put on by Korean and English teachers for the attendees. It is what it is.

In my two years in Korea, I’ve had two open classes that went smoothly. I volunteered the second year because there was the incentive of an extra paid vacation day. Of course I jumped at the opportunity!

Read on for ways on how to impress everyone attending your open class.

Do your homework

Rocio teaching English in South Korea

Find out with ample time which chapter of the book you will cover during the open class. Ensure to find creative activities for students to practice target language. Use many different types of games – pair, group, the whole class. This makes for a more engaging class than if you simply talk the entire time. Spend time preparing your PPT and finding a creative way to start the class and elicit the topic.

Coordinate with your Co-Teacher

Planning is important for this endeavor. You want to create a thorough lesson plan delineating what your role is and how your Co-Teacher will assist you the day of. You’ll also want to practice at least a couple of times going over the lesson, preferably in the classroom with your PPT ready to go.

Don’t reinvent the wheel

teachers desk

For my first year open class, my Co-Teacher and I started to practice a few weeks before our open class. We had new game templates and activities we wanted to use but our students didn’t know them, so we gave them time to familiarize with it and establish a flow. This may seem over-the-top to you and it kind of is, but this practice made for a seamless open class in which students knew exactly how to behave and what we expected from them. Whatever you do, avoid using a new and complicated activity for the first time the day of your open class.

Dress presentably and professionally

Treat it as if you were having a job interview. You don’t need to go all out with a fancy suit if that’s not your thing. I wore smart trousers with a nice blouse and a blazer. I recommend more of a business casual look. Remember, you want to be taken seriously and Korea is a society that values appearances.

Breathe and power pose

Nerves and anxious energy are inevitable but remember to take deep breaths, do some power posing and maybe even give yourself a pep talk like Issa from Insecure beforehand. Psych yourself out and focus on your students. And most importantly, try to have fun!

 

Ready to get started? Find out more about our South Korean Internship (which gives the option of public school positions) if you’re looking for a supported and easy route to South Korea, or head to the LoveTEFL Jobs Board to check out the latest job vacancies, if you’re ready to go it alone! 

What is a TEFL Certificate?

A TEFL Certificate, often commonly referred to as your TEFL Certification, is the documentation you will receive that proves that you have successfully complete an accredited TEFL Course through an established firm. If you’re new to the world of TEFL, T E F L stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

With a TEFL Certificate you’ll be able to teach English to non-native speakers, both abroad and online.

How do I get a TEFL Certificate?

To become TEFL certified, you first need to complete a TEFL Course through an accredited and regulated TEFL provider. At i-to-i, we provide a Level 3 TEFL Course and a number of Level 5 TEFL Courses, depending on the level of knowledge you wish to acquire and what you want to do with your TEFL Certificate. And, just an FYI, we are fully regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the ODLQC… so you’re in safe hands and you can be sure that a TEFL Certificate from us will be accepted and recognised by employers around the world!

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Who can get a TEFL Certificate?

You don’t have to already be a teacher, have teaching experience, or have a degree to get your TEFL certificate. Anyone who is fluent in speaking English can get TEFL certified. All you need to do is choose which Level best suits your needs, and get started! If you’re looking to get volunteer teaching positions abroad, we would recommend a Level 3 course. If you’re looking to make more of a career out of TEFL and you want to teach in competitive locations and earn a great wage, a Level 5 TEFL Diploma is the perfect solution for you.

The only restriction is that you need to be over 18 to complete a TEFL Course. This is because when you come to apply for TEFL teaching jobs, they will likely specify that they are looking for candidates over 18 years old. But, don’t worry, there is absolutely no maximum age limit to TEFLing. So, once you hit 18 you can TEFL for life!

Teacher high-fiving students

What jobs can I get with a TEFL Certificate?

With a TEFL certificate you’ll be able to find jobs teaching English as a foreign language. All you have to decide is whether you’d prefer to teach online or in a classroom abroad!

Fancy being your own boss, setting your hours, and working at a time and place that fits around your busy schedule? Then teaching English online is for you.

Ready to explore the world, soak in new cultures and discover places you’ve never seen before… while getting paid at the same time? Then teaching English abroad is right up your street.

What can I do with a TEFL Certificate?

See the World

There are so many amazing places in the world that are just waiting to be explored. There’s a whole world of colours, smells, sounds and experiences out there: from firecrackers echoing in the streets of Beijing at Chinese New Year, to the smell of some amazing street food at the Thai markets. Teaching English abroad is a great way to see the world whilst getting paid. Thailand, Ecuador, Indonesia, Czech Republic…the list is endless! And wherever you want to go, a TEFL Certificate is your ticket there.

Challenge Yourself

Have you ever looked around you and thought ‘Is this it… Really?’ Well, it might be time to do something a bit more challenging with your life. Doing something more stimulating than staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day could be tempting, no?

Moving abroad is not without it’s challenges. I mean, when you live overseas, even going to the supermarket can be an exciting foray into the unknown! BUT, try it and you’ll find yourself working out bits of your brain you didn’t even know you had. And you’ll be really proud of yourself and feel a daily sense of achievement! Remember: “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.” (Quote: Helen Keller)

Make a Difference

You can really make a difference to your student’s lives, as for some people it can really be the difference between a successful career in international business, or a frustrating life in regional bureaucracy. You could also be helping people to achieve their dreams of moving abroad or giving them the opportunity to further their education in international universities. What could be more rewarding?

Enhance Your CV

A gap year of lazing on a beach and sampling the latest selection of cocktails isn’t going to make you more employable. But a stint teaching English abroad really will. While you’re teaching you’ll be gaining some really useful skills, leadership, communication, and organisation to name a few, which are transferable to any job and really impress future employers. So, no matter what career path you go down after TEFL, you’ll have an impressive CV/resume which will make you stand out from the crowd.

Ready to get your TEFL certificate? We can help! Check out our TEFL courses brochure or take our quick 2 minute quiz to see which one is your perfect match!

Want to speak to someone first? No problem! Arrange for a free call back and one of our friendly TEFL experts will be in touch ASAP to help you out.

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5 places you can teach English without a degree

It’s the question we get asked the most – “Can I teach English abroad without a bachelor’s degree?”. And we’re happy to say, the answer is, yes! There are tons of countries where degrees aren’t required and lots of them are very sought-after TEFL destinations. We’ve picked our favourite 5 places you can teach English without a degree and put them into a handy list for you. So, read on and find out where you could be starting your next big adventure…

Spain

Europe is one of the most popular TEFL destinations in the world – and Spain, in particular, is a highly sought-after location (we wonder why…). You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to teach in Spain – yay! But do bear in mind, due to its popularity, you might need to be flexible about specific locations, schools and salary because there’s a bit more competition for positions. But, if you’re up to the challenge, the rewards are amazing (and delicious!)

 

Mexico

Number 2 on our list is sunny Mexico! Although some private schools might ask for a degree, the majority of schools won’t need you to have one in order to teach English – hurray! So, get ready to enjoy incredible cuisine (burritos, nachos, quesadillas, tacos, guacamole…), fun local traditions including the world famous Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and lots and lots of hot weather. Sounds pretty dreamy to us!

 

Cambodia

Southeast Asia’s hidden gem, Cambodia has the same climate, community vibe, and crystal clear waters as its neighbours: Thailand and Vietnam. But, added bonus, you don’t need a degree to teach here! If you choose to TEFL in this country steeped in history, you can expect extremely friendly locals, endless white, sandy beaches, and thousand-year-old temples to wander around in on your time off.

 

Argentina

Argentina is simply stunning. It’s an extremely vast country with plenty of demand for TEFL teachers. Admittedly, wages aren’t as high as some locations, but neither are living costs! So, you definitely won’t be out of pocket. And when would you ever get to experience this country for a lengthy period of time otherwise? Argentina is a huge opportunity not to be missed. Think spectacular mountain ranges, countless glaciers, unusual architecture, and more towns and cities to explore than you can shake a stick at.

 

Nicaragua

A relative unknown in the TEFL market, Nicaragua has plenty to offer as well as a growing demand for English teachers – perfect! Imagine a lovely tropical climate, plenty of snorkelling opportunities and hiking trails for all abilities – because you’ll get all of this and more in this TEFL destination. Teach English here and you’ll have the experience of a lifetime – guaranteed.

Ready to get TEFL qualified so you can book your flight? No problem! Just arrange for a free call back from one of our friendly TEFL advisors, and they’ll help you get started. Or, if you’re eager to find which course matches you best, you can take our quick 2-minute online quiz to find out!

Already TEFL qualified and ready to find your perfect role abroad? Head to the LoveTEFL Jobs Board for all the latest overseas vacancies!

Happy travelling!

How Spanish schools differ to schools in the UK or South Africa

Thinking about working as a TEFL teacher in Spain? First off – great idea! Secondly, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you head out there, as Spanish schools can be really different to schools in the UK or South Africa. Don’t worry though! You’ll find that a lot of the differences will make for a more relaxed and enjoyable teaching environment, so it’s something to look forward to.

Ready to find out more? Keep reading!

Casual is the way forwards!

You will struggle to find a school that has a school uniform for students in Spain, they prefer a much more casual approach! The kids wear their own trainers, t-shirts and shorts and even the teachers dress in a much more relaxed way than teachers in the UK. Everyone looks a lot more colourful and comfortable!

casual clothes

First name terms

The teachers are all called by their first names – There is no such thing as ‘Miss’ or ‘Sir’. This makes the teacher/student relationship feel a lot more friendly. You might also find that the younger students call you ‘Profe’ a LOT, which is a shortened version of the word ‘teacher’ in Spanish. They often do this if they struggle to remember your name!

Mwah, mwah

As well as calling everyone by their first names the teachers often hug the students and kiss the students on the cheek – as well as the other teachers. In Spain two kisses on the cheek is the normal greeting and this is true inside the school too – I was kissed by every teacher on my first day and felt really welcomed. The students also love to hug their teachers, so you’ll often find yourself walking round the playground with at least 2 or 3 clinging onto you – it’s super cute!

They like it loud!

Spanish schools don’t seem be as strictly disciplined as schools in the UK or South Africa, and the volume in the classroom definitely reflects this! A volume that would be considered disruptive in other countries is normal background noise in Spanish classrooms and it definitely takes some getting used to!

Noise is part of life here though as Spanish people love to interact with others and they are very expressive when they’re talking. It’s actually really refreshing, as you always know exactly what they are thinking, and it means that you very rarely experience anger or shouting in the classroom. I have yet to see a child be shouted at by a teacher and detentions seem to be nonexistent. The kids tend to be a little cheekier as a result, but they also do seem a lot more relaxed in the school environment and willing to engage with the teacher, which is great for learning!

Noisy child

Wheely cute

All the children use a bag on wheels – almost like a suitcase – to take their things to and from school. They do usually have a lot of books to carry around, but it is quite funny to see at first as it looks like they are all heading to the airport!

Lazy lunchtimes

Schools in Spain tend to have a longer day than those in the UK or South Africa, as there is a two-hour break for lunch from around 1pm to 3pm – a lot longer than lunchtime back home. This really breaks up the day and you can relax during lunch – having time to eat out, read in the park, or go for a coffee with the other teachers. Some of the other foreign teachers even use the lunchtime to have a quick nap in the staffroom!

Sweet tooth

Whenever it’s a child’s birthday – at least a couple of times a week – they bring round treats for everyone! The staffroom often has a big cake, a tin of sweets, or a box of biscuits on the table for people to eat as a celebration! You’ll never be short of food in a Spanish school!

Birthday cake

Hooray for holidays!

The holidays celebrated here are different and there are a lot more of them! For example, things like Halloween aren’t made a big fuss of in Spanish schools, but they will have a whole day dedicated to the traditional Catalonian festival of Castaneda or the chestnut festival. They also get a lot more time off at Christmas, as they celebrate ‘El día de los Reyes Magos’ (the day of the wise men) on 6th January. There are also lots of holiday days off – I’ve had three in a month!

In Spain they also love a ‘puente’ (literally translated as ‘bridge’ in English) which is where they will have a Thursday or a Tuesday off for a specific celebration day and then they just take the extra day, of Friday or Monday, to make it into a long weekend.

It’s a family affair

At my school, and at many other Spanish schools, the infant, primary and secondary schools are all joined together. This means the children stay at the same school from 3 years old right up until they leave at 18. As a result, teachers and students really get to know each other over a long period of time creating a noticeable close knit, family vibe in the school which is so lovely to be a part of.

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Itching to start your own Spanish adventure? Then you need to get TEFL qualified first! Take a look at our TEFL courses or arrange for a free call back from one of our TEFL experts, who can answer any questions you have!

Want to find out your perfect TEFL course match in under 2 minutes? Then take our quick course matching quiz!

Ready to start looking for TEFL roles in Spain? Head to the LoveTEFL jobs board for all the latest vacancies!

10 fun facts about Asia

We make no secret of the fact that we heart Asia – from the amazingly diverse cultures to the totally scrumptious food. And just in case you need any more convincing, here are our top 10 fun facts about Asia.

1. Monkeys have their own special feast day in the town of Lopburi in Thailand – complete with personal invites, mountains of fresh fruit and huge bowls of ice-cream. Just watch out for the food fight at the end!

Monkey in Thailand

2. The Son Doong cave in Vietnam is so big you could fit a plane inside it. Although we’ve never actually seen anyone trying to do it!

Vietnam cave

3. China’s 8th century Leshan Giant Buddha has eyebrows that are more than 5 metres long. Wow!

Leshan Giant Buddha

4. Vietnam exports more than a third of the world’s cashew nuts. Thank you Vietnam.

Cashew nuts

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5. If you love a cliff-top view but don’t fancy the climb, head for Bailong in China. You can travel 300 metres up the cliff in an elevator!

6. Vietnam’s kitchen deity Ong Tao is in fact not one god but three – two male and one female. We knew there was a reason Vietnamese food is sooo scrummy.

Vietnamese food

7. There are more millionaires in Tokyo than in Paris, San Francisco or Los Angeles. Impressive.

Tokyo

8. Thailand is the only country in South East Asia that has not been colonised by Europeans. And they are super proud of that fact!

Thai floating market

9. In Vietnam, drinking snake wine is believed to improve your health. And yes, snake wine really is whole snakes seeped in rice wine. Hmm. Maybe our health is just fine as it is.

Snake

10. Chinese New Year celebrations last for 15 whole days. Now that’s what we call a proper party!

Chinese New Year

If you fancy embarking upon your very own Asian adventure, check out our range of action-packed TEFL Internships!

 

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Different TEFL Levels and What They Mean

The world of teaching English abroad can be a confusing place when you’re starting out. Before you start looking for work, you’ll need to book an accredited TEFL course and get yourself qualified – but there are so many different TEFL levels! Where do you start? Which level of TEFL course do you need? Basically, it all depends on what you want to do with your TEFL qualification. Hold tight for this quick and easy explanation of the different TEFL levels – promise we won’t bore you!

NB: The UK qualifications framework is measured in levels, from Entry Level to Level 8 (8 being the highest).

TEFL: No level

Unfortunately, the majority of TEFL qualifications on the UK market don’t qualify to be on the UK framework – meaning the companies providing them aren’t regulated by the English Government department, Ofqual. A certificate through those companies almost certainly won’t hold much weight when you start applying for work. So, although it may be tempting to book the cheapest course you can find, you might find that your qualification is useless. Don’t get stung!

TEFL: Level 3

Of all the different TEFL levels, a Level 3 TEFL qualification is the one you want to pick if you’re just looking to volunteer and travel in some of the less competitive locations. It’s great for people who are looking for an entry into TEFL and there are NO requirements other than being fluent in English – simple!

Here at i-to-i, we have a 120hr Level 3 Course. This is equivalent to an A-Level qualification, and, in practice, it means that your certificate will be recognised by employers all over the world – hurray! It also means that Ofqual has meticulously checked our course to make sure it does what it says on the tin and gives you great preparation for teaching English abroad.

Teaching with students

TEFL: Level 5

Level 5 means that Ofqual has decided that these courses are the equivalent of a Foundation Degree (UK) or a CELTA qualification. There are a number of different options of TEFL courses at Level 5, and ours are all fully regulated by Ofqual:

180-hour TEFL Certificate

A 180-hour TEFL Certificate is ideal if you’re looking to boost your TEFL knowledge and appeal to the majority of employers for entry level TEFL positions. It usually takes around 4-8 weeks to complete and includes helpful information about teaching young learners!

Want more information? Download our 180-hour TEFL factsheet for free!

300-hour TEFL Diploma

If you’re looking to specialise in teaching online or teaching adults, and you want to qualify for higher paying jobs, then you should pick the 300-hour TEFL Diploma. This Level 5 diploma includes everything in the 180-hour course plus additional specialist courses in Teaching Online and Business English. It typically takes around 8-16 weeks to complete.

Want more information? Download our 300-hour TEFL factsheet for free!

420-hour TEFL Advanced Diploma

This is the highest Level 5 TEFL Diploma and it’s ideal for those that want access to the highest paying TEFL roles for new teachers, and want to be able to teach in a variety of locations and settings. It covers everything in the 300-hour course, plus another 2 specialist modules: Teaching Other Subjects (specifically Maths, Science and Geography) and Teaching IELTS. It’s a really comprehensive course and will help you to stand out from the crowd! It takes around 12-20 weeks to complete.

Want more information? Download our 420-hour TEFL factsheet for free!

 

As we previously mentioned, a Level 5 TEFL qualification is the same level as a CELTA, according to Ofqual, but it costs a lot less! CELTA is a big name in the TEFL industry and it’s great if you’re very confident in your abilities, and know you want to teach adults. However, it also comes with a string of eligibility requirements and a hefty price tag – and you won’t receive any training on teaching younger students. The average CELTA course will set you back about £1,200/24,200ZAR. Not to mention, you’ll need to commit to an intensive 4-6 week full-time, in-person training course held in only a handful of locations. And again, you’ll easily find work with a Level 5 TEFL Course. So, is it really worth it? We’re not so sure.

Lecture hall

DELTA: Level 7

The highest of all of the TEFL qualification levels, a DELTA is equivalent to a master’s degree. As you can imagine, this is definitely not your average TEFL course! Of all the different TEFL levels, a Level 7 course is best if you’re looking to open your own language school or teach new TEFL teachers. It’s a serious commitment! So, if you’re actually looking to teach and travel, it’s probably not a good fit! (P.S. Here at i-to-i, our Level 5 courses are written by DELTA qualified teachers and every single one of our TEFL tutors are Level 7 qualified, so you’ll get the benefit of Level 7 wisdom during your course without having to complete a DELTA yourself!).

 

Now we’ve made TEFL levels a bit clearer, we bet you’re ready to get started! Get qualified by visiting our TEFL Courses page. Need a bit more advice? Request a free call back and one of our TEFL Experts will be happy to help!

Want to find your perfect course match in under 2 minutes? Take our quick course matching quiz!

 

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12 Quick & Easy Classroom Games for Teaching English to Children!

Need a little inspiration to inject fun into your TEFL classroom? Want some quick and easy classroom games for teaching English to children? Then you’ve come to the right place! This blog has been guest-written by TEFL teacher Ciara, who has tried and tested these games herself! So, take your pick, and thank her later!

1. Name games

Name games are a really good way to start a lesson, they are especially helpful at the start of the year to help you remember the names of all your new students! Go round the circle and have the children say their name and one of their favourite things. When the next child introduces themselves, they must first introduce the child that went before them and so on until the last child remembers the names and favourite things of everyone in the group! This can be made harder for older students, by having a rule that their favourite thing must begin with the same letter as their first name, or easier for younger students, by just having them remember the names.

2. Charades

This is a game that I’ve found to be popular with children of all ages! I’ve used an envelope full of cut out words, or a set of picture flashcards for younger students, to play this. Secretly show a student a word or flashcard and then have them silently act it out, at the front of the class, while the other children call out – in English – what they think the secret word is. The children get super competitive over this, and the mimes can be hilarious! Charades can also be adapted to learn almost any vocabulary – animals, sports, hobbies, emotions – so it is endlessly useful!

children working together

3. Pictionary

Similar to charades, but the children draw the secret word instead of acting it out. I’ve found that children love being given to chance to use a marker and whiteboard – and to show off their artistic skills.

4. Stand up if you…

This game works best with a larger group and you need to have an open space to play in (it would work well outdoors, if you have an outdoor space!). Get all the children to form a large circle with you standing in the middle. You should then call out an instruction such as ‘stand up if you’re wearing shorts’, and everyone wearing shorts must switch places with each other in the circle while you try and steal one of their spots. The child left in the middle then gets to call out the next instruction. This game can be easily adapted to suit the vocabulary the class is learning such as appearance, clothing, likes/dislikes, family members, holidays – it’s amazing!

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5. Guess the Flashcard

This game is very simple but very effective. While holding a hidden set of flashcards in your hands, slowly reveal them one at a time while the students guess what it is. The child who guesses correctly gets to keep the flashcard – something they absolutely love – and the child with the most flashcards at the end is the winner! Need some engaging flashcards to use with your class? Check out our ready made ones.

6. Slam

This is another flashcard game and it works best with small groups. Place all the flashcards on the floor and have the children gather around them. Then call out the name of the flashcard and have the children ‘slam’ their hands onto the correct card. The child whose hand is at the bottom of the pile – and is, therefore, the fastest – wins! Get them to keep their hands on their heads until you call out a word, so they don’t hover over the pictures! Don’t forget to check out our ready made flashcards for you to use on games like this.

children's aprons

7. Memory

For this game, you need to have two sets of matching flashcards or a set of pictures and corresponding words. Simply place all the cards face down on the floor and have the children take turns picking two cards until they match a pair. Children love this game and I’ve found it engages even the most easily distracted students. Again, it can be adapted to teach lots of different vocabulary – this week I used this game to teach Halloween words and it worked really well!

8. Bingo

To play this you need a Bingo grid with pictures, words, or desired vocabulary (there are lots you can print for free on the internet) or you can make your own! Give each child a grid to mark off as you call out words – the first to get a row or to complete their grid is the winner. Make sure you check the winner’s grid to ensure they have matched the words correctly! This can be made harder by giving the children clues to the correct picture rather than the word itself.

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9. 20 Questions

This game is great as it allows students to practice forming questions in English as well as revising their target vocabulary. Have a student think of a secret word while the other students take it in turns to ask questions and guess what they’re thinking. You can give them subject-specific vocabulary, or you can let them use their imaginations!

10. Find the Colour/Colour Touch

This game is a fantastic way to teach colours and is extremely popular with younger students. The rules are pretty simple, gather all the students together and call out ‘find something….’ The children then have to run around the classroom and touch something that’s the same colour. This is a great way to get the children moving, active and engaged. Plus, it can be pretty funny when they find the colour on you!

colours

11. Simon Says

A classic (for anyone who grew up in the 90s!), this is a great game to get out that excess youthful energy and either warm-up the class at the beginning or wind-down at the end. It’s also great for learning body parts and commands in a fun and engaging way.

The basic premise is that the teacher stands at the front of the class and gives instructions to the students. If the instruction is preceded by the phrase ‘Simon says’, the students should copy the action (e.g. Simon says, hands on your head). If it isn’t preceded by ‘Simon says’ then they shouldn’t copy the action, and, if they do, they are out of the game. The last one in at the end wins! It sounds more complicated than it is but, trust me, the children catch on fast! You could make it even easier for your younger students and change it to ‘teacher says’ instead of ‘Simon says’, if you want!

12. Snowman

A politically correct version of Hangman (another classic!) because you want to keep things positive in the TEFL classroom!  It works the same way as Hangman, with you putting dashes on the board to represent the letters of a word you have selected and the students trying to guess what it is, letter by letter. The only difference is, when the students get a letter wrong, instead of drawing body parts, you draw the parts of a snowman (9 in total). The final part, which is a sad face, means the players have lost the game!

Make sure you keep this one as a quick warmer activity though, because student attention does start to wane quickly if you keep playing it for too long! It’s also really great for Christmas/Winter-themed games.

Teach English Abroad Guide

We bet you’re excited to get started! Everyone loves a good game! Need to find a TEFL job first? Check out the LoveTEFL jobs board and get applying today! Or check out our paid TEFL internships, for a fully supported way of finding your first TEFL role.

Still need to get qualified before you can look for a role? We can help you there! Check out our TEFL courses or arrange for a free call back with one of our TEFL experts, who can talk you through your options. You can also take our quick course matching quiz to find out which one is your perfect fit.

Happy TEFL teaching!

Top 5 Places To Teach English Without a Degree

Want to find out which are the top places you can teach English in, without a degree? Then you’ve come to the right place!

If you’re looking to TEFL abroad, but don’t have a degree, it’s no problem! Even though a number of countries want a university degree in order to qualify for a working visa, there are still some amazing destinations for those that don’t have a degree but want to find a TEFL job abroad.

Read on to find out more!

(Just an FYI: if you want a stress-free experience before settling down to full-time work you can do our Thailand Volunteer Internship WITHOUT a degree! Hooray!)

 

1) Cambodia

TEFL in your 50s in Cambodia

Although Asia has a lot of countries with strict visa requirements (China, Japan, Vietnam we’re looking at you!), it also has some great options for those without degrees.

Cambodia is the best of the bunch, as degrees aren’t needed there for the majority of TEFL jobs. It’s also a beautiful country, with a very friendly population, where you can spend your free time exploring beautiful temples (Angkor Wat is a must-see!), relaxing on sandy-white beaches, or enjoying the hustle and bustle of the capital city, Phnom Penh.

How much can you earn?

Until fairly recently, most TEFL jobs in Cambodia were voluntary, making it the perfect destination for gap years and internships. However, in recent years there has been a significant growth in paid teaching positions. Salaries for TEFL teachers tend to vary between $500-$2000/month. And with the cost of living in Cambodia being fairly low, you will have extra budget leftover at the end of the month to explore and travel – perfect!

Top places to teach English in Cambodia

Phnom Penh – Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital and the country’s largest city in terms of population, meaning that there are loads of TEFL jobs. English is widely spoken in Phnom Penh, so it will make the transition of moving countries easier for those who do not speak the local language.

Siem Reap – Situated further north, Seam Reap is also a very popular destination for TEFL teachers. Siem Reap is the perfect base if you are looking to spend some time exploring the fabulous Angkor Wat.

Want more info on fun things to do when you get to Cambodia? Check out our blog post on unusual things to see and do in Cambodia.

And check out the latest TEFL job vacancies in Cambodia on the LoveTEFL jobs board.

 

2) Spain

SPAIN

The beautiful beaches, the Mediterranean climate, the welcoming locals, the weeklong fiestas and the afternoon siestas… it’s not hard to see why people choose to TEFL in Spain! And if you’re eager to explore Europe, this is the best country to base yourself from, as it has excellent bus and rail links to other countries on the continent.

But you should definitely explore Spain first! The gorgeous food and varied cultural heritage will make you fall in love with this amazing place in no time. And, as the cities and towns are full of super friendly locals, you’ll be able to learn Spanish very quickly (if you want to!)

How much can you earn?

The average monthly teaching salary is around €1,000 – €1,400 (£830 – £1,100 / $1100 – $1500) but this can vary widely, depending on your teaching experience and where you’re going to be living (salaries tend to be higher in bigger cities, where costs of living are slightly higher). Although this might not sound like lot, in comparison to some countries in Asia or the Middle East, you’ve got to remember that the cost of living in Spain is very reasonable, so your wage will go further than you think!

You will also often find that there are great options to keep accommodation costs down, such as sharing with other teachers or homestays (where you rent a room in the house of a local family) – leaving you more money to spend on fiestas!

Top places to teach English in Spain

Madrid – If you love the bright lights of a big city and you’re looking for an authentic Spanish experience, then Madrid is perfect for you! In your time off you can spend your days shopping on Gran Via or basking in the sunshine at the Retiro park (Spain’s answer to Central Park in New York). There are also amazing tapas places on every corner, so you can sample the best food from all over Spain! Madrid also has one of the highest demand for TEFL teachers in the country, so it will have the biggest range of roles to choose from.

Barcelona – Another city with a high demand for teachers in Spain. If you love culture, art, and prefer somewhere closer to the coast, then Barcelona is definitely for you! This city is full of gorgeous places to explore, from walking down La Rambla, shopping and sampling gorgeous tapas, to biking down to the beaches and enjoying seafood paella – there is something for everyone. And, you can even try your hand at learning Catalan (to accompany your Spanish) while you’re there!

Get your FREE Guide to Teaching English in Spain

Take a look at the latest TEFL jobs in Spain

 

3) Mexico

mexico

Considered by many seasoned travellers as the jewel in the crown of Central America, it’s little wonder that increasing numbers of people are looking to teach English in Mexico.

It’s home to countless ancient Mayan sites, mile after mile of palm fringed beaches, a handful of bustling super cities, and more stunning colonial architecture than any other country in the region. Oh… and the food is amazing too! Business is conducted face-to-face there, so most people going out to TEFL in Mexico make the move before contacting schools directly, although we do advertise all of our Mexican vacancies on our TEFL jobs board, which you can apply for whilst in your home country. The in-person/face-to-face approach might also be hold due to the current COVID situation, so it’s best to check before you travel!

How much can you earn?

Nobody goes to teach English in Central America to earn loads of money. But despite the fact that the wages on offer are relatively low, you can live comfortably on the money you earn, as the cost of living is so low. Average wage in Mexico for a new TEFL teacher is £375/$600 for full-time positions, but it can be more like £175/$240 in smaller towns, or with part-time positions. Doesn’t sound like a lot, right? But when you factor in the fact that rent can be as low as £70/$100 and utilities around £20/$30 a month, it sounds a lot more doable. Especially considering the fact that, with the lower wages, employers will often cover the costs of your accommodation and utilities. So, there will be plenty for you to spend on the delicious (and very cheap) Mexican food on offer!

Some schools will also include Spanish language lessons! The feeling you’ll get being able to communicate with the locals and full integrate yourself into society? Priceless!

Top places to teach English in Mexico

Mexico City – Known locally as ‘El D.F’ (El Distrito Federal), the capital is the main market for people looking to teach English in Mexico. It’s the country’s main cultural, political, and economic centre and as such is home to most of the large-scale language schools and institutes. A good place to meet other ex-pats and teachers is the Quaker-run Casa de los Amigos on Ignacio Mariscal, 132.

Tehuacán – This smaller city is located about 4 hours southeast of the capital and it’s perfect for those looking to deep dive into Mexican culture. It’s home to some amazing, historic architecture and is known for hosting a number of diverse cultural festivals every year. One of the most popular is the ‘Festival Internacional de Tehuacán’, which celebrates the artistic and cultural history of the city. It’s also a great place to go to if you love Cactus (bit niche we know…) as it’s home to over 200 different types of the prickly plant!

Take a look at the latest TEFL vacancies in Mexico

 

4) Argentina

Argentina

Argentina is hurtling towards the top of the TEFL charts, with super-welcoming people, spectacular scenery, electrifying cities and rather too scrumptious wine, topped off with a TEFL jobs’ market that’s bursting at the seams. Argentina offers good TEFL opportunities for both experienced and newly qualified TEFL teachers. The bulk of the TEFL posts is in private language centres, with most located in beautiful Buenos Aires and cosmopolitan Córdoba. They cater for both adults and children, with particular demand for business English teachers in the cities.

How much can you earn?

Like most countries in South America, TEFL wages in Argentina are bearable rather than brilliant. You could be earning up to $1,200 as a full-time TEFL teacher. While the cost of living is comparatively low, you may well need to take on more than one teaching position, or top up your salary with private tuition in order to bring in a decent income. A lot of teachers in Argentina earn extra income by teaching private lessons (mostly business English to professionals), charging around £9/$14 an hour. However, you’ll need to wait until you’ve been teaching in Argentina for a few months; as students are gained by other students recommending you.

Top places to teach English in Argentina

Buenos Aires – is a great city if you are looking for somewhere classy and sophisticated. It is often referred to as the ‘Paris of South America’ due to its strong European influences. It’s a hot spot for shopping luxury labels and glamorous nightlife. But, be sure to live life like a local and visit a secret bar that was inspired by the 1920s USA speakeasies.

Córdoba – is the perfect place if you want to reclaim your student years. With a student population of 150,000, you can imagine how lively this vibrant city is all day & night, with parties running until 9am. And, no night out is complete without a glass of Fernet (the drink of Córdoba): just remember to mix it with something, as it tastes pretty disgusting!

Rosaria – if you want to soak in the history and culture of Agententina – seeped in history as the birthplace of both the Argentinian flag and Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara – Rosaria is the place for you. This city has transformed its once-derelict buildings into quirky galleries and classy bars; and the river beaches are a popular hangout in the summer months

Take a look at the latest TEFL vacancies in Argentina

 

Top tip: With all countries in these times of COVID, you will need to check the quarantine/testing/visa requirements before you travel, as these are constantly subject to change. Some countries also require proof of vaccination, so make sure you check all the requirements before you make your decision. And keep checking, because more places are opening up every week!

 

5) Online!

Woman using laptop in hammock on beach

Okay, okay, we know it’s not technically a place BUT it can take you to lots of different places, so it makes the list!

With online teaching you can skip out the working visa process altogether and earn a good wage from anywhere in the world! Teaching English online is one of the fastest growing areas of TEFL so it’s the perfect time to get involved. Absolutely anyone can teach English online, you don’t need a degree to get a tourist visa, and you just need to get a TEFL certificate, a laptop, webcam, and reliable internet connection – easy!

How much can you earn?

Online salaries vary quite a lot depending on if you’re freelance, an agency worker, how big your classes are and the type of English you’re teaching. You can earn anywhere from £10 – £35+ ($13 – $46+) per lesson and lessons are generally around 60 minutes long. This means you could be earning big money if you’re at the top of your game!

Top places to teach English online

There are lots of companies that don’t require a degree for online teaching and some of the best ones include: Cambly, Profy and Engoo. For a full list, check out our blog post – 20 companies that don’t require their TEFL teachers to have a degree.

Download your free guide to teaching English online now to find out more!
And check through the latest online TEFL vacancies on the LoveTEFL jobs board.

World TEFL Guide

*Information is correct at the time of writing this. For latest information, check the local guidelines.

Which TEFL level should I choose?

With travelling being the norm again, there is no better time to take the leap and land in the life-changing world of TEFL. Trust us, it means exciting times ahead!

If you’ve already started your TEFL research, you’ll have noticed that when it comes to choosing a TEFL Course level, things can get a little bit complicated. But it doesn’t have to be!

At i-to-i, we’ve got a range of courses, both Level 3 and Level 5. All our Courses, regardless of level, are English Government regulated by Ofqual – so you can rest assured that your qualification will be recognised by top employers all around the world, whichever corner of the globe’s calling your name!

So once you’ve decided which TEFL provider you want to train with (hopefully us since you’re reading this!), you need to decide which course level is best for you. Remember, we’re just a call away if you want to chat to an expert!

If you want a super quick answer whether a Level 3 or Level 5 is right for you, then take our 2-minute quiz here! To find out more about each of the levels, read on!

What is a Level 5 qualification?

A Level 5 TEFL qualification is an equivalent level to a CELTA or Foundation Degree. This level is ideal for accessing the best TEFL jobs out there. Better paid TEFL jobs, whether that’s online or abroad, will be more accessible if you have a Level 5 certificate. Plus, a Level 5 certificate on your CV will open doors to teaching in competitive locations, like the Middle East. In our Level 5 qualifications, we’ve got both TEFL Courses and Diplomas to choose from, depending on how much study you want to complete.

See all Level 5 TEFL Courses

TEFL teacher teaching young students

Am I eligible for a Level 5 TEFL Course?

So you’ve decided a Level 5 sounds like it’ll bag you the best jobs? You can enrol onto our Level 5 TEFL Courses if you check these boxes…

  • The Level 5 is more challenging than a Level 3 Course, and this means you’ll struggle if you aren’t a native English speaker. If you’re not a native English speaker but your English is near native, you can enrol onto the course. We must stress that for Level 5, native English is best.
  • You have an ability to take advice from both tutors and peers, and the capability to improve as a result. Just like Level 3, you’ll need to work through a variety of assessments. Our tutors and in-house academics are on-hand to help with your studies – so use them whenever you need to!

What do I get with an i-to-i Level 5 Course?

Level 5 is the most advanced level course we offer. With a Level 5 Course or Diploma you’ll get…

  • CELTA level equivalent qualification
  • Minimum of 180 Hours of training
  • Optional Level 5 Specialist Courses to increase earning potential – Teaching One-to-One & Online plus Teaching Business English
  • Access to the best TEFL jobs positions worldwide and online
  • Online training with classroom course option
  • Courses are more in-depth, so inevitably the assessments are more challenging than with a Level 3
  • English Government regulated by Ofqual
  • Level 5 i-to-i certificate on completion

See all Level 5 TEFL Courses

 

Online courses

What is a Level 3 qualification?

A Level 3 TEFL qualification is equivalent to an A Level in the UK. This course is perfect for getting a good TEFL job whether you want to work online, work abroad in non-native English speaking countries or volunteer around the world. Taking a Level 3 qualification with i-to-i will open up access to good quality TEFL jobs, as most employers recognise our certificates, wherever you are in the world.

See Level 3 TEFL Course

TEFL teacher in classroom

Am I eligible for a Level 3 TEFL Course?

So you’ve decided a Level 3 sounds pretty perfect for you? You can enrol onto our Level 3 TEFL Courses if you check these boxes…

  • You have a native level of English speaking and the ability to read and understand English language materials – an important one! You’ll struggle to complete the course assessments if you don’t have a high level of fluency in English.
  • You have an ability to take advice from both tutors and peers, and the capability to improve as a result. Our tutors and in-house academics are on-hand to help with your studies – so use them whenever you need to!

What do I get with an i-to-i Level 3 Course?

As leaders in the TEFL industry (even if we say so ourselves!), you can be confident knowing your course is top quality. With a Level 3 Course you’ll get…

  • A Level equivalent qualification
  • Minimum of 120 Hours of training
  • Optional add-on Level 3 Specialist Courses to increase earning potential
  • Access to great TEFL jobs and volunteering positions worldwide
  • Online training with classroom course option
  • Assessments are easier to pass than with a Level 5 qualification
  • English Government regulated by Ofqual

Essentially, deciding between a Level 3 and Level 5 all depends on what you want to do with your qualification when you pass.

Still not sure which level to choose? Take our 2-minute quiz here!

Want to have a look at some of the TEFL roles you could be doing when you’re qualified? Check out the LoveTEFL Jobs board.

Should I be a TEFL teacher?

Have you heard that saying: “Those who can’t do, teach”?

Well, that’s totally bonkers! And whoever came up with that phrase had obviously never met a teacher!

Far from being “those who can’t”, teachers are some of the most capable people in the world, with a vast array of skills and knowledge at their disposal, and a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Think about it – if we didn’t have teachers, we wouldn’t have doctors, nurses, lawyers, scientists, writers, professors… because every single one of those skilled professionals started their journey with a teacher. Teaching is the most important profession in the world.

So, should you become a TEFL teacher? Quick answer – YES! And here’s why…

Teachers make a difference

Here at i-to-i, we believe that teachers matter immensely.

We salute the early years teachers, our all-important first formal teachers. We are in awe of the way they enable infants to make marks, understand sounds, play nicely and become independent – providing the critical foundations for effective writing, talking, counting and relationship-building.

Furthermore, we have huge respect for primary school teachers, who equip children with the building blocks that they need to progress. Primary school teachers teach skills in maths, reading, writing, science, music and art – and they help children learn how to interact and what to value.

We also applaud secondary school teachers who have the incredibly tough job of motivating teenagers as they battle through their hormones. Secondary school teachers are a student’s passport to those all-important school-leaver exams that will shape their future.

And finally we commend those that choose to teach adults. Although their pupils might be more motivated and engaged, the stakes are often much higher, sometimes with jobs or visas on the line!

 Teacher in classroom

TEFL teachers transform lives

So what about TEFL teachers? We bet you won’t be surprised to hear that we think they’re immensely important too.

TEFL teachers work with students of all ages – from pre-schoolers experimenting with words, through school children mastering language for travel and exams, to adults learning English for pleasure or for business.

If you’re teaching English as a foreign language, you’re not simply passing on English language skills. You’re an ambassador for your country and you’re opening doors of opportunity to all the students that you teach. You are transforming lives and expanding your own.

 

adult teaching a child

Teachers inspire

Good teachers motivate their students and enable them to achieve their dreams. So, if you’re thinking about becoming a teacher, don’t just do it for the long holidays, the child-friendly hours, or the potential career progression. Teach because you want to inspire tomorrow’s world leaders, because you are passionate about developing the self-confidence of the shyest student, and because you believe in the potential of every single person. Teach because it matters, because it truly is the most important profession in the world.

CTA banner - view TEFL courses

 

Ready to get started, but need to get TEFL qualified first? Check out all of our course options here!

Want to speak to one of our friendly TEFL experts before you decide on a course? No worries! Just arrange for a free call back and they will be able to answer all of your questions!

Already TEFL qualified and want to look for your perfect TEFL job? Head to the LoveTEFL jobs board, where all the latest TEFL vacancies (both online and abroad) are advertised.

 

Find Us

i-to-i TEFL
4th Floor, Wilson House, Lorne Park Road,
Bournemouth, England, BH1 1JN,
United Kingdom

i-to-i TEFL is a part of Teach and Travel Group Ltd.
Registered Company No. 7935847.