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How affordable is a TEFL course?

Want to kickstart your new career in TEFL, but not sure you have the funds to do so? Don’t worry! Stick with us and we’ll show you how affordable a TEFL course can be!

Now, first things first, there’s a balance to strike between getting a good deal on your TEFL course and ending up wasting money (however little you might pay) on a cheap qualification that won’t get you where you need to be.

Coupon sites are awash with ridiculously cheap TEFL courses but remember the phrase “you get what you pay for”? That applies here. They are that price for a reason! The majority are poor quality courses that haven’t been independently regulated and don’t have academic or customer support included. This means you probably won’t be able to use them to get paid TEFL work, as reputable employers will ask for proof of accredited and regulated qualifications as part of the hiring process. It also means you won’t be able to ask anyone for help during your course, so you might not even pass, and the course won’t properly train you to be a TEFL teacher, so you’ll be going in to your first TEFL role completely unprepared and it’s likely to be a stressful experience!

A TEFL course should be an investment, your future career depends on it after all, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get qualified.

So, how do you make sure you get an affordable and good quality TEFL qualification? Look for the following…

Payment options

An easy way to make your TEFL course affordable is to find a course provider that offers payment plans. A payment plan will mean you can enrol by paying a deposit, and then pay the rest of your course off in manageable monthly instalments. Before you sign up, you should make sure that the payment plan is interest-free. You don’t want to be incurring interest as you go and end up paying more for the course than you would have done if you had paid it all at once!

And, if the provider is any good, you won’t have to wait until it’s fully paid off to be able to start your course. You should be able to start studying as soon as you’ve paid your deposit!

At i-to-i, we currently have monthly payment plans available on our Level 5 420-hour Advanced Diploma and our Level 5 500-hour Advanced Diploma, so you can really make sure you’re getting the highest qualification possible at an affordable price. Added bonus? You can enrol for the same price as 2 Starbucks coffees! An easy swap to be able to invest in your future and start living your dreams of travelling the world or becoming your own boss, right?! And definitely affordable on a budget.

Sales or Discounts

Everyone loves a sale! And sales and discounts are a great way to get a quality TEFL certifications at really affordable prices. You just need to make sure the sale/discount is being given by a reputable course provider (so you don’t get stuck with a useless qualification in the same way you might if you got one from a coupon site!)

How do you know if a course provider is reputable? Look for accreditation and regulation from independent and government-associated bodies. Any courses that are regulated by organisations like Ofqual (in the UK) and DEAC (in the USA) are from reputable providers and will be recognised by employers around the world.

You can also check out reviews for the course provider on independent sites like reviews.io and trustpilot. These reviews will be posted by genuine students, so will give you people’s honest opinions!

Want to check out the latest discounts at i-to-i? Head to our courses webpage!

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If you have any questions about TEFL, or need some advice about payments, just arrange for a free call back and one of our friendly TEFL advisors will be in touch. They will be able to help you select the most affordable TEFL course for you, so you can focus on achieving your TEFL dreams!

Becoming a Digital Nomad – Fran’s Story

Have you been considering becoming a digital nomad in 2023? Like the idea of being able to fit earning money around your travelling, and being able to go from place to place, rather than being tied to one classroom abroad? We don’t blame you!

Fran decided to take the plunge in October 2022 and she hasn’t looked back! Keep reading to find out how she got started and her top tips for those that want to do the same…

Can you introduce yourself?

Hi there, my name is Fran! I am from York in the UK, which means I’m a huge fan of chips, cheese and gravy! I’m 27 and I am lucky enough to say I am travelling around Southeast Asia full time for the foreseeable.

What was your working background before you decided to teach and travel? 

I have always had a huge passion for travel, so what better career than to be a flight attendant, right?! I worked for British Airways for nearly 3 years before sadly being made redundant through Covid in 2020. My time as a flight attendant was incredible, seeing the world made me so happy and I knew that one day I wanted to travel full time. During Covid I found a job at i-to-i as a course advisor, speaking to likeminded people every day who had a passion for travel and wanted to teach online or overseas filled me with so much inspiration. Once the world finally started to open again and travel was becoming easier, I knew it was my time.

Why did you choose to TEFL?

I chose to TEFL so that I could have the flexibility to earn money to fund my travels around the world. I did have some savings that I had accumulated during lock down, but I knew the money I had saved wouldn’t last me as long as I wanted to be away for. So, I thought I would practice what I preached to people every day and decided to teach online as I travelled! Having a steady income each month allows me to not worry about money, to treat myself to better accommodation, and allows me to do everything I want to do as I travel.

digital nomad in cambodia

Why was becoming a digital nomad the right path for you?

I plan to travel as long as I possibly can, so with that I knew I would need a job that would allow me to work on the go. I didn’t want to be tied to 1 role in 1 country on a 6-12 month contract, I want to backpack and explore as much of this beautiful world as I can. Being a digital nomad suits me perfectly as it allows me to travel around as much as I like. I can work from anywhere, at times that suit me.

How did you get your online teaching roles?

By completing your TEFL qualification through i-to-i, you are given lifetime access to the jobs board and the job seekers team. These guys were super helpful and assisted me in applying for online teaching roles on platforms including Preply and Palfish. My advice here would be to be as open minded as possible and apply for as many suitable roles as you can, while making sure you tailor your application and CV to each role. This will boost your chance of securing work quickly!

What did you find difficult about starting out? And what are some of the challenges of online teaching while travelling?

Having to discipline myself to put the time aside for teaching! It’s easy to make plans to go to the beach, boat trips and meals out every day when it’s on your doorstep, but at the start of each month, I plan which mornings/evenings I am putting aside for teaching, and make sure I plan around these. It does sometimes work out that the days I’ve planned to teach are the only days certain excursions run, therefore I’ve had to miss out. Also booking accommodation with good Wi-Fi is always my biggest challenge! I teach in my hotel room to make sure it’s quiet, so I do lots of research and try find reviews that specifically say that the Wi-Fi is good.

teaching abroad

What are your favourite things about being a digital nomad? 

Being a digital nomad has given me flexibility, so I can travel how I want to. I’m travelling slowly and spending a week or so in each destination, therefore I have some spare time and I’m not rushing around to see everything. Most travellers I meet spend 2/3 nights in each destination and then have to move onto the next because they have to watch their funds. This is great for some people but I want to really explore each place! I want to take my time, and travelling more slowly allows me to get 10-15 hours of teaching in each week without feeling like I’m sacrificing my exploring time.

How many hours a week do you currently teach? 

I tend to work 10-15 hours per week, this can slightly vary from month to month though.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

Here is what I did today! I woke up around 8am, I sat on my balcony with a cup of tea and caught up on messages and emails that came in through the night from the UK. I went to Seven Eleven and bought one of their infamous ham and cheese toasties for 27bhat (£0.66) for my breakfast (if you’ve been to Southeast Asia, you’ll know exactly what I mean!). I then went by the pool to sunbathe for a few hours as the 2 lessons I had today were back-to-back in afternoon. I had 2 lessons today teaching adults in Italy, the lessons were fun and always fly by for me! My absolute favourite time of the day is sunset, and I always catch this on the beach if I can! We then went to the night street food market for dinner, I had a number of small dishes and only spent £4, bargain! It’ll be an early night for us tonight as tomorrow we have an early pick up for a boat trip to Railay Beach in Krabi!

Where have you travelled to so far?

We started our travels with 5 nights in Singapore, then headed to Kuala Lumpur for a week, travelled around Cambodia for three weeks visiting Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kampot and Koh Rong Sanloem. Currently we are in Thailand and have been for 72 days. Very soon we move onto our next destination, which is Vietnam!

What advice would you give to others hoping to do the same?

I understand that the thought of travelling and teaching might be really scary for some people, heck, it was scary for me! Leaving home, living out of a backpack, worrying about safety and other elements. But this is without a doubt the best thing I have ever done. The world we live in is beautiful and you will NEVER regret seeing more of it. “Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.”

What are your plans for the future?  

The plan is to make this experience last for as long as possible. We will be travelling the rest of Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Philippines and Indonesia) and then we will be heading to New Zealand and Australia… who knows after that! If you would like to follow along on our journey you can subscribe to our YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/@travelwithfranluke

 

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How long does it take to get TEFL certified?

“So, how long does it take to get TEFL certified?” This is a question we hear a lot and it’s a fair one! We know you’re eager to get started with your plans, whether than involves teaching online from the comfort of your own home, teaching online as a digital nomad while you travel the world, or teaching in classrooms abroad, so it makes sense that you want to know how long it will take you to get there.

Online vs Classroom

First off, online courses vs classroom courses. Which one you choose will make the biggest difference to how long it will take you to get your TEFL certification. Online courses are much faster, as the material is available to you 24/7 and you can study at your own pace. You’re also less likely to miss study sessions with online courses, than you might be with physical classes – for example if the teacher is sick/your car breaks down/you’re running late from work etc. (it happens more often than you might think!) And the fewer sessions you miss, the quicker you can work through the course.

woman smiling at laptop

Additional factors

There are also a number of additional factors that will affect the time it takes to get your TEFL certification, once you’ve decided to take an online course. These include:

  • How much training you want to do – the longer the course, the longer it will take to complete (seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning!)
  • How much time you can dedicate to studying per week – the more time you can dedicate, the faster you’ll progress through the course material
  • Your willingness to reach out for help if you get stuck – if you don’t like to ask for help, you’re more likely to get stuck if you find something you don’t understand/can’t work through, and this will delay your progress
  • How quickly you work through the material – if you’re the type of person that reads extremely quickly and powers through study material, then you’ll probably work through the course more quickly than the average person. And the reverse also applies – if you like to take your time and absorb everything at a slower pace, you’ll progress more slowly (but that’s OK! Better to make sure you understand everything!)

woman working on her online course

Average timescales

Despite all these additional factors, we can give you an average of how long it’s taken other people to complete each of our online courses, to give you some idea of how long it might take to get TEFL certified before you get started:

500-hour Level 5 Advanced TEFL Diploma

This course has an average completion time of 15-24 weeks, but you could be earning in as little as 6 weeks into the course, as you’ll get an initial certificate after you complete the first 180 hours. With this certificate you can apply for online teaching roles, so you can earn while you continue to work through your course and increase your hourly teaching rate as you increase your qualification level.

420-hour Level 5 Advanced TEFL Diploma

The average time taken to complete this course is 12-20 weeks but, as with the 500-hour course, you’ll receive a certificate after you complete the first 180 hours (usually around 6 weeks in) so you can earn while you study!

300-hour Level 5 TEFL Diploma

This course usually takes around 8-16 weeks to complete.

180-hour Level 5 TEFL Certificate

Our 180-hour course takes an average of 4-8 weeks to complete.

120-hour Level 3 TEFL Certificate

With our shortest course, you could get your TEFL certification in just 2-6 weeks (!!), as this is the average time it has taken past students to complete.

man getting his TEFL certification

Things to remember

Don’t forget to take into account that if you can study your course full-time, you could complete it in less time than the average person. And, conversely, if you find you don’t have much time in the week to dedicate to it or something unexpected happens to interrupt your studies for a period of time, it might take you a bit longer than the average person. So, the timings given above are just rough guides to give you an idea of the length of time it could take you if you’re able to study part-time and continuously.

And remember, you have a whole host of support teams behind you if you take a course with i-to-i, who will help you get TEFL certified more quickly. From our TEFL experts, who will help you select the right course for your needs, to our Customer Support team, who can help you with any technical issues you might have with the course, and our Academic Support team and Tutors, who are available to answer any questions you might have about the course material and provide comprehensive feedback on your assignments. The more support you have, the less likely you are to get stuck and the more motivated you’ll feel – so you’ll be more likely to complete your course in record time!

woman with her TEFL certificate

Want some top tips for completing your course? Check out South African TEFL teacher Samukelisiwe’s blog post.

Now you know how long it takes to get TEFL certified are you ready to get started? Head to our courses webpage to select your course or arrange for a free call back from one of our TEFL experts if you have questions or would like some advice on which is the right one for you.

 

23 Reasons to TEFL in 2023!

Looking for reasons to TEFL in 2023? How about 23 of them?!

Teaching English is an amazing thing to do and if you’re looking to make your 2023 meaningful and empower yourself to achieve all those things you’ve put on the backburner for a few years (while the world went mad!), then TEFL could be just the thing! We’ve put together a list of our favourite 23 reasons to start teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) in 2023, to help motivate you to get your new year off to a great start.

Ready to find out what these reasons are? Keep reading….

1. Travelling the world

TEFL is an easy way to fund your travels or get yourself a stable job overseas. It can be difficult to find roles in other industries if you’re dying to live abroad, but TEFL is a really dependable career that will help you to achieve your travelling dreams! It’s also really flexible and you’ll also be able to fit it around your lifestyle, as you change your priorities or travelling goals. For example, you can start off in a year-long teaching position in a school, if you’re looking to settle in one place initially. Then, if you get itchy feet and want to explore, you can become a digital nomad – teaching online while you travel from country to country! The opportunities are endless.

2. Kick-starting an amazing career

If you’ve just finished college or university and you’re not sure which career path to choose, TEFL can be an amazing paid break in between starting your “real” job search or deciding what you want to do long-term. It’ll give you loads of confidence and skills for later in life and will look amazing on your CV, impressing potential employers from many different industries. Or, you might find you really love it and then you can carry on with a career in TEFL! Loads of our graduates started TEFLing with the idea they’d teach and travel for a couple of years before returning home but now they’ve got successful careers teaching English and wouldn’t think of doing anything else!

3.  Making a difference

By choosing teaching as your profession, you’ll get job satisfaction like no other because you’ll be really making a difference to your students’ lives. You’re giving them the opportunity to access more through their language skills, whether that’s educational opportunities or job roles, and helping them to achieve their goals. This makes the job so rewarding and means any difficult days are well worth it! You can also volunteer as a teacher, if you’re looking to build up your experience and really give something back.

4. Meeting like-minded people

Choosing to TEFL will also give you the opportunity to work in a super sociable atmosphere. Not only will you work as part of a close-knit team with your colleagues (whether that’s online or an in-person team), all of whom will have similar goals to you. You’ll also interact with students and parents every single day. These bonds that you make, especially with your colleagues, will often stay with you for life. This is especially helpful if you’ve moved to another country to teach, as you’ll find it a lot easier to settle in, socialise, and explore your new stomping grounds!

GROUP OF TEFL TEACHERS IN THAILAND

5. No two days being the same

Find yourself getting bored with repetitive days in office roles? We don’t blame you! Well, another thing that makes TEFL a great move is that it’s one of the least repetitive job roles out there! Your students will all have different needs and focuses, and, with their constant progress and the regular influx of new students to teach, life (and lesson planning) will stay varied and interesting. Whether you’re teaching online or abroad, no two days will be the same – you’ll never be bored when you TEFL!

6. Earning good money

Whether you’re teaching in your home country, abroad, or online, your earning potential can be huge. And we know this is especially important for a lot of you in today’s economic climate!

We’re talking up to £45 an hour for specialised positions and up to £25 an hour for general EFL, with the right qualifications and experience, or up to US$5000 per month in lucrative TEFL locations (like the UAE). Sign us up! Plus, many teaching positions abroad will come with additional benefits such as accommodation, flights, medical insurance and paid visas, meaning more money left over for exploring!

7. Getting qualified for life

If you get a TEFL qualification from an accredited and reputable provider, that qualification will be valid FOR LIFE. So, you can use it whenever you need it, throughout your working life – amazing right?!

8. Achieving personal growth

When we speak to our TEFL graduates, the feedback we often get is that becoming a TEFL teacher will help you realise who you are and what’s important. One of our TEFL graduates, Baz, who has been a TEFL teacher for several years, shares his story:

“I wanted to escape England, travel the world, and live the dream. But it was during this adventure that I realised what is really important in life: I’ve always been close to family, but it’s not until you have to live alone, especially through tough times and family occasions like Christmas, that you realise what you have. One of the best moments of my trip was when my parents and sister came out to visit me in Thailand – it was a proud moment seeing them in my class with my students!  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about them all back in England.  It’s hard being away, but it makes the times when we’re together more special!

When I first set out on the TEFL adventure I never would have guessed that becoming a TEFL teacher would lead me to my wife. I’m settled here in Seville now, and happily married. I often miss those crazy days I had on the road, but that was just a small part of the TEFL journey that I’m on.”

GROUP OF TEFL TEACHERS

9. Flexible working hours

Flexible working doesn’t just apply to those working as Freelance teachers. If you’re an online teacher, you’ll often be able to set your own hours of working with your employer (as long as you meet their minimum requirements, which are usually pretty low), so you’ll be able to fit TEFL around your existing lifestyle.

10. Gaining life experience

With teaching English as a foreign language, you’ll learn amazing skills and be able to relate to people from different cultures from all over the world. Whether you choose to teach online or abroad, you’ll be able to experience and learn new things about cultures other than your own, that you might not have been exposed to otherwise! Experiencing new ways of living and celebrating life promotes better understanding and cooperation between people, and will give you amazing life experiences.

11. Getting qualified quickly

Unlike lots of other teaching qualifications, such as the PGCE, a TEFL qualification can be completed in a little as 6 weeks (depending on the level of training you choose). So, you can get teaching and earning more quickly!

12. Being your own boss

If you choose to become a freelance TEFL teacher, you’ll be your own boss. So, you’ll be able to set your own working hours and days, decide your own rates, and pick what type of classes you want to teach. Sounds good to us!

FEMALE BOSS

13.Trying out teaching before you commit

Not sure if teaching is right for you? No worries! TEFL qualifications are a lot cheaper than most other teaching qualifications, so you’ll be able to try out your future career option without breaking the bank!

14. Learning more about your own language

If English is your mother tongue, you probably take it for granted. You might even make mistakes that you aren’t aware of! TEFL training takes you back to the building blocks of English, teaching you all about the structure and shape of the language. This can actually help to improve your abilities in your own language, so you’ll see the benefits in your own life as well as the lives of your students!

15. Getting to be creative

With TEFL lessons, you should have a bit more freedom with your class content (when compared to a core class like Maths or Science). This gives you the opportunity to get really creative and make it your own. Having fun and introducing classroom games is encouraged!

16. Making amazing memories

TEFL provides the opportunity for you to experience endless adventures, which will leave you with some amazing memories and stories to tell. Remember the saying “you only regret the things you don’t do”? Well, that’s because when you’re older and have time to reflect, you want to have some great things to reflect on! And you won’t be able to do that if you don’t do anything…

GROUP TEFL TEACHER PHOTO

17. Being in demand

The demand for TEFL teachers worldwide is only growing, as English becomes more and more universal. It’s widely used now in popular culture, education, and business, so TEFL positions are constantly opening up, as there are always more and more people who want to learn English! This means you’ll be able to pick the roles that are right for you when you’re looking for a TEFL job, rather than having to settle (which you might have to if jobs were rare). It also means you’ve got career security and a job for life!

18. Topping up your existing income

Not looking to teach full-time or commit to travelling the world just yet? No worries! TEFL is a great way to earn some extra money on the side, by teaching online from the comfort of your own home, so you can meet those rising costs of living without having to dip into your savings, leave your current job, or alter your lifestyle.

19. Earning while you study

With some of our courses (namely the Level 5 420-hour Advanced Diploma and the Level 5 500-hour Advanced Diploma) you can start earning, by teaching online, once you’ve completed your first 180-hours of training. So, in just 6 weeks, you could be earning money and building up your experience as a TEFL teacher while you complete the rest of your qualification. As you increase your experience and skill level, you can increase your rates. And then, once you’ve finished, you can either start teaching online full-time or apply for positions overseas, and you’ll have some great experience to put on your TEFL CV as well as a high-level TEFL qualification. Win-win!

20. Longer holidays

If you’re teaching in a school overseas, you’ll have more holidays than most other jobs! Think at least 6 weeks in summer, and 1–2 week long half-terms, where you’ll have to time to relax and explore to your heart’s content. Perfect if you want to get to know your new surroundings and have time to explore further afield.

HOLIDAY PLANNING FOR TEACHERS

21. Learning new skills

As a teacher, you won’t just be imparting knowledge, you’ll be absorbing it too and learning new skills that will set you up for life. Skills like communication, patience, time management, confidence, planning, critical thinking, and organisation, will only improve as you become a more experienced TEFL teacher. And these skills are really transferrable, so if you don’t want to teach forever you’ll be well-prepared to step into roles in a number of different industries!

22. Inspiring the next generation

If you’re teaching young learners, you’ll be shaping the minds of the next generation. That means you can have a positive impact and influence on the people they are going to become, which is an important and really rewarding role to have.

23. Keeping life fun!

Craving more fun in your life? Feel like it’s getting harder and harder to find the fun in job roles? You’re not alone! But TEFL is a great place for fun to thrive. Great English teachers bring personality and a sense of humour to work with them because if their students are having fun, they are more likely to engage in the lesson and learn more. Games, songs, and movement are all fun ways to encourage English learning, and this makes for a lively and upbeat classroom environment.

And, if you’re having fun on a daily basis, you can bet life will be a much happier experience in general!

 

And there you have it! 23 fabulous reasons to TEFL in 2023! Feeling inspired and ready to get started? We would be too. Click the link below or arrange for a free call back with one of our friendly TEFL advisors to get started!

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Is TEFL a good job for 2023?

Are you looking for a career which allows you to travel and build your savings, all while making a difference to the lives of others? With 2023 just around the corner, there’s no better time to start a new adventure as a TEFL teacher and have your best year yet!

Many teachers say that Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is fun, flexible and rewarding – but is right for you? Today, TEFL teacher Tabitha (@whereistab) is breaking down some of the key questions for new TEFL teachers. Perhaps you’re concerned about stress, workload, or instability? Read on to learn whether TEFL is a good job in 2023 and how you can start working with English learners around the world.

Types of TEFL jobs

Firstly, let’s recap some typical options for graduates with a TEFL qualification.

Online EFL teacher: A teacher who delivers classes online, either through an online marketplace website (such as Preply, italki, Fiverr, etc.) or through an online school. Online teacher can also freelance. Freelance teachers work independently and set their own rates and availability – perfect for digital nomads!

In-person teacher: A teacher who delivers classes in-person, typically for an academy or school. Popular TEFL destinations include South Korea, Thailand, Spain, and Vietnam. Teachers usually deliver a set curriculum and keep the same classes for an extended period (e.g. 1 year). This is a great choice for travel enthusiasts and those with a savings goal!

Private tutor: Some TEFL graduates choose to work with students 1:1, either abroad or in their home country (or online!) They find clients independently, can often charge higher rates, and don’t pay platform fees. Perfect for be-your-own-boss types!

teacher in a classroom

Is TEFL stressful?

This is a common concern for new TEFL teachers. As we know, there are plenty of ways to connect with English learners – from businesspeople in a classroom in Dubai to pre-K children in Seoul! Each TEFL job has its own benefits and challenges, but here are my thoughts on TEFL and stress:

Emotional investment. Teachers naturally care about the wellbeing and progress of their students, no matter their age or nationality. This can be a source of stress, but it is also why a career in TEFL is so rewarding! Having a strong support network around you (friends, family, therapist, etc.) and connecting with other teachers is a great way to express your worries and maintain your mental health in the teaching environment. i-to-i has a great Facebook group for students and graduates, where you can meet and connect with other people in the same situation as you!

Behaviour management. Public school teacher, Shan, has been working with Chinese pupils for several years. Her top tip for overcoming behaviour challenges? Building rapport and trying to understand why students are acting up. You can also set up for success with a great TEFL course with units on classroom management.

Workload. Whilst one EFL teacher may worry that their workload isn’t high enough, another might be overworking themselves and delivering too many classes per week. No matter the type of TEFL job, it’s essential to maintain work-life balance. Streamlining your lesson-planning time, openly discussing expectations, and scheduling fun activities for your days off are just a few suggestions to help keep your cool as a TEFL teacher!

In my experience, TEFL is an extremely fun and interesting career path with a manageable workload. In fact, you might find that you have more money and free time than the average office job! Stress need not put you off teaching – with the right tools, you can deliver knock-out classes without experiencing burnout.

teaching online

Is TEFL a stable career?

YES! I know full-time teachers who have been teaching English as a foreign language for almost twenty years.  I also know online EFL teachers who have been teaching online since before the pandemic, and they’ve never looked back! Check out my previous article to find out how long TEFL jobs last.

Teaching in a school offers great progression, whether you choose to stay in one country or relocate every few years. In China, I had many friends who moved from a teaching role into a senior leader or academic coordinator role. With experience, you can also secure higher-paid jobs in countries such as the UAE, China and Japan.

Did you know that there is also progression within online EFL teaching, even as a freelancer? That’s right! Experience, expertise and additional diplomas can turn you from “TEFL Teacher” to “Business English Specialist”, “Young Learners Specialist and Mindfulness Practitioner” or “Exam Prep Tutor, including IELTS” to name just a few! Consider your unique skills and experience, and how this can help you become a sought-after tutor and increase your rates over time.

A stable job provides career development, opportunities for further training, satisfaction, flexibility, and competitive salaries – and a career in TEFL meets every criterion!

female boss

Why is TEFL a good job for 2023?

The big question! With the pandemic behind us and borders staying open, now is the perfect chance to move abroad and start a new adventure with TEFL – whether you opt for a traditional teaching contract or life as a digital nomad. Thai island beaches, vibrant Colombian cities, and lush Vietnamese landscapes are just a plane ride away! What’s more, worries about getting stuck abroad or put into lockdown are much less pressing than last year. The chance to TEFL abroad in 2023 is hugely exciting, with limitless opportunities to get off the beaten track and immerse yourself in a new culture (and even learn a new language!)

Is TEFL a good job in 2023 for online EFL teachers in the UK, US and South Africa? Absolutely! The world has transformed in the last few years, and millions of people all over the world are embracing the chance to work from home. There is a vast pool of English learners wanting to take classes with an online tutor. Moreover, teaching English online makes language-learning with a native speaker affordable and accessible for students, no matter where they are based. Online teaching is a unique chance to make a difference – how often do you get to chat with students from almost every continent, all in one day? This is the reality of an online TEFL teacher (and it’s as awesome as it sounds)!

 

How do I become a TEFL teacher?

Download your free 5 Step Guide to becoming a TEFL teacher which will take you through the whole process! You can also check out our other articles, to learn more about how and where you can teach English as a Foreign Language (and no, you don’t need to have a university degree!)

An online TEFL qualification with i-to-i also fits around your schedule, so you won’t need to take any time out, and covers everything you need to know in order to succeed as a TEFL teacher, so you’ll feel prepared for your very first TEFL class!

Make 2023 count – it’s time to jump in!

Want to find out more about Tabitha’s teaching experiences? Check out her blog or her Instagram account – @whereistab

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Winter celebrations around the world

Winter celebrations are the best! As the cold creeps in and the dark nights are getting earlier (in the Northern Hemisphere anyway!), safe to say we all need a bit of cheering up! And what better way to cheer yourself up, than with a fun and festive celebration!

Different countries and cultures around the world have different traditions and celebrations in the winter months, so you have lots to choose from and enjoy! We have listed some of the most popular ones below, so get stuck in and warm up your winter (or liven up the next few months if you’re in South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand, as you’re probably already warm enough – lucky you!)

 

Diwali/Deepavali

Although it’s already been and gone this year, it’s a beautiful celebration and well worth remembering for 2023! The word Deepavali (from Sanskrit) means “row of lighted lamps”, and this is why it is often known as the festival of light! It’s a 5-day holiday that is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains around the world, with each religion assigning a different historical event or story to the celebration.

For those that celebrate, it represents new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness – a very cheering concept!

Many of those that observe this holiday will use lights and oil lamps to mark the occasion (either on the street or in houses) and it’s usually celebrated with a combination of family, feasting, and fireworks.

The dates of celebration change each year but are usually in October or November. This year the main day of celebration was the 24th of October and next year it’s the 12th of November – so get it in your calendar early!

diwali winter celebrations

Bodhi Day

This is a Buddhist holiday that is celebrated on the 8th of December each year, more commonly in countries with a strong Buddhist presence, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam.

It commemorates the day that they believe Gautami Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, reached enlightenment while meditating under a Bodhi tree, and is traditionally a day of quiet reflection, so meditation and prayer are usually practised. Performing acts of kindness towards others is also encouraged – which sounds lovely!

St. Lucia Day

This is a Christian holiday that is mainly observed in Italy, Sweden, and Norway on the 13th of December each year. It celebrates St. Lucia, who is believed to have brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candlelit wreath on her head, before being killed by the Romans for her religious beliefs.

Traditionally the eldest daughter in the family will serve coffee and baked goods to the rest of the family in the home, to represent St. Lucia feeding the Christians in the catacombs.

In Sweden and Norway, each town will also usually elect a person to represent St. Lucia in a procession that goes through the streets. Children tend to wear white outfits, with girls having lighted wreaths on their heads, and everyone sings traditional songs. It represents bringing hope and light to the darkest months of the year and is seen as the beginning of Christmas celebrations.

Hannukah/Chanukah

Another celebration known as the festival of lights, Hannukah is a Jewish holiday that takes places over 8 days in November or December each year. Hannukah comes from the word Chanukah, which means dedication in Hebrew.

During the celebration, a special candle holder with 8 branches, called a Menorah, is used. A different candle on the Menorah is lit each day of the celebration and the 8 days symbolise the story that one days’ worth of oil kept the lights burning for 8 days in a Jewish temple in ancient times, after the Jewish community had won back the right to practice their religion freely.

Traditionally, families exchange gifts, share traditional foods and games, and exchange chocolate coins to increase happiness – well it would work for us!

This year it will be celebrated from the 18th to the 26th of December.

hannukah winter celebrations

Winter Solstice

This was originally a pagan celebration and is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world, marking the official start of winter (as it’s the longest night, in the Northern Hemisphere, and the shortest day). There are lots of different versions of this celebration known by different names in other cultures (Yalda night-Iran, Inti Raymi-Peru, Dong Zhi-China) that are celebrated on a variety of different days, but all the celebrations share the same purpose.

The purpose is to celebrate the changing of the seasons, and the winter solstice represents regeneration and renewal, for those that observe it. Some people celebrate by eating traditionally ‘wintry’ foods, such as nuts, berries, root vegetables, and game meats (e.g. venison)!

This winter celebration falls on the 21st of December each year.

Christmas

A traditionally Christian holiday, that celebrates the belief that Christ was born on 25th December, and is associated with going to church, helping those less fortunate than yourself, and sharing the day with family and friends.

It is now celebrated more widely around the world, with the Christmas ‘season’ running from the start of December to 1st January, and it’s more and more commonly celebrated without religious meaning. The non-religious version of Christmas involves the giving and exchanging of gifts, and, for children, is associated with Father Christmas/Santa Claus visiting on Christmas Eve to leave gifts under the Christmas tree or in a Christmas stocking!

A Christmas tree and lights are often used to decorate the home and it’s traditional to have a roast turkey dinner, and gather with family, on Christmas Day itself.

Christmas winter celebrations

The Day of Goodwill

Started in 1994 in South Africa, The Day of Goodwill occurs on the 26th of December each year and the aim of the day is to give back to society. On this day many South Africans will donate food or goods to those less fortunate than themselves.

It’s about moving away from the more materialistic aspects of some modern holidays and enjoying the company of family and friends, while doing something good for your community.

Kwanzaa

Another relatively new celebration, as it was started in the 1960s by a professor of Africana studies at California State University, Maulana Karenga. Kwanzaa was created as a way to bring the African American community together – celebrating life as well as African cultures and values. It is primarily celebrated in the USA but is becoming more widely celebrated throughout the world.

The number 7 is important in Kwanzaa:

  • There are 7 letters in the name
  • Each of the 7 days of celebration are dedicated to one of 7 principles: unity(umoja), self-determination(kujichagulia), collective responsibility(ujima), cooperative economics(ujamaa), purpose(nia), creativity(kuumba) and faith(imani)
  • There are 7 symbols of the holiday: fruits, veg and nuts; a straw mat; a candleholder; ears of corn; gifts; a communal cup signifying unity; 7 candles in red, green, and black.

Throughout the 7 days, African American families and communities come together to engage in activities based around the 7 principles, including storytelling, singing, dancing, and cooking! On the last evening (Dec 31st) it’s traditional to hold a communal feast called Karamu.

This celebration begins on the 26th of December and ends on the 1st of January.

kwanzaa

New Year’s Day

For those that follow the Gregorian calendar (hint: this is followed by many countries in the world, so it might be you!) New Year’s Day is celebrated on 1st January each year. It is usually preceded by a New Year’s Eve party, on 31st December, where people traditionally gather with friends and family to ‘see in the New Year’ together, waiting for the countdown to midnight to be able to wish each other a ‘Happy New Year’ the moment it becomes 1st January.

There are lots of different ways countries celebrate the New Year at midnight, including:

  • Setting off fireworks – USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and many more!
  • Eating 12 grapes, one with each ‘bong’ of the clock (marking midnight), and if you manage to eat all 12, you will have good luck for the rest of the year! – Spain
  • Making a man out of straw and old clothes, that represents the old year with all its faults, and burning it to start the New Year afresh – Ecuador
  • Visiting a shrine or a temple after a feast at 11pm – Japan

Three Kings Day

A Catholic holiday that occurs on 6th January each year, this celebrates the three kings (aka. three wise men) who, according to the bible, brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

It is celebrated in different countries throughout the world but, most prominently, in countries with high concentrations of Catholics, such as Mexico or Spain.

In Mexico, children leave their shoes by their front door for the kings to leave presents in, and in Spain families exchange gifts and gather to eat a rosca de reyes, which is a circular sweet bread that represents the crowns of the kings and has a hidden figurine of the baby Jesus inside. The person that gets the piece with the figurine inside is expected to host a party on 2nd February that year!

Chinese New Year

Also known as ‘Lunar New Year’, as it is based on the lunar calendar, this event is celebrated primarily in China and involves welcoming in the New Year, and the spring season, by cleaning the home, performing prayers and rituals, and feasting with family and friends.

It is traditional to eat extremely long noodles for Chinese New Year, as they are thought to symbolise long life, and receive gifts of money from relatives in red envelopes, to encourage good luck and wealth for the year ahead.

Each new year also comes with a new animal (12 in total – based on the Chinese Zodiac) and the animals bring different expectations for each year. For example, in China it is often common to experience baby booms in the year of the Dragon, as this is considered the most auspicious zodiac animal and is believed to bring strength and good luck to those born under it. Births in the year of the sheep tend to be avoided, as the sheep is considered a less prosperous animal and it is believed that children born under this zodiac will have a lifetime of bad luck!

The date of celebration changes each year, but it usually falls in either January or February. In 2022 it will be observed on February 1st and it will welcome in the year of the Tiger!

Want to figure out your own zodiac sign, to see if you’re in for a lifetime of good luck or bad? Click here.

Lunar new year

Nyepi

This is the Balinese New Year (according to the Balinese Saka calendar) and it’s celebrated towards the end of the winter season, with the next Nyepi falling on 3rd March 2022.

The word Nyepi means ‘to keep silent’ and it is a day of complete quiet on the island of Bali, where all lights are turned off during the hours of darkness and nothing noisy is permitted. People are expected to rest, meditate, and reflect in their homes – no transport (e.g. planes or cars), electronics (e.g. x-box or phones), or work (e.g. shops and restaurants) allowed! The island comes to a complete standstill and is extremely peaceful.

However, this day of complete calm is preceded by one of the noisiest evenings ever! On 2nd March there will be massive processions through the streets in the evening, with loud music, dancing, and large Ogoh-Ogoh (frightening papier-maché creations) which are taken to a central location and burned, to banish evil spirits that have come to the island over the last year.

It’s an amazing experience but, to catch it, you’ll have to make sure you’re there in plenty of time, before the transport shuts down!

World TEFL Guide

However you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a magical winter and enjoy yourself!

Feel like we’ve missed an important celebration off our list? Get in touch via our Facebook or Instagram and we’ll try to add on as many as we can!

Want a way to get out there and experience these celebrations for yourself? Then, get TEFL qualified! Once you are, you’ll be able to travel and earn to your heart’s content, and get a chance to see all these amazing celebrations in person.

TEFL Jobs – And How to Get One!

So, you’ve decided you want to TEFL – great! But now all that’s on your mind is TEFL Jobs, and how to get one. It can seem like an impossible mountain to climb at first but, trust us, TEFL Jobs aren’t as scary as they seem. And you can definitely get one!

Check out the questions you need to be asking, and all the info you need in our answers, to help you to land your dream role in no time.

When can I apply for a TEFL Job?

There are 2 different ways to interpret this question, so we’ll answer both!

If you’re asking this to gauge when, during your TEFL course, you can start applying for TEFL jobs, the answer is: as soon as you have your certificate! Employers will usually want to see a copy of your TEFL certificate before they make you an offer of employment, so you’ll need to have this to hand as part of the application process. Good news? If you take our 420-hour course, you get a certificate once you’ve completed the first 180-hours. That means you can start applying for online positions as soon as you’ve completed this stage! You can then earn while you’re still studying, and watch your wage increase as your TEFL experience and qualification increases! Want to find out more? Check out our free TEFL Career Roadmap.

If you’re asking what time of year you can apply, there are lots of different types of TEFL jobs and contract lengths, which means that you can pretty much apply for one all year round! If you’re looking for online TEFL jobs, you’ll pretty much be able to apply at any time of year. If you’re looking for TEFL jobs abroad, there will be peak hiring periods to look out for.

We’ve broken down peak hiring seasons, by the most popular continents to TEFL in, below:

Asia

For private schools you can apply all year round but peak hiring seasons for public schools tend to be before the start of the next academic year, so you’re best to start looking in May/June.

There are generally some public-school positions available mid-way or part-way through the academic year (but bear in mind there might be fiercer competition for these ones!), so it’s always worth keeping an eye out for them if you’re not looking to start at the beginning of the academic year. Just try to remember that hiring tends to close 2-3 months before positions start, so work backwards from when you think you want to start. This way you’ll be able to figure out when you need to start looking and when you need to apply. For example: If you want to start work in March, you’ll need to make sure you have your application in before the end of December and it’s best to start looking in September.

If you’re applying for specific programmes, such as the EPIK in South Korea or the JET in Japan, these will have much more restrictive application periods. They also have longer application processes, so you need to plan in advance! The EPIK process tends to take around 3 months and there are 2 months of the year you can start the application process – August or March. The JET process can take up to 6 months and there is usually only one intake of applications per year. If you’re looking to do this programme, you need to be applying September – November time.

Want to be sponteneous and find a job when you land somewhere? Fair enough! Countries in Asia are pretty good at hiring TEFL teachers on the spot, especially in Cambodia. While this might mean a bit of juggling and exiting the country briefly to sort out your teaching visa, it can be a good way of getting hired quickly, if you’re desperate to start your teaching journey ASAP and you prefer a less planned approach to life!

ASIA

Europe

Private schools often hire all year round but public schools run on the academic year (which is September – June in Europe), so new TEFL jobs will be posted just before the summer break. Start looking in April/May and make sure your application is in by the end of June. There are usually some last-minute positions available, if you prefer not to plan too far in advance!

There will also be a number of summer school positions over the summer months, if you’re working in a public school and want to make sure you’re still earning during summer break. Hiring for these usually takes place in January, so keep an eye out then as summer school TEFL jobs tend to be filled by February.

EUROPE

South America

Public schools in South American countries with a higher demand for TEFL teachers, such as Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru, tend to have their peak hiring seasons February – April, with an additional hiring season July – August if they have lots of TEFL jobs available.

Public schools in Mexico work on the same academic year as Europe, so the peak hiring period here tends to be in June, July, and August.

Private schools will hire all year round but there tends to be a flurry of TEFL jobs adverts in October – December, so this is another key time to look.

SOUTH AMERICA

What type of TEFL Jobs do I want to apply for?

You definitely need to be asking yourself this question when you’re looking for TEFL Jobs. Deciding whether you want to teach online or overseas will also affect the style of job application you complete (as well as the time you apply), and the places you look to find TEFL jobs. So, it’s important to work it out earlier rather than later!

Abroad

TEFL Jobs abroad tend to be more structured, as they take place in a traditional classroom setting. Contracts are usually longer, often a minimum of 12 months, and can include benefits like free accommodation, flight reimbursement and bonuses (depending on where you want to teach). Overseas jobs can be advertised online and in-country, so you might find the perfect role on an internet jobs board, stuck outside the school on a notice board, or in a local newspaper!

Want to settle somewhere overseas and teach in classrooms abroad? Then your application process will look more like a traditional job application. You’ll need to send in a TEFL CV and potentially a covering letter and/or fill in an application form, so they can assess whether you meet their needs and the legal visa requirements. You may then have an initial telephone interview but, more likely, you’ll go straight to the formal interview. This could be in-person (if you’re already in-country) or over Zoom/Skype/another online platform if you’re applying remotely. The interview will usually involve you needing to teach a specific teaching point (e.g. the pluperfect tense) through a demo lesson, where the interviewers play the role of students.

Online

TEFL Jobs online are generally more flexible, and you can fit them to work around your existing schedule. This means you can work from home or work from wherever you are in the world (as a digital nomad). Although some companies have minimum hours to complete and the contract lengths vary widely, you usually won’t need to commit to as much time as an in-person role. Online TEFL employers are also usually more open to hiring teachers from a variety of different educational backgrounds and countries (as you don’t need to meet the specific visa criteria that in-country positions often have). You will generally only find online teaching positions advertised online, so TEFL Jobs Boards are your best search tool for online TEFL jobs.

Think online teaching sounds more your speed? Then you will need to complete an online application form with the employer and attach your CV. You’ll also often have to produce a profile complete with an introduction video (that will appear on your profile on the online platform for potential students to view). You will then usually be invited to attend an online interview and, as part of the interview process, you’ll need to conduct a demo online lesson.

How do I create the perfect TEFL CV/resume?

A key part of landing that perfect TEFL job is creating an amazing TEFL CV/resume. For this one we’ll hand over to our amazing graduate, and TEFL Jobs veteran, Audrey! Check out the recording of her Live Webinar on this topic by clicking on the image below:

audrey webinar

Don’t have time to watch right now? The key things you need to remember for your TEFL CV/resume are:

  • Keep it to 2 pages max, ideally 1 page if you can fit in all the key information – employers won’t read much more than that, and you don’t want them to discount your application because they couldn’t easily find the information they needed!
  • Make sure you include your name and contact information. A portait photo of yourself is optional, but TEFL employers definitely prefer CVs/resumes with images on.
  • Include a short personal statement/about me section – show your personality but make sure you connect everything to the role you’re applying for.
  • Include your educational background and work experience – start from now and work backwards. Make sure you identify transferrable skills, if you’ve never worked as a teacher before.

It’s definitely worth watching the video when you can, as Audrey gives some great insights and helps show you how to make your existing skills and work experience TEFL relevant. Her example CV/resume is also available in the comments for you to use as a template.

For additional information, including more CV/resume examples, check out our blog post dedicated to discussing how to build the perfect TEFL CV/resume.

How do I create an introduction video?

Another key part of getting your dream TEFL role, if you’re applying for online TEFL Jobs, is making sure you have a great introduction video. TEFL teacher Audrey covered how to do this in another webinar. Check out her advice by watching the video below:

Don’t have time to watch right now? A brief summary would be:

  • Make sure you have a background that matches the level of students you’re looking to teach – e.g. bright and engaging for younger learners, more sedate and uncluttered for adults.
  • Be professional – your clothing, manner, and setting should all be appropriate for a teacher. E.g. Don’t film in your pajamas, have your bed visible in the background, or use inappropriate language.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment – before you film you should make sure that you’re using a good quality camera and microphone. Students won’t want to be taught by you if they can’t hear or see you properly!
  • Be friendly and approachable and make sure you match your energy level to your target audience – e.g. bright and energetic for young learners, using TPR. For adults you can be enthusiastic but less bouncy!
  • Make sure you’re speaking clearly and at a moderate pace – your pronunciation should be clear, to demonstrate your ‘teaching voice’, and you should be speaking at a pace that makes it easy for potential students and employers to understand what you’re saying.

Watch Audrey’s video when you can, as she gives some great detailed information and examples.

Want to find out even more? Check out our blog post about creating effective introductory videos.

How do I ace my TEFL interview?

This is the big one! A TEFL interview is super important when applying for TEFL Jobs, as it’s often the final stage before a formal offer of employment is made. If you’re looking to land your dream role, you’ll need to make sure you ace it!

We’ve got lots of blogs that go into detail on this topic, check out 3 of them below:

Rosland, one of our South African graduates, and Audrey have also done webinars on how to prep for and ace your TEFL interview. Click below to watch the videos!

Audrey also covers information in her interview webinar about demo lessons, and you’ll find some top tips in your TEFL course for lesson planning and teaching specific points. So, this part of the interview should be a breeze!

 

Now you know all you need to know about TEFL Jobs and how to get one! Ready to get started? Head over to the LoveTEFL Jobs Board and check out the latest vacancies on offer!

Need to get TEFL qualified first? No problem! Arrange for a free call back from one of our TEFL experts and they will help get you started. You can also click the image below to find out what courses we have on offer!

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Want to get more top tips from Audrey? Check out her Instagram @travelrichmoneypoor for a lot of useful info!

Can you make a living from TEFL? Find out from Tabitha!

You’ve seen the enviable photos from old schoolmates living abroad, or digital nomad friends posting #workfromanywhere selfies from a beach in Bali – but is it true? Can you really make a living from TEFL, or is it a social media fantasy? My name is Tabitha and I’ve been teaching English as a foreign language since 2019. I’m here to tell you that you can make a living from TEFL, but there are some basic facts to know before you get started!

What does TEFL cover?

Firstly, it’s important to note that TEFL is an umbrella term. TEFL, or “Teaching English as a Foreign Language” covers all sorts of contracts and working arrangements, from casual 1:1 classes in a local café to formal curriculums delivered to a class of 60-odd students in a public school. In practice, TEFL can mean part-time, full-time and fully remote roles.

TEFL Salaries

A big part of knowing whether you can make a living from a job is knowing the salary, so I’ve laid out information about in-classroom and online salaries below.

In-Classroom

The top TEFL jobs are extremely lucrative; countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia offer world-class salaries which are often higher than a typical salary in your home country. A contract at a prestigious school or training centre will be well-rewarded, and great TEFL training will help you to get there.

However, you might be wondering what the average salary is like for a first-time (or newly qualified) EFL teacher abroad. This varies from country to country. South Korea currently offers a great entry point for new teachers, with training and development for staff, stable contracts (usually 1-3 years), competitive salaries, holiday pay and other perks. You do, however, need a college degree to secure a legal working teacher visa in South Korea.

Meanwhile, countries across SE Asia, South America and Europe are quickly becoming top destinations for TEFL graduates without a degree, including positions in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Spain, and the Czech Republic. Salaries in these countries are likely to be lower, but it’s worth noting that the cost of living is also lower here and therefore you can still make a good living from TEFL abroad.

FEMALE TEACHER WITH GLOBE

Online

Back to that friend on the beach – can you really sustain a comfortable lifestyle whilst teaching English online? I taught English online as a full-time career in 2021 and it was a great fit. The amount you can make teaching online varies across platforms and will depend on your hourly rate, workload, and platform fees. In 2021, I worked 3-4 days a week and taught around 5 lessons per day at an hourly rate of $18-$25 USD (before fees). This often resulted in $800-$1000 USD per month after fees (but before tax), which was a liveable wage whilst I travelled in Europe and the UK.

With time, you can build your client base and consistently make more than this sum. Nonetheless, new online teachers typically charge less for their classes in order to reach more students, and then gradually increase their fees over time. In short: if you are staying in a country with a low cost of living and earning a regular wage in US dollars (as is common on EFL teaching platforms), even new teachers can work relatively few hours whilst enjoying the digital nomad lifestyle! Just remember to check local laws regarding remote work and to contribute to the communities you visit (economically and socially). Be a responsible nomad!

In 2022, a third option is emerging for online teachers – the portfolio career. Many young professionals are choosing to pursue portfolio careers, in which an individual has multiple income streams from several jobs (for example, digital marketing, hospitality, or profits from a small business). TEFL can be a rewarding part of your overall earnings, both in-person and online. For example, you might have a financial goal of 1200 euros per month whilst living in the South of France. Between teaching English online, offering 1:1 classes locally, writing blogs for a travel agency, and a weekly shift in a coffee shop, you have met your target and are living a varied and fulfilling lifestyle which still allows you to travel and pursue your hobbies. Result!

WOMAN TEACHING ONLINE

How long will it last?

We’ve established that you can make a living from TEFL in multiple ways, and that salaries can range from comfortable to lavish. Perhaps you, your friends or your family are thinking: “Alright. But how long will it last?” A typical in-person teaching contract (for example, at a school or language centre) lasts at least 6 months and is usually no longer than 2 or 3 years. The average length of contract is around 9-12 months, to mirror an academic year. Good news: if all is going well at your review, it’s very likely that you and your employer will seek to extend your contract. Likewise, you can walk away from your post at the end of your contract with no hard feelings and try something new (e.g. another country!)

Teaching English online is somewhat different. Normally, you are your own boss – which means that you are also your own salesperson. If you build great relationships with your students, they will usually come back for more. When the relationship finally ends, there will be new students waiting to meet you. What does that mean? Well, you can teach English online indefinitely (you read that right!) However, it’s worth noting that there are “quiet periods” in the online teacher’s calendar, including school holidays, June-August, and public holidays such as Christmas and Chinese New Year. It’s sensible to put savings aside in case your workload drops for a few weeks. You could also look for in-classroom summer schools to fill the summer months or, and I’d highly recommend this one, make the most of it with some well-deserved time off!

Why I chose TEFL

TEFL is a fantastic career with so much scope for personal development – from travel, to growing your finances, to supporting a wider portfolio career. You can make a living from TEFL in 2022 and beyond, and you never know… it could be the best decision you ever make!

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Want to find out more about Tabitha’s teaching experiences? Check out her blog or her Instagram account – @whereistab

Motivation for Teachers

Whether you’re already a TEFL teacher looking for motivation and to give yourself a boost, as is often necessary in any job role to be able to maintain your levels of passion and energy, or whether you’re considering becoming a TEFL teacher, and looking for the motivation to do so, you’ve come to the right place!

Teaching is an extremely rewarding profession, but it takes a lot of energy and dedication. This is why it’s very important to keep up morale and motivation for teachers. It’s also important to remind you why you got into it in the first place! Or why you should get started!

Here at i-to-i, we love any excuse to give you wonderful people a boost. Keep reading for the motivation for teachers that you’ve been looking for!

Inspirational quotes

These are some of our favourite inspirational quotes, that really show how much teachers mean and why it’s such a worthwhile job. If that’s not great motivation for teachers (existing and aspiring), we don’t know what is!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams (Obviously Henry said he/his when he meant to say they/their!)

“If you’re planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” – Chinese Proverb

“Teaching is more than imparting knowledge; it is inspiring change.” – William Arthur Ward

“The best part of teaching is that it matters.” – Todd Whitaker

“Teaching is the profession that teaches all of the other professions.” – Anonymous

“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

“Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.” – Colleen Wilcox

“Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” – Josh Shipp

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey

female teaching smiling

Share the motivation

One of the best places to get motivation is from other teachers! There’s nothing like getting a compliment or words of encouragement from someone who really knows what the job is all about. Not already part of a teacher community? Head to our Students and Graduates Facebook page to connect with other teachers and get a boost, or to give someone else one!

And we know we’re getting a bit quote happy…but this one is super relevant for this section:

“The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.” – Robert John Meehan.

Teachers are often hyper critical of themselves so getting a different perspective and support from other teachers can help you to realise you’re actually great at your job! And this can be the motivation you need to keep enjoying your role and pushing for progress and personal growth.

teachers laughing

Professional development opportunities

Speaking of personal growth…One of the most motivating factors for teachers should also be the fact that you’re never stuck in one role. There are so many different avenues to teaching, and so many ways to progress and develop your skills – keeping your working life interesting and motivating!

Already a TEFL teacher and looking to upskill and specialise? Check out our specialist courses!

Still need to get TEFL qualified? Check out our Advanced TEFL Diploma that has all the specialisms included!

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We hope you’re feeling motivated and rearing to go now – Happy Teaching!

Need to find a TEFL job first? Head to the LoveTEFL Jobs Board for all the latest vacancies.

What is Eliciting? And Why is it Important for Teaching?

Have you been hearing the word ‘eliciting’ a lot? Wondering what it means and why it’s so important? Don’t worry, we can explain!

What is ‘eliciting’?

When it’s used in relation to teaching, ‘eliciting’ (or elicitation) simply refers to a group of techniques that teachers use to get their students to provide information. So, instead of providing the information all the time, the teacher would give some kind of stimulus or prompt in order to draw out a response from the student/motivate them to provide the answer. E.g. If the teacher wants the student to say the word “aeroplane” they might say “this flies in the air….a pilot uses it to take us from country to country….it has metal wings” etc. to prompt the correct response.

Why is it important?

There are lots of reasons why eliciting is an important thing to include in your lessons, but our top 5 are:

  1. It makes the lesson learner-centred rather than teacher-centred.
  2. It improves information retention, as students learn to link old and new information and continue to practice the things they have learned
  3. Your students will experience faster progress of their language abilities, as they are practicing more, which will increase their confidence. This will make them more likely to continue to use and practice their new language skills outside of the classroom!
  4. Your students are more likely to be engaged, as they are actively doing something rather than passively listening to the teacher.
  5. You can find out what your students do/don’t know, so you can base your lessons around this and build on their knowledge – making lessons more relevant for them and therefore more engaging.

NB: It can be harder to find out what they know through other methods, as you’ll often find students will reply “Yes” to the questions “Do you understand?” “Do you know?”, to avoid feeling embarrassed in front of classmates or the teacher, regardless of whether they do actually know or understand (so, it can be difficult to know their true level of ability). 

MALE TEACHER ELICITING A RESPONSE FROM HIS STUDENTS

What are some EFL eliciting techniques?

We’ve already demonstrated one technique for eliciting vocabulary – providing clues to direct students to the word/words you’re looking for (aka: Match the word to the definition) – but there are lots of other techniques out there, including:

Synonyms

Making a statement and then asking students to paraphrase using synonyms of the words you used. This is best for older or more advanced students. E.g. Teacher: “I enjoy visiting places with lots of books”, Student: “She likes going to libraries”.

Flashcards or Pictures

Best for younger learners, presenting them with flashcards or pictures of the vocabulary you’re looking for and asking them to tell you what it is. They can also be used to turn the exercise into a game, to keep learners engaged. For some game ideas check out the Teach This website.

Mind Maps or Word Clusters

Start with a ‘topic word’ and then have students add all the different words related to that topic. E.g. Topic word = ‘Nature’, so related words might be ‘mountains’, ‘soil’, ‘rivers’, ‘beach’, ‘woods’ etc.

Modelling

Where the teacher will model the structure they are looking for and then prompt students to develop their own version. E.g. Teacher: “Do you like dogs?”, Student: “Yes”, Teacher: “Do you like sharks?”, Student: “No”, Teacher: “What’s the question? Ask me.” (Prompting the student to copy the structure the teacher has demonstrated and replace the last word with a different animal word that they have learnt).

Multiple Choice

Good for lower-level abilities, as you can give the students multiple possible answers and ask them to select the correct one. E.g. Students have the following statements: “Wolves usually have green fur”, “Wolves usually have grey fur”, “Wolves usually have pink fur”, Teacher then asks: “What colour fur do wolves usually have?” and students have to select/speak the correct answer.

Stories

Using stories/situational dialogues (either in the form of a listening or reading exercise) to elicit information from the students, once they have listened to, or read, the story. E.g. Listening to the story “The Gruffalo” and then asking questions like “Who was walking in the wood?”, “Who did the mouse meet first?”, “What colour were The Gruffalo’s eyes?” etc.

And this is just a selection! For more ways to bring eliciting into your TEFL classroom, see our TEFL courses.

What are some Top Tips for eliciting?

It can take a while to develop your eliciting techniques, so it’s definitely something to start ASAP with your students! Our top tips, when you’re just getting started, are:

  • Make sure you select the appropriate technique for the level of your students’ language ability – making something too hard or too easy won’t help your students to progress.
  • Be patient and don’t be afraid of a bit of silence – sometimes students need a bit more time to answer!
  • If you have mixed ability classes, you could put students into groups and make the higher- level students in each group the ‘mini teachers’ – getting them to elicit the information from their lower-ability classmates.
  • Follow up with Concept Checking Questions – got the response you were looking for from one of your students? That’s great! But you need to make sure the rest of the class is at the same level of understanding as that student, before you move on. This can be assessed using concept checking questions.

Teach Online without a degree

The best way to become an eliciting expert is to take a TEFL course, as it will provide all the information you need to feel confident using these techniques in your classroom (whether online or in-person). Still need to get qualified? Check out our range of courses, or take our quick course-matching quiz, to find out which one is your perfect fit!

Would you prefer to speak to someone before you book? No problem! Arrange for a free call back from one of our friendly TEFL experts, and they’ll be happy to help.

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United Kingdom

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