The outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) has had a direct impact on the TEFL industry. State schools and private language centres across the world have closed their doors and travel is severely restricted, affecting employment opportunities for TEFL teachers.
To gain a clearer picture of the current state of the TEFL jobs market and explore how it has been affected by the pandemic, i-to-i analysed details of the teaching positions advertised on the specialist TEFL jobs board, LoveTEFL, between 1 February 2020 and 30 March 2020. Specifically, the purpose of this research was to identify:
- The extent to which TEFL employers are continuing to recruit for classroom-based posts during the pandemic
- Whether there has been an increase in demand for online English teachers, given physical classrooms are currently closed
- Comparative wages, contract lengths and job requirements for online English teaching positions compared to classroom-based TEFL posts
» In total, 7,005 English teaching jobs were advertised on the LoveTEFL jobs board between 1 February to 30 March 2020. Of these, just under a third (31%) were for online teaching posts.
There was a noticeable surge in the number of online teaching positions advertised across the period, with 55% more online TEFL positions advertised in March 2020 compared to the previous month.
» Despite the global outbreak of Covid-19, TEFL employers are continuing to advertise for classroom-based teachers. In fact, the number of classroom-based positions advertised on LoveTEFL’s jobs board increased overall by 34% in March compared to February.
» At an individual country level, there were six countries where more than 100 jobs were advertised across the period analysed. Of these, for three (China, South Korea and Hong Kong), there were more positions advertised in March compared to February, for one (Spain) the figure was flat and for the remaining two (Thailand and Vietnam) the number of advertised posts was lower in March compared to February.