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How to Get a TEFL Job Abroad: Tips and Tricks

by Liam Alexander
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job abroad

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is an exciting way to travel the world while earning money and gaining valuable teaching experience. With the demand for English language education increasing globally, there are plenty of opportunities for TEFL teachers to find work abroad. However, breaking into the industry can be overwhelming for first-time teachers.

In this article, we’ll share some valuable tips and tricks on how to get a TEFL job abroad. From getting certified to choosing a destination and finding the right job, we’ll cover everything you need to know to kickstart your TEFL career and make your dream of teaching abroad a reality.

The importance of getting certified before applying for a TEFL job.

Getting certified is an important step for anyone who wants to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) abroad. TEFL certification programs provide aspiring teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to plan and deliver effective lessons, manage a classroom, and understand the needs of English language learners. Here are some reasons why getting certified is crucial before applying for a TEFL job.

Firstly, TEFL certification is often a requirement for many teaching jobs abroad. Employers want to know that their teachers have received adequate training and have the necessary skills to teach effectively. In fact, some countries have strict requirements for TEFL certification, and not meeting them could result in visa complications or being ineligible for certain jobs.

Secondly, TEFL certification programs provide hands-on teaching experience. Many programs require candidates to complete a practicum or observation hours, allowing them to apply what they’ve learned in a real classroom setting. This experience is invaluable for building confidence and gaining practical skills that will be useful on the job.

Finally, TEFL certification can increase earning potential. Many employers offer higher salaries to teachers with certification, recognizing the value of their training and expertise. Additionally, some certification programs offer job placement assistance, which can lead to better job opportunities and higher salaries.

Different types of TEFL certification and which one is suitable

There are various types of TEFL certifications available, and choosing the right one can be overwhelming for first-time teachers. Here are some of the most common types of TEFL certification and what makes them suitable for different situations.

Firstly, a standard TEFL certification course is usually 120 hours or more and covers the basics of teaching English as a foreign language. This type of certification is suitable for those who are new to teaching and want to gain a solid foundation of teaching skills. It’s also suitable for those who want to teach in countries where TEFL certification is required, such as China and South Korea.

Secondly, an advanced TEFL certification course is usually 200 hours or more and provides a more in-depth look at teaching English as a foreign language. This type of certification is suitable for those who want to stand out in the job market or those who want to teach in more challenging contexts, such as teaching business English or teaching to refugees and immigrants.

Thirdly, specialized TEFL certification courses focus on specific areas of English language teaching. Examples include courses in teaching young learners, teaching business English, and teaching exam preparation courses such as TOEFL or IELTS. These courses are suitable for those who want to specialize in a certain area of teaching or who want to improve their job prospects in a particular market.

Finally, online TEFL certification courses provide flexibility for those who cannot attend an in-person course. They are suitable for those who are self-motivated and can manage their own learning. However, online courses may not provide as much hands-on teaching experience as in-person courses, which could be a disadvantage for some employers.

Different types of TEFL jobs

There are different types of TEFL jobs available, and each offers a unique experience and set of challenges. Here are some of the most common types of TEFL jobs and what makes them different from each other.

Firstly, language schools are the most traditional type of TEFL job. They are usually located in major cities and offer a structured curriculum for students of all ages and language levels. Language school teachers typically work full-time and have a set schedule. This type of TEFL job is suitable for those who want a stable teaching job with regular hours and a consistent salary.

Secondly, online teaching has become more popular in recent years, offering a flexible and convenient way to teach English to students around the world. Online teaching can be done from anywhere with an internet connection, and the hours are often flexible. However, online teaching can also be less stable than traditional teaching jobs, and the pay may be lower. Online teaching is suitable for those who value flexibility and enjoy using technology to enhance their teaching.

Tips for finding TEFL jobs

Finding TEFL jobs can be challenging, especially for first-time teachers. Here are some tips to help you navigate the job search process and find the right TEFL job for you.

Firstly, start your job search early. It’s a good idea to start looking for TEFL jobs at least a few months before you plan to start teaching. This gives you time to research different job opportunities, prepare your application materials, and interview with potential employers.

Secondly, use job boards and recruitment agencies to your advantage. There are various TEFL-specific job boards and recruitment agencies that can help you find job opportunities in different countries. It’s important to research the reputation and credibility of these platforms before using them, but they can be a great resource for finding job openings and connecting with potential employers.

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