9 Jobs In TEFL

Sep 7 2023

Teaching English as a foreign language sounds glam, doesn’t it? We hear ( and see) the stories on social media of our friends trekking the Himalayas on their weekends or lounging on tropical islands on Tuesdays, and then back in their classrooms the next day. But do you really know what job a TEFL teacher does? Because there are, in fact, 9 different EFL jobs (if not more) that you can do with a TEFL certificate.

What are they? Here goes…

What jobs can I get with TEFL?

Kindergarten TEFL teacher

If you’re energetic, charismatic and patient, being a TEFL teacher in a kindergarten could be the perfect job for you. Young Learners have short attention spans and cannot yet read or write properly. EFL lessons in a kindergarten involve lots of games, songs, puppet shows, stories and ENERGY!

Kindergarten classes are usually small. TEFL teachers often have a teaching assistant to work with them to help with behavioural and developmental issues (like toilet breaks!).

Primary school TEFL teacher

Not far off the energy levels are primary school EFL learners. But because these guys are more capable, you can do a lot more with them. Discussions, quizzes, competitions, reading. But the lessons still need to be high-energy - don’t forget the games!

Primary school classes vary in size. Public schools in some countries can have 50 students or even more - so brush up on your classroom management skills.

High school teacher

High school learners can be the most interesting learners to teach. Often shy and nervous, sometimes unmotivated and grumpy, if you build good rapport with your teen learners you’ll reap the rewards. Teens can be sharp, inquisitive and funny - if you get them on a good day!

High school classes can also be large in public schools. In some countries you’ll have the assistance of a co-teacher.

University teacher

Teaching English as a foreign language at a university can take a few different forms. You could be teaching English as a subject in a lecture hall to hundreds of students. Or you could be taking smaller groups for tutorials to complement their major subjects.

Teaching at a university usually requires a higher qualification than a TEFL certificate. This could be a DELTA or a BEd or PGCE. Teaching experience is also preferred. University positions are highly sought after because they generally offer good salaries with fewer hours.

In-company teacher

If you’ve got a corporate vibe, you should get involved in in-company teaching. Businesses in many countries require English instruction for their employees. Rather than sending them to a language school, they hire a freelance teacher to teach in-company.

Not all in-company teaching positions require Business English experience, but some do. In-company TEFL teachers are often independent freelance teachers - so they can choose when, where and how often they want to teach!

Language school teacher

Not many people know this but teaching in a language school is one of the most common jobs for TEFL teachers. There are language schools all over the world, even in English-speaking countries. Language schools cater for Young Learners and teens after school or during school holidays, or adults.

Classes in a language school generally don’t have more than 12 students. Resources at your disposal are dependent on your particular language school. Teachers are generally paid hourly. Employment takes place throughout the year.

Specialist TEFL teacher

If you’re looking for a new challenge or to earn a few extra bucks for your classes, consider specialising. TEFL teachers can specialise in a range of different subjects, like Business English, English for Exams, or English for Specific Purposes (Nursing English, English for Aviation etc).

Having experience in a specialist subject looks good on your CV. Being a specialist teacher opens you up to more niche positions and higher rates of pay.

Private teacher

Some TEFL teachers prefer to be their own boss. They don’t want to clock hours or wait for month-end for their salary. So they are private, independent teachers. Having private students is the ultimate in flexibility in teaching.

Private teachers can teach 1-to-1 or groups. They can meet in public at a coffee shop or library, or even at their houses. Teachers often offer the first lesson free to make sure both parties are satisfied with the arrangement.

Online teacher

Online teaching is all the rage these days. And why not? A flexible schedule, no fixed location, and your own rates. TEFL teachers use online teaching to allow them to travel the world as digital nomads. Or to work from home without the hassle of a commute.

Online TEFL teachers either work for an online company, through an online platform, or as private teachers online. Working through a company requires you to pay a commission but they are responsible for sourcing students. Working privately, you can set your own rates and schedules but you need to do a bit of marketing to find your students.

What jobs can I get with TEFL?

The question is rather, where can’t I work with a TEFL?

TEFL is such a versatile career that there are TEFL jobs in virtually every country - probably even your own. And don’t forget, it’s totally feasible to teach English as a foreign language in an English-speaking country. In countries like the UK, the US and Australia, for example, language schools and universities cater for English language learners from foreign countries. These students come to these countries to learn English, study at an English-speaking institution, or integrate into the community.

Does this sound like your vibe? Sign up for a TEFL course, get TEFL qualified and any one of these options will be available to you!

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