July 31st, 2012
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If you are a South African person wanting to teach English as a foreign language abroad, you might be surprised at just how many opportunities there are to do this. Many people assume the only option available for TEFL job hunters is to take positions that involve teaching a classroom of young children how to speak English. But this isn’t the case.
So let’s find out what TEFL jobs are out there for you to consider, so you can find a path to a better future in the job you really want.
Teach young children in class
This is the most obvious route to take. The children will generally be aged from around six upwards, which is an age where learning new languages tends to be easier. It can be a challenge maintaining control of the classroom and gaining everyone’s attention and focus, but it can be enormously rewarding as well.
Teach business owners and workers
In many ways, English is one of the most important languages for business people in non-English speaking countries to learn. This is why many Asian countries have good opportunities for people to become TEFL workers in a business setting, rather than a school classroom setting. The potential earnings can be better in this particular field as well, which is something else worth thinking about.
Teach English to be used in conversations
There is a big difference between teaching English as a subject or to be learned as a proper language, and learning just enough to get by if need be. Conversational English is a popular place for some TEFL workers to begin, because it is not as in depth as English lessons that are given in a classroom. There is no strict course to follow here, as all you are doing is giving the students a casual knowledge of English they can use to converse without being too in depth.
Teach individuals in private learning sessions
If you feel you are better at teaching individuals to speak English rather than teaching a whole class, it might be worth considering whether private teaching would be better for you. Many people want to learn English – or they want their children to learn English – so you should find lots of opportunities in this field as well. Alternatively some TEFL tutors who are teaching full time in a school or university find additional work as private tutors in their spare time. You may also find some students and/or their parents want additional help with their English speaking skills, so this can be a useful add-on.
As you can see, the idea of standing in front of a classroom full of young children is true, but not all the time. Some TEFL tutors have never done this in their lives, so it does show there are lots of options and alternative career paths to choose as a TEFL tutor. The more you understand about the TEFL jobs that are available, the easier it will be to choose the right path for you.