Published 21st February 2021
Are you thinking of taking a break from your job?
Starting a new career?
Trying something a little different?
Then look no further than teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Being a TEFL teacher is your ticket to a life of travel, adventure, and a rewarding job. If travelling the world, helping people reach their goals of speaking English, and getting paid to do it sounds like your vibe, then you’re in luck. We’re here to show you how to get involved in one of the most popular career choices of the last decade.
The benefits of being an Irish TEFL teacher
If you’re a wannabe TEFL teacher and you’re Irish, you’ve got a head start on a lot of people already.
First of all, let’s talk about your passport. Having an EU passport is a golden ticket these days. You are able to fly into continental Europe at the drop of a hat, and there are tons of jobs available to you (and only you) there since it takes a lot of trouble and money for EU employers to hire non-EU teachers. Plus, working in Europe means you’ll be just a short flight away from home whenever you want to visit mom.
Of course, you’re not limited to Europe. With an EU passport, the world is your oyster. You might still need to apply for a work visa for many countries, but having an EU passport usually makes this a mere formality. And it’s generally easy to enter a country on a tourist visa if you want to check out a country before moving there permanently.
Then, let’s talk about money. Moving abroad and starting a new job requires money. Luckily for you, the Euro is generally a strong currency. While you will need to scrape together some savings before you jet off, you won’t necessarily need to sell your car in order to pack up and move to a new country.
But are there jobs for us, we hear you ask?
Opportunities for Irish TEFL teachers
Luckily for you, as an Irish TEFL teacher, there are numerous options available to you. You can:
- Work in Ireland
- Work abroad
- Or, work online (in Ireland or abroad)
Teaching English in Ireland
Ireland is known as being a hub for TEFL. Its renowned hospitality and friendliness, coupled with its gorgeous natural scenery mean that students wanting to learn English flock here en masse every year. In fact, in 2016, Ireland was the number one per capita destination in the world for EFL students with 122 000 students – fifth globally in terms of actual numbers of students.
Many students are business executives who need to improve their English for work, or students who need to improve their English to study at an English-medium university. Teens and Young Learners often come to Ireland for residential camps in the summer.
The majority of TEFL jobs can be found in private language schools in and around Dublin and Cork, and in various universities around the country. Considering that in 2020, according to ACELS (Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services), there were almost 100 private language schools in Ireland, there are bound to be loads of opportunities available to you.
In order to teach in Ireland, most institutions require TEFL teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree as well as a TEFL certificate. You will probably teach mostly adults, but also teens and Young Learners during the summer months. You can expect to earn approximately €20 an hour and work about 25 hours a week.
Teaching English abroad
While teaching English in your home country itself is an attractive option, many TEFL teachers prefer to spread their wings and make a new home for themselves a little bit further afield. This could be as a gap year in-between high school and university, a break between jobs, or a change in career.
While the Irish passport allows Irish teachers to work relatively easily in most countries, you will still need to apply for a working visa to work in countries other than the EU. Countries popular with Irish TEFL teachers are China, Spain, Italy, France, South Korea, and Thailand. Where you choose to work is totally dependent on your preferences. Use websites like The TEFL Academy’s jobs board or TEFL.com and browse for jobs that tickle your fancy.
Teaching English online
If you’re considering teaching English online, you could teach either at home in Ireland or abroad. All you need (besides your 120-hour TEFL certificate) is a good laptop, a microphone or headset, a reliable internet connection, and a quiet place to teach. Get yourself a few useful props and materials and you’re good to go. Sign up with an online company or upload an introductory video, and wait for the students to book lessons with you. And you can do all this from the comfort of your couch.
Of course, you might be a bit skeptical of the online TEFL market, especially considering everybody and their uncle wants to teach English online at the moment, but taking online lessons is becoming more and more popular with English language students, and the need for online TEFL teachers is only going to increase. And the money might be better than you think!
Alternative Teaching English options
And you might not realise this, but there are a few different opportunities when it comes to teaching English as a Foreign Language, besides the usual face-to-face or online classes. It’s also possible to join an intern program or volunteer. These might be paid-for opportunities or not, long-term or short-term, teaching Young Learners or adults, but whichever program you sign up for it’s bound to be a life-changing experience, as well as a great addition to your CV.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a great way to earn money and travel the world. It’s pretty straightforward to get qualified, quite easy to find a job, and a guaranteed way to add a whole lot of adventure into your life!