Published 19th July 2021
There is no mistaking it: teaching English as a Foreign Language is big business. People from all over the world are training to be TEFL teachers and teach English to Young Learners, teens or adults in hundreds of different countries around the world. With an estimated more than 1.5 billion English language learners currently learning the language, it’s not surprising that there has been an explosion in the TEFL market as the demand for TEFL teachers has skyrocketed.
But why is there such a need for English teachers? Why is learning English so important for our learners? If you can understand this, then you’ll understand why now is the best time to qualify as a TEFL teacher.
English is the international language of communication
First of all, English is the international language of communication. English is spoken as a first language by about 400 million people around the world. It is the official language of over fifty countries and the second language of over 100 countries. English is the language of the internet, of business, of travel. Being able to speak English is almost a necessity these days in order to communicate in our global communities. Schools and parents all over the world are now insisting that English be a part of the curriculum so that students are graduating with a high school diploma as well as a knowledge of the English language.
English is the language of academia
English is necessary for tertiary studies too. Many of the top universities in the world are English-medium universities. Many of our students study English so that they are able to study at an English-medium university. These universities provide opportunities for our learners that they might not have in their home country. Studying in an English-speaking country gives them the chance not only to study a degree at an internationally recognised institution but also to live in and experience a different culture. This is why English exams like IELTS, TOEFL and the Cambridge exams are so important for some of our learners, as they need acceptable results in these exams in order to be accepted into these universities.
English is the language of travel
Because English is such a widely spoken language, being able to speak it helps our learners when it comes to travelling. English is the international language of tourism and hospitality. No matter where you are in the world, tourists and hospitality staff are likely to communicate in English. Even if neither of them speak English as a first language, it is likely that English will be the only language they have in common. For our students, English is a tool they can use when travelling the world or when English-speaking tourists visit their countries.
English is the language of entertainment
English is the language of choice for many books, TV shows and movies, both online and on television. Understanding English opens up the world of entertainment without having to rely on subtitles, translation or bad dubbing. Being able to understand English means our learners can enjoy the classics or popular culture in its original language. What’s more, a large portion of the internet is in English, so knowing the language makes communicating online easier.
English is the language of business
Being able to speak English is an added bonus to your skillset. It means you are able to communicate with colleagues or companies in other countries. Again, many business transactions are conducted in English because it is the common language of the people involved. This gives our learners an edge over other job applicants when applying for a job, or even the possibility of getting a promotion within their current company. This is a huge incentive for our students to learn English, as it can have serious financial implications.
These are the many reasons people want to learn English. This is why it is possible to teach English as a Foreign Language in countries all over the world. This is why it is such a good idea to qualify as a TEFL teacher.
How can I become a TEFL teacher?
So now that you know that there is a demand for English tuition, you should also have realised that now is a good time to qualify as a TEFL teacher. In order to teach English as a Foreign Language abroad or online, the first step is to sign up for a TEFL course. Choose a TEFL course that is reputable and internationally recognised. Be sure to check its accreditation (you can find details of ours here). Look for reviews from graduates of the course; make sure you do this not only on the course website but also on independent review sites.
Once you have chosen your TEFL course, it’s time to dive in and get started. The course should take you a few weeks or months to complete, depending on which course you do and how much time you have to dedicate to your studies. The course itself is not a walk in the park – and can be downright confusing at times! – but if you put in the hours and do the required reading and assignments, it will all fall into place. Your TEFL course provider should provide support for you if you have any problems on the course, so even if you are doing the course online you won’t be left to totally fend for yourself.
The world is your oyster!
Once you have qualified all that’s left for you to do is decide where you want to teach and apply for jobs. Make sure you meet all the requirements for the country you want to work in and get your paperwork in order to make the application process smoother. It’s easy enough these days to apply for jobs online, on sites like TEFL.com. Once you’ve applied you will likely need to go through an interview process and possibly even do a demo lesson.
Read more: Top Tips to Ace Your Demo Lesson
Once you’ve gone through the entire application process and are successful, you could find yourself teaching in Argentina or Australia. Congratulations! You are now a qualified TEFL teacher who has the opportunity to travel, earn money and make a difference!