11 Things You Should Know About Teaching English Abroad
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Teaching English abroad is an exciting adventure for anyone. It’s probably like nothing you’ve ever done before in your life! And while it might be a scary and unknown adventure, it is an adventure nonetheless.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. The more you know about what you are walking into, the better you’ll be able to deal with whatever is thrown your way. Here we thought we’d tell you a few things you should know about teaching English abroad.
1. Not everyone can be a teacher
Being able to speak a language does not necessarily mean that you are qualified to teach it. Teaching is a skill that takes time (and studying) to develop. If you are outgoing, positive, hard-working and charismatic, you are halfway to being a great teacher! Then you need to do a TEFL course (from a reputable and internationally recognised TEFL course provider) which will give you the skills and knowledge you need to be able to teach effectively.
2. You don’t need to speak the local language
Teaching English as a Foreign Language is usually done through immersion learning. This means that the teacher only speaks in English. When giving instructions, making announcements or explaining a concept, English is used. When asking questions or asking for clarity, the students need to speak English too. This is regardless of their level. The translation is rarely used. This is why it’s not necessary to be able to speak, for example, Spanish if you are teaching in Spain. In fact, many schools prefer it if you don’t!
Read more: The Top 3 Myths about TEFL
3. You might not teach English
Say what?! Yes, that’s right. As a TEFL teacher, you could teach English, but you could also teach another subject. Many schools ask their TEFL teachers to teach a subject using English if they have experience in that field. For example, you might teach History or Geography. Schools might also ask you to teach English as well as an extra-mural, such as Physical Education or Sewing.
4. It might not make you rich
There are many TEFL jobs out there that won’t make you rich. You might decide to volunteer to teach or do a teaching internship. These kinds of jobs may not pay you at all. Instead, they will offer you room and board and possibly a small stipend for your living expenses.
Even some full-time teaching jobs won’t pay very well. In a lot of schools, you are paid by the hour. The more you work, the more you earn. The problem comes in when you don’t have a lot of students or lessons because then you don’t earn very much money!
But when it comes to judging your salary, bear in mind the cost of living wherever you are, as well as the number of hours you are working. Find a job that suits you and your needs – and that’ll be different for everyone.
5. …but it might
Having said that, there are loads of TEFL jobs with very generous paycheques. Some countries have low costs of living and high teaching salaries, so you are guaranteed to be able to live a comfortable lifestyle. Other countries, like South Korea, offer their teachers packages which include accommodation, which is a huge saving.
One of the first decisions you will make as a TEFL teacher is deciding where you want to live and teach. You need to consider your financial needs to make this decision. For example, if you want to pay off your student loan back home then you will want to choose a country that offers a generous salary.
6. You can work as hard as you want
Another thing to consider is how hard you want to work. Some countries, like South Africa, are not as popular destinations as others for TEFL students. This means you might only be able to work part-time, while in China you can work all day every day if that’s what you want simply because there are so many students.
7. You can have more than one teaching gig
The majority of TEFL teachers absolutely love what they do. They will happily work as many hours as possible. But there are some who teach as a means to an end – and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you want, you can teach in a school and teach private lessons after hours too. Or, if you teach English online, you can sign up with more than one teaching company.
At the same time, if you want to be a TEFL teacher to enable you to be a digital nomad, then that’s what you should do.
There is no rule that says you only have to have one source of income. In fact, for many people, these days having multiple sources of income is how they live their lives. You can choose to work for just a few hours a day and if you feel you need more income you can put in some time blogging or influence or proofreading or transcribing – the opportunities are endless!
Read more: The Best Side Hustles for Teachers
8. You can work in an English-speaking country
Of course, there are tons of TEFL jobs in countries like Thailand and Spain, where English is not spoken widely. In countries like these, TEFL teachers can teach in schools, universities or language schools.
But not many people realise that there is also a big demand for TEFL teachers in English-speaking countries like England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and South Africa. Students flock to these countries because they want to learn English but they want to immerse themselves in an English-speaking culture at the same time.
9. You can teach as a couple
Some TEFL teachers are understandably nervous about packing their bags and relocating to a country across the world. For many of us, that means leaving behind our friends and family, even our partners.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s totally possible to teach as a couple. If you are both qualified TEFL teachers, you can look out for schools that are looking for more than one teacher or you can look for jobs in the same city. This way it is possible to teach and travel the world with the one you love!
10. …or a family
By the same token, it can be possible to take your family along with you on the adventure of living abroad. Many countries welcome teachers with their families. Some even go so far as to give living allowances for families, as well as contribute towards schooling for your children. If you are looking at teaching abroad and you have a family, make sure you apply for jobs that suit you and your family.
11. You might never want to stop!
A word of warning: Teaching English as a Foreign Language, whether in a foreign country or online, can be addictive. Once you start teaching you might find you will never want to stop!
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Name of course Description Online Level 5 TEFL Course 168-hour Online Level 5 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 3 TEFL Course 120-hour Online Level 3 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Top-Up Courses 30-hour Online Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English and Teaching Online & 1:1 Courses 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours of webinar teaching practice course (Learn about classroom management and Q&A with a TEFL expert)
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Registered company number 13725845, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL.
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Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks
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- Where a course cannot take place due to trainer illness or other circumstances beyond our control, the course
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- The 6-month enrolment on the online course starts from the date that full payment for the course has been
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- Please be aware that if you have not completed all required assignments and allowed sufficient time for
marking before your end-date, you will need to apply for an extension.
- You are entitled to sit exams as many times as you need to in order to pass the exam. If you pass the exam you
cannot thereafter seek to resit the exam.
11. Failing the Course
- The TEFL Academy offers a guaranteed pass, or your money back guarantee. You can retake the exams as many times as needed in order to pass. If you fail to achieve a pass on any assignments after your third attempt we will provide you with a full refund. A full refund will not be provided in accordance with clauses 11.4 & 11.5.
- Native speakers of English will typically be above the minimum standard of English for this course.
- Non-native speakers should have an English level of C1 (Advanced), as a minimum to commence the course.
Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
- Students found not to have a C1 level of English will likely fail the course and not complete the
qualification. However, it is up to each prospective student to determine for themselves whether or not they
wish to commence a course even where they do not have a minimum of C1 level English. For the avoidance of any
doubt no refund will be provided for a student failing the course in any circumstances.
- Any student who fails or is removed from the course as a result of confirmed plagiarism (in accordance with
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Internal Quality Assurance Manager decides that plagiarism has occurred, they will prepare and provide to you a
detailed report outlining the reasons for their decision along with a letter explaining your removal from the
course. Should you wish to dispute this decision, you can do so in accordance with The TEFL Academy’s Appeals
policy for students which can be found here.
- If you do not pass an assignment after submitting it up to three times in accordance with clause 10.2 you will
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The TEFL Academy’s Appeals policy for students which can be found
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customer service team at +1 347 434 9694 or write to us at [email protected] or The TEFL Academy, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL, United Kingdom.
- If your complaint is not dealt to your satisfaction with you may make a complaint to the course accrediting
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- Any student who fails or is removed from the course by failing to meet the academic standards or through being
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Academy uses your personal information.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.