The Best and Worst Things about Teaching English as a Foreign Language
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Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a great career option no matter what your age, nationality or background. If you can speak English at an advanced level and are TEFL-qualified you can teach English. Not surprisingly, more and more people are deciding to get qualified and either teach abroad or teach online. If you’re considering a career change or are looking for a way to escape your usual 9 to 5 and if you’re thinking about teaching English as a Foreign Language, then let us help you decide if it’s the perfect job for you.
Here are the five best things about teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language abroad gives you the opportunity to visit places you’ve always wanted to see and live the life you’ve always wanted to live. It doesn’t matter if you want to live on a beach in Bali or in the big city in Japan, you can go wherever you want to with a TEFL career. And if you decide you want to move on to somewhere else after a while, then you can do that too!
Not only that but teaching English abroad or online can earn you a good salary. Some teaching packages provide flights and accommodation, both of which are usually huge expenses. In some countries, you can earn a tax-free salary. Or if you live in a country with a low cost of living, you might still be able to live comfortably off your salary and save money. Of course, in some countries, you can earn enough to live very well and save tons of cash.
Teaching English is a job like no other. No matter if you are teaching abroad or online, you will meet people from all over the world – with different cultures, backgrounds and personalities. This makes your lessons very interesting and it also presents you with a set of challenges you won’t get in other jobs, which will help you grow and develop not only as a teacher but as a person too. Plus if you are living abroad then it goes without saying that you will live a life you never could have imagined, every single day.
You might not realise this but you might find yourself teaching English to adults. As a result, you could find friends in your students! While it is not recommended that you become too close to your students while you are their teacher, it often happens that teachers and their students find their relationships last long after their teacher-student relationship has ended. Besides students, you will probably find yourself making friends with other staff members at your school, as well as other TEFL teachers you meet.
The intellectual challenges
The one thing teaching English as a Foreign Language will most certainly do is teach you more about your own language. Even if you speak English fluently, if you haven’t taught the language you probably still have a lot to learn about it. Teaching English will help you learn the ins and outs of English naturally. There is a good chance you’ll learn a foreign language too, which is a valuable skill to have.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Well, while all of these things are totally true, there are of course downsides to TEFL, and it would amiss of us not to mention them. After all, this is a career change and it might even involve packing up your life and moving to a new country, so you need to be sure of your dedication before you start packing your bags.
So here are the five worst things about teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Living abroad might sound like the absolute dream to you, but truth be told it can get lonely at times. Always being the foreigner in a place, with all the attention that entails, can be exhausting. Not being able to speak the language and communicate for even basic everyday things is frustrating. And there is no doubt that you will miss your friends and family back home.
Read more: Culture Shock
The red tape
Every country you want to teach in will have certain boxes you will need to tick in order to qualify for a working visa. Finding out what those requirements are is one thing, proving you satisfy them can be another thing entirely. Dealing with visas and governments costs money and can be quite daunting. Usually, your employer should help you with all the legal stuff, but it has been known to result in a few sleepless nights.
Oh if only we lived in a perfect world where we are all equal! Discrimination in the TEFL world is alive and kicking on a number of different levels. Certain Asian countries are known to prefer white TEFL teachers. Many employers prefer native English-speaking teachers. (South Africans, regardless of race, can have a hard time proving they speak English as a first language.) Some countries won’t grant you a working visa if you’re over a certain age. Then, outside the classroom, foreigners, similar to tourists, are often taken advantage of when it comes to prices and rental or business agreements. Sad, but true.
Yes, they can be your best friends, but putting a bunch of people in a room together for an hour requires endless amounts of patience and classroom management skills to make sure your classroom doesn’t resemble a zoo. With Young Learners and teens, you have the added stress of dealing with adolescence or young emotions. Even adults can be a handful if they are having a bad day. So not every day is going to be a walk in the park.
Teaching English is a dream job but it’s also hard work. There’s planning to think about, and homework and marking. Plus, if you teach the same grade or level of English then you might end up teaching the same lesson five times, which is hardly exciting. Then there are staff meetings and professional development. Teaching is not just about the end-of-year gifts and school holidays.
So now you know. We definitely think teaching English as a Foreign Language is what dreams are made of, but we also know that it’s not for everyone. Doing a TEFL course, finding a job abroad and changing your life is a big deal. Make sure you know both the positives and the negatives before embarking on this journey, but if you think you can handle the five worst things about teaching English, then you’re probably ready to give us a call so we can get you started on that journey!
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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 Observed Teaching Practice Course 2 years
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- 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.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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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.