From an entirely personal perspective, since returning from travelling Southeast Asia a few months ago, my sole purpose for returning home was not only to see family and friends and earn some money in the meantime, but was also to embark on a recognised tefl course
. Whilst travelling I noticed it had gotten to the stage where I felt the need to essentially ‘give something back', where I focussed my final stages of travelling largely on the basis of engaging with local people and visiting remote village schools, and at the same time donating exercise books and pencils, as well as teaching some basic english
to the children
. This was however still limited due to the region itself, a remote area of Northern Laos, not to mention the definite lack of resources readily available. In cambodia
, I also found myself immersing into the Khmer culture, where I stayed with a cambodia
n family and helped two of the sons with their english
homework during my stay. The feeling I gained from teaching was something I just couldn't describe. Even teaching on the off chance of being confronted by children
in the street with phrase books asking how to pronounce a word or teach them basic conversational english
filled me with satisfaction and it was such a humble feeling to know that these children
were intrigued and truly wanted to learn. It was here that I discovered my future plan in a career teaching english
as a foreign language and I essentially vowed to complete a tefl course
upon my return to the UK. It's something I can honestly say never crossed my mind before I embarked on travelling across Southeast Asia.
The beauty of becoming a tefl teacher
I soon learnt is that people from all backgrounds and all ages are suitable for teaching worldwide. Providing you are a native speaker, or at a near-native level, you can enrol on a tefl course
and teach tefl
. This proves highly beneficial particularly in terms of the current widespread global recession, where job opportunities are certainly limited during these difficult economic times. tefl offers
exciting choices for people who have been made redundant, for people wanting to take a career break, or those simply wanting to experience a new culture and way of life or for new graduates who are struggling to find work after university. There are plenty of opportunities available all over the world as the demand is so high for tefl teacher
s, and is likely to continue indefinitely. It also enhances your CV to the extent that any future employer would regard you more favourably, with certain skills and strengths widely acknowledged, such as using initiative and expressing elements of creativity. Another advantage to tefl
is that just because you choose to undertake a career in teaching; it doesn't necessarily mean you have to become attached to it on a long term basis, as many positions range between nine and twelve months, with many contracts as minimal as one month, particularly in summer camps based in italy
. In teaching english
as a foreign language, you'll also benefit by gaining lifelong skills such as presentation, communication and organisational skills.
Living abroad certainly enhances the opportunity to immerse yourself into a foreign culture on a level that would not be possible, if simply visiting on vacation. Teaching english
as a foreign language allows the individual to directly have a positive impact on people's lives, as opposed to purely travelling to see the sights. Although a challenging experience, I believe it will in fact act as a form of personal development, enabling you to gain an insight into different cultures and allow you to communicate with people on a more personal level. A definite sense of achievement will largely be the outcome, whether you decide to teach on a short term or long term basis. Overcoming challenging language barriers and using leadership skills to teach, and even engaging with the local language, are all fundamental and valid assets to any individual, providing you with valuable life skills, where you are also in a position to appreciate things from an entirely different perspective.
as a foreign language is undoubtedly a fantastic opportunity for people from all walks of life and varied backgrounds, where you adapt to often new and unfamiliar situations and living and working environments. From my own personal experience, just through meeting tefl teacher
s on my travels, many can only speak highly of taking a tefl course
and have all adapted comfortably to their new environments and work ethic. For many people, tefl
can often be the gateway to an opportunity to live and work in the country of their dreams and I can only speak favourably of this, which is why I have chosen tefl
as a career option. If you are pursuing a tefl course
for the purpose of a short or long term career, a second career or are considering full or part-time teaching, the opportunities to teach globally are endless!