A lot of people who achieve a qualification in teaching English as a foreign language do so with the aim of working in schools all over the world.
However, in the wake of lockdowns and with unpredictable changes to international travel, rules resulting from Covid-19, it has been a difficult time for TEFL-qualified teachers everywhere.
Here is how you can still use your skills to establish a thriving career in these turbulent times.
Keep up to date with travel restrictions
Rules of whether or not you can travel to each country change frequently. It is hard to make solid plans to teach in another country when you don’t know if you will be able to do so in the near future.
It is still worth regularly checking restrictions of where you can travel from your home country for work purposes. These lists can usually be found on government websites.
You may find that teachers with confirmed contracts are allowed to enter countries that otherwise do not allow visitors. Another benefit of checking where you can legally travel is discovering countries that you had previously not considered!
In most cases, you will need a vaccination pass or have complete Covid-19 tests in order to travel and work in a school, and in some countries you may need to quarantine for a short period of time.
It can be expected, though, that as the spread of Covid-19 reduces, there will be an increased international demand for classroom-based English teachers.
Teach English online
In the past couple of years, we have been shown how vital online teaching is. Teachers, tutors and coaches everywhere had to very quickly adapt to transferring their classroom skills into the virtual world.
Many language learners favour a virtual study path. They can learn from their own home, wherever they are in the world. Since teaching English to non-native speakers is a specialist skill, not everyone who wishes to learn English will have access to a local classroom-based tutor.
In addition, language learners enjoy the greater choice that comes with opting for online lessons. When they choose virtual learning, they suddenly have access to English teachers based anywhere so they can choose which school best aligns with their learning style and aims.
There are many opportunities to teach English online with a TEFL qualification.
You can apply to work in schools that are still providing their lessons online due to the pandemic. In a time of unpredictable travel restrictions, schools abroad might be more open to employing a virtual teacher if it means they can employ a native speaker to teach English to their students.
You can go out on your own and become a private tutor offering online lessons. Make sure you build a brand across social media and launch your own website so that you reach as many potential students as possible.
You can become a freelance or fully-employed tutor at an online language school. Virtual language schools have existed before the pandemic struck and, naturally, they will still continue to hire teachers in the same way they always have.
Teach English in your home country
In every English-speaking country, there are language schools teaching English. This is for the purpose of training non-native-English-speaking immigrants, international students enrolled at a university, foreign diplomats working in the country, international businesspersons wishing to do business in the country and more.
Working as a native English teacher is what you make it. There are a variety of work structures available at classroom-based language schools in English-speaking countries, from zero-hour freelance contacts to full-time employment.
Language schools looking to hire English teachers look out for recognised teaching qualifications such as TESOL, CELTA, DELTA and, of course, TEFL. They may also desire experience teaching on top of your TEFL qualification.