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Beyond The Basics: 7 Little-Known Facts About Teaching English Abroad

Posted on 31st March 2023

Teaching English abroad can be a life-changing experience. It's a chance to explore new cultures, make lasting connections, and gain valuable teaching experience. But beyond the basics of finding a job and preparing your lesson plans, there are some little-known facts that can make a big difference in your experience. The most important fact that many people are realizing nowadays is that TEFL Industry trend is rising yearly.

Whether you're considering teaching English abroad by holding a TEFL certificate from a reputed institute for the first time or you're a seasoned veteran, these 7 insights will help you make the most of your time abroad. From cultural differences to unexpected challenges, these facts will give you a deeper understanding of what it takes to thrive in a foreign classroom.

So, without any further delay let’s discover the hidden gems of teaching English abroad.

Common myths about TEFL industry

Before we dive into the little-known facts about teaching English abroad, let's debunk some common myths about the TEFL industry. Despite what you may have heard, teaching English abroad is not just for young, single people with no responsibilities.

In fact, there are TEFL programs that cater to families, couples, and even retirees. Another common myth is that you need to be a native English speaker to teach English abroad. While it's true that many countries prefer native speakers, there are plenty of opportunities for non-native speakers as well. Finally, many people believe that teaching English abroad is a dead-end job with no long-term career opportunities. In reality, teaching English abroad can open doors to a wide range of career paths, from international education to translation and interpretation.

Little-known fact #1: Language teaching isn’t easy

Teaching English as a foreign language is not easy. In fact, it's one of the hardest things you can do. Not only do you need to have a good command of the English language, but you also need to be able to explain grammar and vocabulary in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

You also need to be patient, flexible, and able to adapt your teaching style to different learning styles and cultural backgrounds. And let's not forget about the challenges of dealing with classroom management and discipline. All of these factors make teaching English abroad a challenging but rewarding experience.

Little-known fact #2: Diverse TEFL Industry

When most people think of teaching English abroad, they envision teaching in countries like China or South Korea. While these countries do offer a lot of opportunities for English teachers, they are only a small fraction of the TEFL industry.

In fact, there are over 100 countries around the world where you can teach English as a foreign language. Each of these countries has its own unique culture, language, and teaching style. By exploring different countries and regions, you can gain a deeper understanding of the world and expand your teaching skills.

Little-known fact #3: Non-native English speakers can also teach English abroad

As we have mentioned earlier, many people believe that you need to be a native English speaker to teach English abroad. While it's true that some countries prefer native speakers, there are plenty of opportunities for non-native speakers as well.

In fact, being a non-native speaker can actually be an advantage in some situations. Non-native speakers often have a better understanding of the challenges that their students face when learning English. They also have a unique perspective on language learning that can be valuable in the classroom.

Little-known fact #4: You don't need a degree in education to teach English abroad

Another common misconception about teaching English abroad is that you need a degree in education to do it. While having a degree in education can certainly be an asset, it's not a requirement. Many TEFL programs only require a bachelor's degree in any field and a TEFL certificate. In fact, some programs will even accept applicants with only a high school diploma. Of course, having some teaching experience or a background in education can be helpful, but it's not always necessary.

Little-known fact #5: Teaching English abroad can lead to long-term career opportunities

Many people view teaching English abroad as a temporary job or a gap year experience. While it can certainly be both of those things, it can also lead to long-term career opportunities. For example, many TEFL teachers go on to become teacher trainers, program coordinators, or curriculum developers.

Others use their teaching experience as a springboard into other fields, such as international business or non-profit work. By gaining experience in a foreign classroom, you can develop skills that are highly valued by employers in a wide range of industries.

Little-known fact #6: Cultural understanding and adaptability are key to success

Teaching English abroad is not just about teaching English. It's also about cultural exchange and understanding. In order to be a successful English teacher abroad, you need to have a deep respect for the culture and customs of the country you're teaching in.

You also need to be adaptable and flexible, as you'll likely encounter many unexpected challenges along the way. Whether it's dealing with language barriers, cultural misunderstandings, or homesickness, you need to be able to roll with the punches and find creative solutions to problems.

Little-known fact #7: You can make a comfortable living teaching English

Contrary to popular belief, teaching English abroad can be a lucrative career. While the pay varies depending on the country and program, many English teachers are able to make a comfortable living while teaching abroad.

In some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates or Japan, English teachers can earn a salary that is comparable to what they would earn in their home country. Even in countries where the pay is lower, the cost of living is often much lower as well, allowing English teachers to live a comfortable lifestyle while still saving money.

Choosing the right country and program for teaching English abroad

Now that you know some of the little-known facts about teaching English abroad, how do you go about choosing the right country and program for you? The first step is to do your research. Look into different countries and programs to get a sense of what they offer and what their requirements are.

Consider factors such as the cost of living, the demand for English teachers, and the country's culture. You should also think about what type of program you want to participate in. Do you want to teach in a public school, a private language institute, or a volunteer program? Each type of program has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to choose one that aligns with your goals and interests.

Is teaching English abroad right for you?

Teaching English abroad can be a life-changing experience, but it's not for everyone. Before you make the decision to teach English abroad, it's important to consider your goals, your personality, and your willingness to adapt to new cultures and challenges.

If you're up for the adventure and you're passionate about teaching and cultural exchange, then teaching English abroad might be the perfect opportunity for you. With the right preparation, a little bit of courage, and a willingness to learn, you can make the most of your time abroad and come away with memories that will last a lifetime.

Written By : Abhishek

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