Overview of TEFL and TESOL for Teaching English Abroad or Online
All right, looks like we're live! Awesome! This is great. So thanks so much for tuning in today for our actually very first Facebook live and I'm super happy to be here with Jessica today from GoOverseas. We're gonna talk today about all things teaching English abroad, online, and everything in between. All things TEFL and TESOL and all that good stuff and I'm actually tuning in live from South Korea where it's 9 00 am Friday and I think Jessica is in Southern California. Right, yep it's 5 p.m here so just starting to get dark. I've actually just realized I'm probably going to need the light before the session is over so i'm going to run and do that now while Linda just explains today’s topic. No problem, cool.
Well actually before we jump in we're gonna show a quick intro video so we'll catch you right after that be back in a bit.
Watch the live session here
… and we're back, cool! So before we're jumping into the topic, I would just like to introduce myself and then also give Jessica a minute to introduce herself and talk a little bit about GoOverseas. I'm Linda Dunsmore, I'm a travel writer and content creator under the name Linda Goes East. You can find my travel content at lindagoseast.com. I write about my adventures in Asia, particularly in South Korea and China and all the other amazing Asian countries that I visit, and on Instagram you can find me @lindagoeseast so if anyone's interested in moving to Korea or China or anywhere in Asia, hit me up anytime. I'm from Germany and the USA. I was born and raised in Germany. My mom is German and my dad is American and I've been in South Korea for five and a half years now. I taught English in South Korea and I also taught English in China before I came to Korea and yeah I’ve been loving it here.
For the past four, four, and a half years, I've also been a TEFL and TESOL marketing professional at ITTT (International TEFL and TESOL Training). You can find us at teflcourse.net and on Instagram at @internationaltefltraining. We are a leading TEFL and TESOL course provider worldwide and offer a wide variety of courses and now over to Jessica.
Hi everyone. My name is Jessica. I work for GoOverseas. I'm the Community Manager but I actually have experience teaching abroad myself. I started in Germany when I was studying abroad there as a student and fell in love with it so much that I went to Japan the following summer to do an internship. Then when I went back to school in New York, I was teaching immigrants and refugees in New York City and then finally moved to Spain after graduation and lived there for about three years. I've been back in the US now for about a year and working for GoOverseas which is a really perfect translation of those skills that i earned while abroad because you can kind of think of us as like a yelp for meaningful travel programs. We offer study abroad programs, intern abroad, teach abroad, work abroad, volunteer abroad, anything you can think of it's probably listed on GoOverseas. So we're hosting this teaching TEFL week. I wish that I had had this resource when I was first starting out on my teaching abroad career. So good job for being here and doing your research and hopefully this will help you get started.
Awesome yeah, thanks so much for having us part of your teaching TEFL week. It's super exciting. Of course, thanks for being here because we've been working with GoOverseas for many, many years and we're so happy to have this event with you.
All of the craziness of 2020 has forced us to innovate but I think it's some really cool resources. I know that Linda has a great presentation for you guys today. I hope so. Let's jump right into it.
So, teaching English abroad, online and everything in between - because it's a very broad subject and nowadays there are so many different options on how to go about teaching English.First, let's talk a little bit about the demand for English language instruction because we get that asked a lot. What's the demand and where is the demand? So, according to the British Council, actually, in 2020 there are around 2 billion people around the world speaking and learning English. That's a lot of people and 300 million alone are in China and that actually makes China the biggest market for teaching English and actually, also the Chinese government have introduced a lot of programs over the years to get foreign teachers to come to China and teach there. There's also a lot of government-funded programs in other countries around the world, like for example, the EPIK program in Korea, the JET program in Japan, TAPIF in France, the NET scheme in Hong Kong, and there are many many others. Those are all government-funded from the local governments and they're also trying to bring teachers to their countries to teach in their public or private schools and those are usually great ways to start your teaching career if you are new to teaching.
Then what I also find very very interesting is that 50% of teachers teaching abroad actually stay for a second year. So, that actually tells us two things: for one that half of them they love it and they don't want to go back home. They want to stay and then the other half create a great turnover every year so it's like a revolving door of job openings for you, for people who want to teach English abroad because there are always job openings coming up every year or every season.
We already saw a couple of TEFL certificates in the intro video, so: What's a TEFL certificate?
For me, I think a TEFL certificate is two things. So for one, it's obviously a required certification. It's this piece of paper in your hand that you need to teach English abroad in many many countries, for example in China it is a requirement. If you don't have a TEFL you can't teach English in China. You can't get that work visa there and also I think in the EPIK program it's also a requirement and many many countries are changing their requirements and actually also require TEFL certification and even in countries where TEFL certification is not required, many schools will still only hire people who are certified. So that's the other side and then on the other hand a TEFL certificate goes much deeper. It's not only this piece of paper but it's also a course. A TEFL course also teaches you the skills that you need in order to teach so that you know what you're doing and you're actually providing value to your students and so for example our TEFL courses, teach you teaching theories and methods and techniques and classroom management, they have units on lesson planning, you also learn about the evaluation and testing your students, equipment and teaching aids and also English grammar. So those two elements of a TEFL certificate definitely go hand in hand and are very important.
Then I would like to talk a little bit about the difference between TEFL and TESOL because we always hear both expressions or both acronyms. So basically TEFL stands for teaching English as a foreign language and TESOL stands for teaching English to speakers of other languages and basically, they are the same thing. So the training, whether you take a TEFL course or you take a TESOL course, training is actually exactly the same and the only difference is that TEFL is usually most commonly used within the UK and Europe and TESOL are more preferred in Australia and the USA. That's the only difference. The training involved in the same and for our courses actually, you can choose whether your certificate should say TEFL or TESOL. So based on where you're from or where you want to go and teach, you can choose that. So for example this is my certificate that I took a couple of years ago from ITTT and mine says TEFL up here like that but you could choose TESOL as well. It all depends on you.
I think there was a question right here so “Is teaching experience a prior requirement to teach abroad especially in China?” I will actually touch on that a little bit later but generally, they’re a lot of countries or a lot of schools that hire teachers without experience and then they do their in-house training to train their teachers but there are some places, generally very few, that do require teaching experience and it's also true that teachers with teaching experience generally earn a higher salary but it's not impossible to find a job without teaching experience.
The biggest misconceptions about teaching English - because there are a lot and we get that asked all the time so I just want to cover those. The first one “It's really hard to find a job teaching English abroad.” Actually, in truth it's generally not that hard as we've seen in the beginning with the stats about how many English learners there are around the world, I think it's pretty clear that the demand is so high that generally, anyone who wants to go abroad and teach can definitely find a teaching position. Some people might depend on their qualifications have to be more flexible in terms of destination, location and type of school but generally, anyone who wants to go abroad can definitely go abroad and find a position.
A lot of people ask us “Do you need a degree to teach English abroad?” Generally, it is true that there are many countries that require their teachers to have a degree (a four-year degree) but there are also still many places where a degree is not required and you can teach there without a degree and even if a degree is required, usually it doesn't have to be in English or in TESOL or in anything that relates to English. It can be any kind of degree. For example, I have a business degree and I was still able to teach English abroad. If you don't have a degree, some great destinations are generally Latin America or places in Southeast Asia like Vietnam or Cambodia.
The third one is “TEFL doesn't pay well.” and maybe Jessica can also say a little bit about that because you taught in Japan and I think their salaries are pretty good over there, too but from my experience yeah in South Korea, the salaries are pretty good and also there's a lot of benefits, for example like paid housing (the school takes care of your apartment and you don't have to worry about that), there's paid airfare and all these year-end bonuses and all this stuff so you can actually live pretty well. In most locations, it always depends on what country you're teaching in. In some countries maybe the salary isn't that high but you always have to also consider the cost of living. So maybe if you're in Thailand and the salary is two thousand dollars maybe it doesn't sound like much but consider the cost of living. It's actually much cheaper to live in Thailand and two thousand dollars is actually going a long way compared to living in Europe or in the United States. How was it in Japan?
Well with my internship in Japan, we actually were not receiving official paid salaries. It was so that we could go on a tourist visa, we technically couldn't receive any paid salaries but that program didn't cost me any money so the flights were paid for the housing was provided and I received a weekly stipend for food. So the only money that I spent there was when I went for example to South Korea for a week to travel or up to Tokyo for a weekend. As you said, there are definitely ranges depending on the cost of living and depending on the region because I work for GoOverseas and we have programs all over the world, I can say that typically you're going to see a lot higher salary ranges, particularly in the Middle East and parts of Asia like South Korea and Japan, it's going to be a little bit less once you move into Southeast Asia and Europe as well.
When I lived in Spain, I earned 1,200 euros a month, which again doesn't sound like a lot, but my full rent and expenses everything that I paid was only about 600 euros a month. So, I was still able to live quite comfortably there. I wasn't able to save a lot but it was still working yeah and actually a lot of people I know, they are able to pay off their student loans from back home by teaching abroad so that's also very popular.
We also get asked that one a lot. So “Do you need to speak the language of the country that you're moving to?” For example, if I want to move to Spain and teach English there, do I need to be able to speak Spanish and, generally, the answer is “no”, absolutely not because you're the English teacher and you're supposed to only speak English actually with your students.
For example at my school where I was working, we had an English-only policy so that you were only supposed to speak English with your students and your students were only supposed to speak English with you and it's definitely a bonus if you're able you know to speak the language of the country where you're moving to. It's going to help you in your everyday life and stuff like that but it is generally not required when you go abroad to teach.
The other one is “You have to teach kids”. So it is true that actually, children make up the largest part, generally, of the ESL market. So, there are a lot of schools that cater to children; a lot of English courses but even if you don't want to teach children there are still positions. For example for business English, where you're teaching adults or there's a lot of university positions, where you teach students and even like the age range for children, I mean it's very broad. I taught kids. They were like two, three years old, I taught kindergarteners but you can also find positions in high schools. So, the ranges are very broad and you can also definitely find positions for teaching adults. You don't have to teach children.
Another misconception about teaching English and TEFL is that TEFL is only for young people and actually that's also not true. We get a lot of people applying for our courses that are 50 plus, 60 plus and they take the courses and they move abroad and teach English and they love it.
So it's a great way for anyone really to experience something new, move abroad and it's not only for young people. A lot of older people use it to change up their career, to do something exciting or to do something fun in their retirement, to earn some money during their retirement. So, the options are definitely there.
There are some countries where they do have a retirement age. I know that China is one of them. Their retirement age is 60 or 65 around there. So, if you're older than that it might be difficult to find a job in China but then there are still so many other destinations that you can look into.
Number seven is “You don't need a TEFL qualification if you're a native English speaker,” and so I think this was probably true maybe 20 years ago where you could just go abroad if you're from an English-speaking country and you can just teach but things have definitely changed and just because you're a native English speaker doesn't mean that you actually know how English works and you actually know how to teach.
So it's definitely recommended to take a TEFL course and learn those skills and also as I mentioned before, there are many places where a TEFL qualification is actually required in order to get a work visa and actually start a position, so you definitely will need a TEFL qualification even if you're a native English speaker.
And the final one is sort of from the other angle: “You have to be a native English speaker to teach,” also this is not true. You don't have to be. There are certain countries that do only hire native English speakers but there are also many, many destinations that don't, and actually, there are so many benefits to non-native English-speaking teachers because they've learned English themselves, so they've been in the same shoes as their students.
They understand what the students are going through and maybe they understand how the English language works a lot better than maybe a native English speaker. So if you're a non-native English speaker, you can definitely still find positions abroad.
All right let's take a look at the comments. Let's look at this one: “How hard is it to find a job as a teacher in an English-speaking country?”
You can definitely find positions there even though they're probably a little bit rarer but there are positions. We get positions in English-speaking countries quite regularly but maybe then the requirements would be a little bit higher compared to overseas and definitely, the biggest markets are like Asia, Latin America, the Middle East is a big one as well, Europe; but it is possible to find an English-speaking job in an English-speaking country.
I'll add to that because I’ve taught in New York City and also I almost taught in Galway, Ireland. I spent a lot of time looking for a job there. There are positions, particularly in larger cities or cities with lots of immigrants, because of course, that's what would create the demand in an English-speaking country. It's worth noting though those positions are typically more competitive. You're more likely to need a TESOL Master’s or a higher TESOL degree or significant experience and also you would probably earn less because it's not quite as in demand as in other places.
So, again, your highest earning potential is probably going to be in the Middle East or Asia. It's going to be a little bit harder to make ends meet on what they offer in the British Isles or the US.
Maybe if we look at this comment, could you say a few words about this one: Where can I get a good salary as a non-native English teacher?
So, well I don't actually know the answer to that. I did go ahead on Youtube and drop some links in the chat so it looks like they're not showing up here where we're streaming from but if you are in the Youtube comment section, you can see I've left articles to both. There's a GoOverseas blog article that has the highest salaries for teaching abroad so those are all salaries across the world and then another one that is specifically for where you can teach abroad as a non-native speaker so maybe you can kind of cross-reference those and figure out where the best bet is.
Let's talk a little bit about the requirements for teaching English and we have to say definitely they vary from place to place. So there's no one set of requirements that are true for all locations but generally, I listed the most common ones. So usually it's a Bachelor's degree, and it doesn't have to be in the field of education, but as I mentioned before, you can also still find positions for those who don't have a degree. Also, teaching experience; also not always required. Generally, I know a lot of people who've never taught before, who move abroad and got positions, so but it's definitely a plus if you have teaching experience and a lot of people they actually, if they plan to go abroad to teach, they tutor in their hometown to get experience or volunteer at church or wherever, or they start teaching English online before they decide to move abroad to get a little bit of experience so that always helps.
Then, you need to be a native or non-native English speaker, so a fluent English speaker. At least you have to know the English language, obviously, and know what you're doing and I also think it's very important to mention that you need to be you have to have high adaptability to new challenges and new places because you're moving abroad and you need to be eager to learn new things and yeah those are the requirements.
Now let's take a look at where's the demand. Ee already talked a little bit about some locations. So, I’m based in South Korea and there's actually a very big demand there here. Asia generally is the biggest market right in terms of demand.
Yes, absolutely. If you look at GoOverseas's teach abroad jobs board, I will drop the link in both of the chats here before we go offline, and by far Asia is the most demanding. Especially countries like China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan are very popular and also places in Southeast Asia like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia - it's pretty up and coming - Laos, even places like Myanmar, I see a lot of positions nowadays from Myanmar. We have a question in the comments box here asking about African countries, India and Greece.
I will say that while there are positions, these positions are probably not as well marketed in these countries because, obviously, in Africa and India there are quite a few people who do speak English and who are native speakers. There are of course in India and um the African continent there are people whose native language and the first language is English, so we typically don't see those countries as having as much demand for international teachers but I’m sure that there is demand out there.
Especially in Africa, you can find a lot of volunteer positions so you might not earn a lot of money or any money but you can probably find volunteering programs there. So, if you're interested in Africa you can still find positions there. Don't expect to make a lot of money but it's good for starting out and getting experience.
We already mentioned a little bit the Middle East so that's generally the region with the highest salaries. They pay really really well there in places like the United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, also Oman, Qatar, we see more and more also Saudi Arabia. Places like that generally pay really well and I think Jessica, you mentioned something about the Middle East earlier would you like to add something?
No, that's about all I could say there is higher demand there, there are higher salaries in general and those jobs often come with perks, so, for example, a furnished apartment, flights both ways, salary completion bonus, things like that. So it's definitely worth kind of comparison shopping if you're undecided about where you want to go and see what different benefits there are from different regions.
I think also that the requirements there are a little bit tougher than in other regions. I think some of them require like two years of experience minimum and stuff like that. Definitely, there might also be a higher educational requirement, so for example they might require that you have a teaching degree from your home country in order to go abroad and teach there.
Another big one is Latin America, so countries like Mexico and that's also a country where you can go and teach without a degree, Brazil, it's up and coming, Colombia places like Argentina, Chile and then also Europe is always very popular. However, it is a little bit harder to get into Europe, if you don't have an EU passport but there are places, the easiest one actually to get into from our experience is the Czech Republic. They tend to have not as strict requirements as other countries and then there's also places like France or Spain and Italy, where they actually have language programs that you can apply to and basically, for example, if you want to go to Spain you can apply for a Spanish language course and then you're on a student visa. Is that what you were doing Jessica?
That's not what I was doing but I knew quite a few people who were doing that. It's an incremental program so it's great because it comes with job security, a fixed salary, a fixed schedule, vacation days, health insurance all of those benefits, and that's also for people from all the countries like from America not only the EU passports. For Americans it's much more difficult to get into Europe, in general, I would say that what you said of the Czech Republic is true but yeah these government programs are a way to kind of get around that visa requirement.
We actually also get some more and more job offers in places like Turkey and Russia so those are kind of in-between Asia and Europe depending on where you are in there but that those are also interesting places to go to.
Let's jump into teaching English online because especially I think in 2020 that's something that a lot of people are thinking about and a lot of people decide to start teaching English online from home because it's convenient or some people they like to teach English from on the road so they travel and then teach while they're traveling to fund their travels and adventures.
Can I teach English online without any teaching experience? So, similar to teaching English abroad, yes, many platforms do pay a higher hourly rate for people who have the experience, just the same as you tend to get a higher salary if you go abroad and you have the experience, but yes you do not have to have any teaching experience and you can still find positions on many many different platforms online.
Do I need a TEFL certificate to teach English online? Nowadays, because it's also becoming more competitive, so more often than not it's definitely a bonus, and many online teaching platforms actually now require applicants to be TEFL or TESOL certified so it's definitely good to have that certification under your belt and actually we also introduced a new TEFL certification course specifically for teaching English online so it teaches you exactly the skills that you need especially in an in a virtual classroom and how to handle that because there are a lot of differences between teaching in-person and online and that course also covers that so you're all set for your virtual classroom.
Which platforms hire online English teachers? There are so so many out there. Those are typically the most common ones and we actually work with Magic Ears. We also work with VIPKid, so there's a lot and the requirements usually vary from platform to platform, the pay varies, there are different bonuses, the teaching hours; some platforms require you to teach some minimum hours per week others do not, so it all depends on your own preferences and where you want to go.
Can I create my own online teaching business? Yes, you can. Actually, one of our course graduates she did just that because she didn't want to let those teaching platforms take a chunk of her pay so she decided to create her own online teaching business and if anyone's interested we can drop that link into the comments after the live and then people can check it out but it's actually quite interesting and another option.
How much can I earn teaching English online? Generally, the numbers are between 15 and 30 US dollars per hour, so most online teaching jobs are paid hourly and an average online rate is between 15 and 30 USD but there are some platforms that also pay less because the lessons are shorter. There are some platforms maybe they only have 20-minute lessons or 25-minute lessons so then it'd be a little bit different but generally, it's in that range. It also depends on your own qualifications.
Okay, are there any questions about online teaching before we move on or anything Jessica you would like to mention before we jump into the other topic?
I think that was pretty comprehensive. The only thing I'll say is if you are clicking on any of those links that I've dropped in the chat to GoOverseas we do have a specific online teach abroad jobs board as well so you can go ahead and look at those jobs that are filtered
I know that Ellen had a question about getting a position in an English-speaking country if she's not living there and well obviously there are visa requirements and things like that. If you're going in person you may be able to get around that by going for an online job, so I would recommend using the platform.
Someone wants to learn more about creating your own online teaching platform. I can drop the link into the comments after, I think I can't do it right now but I will it's actually quite easy.
How to choose a good TEFL provider - because you do a quick Google search on TEFL courses and there are hundreds and hundreds of companies popping up so how do you actually choose the right one, a good one and those are the six main things you should look out for when choosing a good TEFL course provider.
The first one is to look at their accreditation on their website. At ITTT, we have a whole page with our accreditations and it's all laid out pretty transparently and that's one thing you should look out for, and then also if they mention on the website what organization they are accredited by also do some research on that organization because um you know maybe it's not legit maybe just try to do some research and find reviews about the accreditation also look at their teacher trainers and the staff in general. Who are they? Do they have experience teaching English abroad? Are they qualified and things like that.
A good thing also always is to look at reviews. So, for example, we have a lot of reviews on GoOverseas, you know those are always reliable resources or places like review.io or Trustpilot, places like that, and really take some time and dive through the reviews and see what people are saying, then ask about the job support. Is it included in the course price? Some providers might charge a fee for job support or some might not offer any job support at all. So that's also very important to know and any other included services that you get for your course price. So things like, do you have to pay for your certificate to be shipped to you or do you have to pay for job support, do you have to pay for any additional costs. You should check that out and make sure you know exactly how much you have to pay and then what you get for it and also the job prospects. So what kind of jobs can I get with that kind of certificate? Do your research and I think also Facebook and any social media is a great resource in terms of genuine reviews. So just do a lot of research before you make a choice and then even if you chose your TEFL course provider, why should you choose ITTT?
I just listed a few of the most important reasons. We have this whole page with like 50 reasons and those are the most important ones. We've been around for a long time we've been around since 1997/1998. We have a lot of experience in the field, all of our staff have experience living abroad. They have taught English in countries around the world and actually many of us are working remotely so I'm in Korea some of my colleagues are in Italy, in the UK, in Thailand and America; we're actually everywhere so I think that's a great thing.
Our courses are for everyone, for all fluent English speakers, non-native or native, it doesn't matter where you're from, you can take our courses. In the end, you'll receive an embossed certificate in the mail to your address wherever you are in the world.
We also offer notarization services. In some countries, I know that China recently started requiring that, so that's just another additional stamp on your certificate, we also help with that but most of our graduates actually don't need that. It's just certain locations.
You also get a pdf copy of your certificate once you finish your course, so then you can start applying for a job straight away while you're waiting for your hard-copy one. Obviously, we have 24/7 customer care so you can always reach out to us via our website, email, social media, phone - we're always there for you.
We works with a lot of recruitment companies, so there are a lot of companies that specifically hire only ITTT graduates because they know the training that they receive from us and they love what we do and we've partnered with them for many years. I already touched on the course accreditation a little bit so all our courses are accredited by the Online TESOL and TEFL standards agency and obviously internationally recognized.
We've also won several awards, actually some of them with GoOverseas as top TEFL training provider in the past years and also on GoAbroad, so we’re very proud of that.
We also offer lifetime job assistance to all of our course grads, even if you don't teach right away and maybe 10 years later you're like “hey I want to teach abroad. I want to use my TEFL certificate,” or you want to change the location, you can be like “hey ITTT, please help me,” and we'll be there for you and the last one I want to mention are the excellent reviews that we have all across the web on GoOverseas, on GoAbroad, on Facebook, on reviews.co.uk, teflreviews.com, and Trustpilot and there are so many places you can check out.
All right okay then, once you've decided on a TEFL course provider you might notice also on our website that we offer so many different TEFL course options so then there's the next problem. I chose my TEFL course provider now which course should I choose? On our website, we offer between 50 hours and 550 hours of training. Generally, for teaching age abroad, you want to go for a course with at least 100 hours of training. That's considered the standard and we offer a wide variety of courses to suit your needs so wherever you want to go, whatever kind of teaching you want to do, there's a course for you.
We have different TEFL course specializations, for example teaching English to young learners, teaching business English, teaching English online, so those are all great to add to your portfolio. As I mentioned, all of our courses are internationally accredited and they are accepted worldwide.
Then I just want to say a few words about our 1200-hour TEFL certificate. That's our most popular option and we actually have a 20% OFF link for all of you for this event so I shared that at the beginning in the comments you can look but I’m going to post it again later on so you can check that out and that's not only valid for the 120-hour course but for any of our courses.
This particular course is completed 100% online. It covers 20 units, 10 units on teaching methodologies, classroom management, and all that theoretical stuff, and then 10 units focused on English grammar because that's also very important. It teaches you how to teach grammar, how to understand English grammar and how to anticipate problems that your students might have with grammar, and how to tackle that.
You can study at your own pace and you have up to six months to complete the course, so it's very flexible. You don't have to be online at certain times. You can work through the units at any time that suits you and so we actually have a lot of people who work full-time and they take the course or people who take the course in a month because they work on it every day so it really depends on your personal lifestyle.
In the end, you get an embossed, hard-copy certificate. I already showed it before but it looks like this and it actually comes with a unique number here so that your employer and yourself can verify that this is a legit certificate because there are some people that actually fake TEFL certificates and your employer can verify that it's real with this number and like I mentioned before we also have notarization services available but most of our grads won't even need that.
Then those are the specializations I just briefly touched on. We have business English, teaching online, young learners and those are great for people who wanted to specialize into those fields and they are great additions to your portfolio and they also look like this same and, for example, this is the young learners one, it looks like that yeah and those are also 20 percent off.
Then we also have bundled. So those are actually the most popular options that people go for. For example the 220-hour Master Package; that's the 120-hour course plus these two specializations so you would get either three certificates at the end or you can also choose to receive just one saying 220 hours on it.
The same goes for the 470-hour Professional Package and the 550-hour Expert Package and it really depends on where you want to teach and what kind of teaching you want to do and also if you want to do it for a long time or more short term. If you want to do it more long term, you want to go for more hours, if you're planning on teaching maybe just for a year you want to get the 120 or 220-hour Master Package something like that.
Besides the online options, we also have in-class courses, so those are four-week courses that you can take at a location of your choice and this is actually the map from our website here so these are all the locations that we offer, pretty much really all around the world and you can go there, spend four weeks at a TEFL center and get training from a teacher trainer, who teaches you all the things you need to know about teaching, and then you also get the chance to teach your own classes to real English students locally from the center. So that's a great experience and actually, a lot of our courses are running at the moment so you can sign up or we also have our 2021 dates already on the website so you can check that out as well and then we also have a combined option so that basically combines the benefits of the online course with the benefits of the in-class course, where you first complete an online component (you also have up to six months to do that) and then you can go to an in-class center for five, eight or ten days and do your teaching practice there. So that's also very popular.
All right and then you have your TEFL certificate in hand now, how do you find a teaching job? You can start applying for jobs as soon as you finish your course because you get your PDF copy and you can attach that to your resume because actually for most jobs you would apply online so you actually don't need the physical certificate for applying. You would need this for showing your employer later on or for getting your visa, applying for your visa but for applying for a job, you can just send everything in online and the process is usually like this: They hire online. So you do a Skype interview and sometimes you also have to hold mock lessons. They would give you a topic and you have to prepare a short lesson (20 minutes long) and present it to them in front of the camera.
Generally, there are two ways how to find a teaching job: one would be the independent job search and one would be going with a recruitment agency. With the independent job search, you can find online job postings by just doing a quick Google search for “TEFL jobs” or jobs in the country where you want to go to. There are also a lot of Facebook groups for example “teaching jobs in South Korea” or “teaching jobs in Spain”. You can also do your own school research if you know where you want to go, for example, Paris, and you can look for English schools in Paris and then individually contact them. That'd be another option and then another great option, especially for first-time teachers, is going with a recruitment agency.
It's important to know that the recruitment agency is actually at zero cost to the teacher. The school will hire the recruiter to find them a teacher and the school pays the recruiter. The teacher does not have to pay for the recruiter. There are recruitment scams out there where they will try and get money from the teacher. So stay away from that. Generally, it's free to the teacher. At ITTT, we also offer job support, as I mentioned briefly, and it never expires. It is lifetime, it gets you access to our database of potential employers, it gets you exclusive leads on unadvertised jobs, so they only send the job offers to us. You can't find them anywhere else on the web. We also provide advice on constructing a high-quality CV or resume, advice on writing your cover letter and we also provide assistance with planning the trial lessons for your job interviews.
The timeline - so a lot of people ask us “how soon can I go abroad to teach,” or “how soon can I start teaching online.” Generally, you have up to six months to complete your course. A lot of people complete the course faster but, generally, you have up to six months. You work through the units, then you receive your certificate and then you apply for jobs and then you start teaching. For people who want to teach abroad, usually, we recommend starting their research one year before and also figure out their visa requirements because TEFL is only one part of that. Generally, I would say one year is a good timeline. Jessica, would you like to add something to that?
No, I think that all seems really reasonable. I think that the earlier you start planning ahead, the better, especially if you're, for example in college and you're planning for this after graduation, it would be great to start doing the initial steps, even if that's just something like gaining tutoring experience, while you're living at home or saving up money or learning the language of the country that you hope to go to. All of those are things that you can start sooner rather than later but will definitely pay off once you start moving on this timeline and actually that's why I think so many people right now are taking their TEFL courses because now is a great time to get started because you're spending a lot of time at home anyway so you have time to take the course and get ready for your adventure abroad later on.
I'll even give you guys a little bit of an insider tip but one of the few ways that you can legally travel right now is as an English teacher. There are quite a few countries that are closed to other professionals or to students or just tourist travelers but you can kind of get around that by going with a teaching degree and a business visa. I have a friend who just moved to South Korea maybe a month or two ago and she did have to go through her quarantine so she was in her teacher apartment for two weeks and she actually got this cute survival package from the Korean government with ramen and hand sanitizers and all that stuff and she did that for two weeks and then she started teaching. It's definitely a unique experience. She was picked up from the airport by a government worker. They put her on this special bus, drove her to her apartment and she gets this app where she needs to check in every day and put in her temperature and they track her to make sure she doesn't leave the house.
Thank you Jessica for having us be part of your Teach and TEFL week that was really great. Thanks for watching and always feel free to watch the replay and also leave your comments in the replay. We'll get back to the comments later on as well and don't forget to check out the 20 % OFF link. It's for any course and I’ll see you guys later!
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