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The stereotype of the aspiring writer trying to survive by teaching English on the side is nothing new. James Joyce, JK Rowling and Nick Hornby are just a few of the novelists who taught EFL in order to fund their works in progress. All these writers had to pave their own way to literary success with jobs that barely earned them a basic living with limited opportunities to focus on their art. And it's not just novelists who juggle their creative endeavours with TEFL, but journalists, copywriters, travel writers, scriptwriters, playwrights and bloggers too. Yet we all know that neither teaching nor writing are the best paid jobs to begin with, so what exactly is the allure? And is there a way to ensure simultaneous success in both of these professions?
A lot of online articles in the TEFL sphere are focused on teacher tips, classroom technology, finding happiness as a teacher abroad and so on. I want to consider the question of teacher satisfaction from a different angle, that of management. In my 5 years of experience, it’s the quality and style of management that makes the biggest difference in terms of how well a school is run, and how rewarding the job is for teachers. I’ll draw from my own experiences, while outlining some of the core management challenges which apply to TEFL, and specifically how...
If you are still trying to weigh the pros and cons of becoming a teacher of English, doubt no more. When choosing a career we are usually guided either by what we love doing or by the financial benefits of a job. In my opinion teaching English can be the perfect combination of both - it is a fun job (you are guaranteed to never be bored) and there are plenty of opportunities to make good money. Another point in favour of choosing teaching English as a long-term career is that there are a lot of options to transition to from teaching per se to other areas within the TEFL industry: you can become a DOS, open your own language school, move into materials creation and...
It is finally over. You have escaped the teacher training program unscathed. Or, perhaps you are a seasoned vet seeking to land a job in a new country or city. Either way, you need to get ready for the next step: the interview process. While this process is more daunting for some than others, there are always techniques to be applied that can significantly boost the chances of you landing the job you...
Let’s begin by saying this is a wonderful career that will take you into new cultures, open your mind to new ways of doing things and new world views that even the adventurous traveler will not experience. You will become part of the school’s and the wider community’s social network if you wish to. You will affect lives.
I will tell you some hard learnt lessons which I consider to be ‘must dos’ in order to make life great in and out of the classroom in a foreign country. I have broken down the advice into four sections: before you leave; upon arrival;workplace basics; and a tip for new ESL journeymen...
CELTA, DELTA, Trinity Dip, M.A. in Applied Linguistics… there is an increasing number of courses on offer for the aspiring English language teacher. Navigating the opportunities and understanding the realities of what each brings is key if you are to make it all worth your while. Many will start off their career attempting the CELTA or Trinity TESOL (also known as TEFL-I qualifications), the two most popular entry-level courses on offer in TEFL. Ironically, what most teachers end up doing for their first jobs is nothing like the small groups of adult learners neatly grouped into levels, and so why the expectation and desire to put ourselves through it? Well, obviously, in order to get a job. Not to say that it is essential for your first teaching position. In fact, most countries require a 120-hour teaching qualification, with only the UK, USA and Saudi Arabia actually stipulating that a CELTA/TESOL is required (Deady, 2019). These shorter courses can be done...
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