I’ve said it a million times already, and I’ll say it again — Teaching English is the BEST way to live and work abroad.
I taught English in Korea for 18 months, and it was the best experience of my life. I highly recommend it to everyone reading this, if you meet the 3 basic requirements of:
– Being a native English speaker
– Having any bachelors degree
– Getting your TEFL Certificate (Teach English as a Foreign Language)
I am delighted to recommend myTEFL, as it is both extremely affordable and of a very high quality, eclipsing many of the other courses available out there.
Lately, I have been receiving several questions from people who are interested in getting their TEFL Certificate, but don’t really know what it’s all about.
So, I interviewed a guy named Tyler (photo below), who works at myTEFL, and is here to answer all of your questions in this blog post. Tyler is an avid traveler himself.
After reading this interview, you’ll be on your way to starting your TEFL Class course, and ready to move abroad to teach English and teach the world!
(If you want to read more about my experiences teaching in Korea, then see this blog post)
1. Briefly describe what the myTEFL’s 120 hour course consists of, and how long it takes to complete?
Briefly there are 8 Units which cover the full gamut of teaching English. This includes classroom management, learner styles, the PPP method, incorporating tech and media in the classroom, lesson planning, curriculum development, creating and implementing effective testing and feedback mechanisms and much more.
It takes most people between 4 – 6 weeks to complete. This depends on whether you are working outside full-time, part-time or are still finishing up school. That’s one of the benefits of our course. You log in and work on it at your own pace. No restrictive schedules!
2. It sounds a bit complicated. Can someone without a teaching background understand and make use of the course?
Love this one! So first off, our courses were developed through our own language schools overseas. We were training hundreds of people who came out to China with NO teaching experience and very little cross cultural immersion. We needed to develop an internal training system that worked. It had to successfully blend theory with hands on practical skills that could be put to use immediately.
Over the years we kept improving based on teacher feedback and our own performance observations in the classroom. We created an amazing program, and after 5 years decided to make it accessible to the public at a reasonable price.
3. There are a lot of TEFL providers out there. Why myTEFL?
I’d say the top reasons are:
Employability – We have an amazing placement success rate. Employers love our graduates, and we are able to place people in great positions around the world. We carefully vet potential employers beforehand, and will only work with them if we are sure they are professional, offer a market or higher than market package, and provide full on the ground support including visa and accommodations. We want our graduates to have an amazing “first time”, and a good contract and employer plays a large role in that.
Value – Many people are questioning the value of $2,000 USD plus a serious time commitment for an onsite course, when you can complete an accredited online program for $300 USD (our retail price) or less and get placed immediately at the same pay grade. Most employers are going to spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks conducting hands on classroom training anyways, so the few hours of observed (often not with real students) practice touted by some other courses often makes very little difference in hiring and teaching outcomes.
Service – We’ve found the TEFL industry to be sorely lacking in this area. I can’t count how many times a student has signed up for our course just because other providers either completely ignore their queries, or treat them with a “buy now or stop wasting my time” attitude. Due to our actual education background, we have the manners and communication of an admissions officer rather than those of a commission based salesperson.
4. How long does the Job Placement process typically take?
It depends on the country and employer. In Korea we place in the public school system (amazing employment package by the way), and the application and visa issuance process is a bit more complex and takes more time than say in Thailand. Realistically the quickest you could be abroad and teaching would be within 45 days of completing our TEFL; on average it takes about 3 months destination dependant. The timeframe includes applications, interviews, offers, work visa processing, vaccinations, and farewell parties!
5. Which countries would you say are best for EFL teachers?
I’d say Taiwan and Korea depending on your personal taste. Taiwan is such an underrated destination. It has gorgeous beaches, amazing nature, friendly people and food like you wouldn’t believe. The cost of living is really low, so the typical EFL salary allows for a great lifestyle with plenty of savings at the end of the month.
You know how good the public school contracts are in Korea. They pay really well and offer many substantial bonuses. Korea is more expensive to live in, but with accommodations and the bonuses, it’s one of the top destinations for an EFL teacher.
However, that is looking at it from my point of view, and balancing costs of living with salary. It really boils down to personal tastes and preference. Thailand is such a laid back, fun loving, exciting place that captures many a heart. It’s hard to put a price on that type of tranquility and experience.
Other countries that are popular to teach in are: Vietnam, Japan, UAE, and China.
6. Why would you recommend teaching abroad in general?
I’d say for the sheer adventure, fun and excitement of stepping out of the narrowly framed lives that most people live, and understanding that life is too short to waste on a dull, rote routine that typically is unfulfilling. The 9-5 back home is dying. At least before you sold your soul for job security, a good salary and pension. Those benefits are now a thing of the past.
There is growing demand for English teachers abroad, the employment packages allow for a great lifestyle, and you are always able to change your scenery when you feel like it. I would say EFL isn’t just a gap year job anymore, but a viable lifestyle path. It’s your world. Go explore it!
7. How much money can you actually earn?
Employment packages are complex when factoring in accommodations, flights, bonuses, cost of living etc. We have grads in China putting in longer hours (35 teaching hours would be considered long hours!) and pocketing about $3000 USD per month. We have grads teaching 20 hours per week in small villages in Thailand earning $900 USD per month.
I think the best way to approach the salary issue is to consider the costs of the destination country, the employment package , and local salaries. That paints a more accurate picture than straight salary numbers can.
Thank you for giving your time to answer these questions, Tyler! Don’t hesitate to contact either Tyler (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself if you have any more questions 🙂
And don’t forget to purchase your TEFL on this link!
*Note* (These are affiliate links, meaning that I make a small percentage if you purchase the TEFL class on my link at no additional cost to you. Please note that this money will go directly into improving my website, so you’d be helping me out a lot. Thanks!)