From keeping in touch with friends and family to ordering items to be delivered to one’s own home, the sky really is the limit in the virtual world.
This extends to being able to find work opportunities, and there are more than ever these days. For instance, one growing field is TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).
Read on to find out more on how to become a TEFL teacher, as well as some of the top tips for finding employment positions in the sphere. Additionally, there will be several recommendations on how to market skills and reach the largest number of students possible.
Becoming a TEFL teacher
To begin with, the best way to get started in this area is to go ahead and get a bona fide TEFL certification. This is partly because even though it seems as though this should be obvious, not everybody who is looking to become a TEFL teacher knows the grammatical difference between a phrase such as “what is TEFL opportunities” and “what TEFL opportunities are”.
As a result, they might not be able to explain these distinctions to English language learners, and this is why getting a handle on the basics of the English language through a TEFL program could be one solution to this issue.
What’s more, the courses are designed by professionals in the world of TEFL, who have a wealth of experience and know how to draw upon. Consequently, this information can be provided quickly and easily during these programs, providing the ideal chance for a new TEFL teacher to be effectively prepared for what is to come.
Not only that, but the courses are a great opportunity to get to know other new TEFL teachers, sharing thoughts and ideas during the study process and maybe even keeping in touch long after the program is completed. This may also be a good way of coping with any difficult moments in the early weeks and months as a TEFL teacher, knowing that there are others in the same boat too.
Last but not least, many online TEFL platforms actually do require that an applicant have a legitimate certificate as part of their application process. This way, the sites can vet the suitability of a candidate from the very beginning, which places those with a TEFL qualification at a considerable advantage when trying to land a job fast.
How to market skills as a TEFL teacher
For many new TEFL teachers, it makes a lot of sense to join an existing company and work for them for a while. Having said that, there may come a point in the long term where being self-employed makes more sense, and there are a few ways to self-promote in this digital era.
One of these is to consider the benefits of setting up a website. This could focus on the skills or knowledge that the TEFL teacher has acquired over the years, or it might even be a blog type of site, where the author details in English what they did over the weekend, for instance.
In any case, the TEFL teacher ought to have a decent awareness of the kinds of materials that may attract new students to the site, as well as creating a simple means of communication directly to the teacher themselves. This is due to the AIDA (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action) business model, which demonstrates a pathway which any business should take to convert a potential customer into a paying one.
Aside from a website, a personal business profile on a platform such as LinkedIn can also be an efficient and reliable method for potential students to evaluate a new TEFL teacher. As the profile is public, and it is possible to view the teacher’s credentials and experience online, this might be another useful access point for these students to evaluate whether that TEFL teacher would be right for them.
Last but not least is social media, with billions of global users of platforms as diverse as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok consuming content daily. Creating short videos or blog posts on these applications may connect to more tech-savvy learners and allow the business to grow in a different fashion.
Ways of finding online TEFL teaching opportunities
Perhaps the simplest way of doing this nowadays is to go to Google and perform a search using those keywords. This ought to bring up a plethora of results, ranging from different English language learning areas and regions of the globe.
From this, an individual will be able to research the sites, and get to know some of the technological aspects involved with these. For instance, a site such as Cambly definitely has some very distinct teaching features, as compared to iTalki, for example.
These differences may suit some individuals more than others, so the best thing to do is to go to each platform and find out which ones feel the most comfortable from the very beginning. After that, the next step is to go to the part of the site where it is possible to get in touch directly with the recruitment team, usually found on the home page under a button such as ‘work for us’.
This page will ask for some essential details, such as experience, qualifications and contact details, but does not typically take a long time to complete. Once this is done, there is normally a short waiting period of a few business days, while the application is assessed, before a member of their team reaches out with some kind of response.
This may well be followed by a short video call or interview, in which there might be some basic questions about the fundamentals of TEFL, or the personality of the new TEFL teacher themselves. They could also ask for a broad outline of the TEFL teacher’s time zone, timetable and number of hours they wish to work in a usual week.
If all goes well, then there is a short demo lesson with a student, who reports their opinion back to the administration team of that site. All being well, this would be the last step before the online TEFL platform makes a concrete offer of employment.