15 Reasons Why You Should Take a TEFL Course

Teaching English as a foreign language is still considered to be something that students do on their gap year. The truth, however, is very different. All over the world, there are native and non-native speakers of English working in schools, colleges, universities, businesses, and even online from the comfort of their own home, teaching English and making a decent living doing so. And many of them are not students fresh out of university. There are lots of reasons why it might be a good idea to take a TEFL course.

Here in Granada, Spain, there are hundreds of English teachers. They are a varied bunch, ranging from university graduates to retired professionals, from former accountants to ageing musicians. I’ve shared staff rooms with poets and rock stars, actors and retired bankers.

If you thought that TEFL  (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) was not for you, you might want to think again. Training to teach English is relatively affordable and you can complete the course in just 4 weeks. It’s intensive but you’ll learn basic skills and knowledge which will be enough to get you started in your new role as an English teacher.

1. You are interested in teaching but are not sure you want to take a degree.

Teaching English as a foreign language will give you a taste of teaching. You’ll acquire teaching skills at a low cost and gain classroom experience. In other words, you’ll get to experience life as a teacher which will help you decide whether you want to enrol in a teaching programme or not.

2. You are a lover of the English language and love telling people about it.

Teaching English as a foreign language is not all about grammar explanations and pronunciation drills. Your learners will

3. You are thinking of taking a gap year and need to support yourself while you’re abroad.

Taking a year out and teaching English is a popular choice for a reason: it’s a great way of financing your travels. It’s also a great way to meet local people and experience local customs – which is why we travel right?

4. You have just graduated and not sure what you want to do next.

Not everybody is ready to take on the world when they leave university. It’s a cliche but teaching English gives you the opportunity to find yourself. Seeing a bit of the world gives you a fresh perspective and allows you to make a more informed decision about the next step to take in life.

5. You are retired after working in a different sector but would like to continue working.

Many older people find a new lease of life teaching English. There is no age limit – at least there isn’t in Spain. We have trained people well into the 60s! And guess what? They become great teachers.

6. You have always wanted to work in another country.

With a TEFL certificate, you can do what you’ve always wanted to do: live abroad. You’ll also meet lots of teachers who can guide you through those early months in a new country. They have been there and done it.

7. You are feeling worn-out or dissatisfied with your current job and looking to do something different.

They say a change is as good as a rest. Teaching English abroad means taking yourself out of your comfort zone, gaining new skills in a new and exciting environment.

8. You have been made redundant and looking for a change of career.

There is a massive demand for TEFL-certified teachers so you shouldn’t have any problems finding work.

9. You are a qualified teacher looking to gain experience or expand your range of skills.

There are of course similarities between teaching English as a foreign language and other types of teaching, but you’ll definitely be able to learn new techniques and approaches. In many places, EFL teaching is not so regulated and pedagogically restricted so you’ll be able to experiment with teaching strategies you’ve always wanted to try but have never had the chance.

10. You are a professional living in another country and finding it difficult to get work in your field.

It can be difficult to find the job you want in a new country. Teaching English as a foreign language can be something that keeps you ticking over while you look for a position in your field. Teaching is also a great way to build up your network of contacts. Perhaps one of your students can even help you find the job you want!

11. You are looking to move abroad to be with your partner and wondering what you could do to support yourself.

Love moves in mysterious ways and sometimes we move to mysterious places when we fall in love. If you want to be with a person from a different country, one of you will have to move abroad.

12. You are looking for flexible part-time work to fit around your other commitments.

You don’t have to commit to a full-time teaching schedule. English learners attend early morning classes, lunchtime classes, afternoon and late evening classes. If you want to move into online teaching, international time differences mean that at any time of the day somebody is interested in taking English lessons with you.

13. You are a creative person (musician, artist, writer) looking for a job which can provide you with some supplementary income.

If you work in the creative arts industry, it can be difficult to find steady work. In many parts of the world, you can find short-term teaching work which can help you keep the wolves from the door when you’re in between gigs.

14. You looking for work which you can do from home.

There are two ways people can teach English from home. You can invite people to your home for lessons or you can teach online. Many home teachers do a mixture of both. Just imagine – you can stay in your pyjamas all day and earn a living!

15. You would prefer to do a job which allows you to help other people.

Learning English broadens people’s horizons. In many countries, English speakers gain access to higher education and better employment, resulting in a higher quality of life for them and their loved ones. You’ll sleep easy at night knowing that you have helped somebody improve their English.

So, these are just some of the reasons why you should take a TEFL course. Teaching English is a foreign language may not be a long-term career for everybody. In fact, most people only teach for a couple of years. However, the skills and experiences they gain in the classroom stay with them forever.