TEFL teachers are not born, they are trained.
Taking a TEFL course is one of the easiest ways to train to be an English teacher. It could well be the answer to your prayers for getting a job teaching English. Online training means that you can become a qualified and accredited English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher without leaving home. It will not take years to get qualified, and it won’t cost you a fortune either. After you finish your English teacher training and get your teaching certificate, you can work online. Then, when COVID travel restrictions finally disappear, you can apply for work wherever you want, or you can keep working from home. The great thing is that you have a qualification that is in demand, and you have job choices.
Does this sound too good to be true? If everyone gets a TEFL certificate, won’t there be too many English teachers and too few jobs?
Let’s take a look and find out.
How many English language learners are there?
A British Council estimate is that around two billion people learn English as a foreign language. China alone has over three hundred million English language learners. Two billion English students mean there will be many English language classes that need a lot of English teachers. English is the primary language of international communication and business. Every day, more and more people see that speaking English is a massive benefit to their life and personal development.
Many countries are implementing plans to increase English language instruction in schools. These countries are actively making the English language a compulsory subject or incentivising learners to learn it. In addition, online learning now makes learning English easier. The result of all these things is that there is a boom in English language learning.
The mathematics is simple. More English language learners need more English classes taught by more TEFL teachers.
The increased need for accredited TEFL teachers is a global phenomenon. It is not restricted to non-English speaking countries. You will find English language students in Japan, China, Argentina and other non-English speaking countries. You will also find English language students in the UK, the USA, Canada and other English speaking countries. In addition, English speaking countries have international students and immigrants who need to learn English.
In addition, English speaking countries usually have language programmes for English language students who travel to English-speaking countries to learn English. Britain and America are popular destinations for this type of student.
Because of all these actors, you can find English teaching jobs in New York or Naples, Birmingham or Beijing, or Toronto or Taipei.
How many people are employed as TEFL teachers?
There are billions of people who want to learn English, so there is a constant need for English language teachers.
There is no doubt that thousands of English language teachers teach English around the world. China alone has an estimated 100,000 English teaching job vacancies. This figure does not include online teaching.
The need for more EFL teachers never stops.
You will find that teaching English as a foreign language is dynamic. Teachers move around. Unless you choose otherwise, your life as an EFL teacher will evolve and change. You will move between jobs quite frequently. Even if you stay in the same country, it is common to move between cities and change jobs. Your average life in a job is about one to two years before you decide to move on. If you stay longer with a school, you usually accept a more senior post such as Director of Studies. In a senior position, you will have more managerial duties and fewer teaching hours. When you get your promotion, a new teacher will fill your vacated teaching position.
There is constantly a revolving door of EFL teachers in schools.
Online English teaching
The previous section dealt with face to face English teaching. Now we deal with online English teaching.
2020 and 2021 have seen a vast increase in online learning, which is primarily due to COVID. More and more people see the benefits of online learning. Online learning is flexible, convenient and easy to use. Learners can adjust their schedules to what best fits their needs. Online learning has increased in popularity for almost all subjects, but especially for English.
Because of this, there is an immense demand for online English teachers.
Here is an example. 51 Talk is a company that provides online English teaching to over 100,000 Chinese English language learners. Many of these learners prefer to take one-on-one classes or small group classes with a maximum of 6 students. 51 Talk needs a minimum of almost 17,000 teachers assuming the English language learners are happy to have group classes.
Some online teaching companies have been providing online English lessons for years, but now there are many more. Every day, more of them appear.
Keep your eye on the job boards!
Teaching English as a foreign language is a popular career choice, but the number of teachers needed means that there will be space for you too.
The EFL market changes continuously. Check jobs boards every day because you will see new job openings every day.
There is no foreseeable end to the English teaching market for both face to face and online teaching.