Who doesn’t love to travel to interesting locations and make money? Travelling is one thing that invariably opens people’s eyes and gives them a new perspective on life. If you have the opportunity, teaching English language is a great way to make some extra money while travelling. You will have the opportunity to learn all about another culture while you are immersed in new sights and sounds.
When people first decide to travel and teach, one of the first questions they ask themselves if whether they are qualified. In very broad terms, being a native English speaker already gives you some important qualifications that help you to teach English.
Native English speakers have an excellent recognition of errors in non-native speakers. It is incredibly easy to detect problems in grammar, and pronunciation. When you hear someone use the wrong word, or miss a word entirely, it can grate on you. Unfortunately, while we can easily hear/see the problem, without proper training, it can be incredibly hard to know how to fix it.
If we think about our own schooling and what kind of teacher we don’t want to be, we think about a droning, repetitive bore. We all realistically know that just repeating the words back is not enough to actually help the students understand where their problems lie or how to correct them.
Taking a TEFL course before you head off can help you feel more confident in going and teaching that first class by arming you with the latest skills and techniques used by teachers already in the field. You can learn to identify when a student makes a grammatical error, as opposed to making a vocabulary error. It can also help you understand the roles teachers have to play in the class, and think about how you will interact with students.
One of the most important aspects of teaching is planning lessons, so a good TEFL course should include some aspect of how to prepare your day to day lessons. While the first couple might take you some time, it will get easier and easier. Walking into any class with a plan is better than not.
Some people can feel overwhelmed when trying to prepare their trip and learning to teach English as a foreign language. Some TEFL courses are offered completely online, which can help ease that tension. When you complete the course, or even while studying, you can use your new found qualifications to help secure a job. Securing a job can also help you feel better about travelling. Many schools offer accommodation and health insurance, which can be a weight off your shoulders.
Another thing to remember is that as an English teacher, you are your school’s biggest asset and they will generally do everything they can to help you adjust. You will have the support of your school in most matters, such as immigration affairs and going to see a doctor.
For many years, native English speakers have been able to find new career opportunities and personal horizons when teaching oversees. It can be financially and spiritually rewarding.
Please share your experiences with travelling and teaching in the comment below.