Digital nomadism is all the rage these days. More and more people are realising that it’s possible to live a life according to the lifestyle that they want. That they don’t need to rely on their job to dictate when they will work and where they will work, and even what they will do. Becoming a digital nomad has become increasingly popular in the last few years, in part thanks to the surge in demand for online English teachers.
There are different jobs you can do online as a digital nomad. Client communications are easy with the availability of interactive video streaming solutions like the one found at https://www.agora.io/en/products/interactive-live-streaming/. Online teaching jobs especially find it to be one of the simplest and most convenient ways of communication. As a teacher of English as a Foreign Language (a TEFL teacher), you can choose when, where, and how often you want to work.
What exactly is a TEFL teacher?
A TEFL teacher is a teacher who teaches English to learners who don’t speak English as their first language. They are learning English as a second, third or even fourth language. These learners can be children, teens or adults. They can be schoolchildren, full-time language students or working people. They might be learning English because it is required by their school, they might need it for their studies or jobs, or they might want to learn English for their own pleasure.
A TEFL teacher can teach Business English to businessmen and –women in a company in Berlin. Or English for Academic Purposes to foreign students at a university in London. Or General English to Chinese children online. If you want it to, every week teaching English as a Foreign Language could be different!
Can I really teach anywhere as a TEFL teacher?
Yes, that’s the beauty of it. You can either choose to teach in whichever country you want and teach in a school, university, language academy or in-house in a company, or you can choose to work online and live anywhere you want.
TEFL teachers can work in both English-speaking countries and non-English-speaking countries. So you can work in a language school in London or a high school in Bangkok or a kindergarten in Montevideo. If you teach online you can live at home with your folks or in any country you choose, so long as you are available for the lessons you sign up for and you have a reliable internet connection.
Okay, but can I earn money?
If you are an employed TEFL teacher you will earn either an hourly rate or a monthly salary. What that will be depends on which country you are teaching in. Some countries are known for their high salaries and generous packages. South Korea, for example, pays their teachers well and they offer packages which include accommodation or a housing allowance, return airfare and health insurance. Other countries might not offer such high salaries or generous packages but their salaries are generous relative to the cost of living in that country. In Thailand, for example, salaries might not seem high in dollars, but they are in Thai baht.
If you teach English online you will receive an hourly rate, so how much you earn will depend on how much you work. Even if your hourly rate doesn’t seem like much, when you consider that you are saving money on commuting costs and other expenses involved in working in an office, your monthly earnings will be more than you expect. Plus that hour that you would usually spend in traffic every morning can now be spent teaching and earning money!
So how can I be a TEFL teacher?
It’s quite simple, really.
You need to sign up for a TEFL course. The TEFL course you choose should be at least 120 hours long. It should be from a reputable TEFL course provider with legitimate accreditation and good online reviews.
You don’t need to have any other teaching qualification. For many countries you don’t even need a Bachelor’s degree. Visa requirements might specify that you need to be a certain age or show a clean criminal record or pass a medical check, but other than that you don’t need anything else to be a TEFL teacher.
Why should I do a TEFL course?
The TEFL course will prepare you to teach English as a Foreign Language in a classroom. You will learn about the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation of English. You will find out about different teaching methodologies and techniques. You will learn how to plan a lesson, as well as best practices for classroom management and discipline.
All of this will prepare you to be a TEFL teacher and teach your students to the best of your ability. After all, when you are standing in front of your class or EFL learners it is up to you and you alone to conduct successful English as a Foreign Language lessons – so your students will keep coming back and you will keep your job!
But I don’t speak the local language?
That’s okay! Being a TEFL teacher means using English as the medium of instruction as well as the subject of the lesson. Immersion is the best way to learn a language so you don’t need to use any other language besides English in your classroom. While you might want to learn the local language because you have the perfect opportunity to do so, there is no need to do it just for your job.
So, in a nutshell, living and working abroad, in any country you choose, is perfectly feasible as a TEFL teacher.
Sound too good to be true?
Well, it’s not. Just ask any of the hundreds of thousands of TEFL teachers currently teaching all over the world!