There are many reasons why a credential or degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL or TESOL) is a great way to advance your professional career and increase your quality of life. All across the world there are language institutes, professional development schools, primary and high schools and universities that are looking for qualified teachers to instruct English language classes. Here are five great reasons why you should consider taking up one of these positions.
1. You get paid to travel
The travelling lifestyle is a great one, but for those who aren’t earning money as they wander around the globe it can leave you having to return home with a dismal bank balance. Teaching English, however, allows travelers to not only pay for their accommodations while they’re experiencing new cultures, but also gives them a disposable income and savings to take more trips, utilizing their new location as a home base.
2. You immerse yourself in a new culture
The traditional backpacking traveler rarely stays in one location for longer than a few weeks, and even when they do an extended stay, they seldom participate in local community affairs. Teaching English not only allows you to better understand the local culture through your communication with students, but it also gives you a foot-in-the-door to becoming a valued member of the local community.
3. Growing economy and globalization
Because the world economy is constantly becoming more intertwined and countries are more dependent on one another, our ability to effectively communicate is extremely important. And, luckily, the language in which most international business and relations is carried out is English, which means the demand and compensations for English teachers will continue to increase in the future. Today, the booming markets are located in the Middle East and Asia, where countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Korea are paying extremely competitive salaries to try and acquire the best teachers.
4. You earn good wages against a low cost of living
In all of the major markets for English language teachers, the compensation in comparison to the cost of living is extremely high, allowing teachers to live comfortable lifestyles and enjoy vacations and trips to nearby countries. Many language institutes and schools will also provide teachers with extra stipends for housing, or will have free accommodation available. In cities like Dubai, salaries can reach up to $4,000 USD/month, and in countries like Japan up to $3,000 USD/month.
5. Improve your academic and career growth
Because of the extreme growth in the number of English language programmes available, there has also been a boom in the academic study of teaching curriculum and strategy. There are a variety of universities that grant degrees of PhD and Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), which will provide students with the ability to research and teach second language acquisition, methodology and testing at the university level.
Whether you simply want to travel the world and earn some money along the way, or are looking to invest in a long-term career in language teaching and academia, the advantages of acquiring an ESL degree should have you packing your bags immediately!