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  • 6 things to check before accepting your TEFL job March 15, 2010
    It’s tempting to get carried away with the excitement of going to a new country and being accepted for a job is a great feeling, notes Bruce Haxton, but before you start packing your suitcase, make sure you check out the conditions – they’ll make or break your experience of teaching abroad! Here are 6 [...] […]
  • What type of English can I teach? March 1, 2010
    In this article Chris Soames looks into your options as a native speaker. If you’re a British TEFL teacher, you’ll be asked the question ‘do you teach American English?’ more often than you’ll hot dinners. Your response should always be a firm, but polite, ‘no’. This is nothing to do with snobbishness or a belief that British [...] […]
  • Being Certified in TESOL or TEFL has Benefits February 23, 2010
    By Frank Collins TEFL and TESOL are acronyms for teaching English as a foreign language and teaching English to speakers of other languages. If you plan to teach English overseas then getting a TEFL or TESOL Certificate is a prime requirement. Subscribe to The ELT Times by Email Nowadays there is huge demand for TEFL and TESOL certified [...] […]
  • How are TEFL courses structured? January 28, 2010
    What to expect from your four-week TEFL course by Bruce Haxton. So you’re interested in Teaching English as a Foreign Language [TEFL] but you don’t know which course might be for you? Or maybe you’d just like to know more about what to expect on day one on a course you’ve already booked? Well, there are [...] […]
  • How to Fact Check January 25, 2010
    How to write more accurately and improve your grade, by Celia Webb Fact checking is an important part of writing an accurate article. Meticulous authors do research prior to committing their thoughts to paper. Not all authors are so careful. Editors and readers serve society and themselves well when they read with a judicious eye. Just [...] […]
  • 5 Simple Tips for TEFL Job Success January 19, 2010
    Want to know how to succeed in the TEFL job market? Bruce Haxton tells you how. So, you’re thinking about doing a TEFL course, and it won’t be too long before you’ve got your crisp new TEFL certificate in hand – but what are you going to do with it?! Get a teaching job abroad and [...] […]
  • Why People TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) January 12, 2010
    Ever wondered why we do it? Find out now in this article by Bruce Haxton. TEFL, on paper, is perfect: an exciting career, a chance to see the world, a life full of fresh faces, opportunities and experiences. But, in reality, life at home holds people back: jobs, cars, family, friends, house, age, personal circumstances… so [...] […]
  • Classroom TEFL Courses – the Pros and the Cons January 7, 2010
    An online TEFL course or one done in the classroom? Honor Baldry offers advice on taking the latter option. Classroom learning – it’s what we’re all used to and the way we expect to study. Or is it? A classroom TEFL course is nothing like the lessons you took in school; expect it to be more [...] […]
  • How to Find a Good TEFL Employer January 7, 2010
    A new year and a new career? Check this advice by Bruce Haxton if you’re thinking about getting into TEFL. So you’re thinking about getting TEFL certified (or maybe you already are!), but once you’ve completed your TEFL course, what are you going to do with that crisp new certificate? Get a job and [...] […]
  • Tips about teaching English overseas December 22, 2009
    By Michiel Van Kets If you’re thinking about a career in teaching English you are choosing a great profession. Not only do you give your valuable expertise to others but it is also possible to teach English in other countries not just at home. You can do this as a long term option or just take [...] […]

How to Find a Good TEFL Employer

A new year and a new career? Check this advice by Bruce Haxton if you’re thinking about getting into TEFL.

So you’re thinking about getting TEFL certified (or maybe you already are!), but once you’ve completed your TEFL course, what are you going to do with that crisp new certificate? Get a job and sail off into the sunset, that’s what! However, with thousands of teaching jobs abroad all over the world, choosing a good one can be tricky. So, to help you in your job hunt, here are just a few ways to snaffle that dream TEFL job.

Planning ahead – going with a company

You’ll often find that your TEFL course provider will offer a free TEFL job placement service on completion. This is usually hassle-free, but researching your employer is always a good idea. You can use the internet to research the local area and culture, while travel guides such as Lonely Planet also offer handy tips. The organization you opt for should be able to give you information about the school and may even offer contact details for their in-country coordinators. If you can get hold of a phone number, ask to speak to any TEFL teachers currently in the school to get a true idea of what it’s like to work there.

Going it alone

If you’re arranging your own teaching job abroad the most important thing is to network. Most schools depend on local advertising and word-of-mouth, long before considering using online adverts. The TEFL community is vast, so the sooner you start making contact with both schools and other teachers, the better. Employers are looking for people who have a genuine enthusiasm for teaching so make sure your bubbly personality and love of working with children come across in your application and your resume. Your resume itself should be packed full of TEFL-related skills, up to date references and lots of experience.

Be tenacious with your applications, get back to schools you hear from and try to arrange phone interviews at schools that are far away. Large language schools will often have offices in several countries, so you may be able to talk to someone in person without having to get on a plane. Establishing contact with the school beforehand will also help you to make a much more informed decision.

Travelling first

If forward planning isn’t really your thing, then it is possible to find a TEFL job in-country. It can be risky as you’re not guaranteed to find a position as soon as you step off the plane, but it depends where you want to go. Schools in popular countries such as China, Thailand and Japan offer good standards for English teachers and recruit locally due to their popularity as travel destinations. Networking is still important though, as is establishing contact with the local schools: internet forums are a good place to start, as they often have plenty of experienced teachers as members. Being in-country is a big advantage as you meet with the school director and actually visit your prospective work place and make a decision based on your own impressions, rather than those of someone else.

You will, however, still need to have a good resume, references and, of course, your TEFL certificate (we’re hoping you’ll already have your passport!) You’ll also need to carefully consider your budget, especially if you’re arriving in Europe. Make sure you arrive at the best time for recruitment, usually a month or so before the start of the academic year. This will be more important in popular destinations in Asia or Europe, but less so if you plan to teach in off the beaten track.


  • A few things for to consider before setting off on your TEFL adventure:
    What will living in my chosen country be like?
    Do my qualifications meet the standards of the country I’m going to?
    Do I have all the correct documentation: visas, passport, TEFL certificate?
    Where will I be living?
    What is the average pay in my chosen country?
    What hours should I expect to work?
    What sort of materials will be available?
    What support will there be before and during the placement?
    How big is the school I will be teaching in, in actual size and class size?
    What level of English will my students already have?
    What will my pupils’ average age be?
    What will my non-teaching duties be?

About the Author

Bruce believes that teaching English abroad is the perfect opportunity for any English speaker to explore the world. As long as you’re a fluent English speaker, a TEFL course is your ticket to the journey of your life. Bruce represents

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