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  • Invoice factoring as a way of financing your language school March 12, 2012
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  • Language Classes… Heat Up Careers! March 9, 2012
    Whether you love the snow or can’t wait until the warmer days of spring, this is a time of year when we all start to get a little stir-crazy, suggests Charlotte Evans. Winter was fun back in December but now the cold temperatures and extra layers of clothing are starting to feel a bit […]
  • Learning and Communicative Strategies March 6, 2012
    Introduction Communicative strategies are systematic techniques employed by a speaker to express his meaning when faced with some difficulty and the difficulty here refers to the speaker’s inadequate command of the language used in the interaction (Faerch & Kasper, 1983:16). On the other hand, the term learning strategies has been defined as “the higher- […]
  • Optimizing Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) March 6, 2012
    Technology transforms virtually all human pursuits, notes Michael G. Hines. In the field of education, the use of audiovisual aids, computers, and telecommunication devices has radically altered classroom dynamics. For ESL and TFL practitioners, the possibilities being opened up by technology are highly promising, with the currently accepted practices alread […]
  • Selling textbooks after you’ve finished using them? Here’s some advice February 28, 2012
    These days, being a student is in many ways more demanding than ever. In other ways, though, those attending university have never had it better. The advent of the internet has brought a wealth of information to the modern learner’s fingertips. The advent of sites like Wikipedia has made conducting research and building up […]
  • Want to employ the best teachers? Test them! February 22, 2012
    Are you looking for new teachers? Make sure you do into the process with a clear strategy for how you ensure you end up with the best candidate. Employee assessment tests are extremely important in enabling you as a recruiter of teachers to be able to make measured and well-informed decisions about the type […]
  • Online learning: Do you have the right personality? February 13, 2012
    Research has shown that online learning is better suited to people who are verbally oriented, rather than those who have visual or kinesthetic skills. For this reason, notes Jonathan Ginsburg, whether or not a student is successful in an e-learning course can depend considerably on their personality and their learning type. Before taking an […]
  • Alternative careers: Operations management February 13, 2012
    Tired of the hoi polloi of everyday life as a language teacher? Why not train to become an operations manager instead? An mba in healthcare management is an absolutely indispensable industry qualification which enables those who take it to hone their decision making abilities. The importance of a healthcare mba In today’s bloodthirsty world, […]
  • Can we use dreams to teach English? January 11, 2012
    Dogme ELT is rooted in the experiences of the learner and what they bring with them to the classroom. Our unconscious mind regularly sends us communication in the form of dreams: it is an advantage to understand the meaning of these messages. As our subconscious sends us only constructive information about our existence, it […]

6 things to check before accepting your TEFL job

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 things to check:

Hours of work:

* How many contact hours will you have to teach? The average is 25 contact hours of teaching (when you are physically in the classroom with the students).

* How many days will you be working over? 25 hours or less seems great…until you are expected to do them over 6/7 days!

* What preparation will this involve? In order to determine this you will need to find out the size of your classes, the length of the lessons and how many different levels you should expect. Teaching 5 classes of which there are 3 different levels each for five hours a week is considerably less preparation time than teaching 5 different classes each day for an hour each!

* How much marking will you have to do? Again, this is linked in with the amount of classes you have and class sizes. If you have a lot of students this can really bump up the hours you’re working! Also take into consideration exams. How many will there be throughout the year?

* What additional hours will you be expected to be at work? (Training days? Placement testing? Covering other teachers’ lessons?).

* When will you be teaching exactly? Most TEFL jobs are typically in the evening, which is to be expected as this is when most people are available (after work/school). Will you have to work split shifts? Some schools require you to work a few hours in the morning and a few in the evening. Think about when you want to work (consider the habits of the country – do you want a siesta?).

Sickness pay & health insurance

When you are abroad and away from home this is especially important – you don’t want to be ill and penniless and stuck in a foreign country! Some of the larger companies will pay you if you are sick and also supply you with free health insurance – but check what the policy covers before you go. A lot of companies, sadly, offer neither. In this situation it is sensible to have a bit of money saved for emergencies and to get health insurance before you go.


There’s no point in going to a country and having no time to explore! Ask how many holidays and public holidays you will be entitled to and how you can take them. Sometimes you cannot choose the dates, which can be a problem if you need to be back in the UK for that summer wedding you’ve already bought the shoes for! Also enquire about shift swaps….a great way to extend weekends away.


If you’re serious about teaching or you’re simply a new teacher, then you need to look for a school that offers training. Doing a good job will make you happier in your work life and you’ll stress less about the teaching in your free time!

The school’s reputation

It’s worth Googling the school and looking at past teachers’ comments. This will highlight things to look out for that you can ask your prospective employers about. It’s also a good idea to check with your embassy for warnings to travellers and expats. Some countries may have a reputation for not sticking to contracts.

Pay and accommodation

Is the amount they have stated for your wage net or gross? Also if they provide you with accommodation how much is it and how will you pay for bills? Bills should be in your name to avoid getting money deducted from your wage without your consent and more importantly to avoid being charged too much.

A lot of the above points may not be included in a contract, so it will be up to you to negotiate what you feel is a must! It’s always worth getting things agreed in writing, as it makes it easier to settle any disputes further down the line.

Remember that if you have been offered the job, the school wants you and doesn’t want to go through the recruitment process again. You are in a position to negotiate and if you don’t get what you want there are lots of jobs out there….

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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