TEFL After Covid: Where is the Demand?
The last two years have seen the world experience some of the toughest times that we might have seen in our lifetime with Covid. From lockdowns to family separations, we’ve been through it all. Now it seems that we’re through the covid tunnel and there’s some sort of light at the other side. Travel is opening up, families are reunited and the world is getting used to the new “normal” that life with covid has created.
During this time, many people have decided to switch careers or start their careers by getting into TEFL. The lockdown was a time many chose to do an online TEFL course or finally finish the one that they had started before the pandemic. Newly qualified, TEFL teachers are ready to launch themselves into this career path. There are also many TEFL teachers who are looking for a change and want to try somewhere new to teach.
The covid-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s life in some way or other. The world of work has seen huge shifts in the way we work and communicate with each other. If you want to get into TEFL, it’s important to know how the industry may have changed and where you fit into this. What did the pandemic do to the TEFL world and where is the demand for TEFL teachers right now?
One aspect that covid attributed to greatly was the online teaching boom. Whether it was for school lessons, language lessons, or work meetings, most people had to use zoom at some point during the pandemic. This time brought about popularity for teaching online and led to more platforms coming into use to do so. It also showed us new online resources for teaching and made us think of online activities that we could use to teach English in this way.
The most obvious need for TEFL teachers since the pandemic has been online. There are endless companies with students from all over the world who studied online during the pandemic. A lot of people stayed online when they realized they liked the convenience. Sometimes this market can feel saturated as teachers also want to enjoy the advantages of teaching online so ensure your profile stands out and do apply for multiple roles. However, the demand is still there and these companies continue to grow and advertise for teachers.
While it seems the world’s lockdowns have mostly come to an end, the skills for online teaching are greatly valued even after they return to the classroom. Many schools have stayed teaching with some form of online learning or hybrid teaching. Any online teaching skills learned during the height of the pandemic will benefit your application greatly. You might also see job adverts include a requirement for the teacher to be flexible and comfortable with reverting to online teaching, in case this is necessary again.
Living the digital nomad lifestyle
Remote working became possible in a lot of different job fields, even when it wasn’t thought possible before. This has led to a lot of countries offering a digital nomad working visa meaning you can stay longer in a certain country whilst teaching English online. The length of the visa and the financial requirements (normally specifying a minimum monthly earning) vary depending on the country.
Popular places currently offering this include Bali, Croatia, Estonia, Portugal, the Bahamas, and many, many more! This new way of working and living is catching on in many other countries and soon, it won’t be long before you will be able to apply for a digital nomad visa in a large variety of countries. If you enjoy teaching online and still want to travel long-term, this could be a good option for you.
This type of visa allows you to continue working online but gives you the freedom to stay longer in a particular country. If you want to spend a year in Bali then you can! If you want to explore the Adriatic Coast of Croatia whilst teaching online, then this is now possible! This type of work might suit someone who wants to explore several places, have flexibility with their timetable and be more independent in their work.
With travel restrictions eased in Europe, it is a good place to be able to travel and get a job working in TEFL. Out of all of the possibilities, central Europe and Eastern Europe are always good options due to their low cost of living, compared to Western Europe. There is a great demand for TEFL teachers at the moment in countries such as Poland and Hungary. Many students want to make a career change after covid and learning English will help them do this.
Countries such as Poland returned to the classroom and continue to look for TEFL teachers for various cities in Poland. There is plenty of work that would allow you to live comfortably and get to know an exciting new country! Poland has many wonderful cities which can be explored easily via train, bus or plane once you are working there.
Countries in this area opened back up relatively smoothly after the lockdown and are continuing to thrive. These countries can offer you an attractive salary with minimal outgoings and the chance to get to know a new country. Exploring these countries and the surrounding ones is often very cheap by bus or train, so you can get to know several places very easily in the space of a year!
Spain has always been a TEFL favorite for teachers with a lot of work for those qualified in TEFL across the country. This continues to be true post-pandemic. Most language schools have returned to in-classroom teaching and general covid restrictions have eased. There are numerous jobs advertised, especially for the start of the academic year in September.
The need for English is still great in Spain with tourism being a big sector for employment. Tourism is thriving in some areas of Spain; some areas even have a higher amount of tourists than before the pandemic! This means that people will need to improve their English more than ever to increase their employment opportunities meaning that TEFL teachers are needed across Spain.
Spain is a diverse country and has even more to offer than the typical sun, tapas, and sangria stereotype. The north is completely different from the south and you can find differences in culture, cuisine, and even language from one end of the country to the other. There is a lot to explore and a great choice for TEFL teachers worldwide. It’s clear that Spain will always be a contender for TEFL positions.
South Korea has always been a country that offers an attractive salary and job package for TEFL teachers. This is still the same now that the country has opened up to the world again. Teaching in South Korea can earn you a high salary, with accommodation often included. A return flight and bonuses are also often included for first-time teachers in Korea. There may be some testing and vaccination requirements as South Korea is still transitioning into allowing international travel again, but this is easy to navigate and worth doing if you have a good teaching position waiting for you!
Teaching in South Korea is a great opportunity for those who want to earn more and also be able to travel. Travel to the rest of Southeast Asia is cheap and the cost of living is lower than in South Korea itself. This means that if you want to spend your holidays in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Thailand, you will be able to do so quite comfortably. Don’t forget that South Korea itself is also an amazing country to explore, which you can do during your holidays!
With South America now opening back up post-covid-19, Brazil is an interesting option to consider. The country is experiencing an economic boom and a high demand for English teachers. In smaller cities, newly-qualified teachers can get hired quite easily due to the fact that they need a lot of English teachers. In Brazil, it’s not always necessary to have a degree and they value English language skills more than higher education on paper.
Brazil is a huge country covering a vast amount of land and there are many cities where TEFL teachers can find work. The salaries may not seem very high but the cost of living is much lower. Brazil isn’t a country where a TEFL teacher can walk away with a lot of savings, but there is a lot to explore. A good option in Brazil is also to work in international schools although this may require different qualifications to work in language schools.
One thing that the pandemic has taught us is that TEFL teachers continue to be in demand. Whether students wanted to learn more English to pass the time in lockdown or make that long-overdue career change, learning continued albeit, online. The need to adapt to the online learning environment is one that has arisen from this experience. The pandemic has opened up the online world for teaching. Whether this is in a full-time capacity or as a side earner is up to you, but the opportunities are there for those who want to take them.
Let’s not forget, that the world still needs in-person TEFL teachers and there are many more countries where there are lots of opportunities in classrooms. As popular as online learning has become, there are many people who prefer learning in a classroom. However, heading into a job with the skills that show you can teach online is a wise move for your CV, so brush up on those zoom teaching techniques!