Sunday 20 January 2008

Making a Career out of TEFLing

Updated 2 February 2015

The Holy Trinity
If you're interested in advancing your career you should concentrate on three things:
  1. Scholarship, degrees, publications, conference presentations, teacher license, grants, etc.
  2. Teaching experience
  3. Service to the institution, profession, and community
Employers place a high value on furthering your education. They might be willing to subsidise part of the costs of training sessions. Many master degree programmes will offer credit for completion of certificate, diploma, or license courses. Some companies like Macmillan offer webinairs. You can see their list of past and present webinars on their website. You can find a comprehensive list of certs, dips, MAs, and PhDs at furthering your education. More ideas can be found in how to improve your TEFL career.

You should also look into publishing and presenting at local and international workshops and conferences.

Teaching Experience
There are really no shortcuts to take when it comes to experience. Try to teach a wide range or ages and levels. Academic writing, teaching exams pre, ESP, EAP, Medical English, Business English, English for Special Purposes, and English for Tourism are all some examples.

You can also work on focus groups or committees, do curriculum design, curriculum review, materials development, language test construction, professional development, workshops, and mentoring. Staying with the same employer means that you'll be more likely to be chosen for promotion.

Another thing to do is get published. You can start with articles, book reviews, lesson plans, worksheets, games, or try writing a book. You could also try sending material to various websites. Doing workshops are another way to advance your career.

Helping the institution goes without saying. Whether you're creating curriculum, doing placement tests, or workshops, you need to do something.

You should also help the TEFL community. One way to do this is to become a member of a professional association. Not only will you find out about the latest training courses but you may also get discounts on courses or material. In addition, you'll be put in contact with other teachers and be able to share ideas. IATEFL is one of the main TEFL organisations.

Don't forget about reaching out to the community. Volunteering and helping people goes a long way.

Types of Jobs
Being a TEFL teacher isn't the only option. Take a look at the list below to get some ideas.
This article has been featured in the ELT Times.



  1. Thanks for info. I just received my BA, but didn't really know where to go from here. You have given my some avenues to pursue.


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