12 Top TEFL Facts You Need to Know

The global English job market is BIG business. Yes, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent worldwide lockdowns have had a huge impact on TEFL. But, whether you decide to put your travelling plans on hold for now or teach English online, the need for native English-speaking teachers in foreign countries will continue to rise. Don’t just take our word for it. Here are 12 TEFL facts you need to know.

Here are 12 amazing facts about TEFL teaching you need to know about!

You can earn top a salary teaching English

It’s unlikely earning potential is your top motivator to becoming TEFL qualified. But you want to know you’ll earn enough to enjoy new experiences and still be able to eat, right? How much you get paid teaching English depends on your qualifications, experience and the country you teach in. There are ways to help you choose your TEFL destination, including looking into which countries typically pay the most and which ones have a lower cost of living.

  • The countries with the highest average TEFL salary are Japan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
  • Salaries as a private tutor in the UAE can reach £4,000 a month.
  • Cambodia is one of the best places to TEFL on a budget, with the average cost of living 33.67% lower than in the UK.

TEFL is a booming market

Although it’s been a tough year for the TEFL market thanks to COVID-19, the way we learn and teach has been changed. This means the need and desire for online learning have been accelerated. So, teaching English online is a rapidly growing market – and that means more online teachers are needed. What’s more, education is one of the most recession-proof jobs, and your TEFL certification is for life.

  • $4.5 billion is the size of the Chinese TEFL market.
  • 82% of TEFL teachers are planning to teach online due to COVID-19.
  • Around 100,000 English teaching positions open every year around the world.

Online english teaching


TEFL is a valuable, sought-after skill

The emphasis on English language instruction begins at an early age in many areas, particularly in Asia. Not to mention, English is the language of international business, and many companies around the world require their employees to have a certain level of English. TEFL will stay in demand as English remains critical for successful social and economic development globally. In a wider career context, TEFL also has many transferable skills that are valuable to employers.

  • Over 2 in 5 visitors coming to the UK to study take an English language course. 
  • 120 hours of TEFL training is the minimum requirement most TEFL employers look for. 
  • 3 million students take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams each year.

There’s a global demand for TEFL teachers 

English is a global language and is the most widely learned second language in the world. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s such a huge demand for TEFL teachers. Although more of our lives have moved online and the way we live and work adjusts to the new normal, the global need for English language teachers will likely continue to grow.

  • There are 375 million English as second language learners worldwide. 
  • There are over 40,000 private language institutions worldwide.
  • Over 750 million people speak English as a foreign language globally.

Think teaching English as a foreign language could be for you? Read our blog to find out the Top Traits You Need To Teach Abroad.

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and it’s a certificate you need if you want to teach non-native speakers English. With a TEFL certificate, you can teach students of all ages – from young learners to adult business language learners – anywhere in the world. It’s recognised globally and is the key to kick-starting your English teaching career abroad, home or online.

To get a TEFL certificate you must take an accredited TEFL course. The minimum training required by employers worldwide is 120 hours. You can choose between accredited, government regulated Level 5 or combined TEFL courses. You’ll find TEFL courses are either online or combined in-class and online experiences. 

Getting a TEFL certification from a recognised, trusted provider is essential when it comes to receiving high-quality training and finding a job. Always go for a globally recognised accredited certification. It’s also worth double checking company reviews to make sure customers are satisfied with their training.

What’s the difference between accredited and government regulated Level 5 TEFL courses?

The Accredited 120 Hour Premier TEFL Course is what we call one of our fast-track courses. This is the minimum recognised worldwide.

  • You have 10 modules to complete usually taking 4-6 weeks.
  • Each module has a multiple-choice test at the end, and you need 80% to pass.
  • You’ll get your digital certificate on completion and can buy a hard copy from us if you’d like one with an embossed logo.

Level 5 Ofqual-regulated courses offer more in-depth training. If we look at the 180 Hour Level 5 TEFL Diploma in comparison: 

  • Learners typically spend 12 – 14 weeks to complete 11 modules.
  • The pass mark is 100% and assessments are multiple-choice plus open-ended answers. Don’t worry, you can redo quizzes to get 100%. Our academic team will review your answers at the end of your 11 modules and may ask for some questions to be reattempted. Some questions may require you to provide academic references.
  • You’ll get your digital coursework completion certificate from us after module 11. Following successful assessment from our academic team, we’ll be able to claim the licence for your Ofqual (government) certificate from our accreditation body Highfield.

The Ofqual-regulated Level 5 course range is for those who want to gain a higher-level, more recognised qualification.

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers teach English in non-native English speaking countries. TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) teachers teach English in native English speaking countries. CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is a separate qualification you can get to teach English.

TEFL: One of the most accepted certificates worldwide, this allows you to teach English to non-native speakers across the globe. 

TESL: As a TESL teacher, you would likely be teaching English in your home country to students who have moved or live in an English speaking country. In other words, they are continuously surrounded by the language and will be using it every day outside of the classroom, unlike TEFL students who are likely learning in their home country.

CELTA: A very prestigious certification that follows a strict regulation created by Cambridge University. You must complete a 120-hour TEFL course and six hours of teaching real ESL students. Most of the programmes are held over a month and are full time. However, you may be able to find some courses that are part-time and are spread over three months. Due to its intense nature and requirements, the cost tends to be much higher and can be up to €1700!

Yes! Teaching English as a foreign language – online or in-class – will give you an abundance of transferable skills. From time management to problem-solving and communication, you’ll have plenty of experience to impress future employers. As your TEFL certification never expires, you can get back into TEFL whenever you wish, too.

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