Teaching English online or abroad brings exciting opportunities for anyone who wants to take this path. In recent years, South Africans have been taking these opportunities ten-fold! And it’s not hard to see why. But why are South African teachers sought after globally by the likes of online teaching companies and Education managers? In this blog, we’ll cover why you should be confident in finding the best career and why you have the upper hand in the job market! 

Opportunities

Before we do, let’s first lay out the opportunities that are available in the TEFL world. There are a few different routes you can take for teaching English as a foreign language. You can teach online, teach abroad, or teach in your home country. 

Teaching English Online

Teaching online is a fantastic way to earn money as a side hustle or full-time. You may also choose this route if you’d like to work from home or work while traveling. The most common jobs in the online world are one-to-one English lessons, so it’s a nice route to go! 

With the South African time zone, you’ll have lots of flexibility. The peak hours will be early mornings as this hits the Asian market, which is the biggest market to date due to the country populations and high demand for English lessons. 

Some great online companies to check out as a South African are Preply, Learntalk, Cambly, and Alter. 

teaching in classroom

Teaching English Abroad

The demand for teachers abroad right now is unfathomable! As English teachers globally moved home during the pandemic and schools now looking to back to normal, there is a huge demand for teachers across the globe. 

As we’ve mentioned, the Asian market is the most popular, so traveling to countries like Thailand and Vietnam are huge hotspots right now for South Africans. You’ll find fantastic communities once you make the move and make lots of new connections. It will truly be an unforgettable experience! 

Check out our internship programs and job opportunities to find the right choice for you. 

Teaching English In South Africa

In most native English-speaking countries, the demand for TEFL teachers is a lot lower than in others. This is simply due to the fact that these countries have less of a percentage of the population of non-English speakers looking to learn English. This is somewhat also true in South Africa, but the great thing is that South Africa is a lot more multicultural than most English-speaking countries. With multiculturism comes more opportunities for TEFL teachers! 

TEFL teachers can earn anywhere between R30,000 – R45,000 a month depending on where they work and who they teach. In order to teach English in South Africa, most teachers will require a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification. The highest demand is from volunteer programs and teachers with specialties like math (teaching math through English). 

table mountains

Reasons

1. Your Passport

The South African passport is a strong one and has a long list of visas that you can apply for. South African passports now rank as the 51st most useful in the world on an important index, up from 58 last year. There are also 104 countries that are visa-free for South Africans. This is something a lot of hiring TEFL companies will take into consideration. Once they see a South African passport, they will think to themselves “Yayy! An easy visa process!”. 

2. Official English Speaking Country

This sounds redundant, but did you know that in the TEFL world that only 7 countries in the world are looked at as native English-speaking countries? Yes, that’s right! Just 7, even though there are 67 countries that recognize English as their official language. This can be a huge hindrance for a lot of aspiring TEFL teachers, but the good news is that South Africa is one of the seven countries. This opens up a lot more options for South African teachers. 

3. Reputation

Globally, South Africans are known to be hard workers. You have an amazing reputation. South Africans have been labeled some of the hardest workers in the world and are three times more likely to work a 60-hour workweek than Americans, although South Africa’s labour law prohibits being asked to work more than 45 hours a week. This is great news as employers will nearly always put your CV at the top of the pile. 

working hard on laptop

4. Diction and Pronunciation

A huge part of teaching English is being able to speak clearly and neutrally. The South African accent is known to be both of these things. This means that your students will have a higher quality of learning, and ultimately this is looked at favorably by potential employers. Making a demo lesson for your job applications will further promote this fact, so we recommend being proactive and making one to send out to all potential employers. 

5. Time Zone

If you are thinking about teaching English online in South Africa, you are situated perfectly on the map! This is great news for you to get students, but it’s also great news to online companies as they know you’ll be available during their peak hours. 

FAQs

Where can I teach with TEFL in South Africa?

Students from disadvantaged regions are typically found in rural settings, where they do not have access to the same possibilities as students from urban areas. Volunteer teachers are in high demand in these remote communities to help students. Foreign teachers with specialized knowledge in areas such as mathematics, physics, and technology are in high demand.

Can I teach with a TEFL certificate in South Africa?

Absolutely! Once you have a TEFL certification, you are qualified to teach in South Africa. Due to the lower demand for teachers in an English-speaking country, we recommend obtaining the Level 5 TEFL certificate as this will help you land a job faster, especially if you have yet to get teaching experience. You’ll have more opportunities also with a Bachelor’s Degree. 

How much does a TEFL teacher earn in South Africa?

TEFL teachers can earn anywhere between R30,000 – R45,000 a month depending on where they work and who they teach. This varies a lot once you start looking into the specialty teaching jobs, as these do pay a lot more! 

How much is the cost of living in South Africa?

In comparison to the western world like the US, the cost of living is pretty low. As a teacher, you’ll live comfortably, especially in rural areas. Check out Numbeo, a cost of living site, to see all the details from rent to coffee. 

Can I teach English online in South Africa?

Absolutely! Teaching online gives you the flexibility and freedom to work wherever and whenever you want. Lots of South Africans choose this route. You’ll have plenty of choices as well with the time zone. From southeast Asians in the morning to South Americans in the evenings. Some great online companies to check out as a South African are Preply, Learntalk, Cambly, and Alter. 

 

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