Around the world, the demand for English speaking instructors is steadily increasing every year, especially for instructors whose first language is English. A certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) may be a possible next step for students who are planning to study abroad or for those who are graduating soon and may not want to take the plunge. immediately into a career, allowing them to travel to another country to teach English. to people of all ages.
The International TEFL Academy (ITA) is one of many organizations that helps people gain TEFL certification and find jobs overseas where they can put those skills to good use. Earning a TEFL certification provides educational opportunities in up to 50 countries around the world, each offering unique experiences, according to John Bentley, co-founder and chief marketing officer of ITA.
“English is truly the international language of commerce, culture, tourism and many other areas,” Bentley said. “People all over the world need and want English to enhance their personal, educational and professional opportunities.”
To acquire a TEFL certification, ITA offers two options. There is a full-time four-week course, which can be taken online or in person in Chicago or New York. Additionally, there is an 11-week part-time course, which is online only and is “designed to accommodate people who work or go to school full-time,” Bentley said.
Some of the most popular or becoming very popular places for ITA students are South Korea, Spain, Czech Republic and Mexico, while the most underrated places include Colombia, Turkey , Cambodia and Tunisia, according to Bentley.
“One thing I love about working at the International TEFL Academy is being able to talk and write about all these great places people can go and have a great experience,” Bentley said. “And we really focus on educating people about their options.”
Grace Schairer ’22 is currently earning her TEFL certification while simultaneously teaching English as an English conversation assistant in Catalonia, Spain. Schairer said she decided to pursue a TEFL certification after studying abroad in 2020 and was cut short due to the covid-19 pandemic.
“I had studied in Madrid in Spain, and I knew that at some point I wanted to come back to Spain,” Schairer said. “I also knew that I didn’t want to jump straight into a career. I wanted to take some time to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, take a break from the chemistry part of my life, because that was my main specialty, and practice my Spanish.
After studying abroad in Paris in the fall of 2021, Claire Dragwa ’23 decided she wanted to teach English abroad in Luxembourg or France after graduating in the spring. Wherever she ends up, she looks forward to learning more about the culture and lives of the people she meets and teaches there.
“I wanted so much to connect with the natives while I was [in Paris]said Dragwa. “If I can do that for Luxembourg students or French students that I will be in contact with, then I think that’s great, just to be able to share American culture with them and demystify potential stereotypes about American culture as well. It is not only a cultural exchange, but also a language exchange.
Schairer expressed a similar appreciation for getting to know his host family as well as the people and culture of the community. Schairer began teaching Oct. 3 and said she enjoys the variety of her week, teaching students aged three to 18.
“It’s been really great,” Schairer said. “I love him. My days are so full, and it’s wonderful.