Is Vietnam the new Spain when it comes to TEFL?

It might finally be the case that fledgling Teflers are veering off the beaten track to Spain for a taste of English teaching further afield. Further east, to be precise.

In a survey by Cactus TEFL, about 45% of respondents about to embark on a TEFL course cited countries in Asia as their main region of interest.

Schools in Asia that have previously found it difficult to meet the demand for English with a steady supply of native-speaking, qualified teachers have been offering enticements for new teachers. Many now match the Jet scheme “standard” of providing flights, accommodation, and bonuses.

And the move seems to be paying off.

Private English teaching establishments in China, Vietnam and Thailand are expanding rapidly.

ILA Vietnam is currently on the lookout for some 150 qualified teachers of English. The company’s director, Tony Williams, estimates this figure will double within the year.

Williams says that new teachers now look beyond pay and conditions when making a decision about where to apply. “Newly-qualified teachers are armed with all the right questions these days,” he says. “Career pathways and evidence of solid academic management is as important as a decent rate of pay and working hours.”

In Thailand, another large school group, ECC, offers reimbursement of 50% of a teacher’s Celta course fees in return for a year’s teaching in one of their schools.

Other schools also offer to pay for the return flight home provided the teacher stays on for predetermined contract duration – typically one year.

The need to tie teachers in may raise an eyebrow amongst the more sceptical teachers and lead them to ask, “Why wouldn’t I want to stay a year anyway?” It may be that the requirement has something to do with contract conditions, course durations, and the regime in a school. But also, the wide cultural and climatic variance from life back home could lead would-be Teflers to consider Tefl in Asia as no more than a six-month job option.

The safest option when making a decision is to opt for a school that conducts its interviews in the United Kingdom, with a day’s proper orientation that includes presentations, interviews, a chance to chat to existing teachers, and plenty of opportunities to ask questions, without fear that this could scupper your chances of employment.

Cactus TEFL offer a wide range of TEFL courses at a variety of destinations around the world.

Escape the economic gloom with TEFL

As the full extent of financial cuts in the UK becomes evident, many people are finding themselves without work, or at risk of redundancy.

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) has always been a popular option amongst people who want to experience living abroad, whether in a short or long-term capacity. As the amount of jobs in the UK falls though, it is perhaps a profession that will grow in popularity further – whilst English remains as important on a global scale as it currently is, there will always be a need for English teachers around the world.

This isn’t to say necessarily that anyone who wants to travel and needs a job should train in TEFL. Yes, you’re very likely to get work – especially if you’re open to living in far flung destinations – but ultimately, to become a good teacher, it helps if you have an interest in teaching, in experiencing new cultures and ideally in the English language too.

If these things apply to you though, TEFL really can be a fantastic way not only to assure you an (interesting) job, but to experience a bit of adventure and to see the world at the same time.

Although TEFL jobs can be found all over the world, Asia is one particular area where there remains a huge recruitment drive for English teachers. China especially has lots of jobs, as do Vietnam, and Thailand . The Middle East is another region with increasing opportunities for teachers, and the same applies to South America. Europe has long had a need for English teachers, which remains today – especially in Eastern Europe, Spain and Italy.

There are lots of different types of TEFL courses, ranging from introductory weekend courses (roughly £200-250) to full-time four-week courses (£800-£1200) which give you qualifications that are better known internationally. As a general rule, taking a four-week course, such as a CELTA or Trinity Cert TESOL, will give you more flexibility in terms of where you can work and in what capacity, but shorter courses, or short courses combined with online learning do still give you a good grounding in what you need to know if you’re on a tight budget.

For more information on the courses available, along with prices and details of how to apply, please visit the Cactus TEFL website.