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TEFL in 2013 – What You Need To Know

 A lot can change in a year – especially in the vibrant TEFL industry! i-to-i Academic director, James Jenkin, provides us with all the latest updates in the wonderful world of TEFL.

TEFL in 2013

Opportunities in Saudi Arabia

In 2006 the KSA Government launched a 25-year plan to modernise and internationalise its education system. A quarter of the State budget is allocated to education and training – that’s about 40 billion dollars a year.  All universities and colleges now focus on English training and deliver courses in English.

This means numerous opportunities for TEFL teachers!

The catch – practically all employers ask for a degree, and many for an EDI CertTEFL level qualification.

However, conditions are very attractive, with a tax-free monthly salary anywhere from $3000 to $9000, plus accommodation and airfares.

I can vouch from personal experience that life in Saudi can be challenging – but will be unforgettable. For insights into life as a TEFL teacher in KSA see ‘An English Teacher’s Mecca’.


TEFL Certificates in China

It’s hard to get consistent advice about China. Different provinces and and schools seem to apply the rules differently. However, it appears that, at least in theory, you now need TEFL certification to teach in China and obtain the essential Z visa. 

A TEFL Certificate – especially with the international standard of 100+ hours – puts you at a distinct advantage over the competition, and removes any worry you may not meet a school’s requirements.



Last year there was alarm in the TEFL community that Korea was phasing out foreign English teachers in government schools.

Happily, it’s not true.  Rather, some local authorities are reducing funding for foreign teachers, most notably in Seoul. However the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education has sought to reassure teachers, saying they will ‘never stop hiring’ foreign teachers, and they have ‘no plan’ to replace expats with Korean teachers.

Also, of course, this only relates to government schools – the private hagwons are still booming.

Korea remains a key destination for TEFL teachers. Make sure to check out current teaching vacancies in Korea.


Young Learners

This is the growth area for TEFL in 2013, in particular in North Asia.

Of the 300 million people learning English in China, probably 100 million are young children.

Every middle-class parent in China, Korea or Japan wants to send their child to a pre-school centre or after-school English class to give them a head-start in the international language. And they start from age zero!

For this reason, on top of our Young Learner Certificate, you can now take part in a Young Learner Internship in China!

Want to know what teaching young learners is like? For some great ideas for starting a pre-school English class take a look at this great article by Alex Case.



The new movement in English language teaching – Bring Your Own Device!

After years of fighting mobiles in classrooms, teachers now realise they can be put to great use. Devices engage students, and they can greatly enhance learning, if you know what to do.

We know in class students need to practise, and get feedback from the teacher. With a mobile device students are uninhibited, they want to use English, and it’s easy to respond to them individually.

For a start, why not give your next class a quiz, and get students to text you their answers?

Here are some great ideas for using devices in class.


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