Posted on June 5, 2019 | By Alexa Randell
19th Feb 2019
You’ve just finished your TEFL course and you’re looking to land your first job teaching abroad. Below, we’ve shared a few ways you can get teaching experience before you go to make you a cut above the rest!
#1 Volunteer locally
Volunteering locally could be a great way to build up your experience while you’re waiting to get your first job in your dream TEFL location. See if your area has a local immigrant centre and volunteer to Teach English as a Second Language there. Or, pop into a local school and see if you can volunteer as a teaching assistant, be it at a nursery, primary school or secondary school.
If you’re finding it difficult to get into a centre or school, you could ask to volunteer at a local activity club such as a scout group or youth club. This will give you experience with mentoring and working with young people, which is valuable experience when it comes to teaching.
#2 Volunteer abroad
If you’re ready to make the move, why not venture abroad to volunteer. There are a lot of volunteer programs available in TEFL with many locations available such as Cambodia, Thailand, Greece, South Africa, Malawi and many more. For more information on these programmes, just search for “volunteer” on our jobs board.
Any voluntary teaching experience, whether it be in your local hometown or abroad, will give you the opportunity to have a first taste of being a TEFL teacher whilst increasing your TEFL employability and improving your confidence along the way.
#3 Summer camp work
If you’re freshly qualified and have a minimum of two weeks free over the summer, why not look for summer camp work? Summer camp work can be the perfect way to gain experience with a wide variety of jobs and locations available. Most of these summer jobs don’t require experience, but if you don’t feel ready to teach yet, you can always apply for other positions as camps, just as monitors or assistants. The best thing about these jobs is that they normally provide accommodation and meals for the duration of the camp, keeping your living costs low!
#4 Teach privately
There are two ways you could go about being a private English teacher. Firstly, you could search for expat communities in your local area and advertise yourself in these groups as a private tutor. To increase your chances of obtaining students, you could at first offer your services for free and then begin to charge when you feel ready. You can often find expat communities on social media groups such as Facebook, for example; Españoles en Leeds (Spaniards in Leeds). Another way of meeting people that might be interested in taking private English classes is by going to language exchanges in your local area. Here, you’ll find plenty of people wanting to take their English learning further, and if you’re offering you services for free, you’re sure to have a few takers!
Alternatively, if you’ve just qualified in the country where you plan to teach, you can ask to post notices advertising your tutoring services at local universities or schools.
#5 Teach online
Just like teaching privately, you can teach English online to gain experience by offering your services for free, as a volunteer or at a reduced rate. As mentioned before, you could advertise yourself on social media groups and on TEFL websites. Alternatively, sign up to an online TEFL company who will source the students for you. You can find online teaching jobs, both paid and unpaid, advertised on our website by searching for “online” on our jobs board.
#6 Substitute teach
If you happen to have English academies in your local area or you’re already in the country you want to TEFL in, why not approach one of the English academies and offer your services for free in return for getting some experience. Often academies need emergency cover, for example, if a teacher is sick and would be willing to let you take a class as a substitute teacher. Even if they don’t have classes for you to cover, they may let you assist or observe classes in order to build up your experience.
#7 Increase your know-how by taking specialist courses
To gain more experience in specific areas, you can improve your TEFL qualifications by taking specialist courses such as Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English, or Teaching English Online. The more specialisms you have, the more practice you get, raising your confidence as well as your employability. For continual professional development courses, have a look at our sister company i-to-i.