TEFL teaching offers us the chance to explore new countries and new cultures, to experience an enjoyable, fascinating job and also really make a difference in the lives of people around the world. We accept that third point, but have we stopped to consider why teaching English as a foreign language is so important?
You may know a foreign language from school, or learned it yourself whilst living abroad, and you’ll know the value of a foreign language as a life skill. However, learning English for many people around the world can be so much more important than that.
In this blog, we look at the reasons why being taught English by a passionate and determined teacher makes a difference for young children, teenagers and adults alike.
The English Language
English has a number of advantages over other languages, meaning TEFL teachers are in-demand all across the world. While it’s a fascinating, varied, often complicated language it’s also an enjoyable one - from William Shakespeare to JK Rowling, the English language has influenced art and culture for hundreds of years.
Moreover, English is the second-most spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese, but unlike Chinese, English is a truly global language. It is the language of government and business. The United Nations conducts its affairs in English and French, and international business conferences are most often English-speaking. In places like India, where there are over 780 languages, English is the unifying tongue.
Being able to speak English is becoming even more essential in the modern world, as it’s the language of the internet (where an estimated 948 million users speak English) as well as the language of science, academia and media. As the world gets smaller, English is the closest we have to an official language of planet earth.
The benefits of education
As mentioned above, a knowledge of English will be an invaluable tool for people of any nation looking to advance in the global jobs marketplace. As a teacher of English, you’ll be helping to contribute to the education of people around the world.
We often take our own education for granted, but in many countries where educational standards aren’t as high and schools are often under-resourced, education can be the silver bullet for tackling crime, poverty and any manner of socio-economic problems.
Well educated people are far more likely to succeed in life, and you can help fire the starting gun on that success.
For so many children, teenagers and even adults in the classroom, having a driven, passionate teacher who believes in them can make all the difference in the world. Having an inspiring teacher can be the thing that encourages them to improve their education, improve their career prospects and improve their lives in general.
An English teacher in a new country will be able to show students the world beyond the classroom and take them on a voyage of educational discovery.
Whatever your reasons or motivation for starting your TEFL journey, it’s important to remember that while you can have unforgettable life-changing experiences, those who benefit most from your teaching are your students. That’s just as true whether you do an online TEFL course and teach from home or travel to a far flung corner of the world to teach English.
Discover the impact you can make to the lives of English learners around the world, by starting a TEFL Course with us today, or if you’re already TEFL qualified, find your next adventure on our TEFL jobs board.
Previously: How to be a more confident TEFL teacher