Why these are the top 5 countries in which to teach English as a foreign language

03 July 2019 - 09:06 By timeslive
Teaching English as a foreign language is a way to earn money while seeing another country.
Teaching English as a foreign language is a way to earn money while seeing another country.
Image: 123RF/senohrabek

South Africans teaching English abroad cite potential earning power, safety, lifestyle and culture as deciding factors for their chosen destinations.

The TEFL Academy has produced a factbook on where to teach English as a foreign language, covering more thab 100 countries, including data on average pay, cost of living, types of students and working environment. Contracts are for a year in the most popular destinations, although shorter terms are also on offer.

The top five countries that South African TEFL teachers choose are: China, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Spain. Here is why, according to the TEFL Academy, a course provider of teaching English as a foreign language.

1. China

From the ultra-modern cities of Beijing and Shanghai to the striking hills of Gualin, Chinese students are interested in learning English for business, academic and general conversation.

China boasts one of the highest paying teaching positions internationally, averaging between R18,000 and R40,000 a month.

2. Vietnam

The country’s growing tourism industry has encouraged locals to learn business English to keep up with the growing economy.

The cost of living is relatively cheap, allowing teaching salaries to accommodate travelling around the country and a comfortable lifestyle.

3. South Korea

As one of the most exciting countries in Asia, South Korea offers bustling cities with massive shopping malls alongside scenic nature reserves.

"Teachers looking to save money or pay back student loans should consider taking up positions in this island nation – most schools will reimburse flights and offer accommodation, paid holidays and an annual bonus."

4. Thailand

"Thailand is an excellent place for newly qualified teachers to learn and hone their teaching skills, due to the slower pace of life."

5. Spain

The demand for English in Spain is high, with a variety of opportunities to choose from. Teachers can explore the country while working in summer camps, as language assistants, and through private school teaching.

"Suitable for travellers who do not have a university degree and are looking for a shorter time abroad."

However, employers in Spain favour EU nationals, due to strict immigration laws.

South Africa is a less attractive destination, best suited for people who want to "give back". The academy notes that the contracts are brief and earning power is limited. "You will probably earn an hourly wage rather than a monthly salary, and you won’t be guaranteed set hours. Schools won’t contribute to airfares, visas or accommodation."