To teach English abroad as a foreign language may seem exciting on the face of it. Of course there are many positive things associated with this like free travel, higher income, perks, experiencing different places and cultures, social help etc. At the same time it also involves certain challenges which one has to be aware of.
Cultural differences are obviously one big challenge. TEFL jobs are available in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin and South America. In most of these countries, you will find different beliefs, religions, food habits, living standards, languages, dress etc.
One should respect local beliefs and practices. Most of the people in these countries are emotionally attached to their religions. One has to be careful not to antagonize them. Considering the spread of fundamentalism in several countries, one has to take precautions not to get in controversies.
One has to cope up with different food habits. These may produce undesirable health results. The best way is to take one’s own stock of food items and to get slowly accustomed to local food.
Language barriers may pose a major problem. There should be some interpreter to have fruitful interaction with local population. It is also advisable to learn a few basic commonly used terms of a local language. This can make things a little easy.
While teaching, one should also be ready to use local dress if needed. This may lead to better intermingling with locals.
One should pay particular attention to climatic factors. In some places there may be extremes of weather like heat, cold, storms, rains etc. One has to be ready for this and carry suitable clothes. One should also consider the type of food that can be taken in a particular weather.
The level of economic conditions can be a big factor while selecting a country to tech English. This will include things like condition of housing, roads, recreational facilities, hygiene, transportation, means of communication, technology etc. In many cases, these may not be suitable. So they have to be taken into account.
Geography and topography of a country are other important factors for consideration. The topography could be hilly, plain etc. One should know as to where one is going.
Political factors are also important while selecting a place. There are many places in the world now where political atmosphere is hostile. It may be better to avoid those countries.
There have been situations when many people got disenchanted with TEFL jobs while landing at the place of teaching due to cultural, climatic and social factors. And they had to return. This situation needs to be avoided.
It is advisable to consider all the factors before applying for a TEFL job abroad. One should be ready to accept all the challenges that come along with English teaching. Many people have reported rich experiences and exciting stories on their return.
Some institutions besides providing TEFL courses and TEFL certificates also provide help in getting appropriate jobs.
Here is an excellent source for TEFL course and TEFL jobs .
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