TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. If your goal is to teach English abroad, TEFL is the most widely accepted (and highly regarded) of the four main ESL certification options.
TEFL, TESOL, and CELTA are all ESL (English as a Second Language) qualifications that are in-demand for teaching English to non-native speakers and to embark on a rewarding career as an English language teacher anywhere in the world.
A TEFL certification is the globally accepted qualification to teach English abroad to students (both children and adults) whose first language isn’t English.
This certification is what most hiring schools and language training institutes are looking for on a teach abroad application. That’s why you’ll see it crop up time and time again as a requirement on most overseas teaching job posts.
TEFL certification is one of the fastest-growing educational fields in the world with an estimated 250,000 native English speakers working as ESL teachers abroad in more than 40,000 schools and language training institutes worldwide.
However, 80% of English teachers working abroad are from non-native English speaking countries, as there are simply not enough native English speaking teachers to meet the demand.
The British Council, one of the largest providers of English language classes in the world estimates that approximately 1.8 billion people are already learning English worldwide and it will rise to 2 billion by 2020.
Dozens of countries around the world including China, Thailand, and Mexico have introduced English as a second language within their school curriculum and in Japan, the English language has been introduced as a required subject within the primary education.
Nearly 100,000 positions for English language teachers open up abroad every year as more and more teachers leave their position to return to their home country.
According to a recent study, nearly 50% of ESL teachers stay abroad for a second year. 15-20% got to a new school or a new country after the one year and 30-35% return home after one year abroad teaching English. Only 10% stay for the third year at the same school.
All of this means that schools and training institutes are constantly facing a need to hire qualified new teachers every year and a TEFL certification online is your quick and sure ticket to teaching English abroad.