The world is a big place, but with the advent of English as a global language, it seems to be getting smaller and smaller each day. Whether we think about the food we eat, the clothes we wear, or the entertainment we watch, it does truly feel like we have the whole world at our fingertips these days. Not only that providing us with the cutting edge of knowledge about places such as the Amazon rainforest, we are never far from keeping up with the very latest news about our planet.
However, this has been both a positive and negative for many people around the planet. With so many possibilities, how does one go about choosing the right one? And how do we manage our time to fit in all of our duties and obligations? As the planet appears to have shrunk in some respects, so does our free time. This is a dilemma that, on the surface at least, appears difficult to resolve. Fortunately, help is very much at hand. This article will outline a couple of the most well-known teaching online and teach to travel options that are currently out there today, and are accessible to both students and teachers alike. Before we begin, it should be noted that I have no commission from any of these sites, and am in no way affiliated with or in support of one over the others. This post is intended to be for your information only, to feel free to do your own research on the topic where you wish.
Alongside other platforms, Cambly, VIPKID and others were set up to address the very real problem that many students face; how to learn English online at an affordable price, that is convenient around the schedules of different time zones. The typical demographic of students using platforms like this is often one of short-burst lessons; a quick ten or fifteen minutes once or twice a week can really add up for them while learning! Also, there are free tools that help communication during distance learning.
For teachers, the requirements are often relatively simple. Initially, a great native speaker of English is preferred just like in (although viable proof of native-level proficiency is also commonly accepted), as well as a reliable internet connection (naturally, which student these days would want to study with a teacher without this?), and a university degree is almost always required too.
There are benefits galore on both sides of this equation. For the learner, they get specialized one-on-one instruction with a fluent speaker of English, at a time and price rate that suits their needs. On the other side of the coin, the instructor gets paid to teach just one client, rather than an entire classroom of thirty or more students.
Another benefit of teaching and learning online is the sheer wealth of quality resources that exist out there on the world wide web. Websites such as Chicoterra offer up to the minute online articles that allow real practice and discussion points that were not written in a musty old coursebook from 30 years ago. They offer authentic practice and contemporary grammar and vocabulary aspects for a more immersive English language learning experience.
A couple of minor notes to pay attention to, though, before you dive in feet first. Many of these sites do pay by the minute or class, and this can be frustrating if a student decides to cancel at the last moment. This can leave an educator with a time slot they have allocated and planned for, and no monetary gain. Secondly, there can also be a pressure that the student faces, perhaps because they have never spoken to a live speaker before, and this is only enhanced by the nature of a 1-to-1 call.
All in all, though, for a freelancer looking to make a little extra cash for a side hustle, or a learner aiming to get into the challenge of learning English, online teaching can truly open the doors of possibility up to the whole planet.
Teaching While Traveling
Another corollary of the worldwide boom in learning English is that traveling to places to teach the language is still very much a possibility. The world truly is your oyster when it comes to picking and choosing a program that is right for you. Each and every continent, with the possible exception of Antarctica, for now at least, offers opportunities for native or near native speakers to travel and work at the same time.
TEFL Companies have the option to browse by country, so you can really see what options are available right at this very moment. Teaching English in Italy is one of the country where you can get an opportunity to teach. For some, the chance to live and work in a foreign country is a perfect moment to gain a broader understanding of the whole planet, while taking in some unforgettable moments. Personally speaking, I have been fortunate enough to live and work in eight countries across three continents, and loved pretty much every moment!
While it is certainly true that some areas of the world do require a requisite level of a language in order to be able to successfully integrate into that culture. For instance, much of Central and South America needs a working knowledge of Spanish in order to be able to navigate day to day life successfully. Nonetheless, for the majority of places where English is needed, there is almost always a point of contact who can help guide you through the initial bedding-in phase of being in a new environment.
As with online teaching though, there are certainly a couple of pitfalls to be mindful of. First of all, culture shock can be a real and very difficult process for many who choose to leave the safety and home comforts of where they grew up. I remember my old roommate in Slovakia being surprised when the local supermarket did not stock many of his favourite items! Not only that, but also many such projects are vastly underfunded, meaning the salary on offer is often not as high as one would expect from a job in their home country.
Having said all that, if living and working in another country while teaching is something you are interested in, you should absolutely consider it and embrace the opportunity if you are able. Also, Choosing the best eco-friendly backpacks for work when teaching and traveling is important for reducing one’s carbon footprint and making a positive impact on the environment. They say that travel broadens the mind, and whether you are looking at a position in a neighbouring country, or somewhere as far away as Brazil (if you are, you should definitely consult for the best local advice there), the possibilities are endless!