Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) – Online or Abroad

Teaching English can be a lucrative and rewarding way to earn some money. Guest contributor Simon discusses the results of a recent TEFL survey.
For many years, teaching English as a foreign language has been a popular route for uni students and grads to combine with travelling: for some, it serves as a side income while studying, looking for other work, or funding travels during a gap year; other people begin teaching because they reach a ‘What am I going to do next?’ moment and are unsure what direction their career is going to go, so it is a great stop gap for these situations.
Woman teaching English online with a book about dinosaurs

Photo by Antoni Shkraba on Pexels

In the UK or overseas, the most traditional means of teaching English has been in the classroom, but in the last few years, teaching English online has become a mainstream method, so it can effectively be done from anywhere.
Not only is online TEFL a viable source of income but is also a really rewarding way of earning money. Through imparting your knowledge of the English language, you are giving your students a valuable life skill that will hopefully stay with them forever. You can also learn so much from your students and be enriched by interacting with people from a variety of nationalities and cultures.
With Covid-19 having such a profound effect on all our lives, the online teaching landscape has changed significantly. Thankfully this is good news for those who want to teach! The demand for online English teachers has skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic.
TEFL teaching

Photo: The TEFL Academy

The TEFL Academy conducted a survey of qualified teachers as well as those currently training to become TEFL teachers. Here are 4 interesting statistics that emerged from the survey:


  • 52% became TEFL qualified post-Covid


Respondents were asked if they had started or completed their TEFL journey before or after COVID reached their country of residence. The majority started after COVID became a feature of their lives.


  • The desire to upskill was the key motivation


When asked what motivated them to gain the TEFL qualification, the two biggest factors were making good use of unexpected free time during lockdowns, or planning to teach English abroad in the future.


  • TEFL teachers are still keen to travel


Are people still motivated to travel abroad (when permitted in their region) despite the Covid situation? The answer was overwhelmingly yes! New and experienced TEFL teachers are still keen to travel the world.


  • 82% of TEFL teachers are planning to teach online


Over the past year, the world has become much more ‘au fait’ with digital communication working online and the vast majority of teachers are ready and willing to take up online teaching jobs.


However much life has changed recently, the demand for learning English is as high as ever, and there will always be a need for teachers. The means to teach English are adaptable and flexible, whether you want to work from home or travel the world in the future. If you’d like to find out more about the courses and certification, visit the online TEFL AcademyYou can also read more about the recent survey here.


Find out more:

How to become a teacher
If you want to use your skills and knowledge to educate others and change lives, maybe teaching is the career for you


Simon Contributor

About the author

Simon O’Toole is a member of the marketing team at The TEFL Academy. Part of his job is to spread the good word of TEFL far and wide. His favourite part of his job is knowing that he is working for a company that provides people with an excellent qualification that they can put to great use and have some life-changing experiences!