Knowing English as a second language is an increasingly important component of communication in our rapidly globalizing world. By enrolling in a TEFL certification program in Asia, you will develop the necessary skills to successfully become an ESL teacher and earn a certificate that will provide you with access to English teaching jobs almost anywhere in the world.
Why Earn TEFL Certification in Asia
Asia has the largest market for ESL teachers today. As the East and West continue to converge and intertwine aspects of each others’ cultures, English has become the standard medium of communication. There are TEFL jobs available all across the continent, at a variety of levels, giving TEFL certified teachers the opportunity to shape their own adventure in Asia according to where and for how long they desire to teach abroad. Who knows, a TEFL program in Asia might even be the beginning of an entirely new life as an expat in Asia!
Asia is the largest continent on earth, both by land mass and population size. There is a tremendous amount of cultural and economic diversity within Asia, so it can be hard for some to hone in on just one location to earn TEFL certification and teach English abroad.
In the northeast, South Korea and Japan are both popular destinations for TEFL programs in Asia, because they offer a very unique cultural experience as well as a good degree of economic development. Compared to the rest of the continent, both Japan and South Korea are quite wealthy and can offer a high standard of living for TEFL students.
China is its own beast. The second largest country in the world by land area and most populous with a citizenship of over 1.3 billion, China is somewhat in a league of its own on the global stage. The country is rapidly emerging to become the most dominant superpower and eagerly seeks to attract Western teachers to its education system in order to expand the population’s English language skills.
Southeast Asia is another region of the continent with a tremendous amount of diversity. You can find ample TEFL programs and teaching jobs in almost every country, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In this region, costs of living are low, the land is beautiful, and locals are overwhelmingly friendly and hospitable.
Lastly there is the Indian subcontinent, which includes popular TEFL certification destinations such as Nepal, India, and Pakistan. These countries are more religiously conservative than the other Asian nations and offer an extremely fascinating foreign environment to teach English abroad.
Do not fret too much over the decision of where to take TEFL courses in Asia, since anywhere you go will be a fantastic experience!
TEFL Certification in Asia
While there are definitely teaching jobs in Asia which do not require a TEFL certification, if you want access to the best schools with the best pay, then enrolling in a TEFL training program in Asia is the way to go. There are a couple of ways you can go about obtaining your TEFL certificate in Asia. First you can enroll in an online program, which is often the cheaper route and allows you to work through modules and lesson plans at your own leisure. The more popular option, however, is to enroll in a face-to-face, classroom-based program, and there are several benefits of this route that you should consider.
Firstly as a potential teacher, you should know that there is no substitute for an in-person classroom learning experience. Learning alongside your peers in an open communicative format under the constant guidance of a professor makes TEFL courses more fun and absorbable. You will also likely have the opportunity to engage in practice teaching scenarios, giving you valuable classroom leadership experience before jumping into a TEFL job in Asia. Topics covered during TEFL programs in Asia usually include grammar, phonetics, methods, and classroom management strategies.
Many TEFL programs in Asia will offer a one month training program in the same location as your ensuing ESL teaching job will be located. These options are nice because the training can also serve as an orientation to your new home. Once you have earned your TEFL certificate in Asia, then you will be able to pursue a variety of employment opportunities at language academies, private schools, and international schools across the continent. Many TEFL programs in Asia will even include lifetime assistance in searching for TEFL jobs abroad!
Salary & Costs
As the economic situation in Asia varies heavily from region to region, you will have to consult with your TEFL program provider about the costs required versus the salary you will receive through your TEFL program in Asia. Generally you can expect to earn between $1,000 and $2,000 a month for qualified TEFL jobs in Asia, though there are obviously exceptions all over the board. You might be lucky enough to have meals, housing, flights, and paid vacation included in your TEFL program or TEFL job in Asia as well. Throughout most of the continent, you can expect costs of living to be quite cheap, enabling you to travel easily and live a comfortable lifestyle (also while potentially saving up some money at the same time).
Accommodation & Visas
If you are taking TEFL courses in Asia in one of the continent’s developing nations, then accommodations might be quite different than those you are accustomed to. Luxuries like Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and hot water are not always accounted for in many housing situations. These amenities are more commonly found in big cities rather than in rural areas, as well, but are still not a certainty. Learning how to live modestly is an invaluable part of taking TEFL courses in Asia; you will soon discover that, as with many aspects of life, less is more.
You will almost certainly need a visa if you plan on staying in Asia for an extended period of time. Some countries require you to obtain a visa prior to landing, while others will allow you to extend your stay while already in-country.
Benefits & Challenges
While large swathes of Asia remain economically underdeveloped compared to the Western world, the continent is still home to well over half of the world’s population. Taking TEFL courses in Asia, teaching English, and traveling across the continent will expose you to an entirely different side of the world, one with a whole subset of unique cultures which will expand your worldview and stretch your imagination. Teaching English abroad can be a very challenging profession but also very rewarding, as you will touch the lives of others and learn a great deal along the way as well.