Adventures in Online English Teaching: How I Balance Work and Travel

Unless you’re lucky enough to find buried treasure hidden in their back garden, you’ll need to work. This is especially the case for those wishing to explore foreign cultures, as the cost of transportation, accommodation and food also needs to be factored into the equation.

Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).

In this digital era, it is now possible to work online as a TEFL teacher, so read on more to find about this rewarding career, as well as how to balance work and travel successfully.

What is TEFL?

TEFL is teaching English as a foreign language to learners of all ages.

In the past, most TEFL lessons were taught in a conventional classroom setting, with a teacher standing at the front of the room while the learners sat and studied.

However, recent technological advances have seen a major shift towards the virtual realm for TEFL learning, and this has created a massive demand for energetic and enthusiastic TEFL instructors to enter the field.  

A usual TEFL lesson contains some form of direct instruction, for instance how to place adjectives in the correct order in a sentence.

Typically, this is followed by a guided part of the session, where the teacher checks for comprehension with some form of classroom activity, either performed individually or in small groups.

Finally, the lesson then progresses into an independent learning activity, with the teacher on hand to answer any questions if needed, but more to oversee the overall performance of the tasks by the students by themselves. Often, there is a requirement to assign homework as well.

What does a TEFL teacher need to get started?

As with any highly skilled vocation, it is imperative to get a reputable certification before getting started.

There are a variety of good reasons for this, not least that many countries actually have a stipulation in their visa criteria that insists upon a TEFL teacher being appropriately qualified before being granted permission to enter the nation.

On top of that, getting a bona fide qualification enables the candidate to then become focused on other forms of Teach English in Italy, or anywhere else they would like to teach for that matter.

In other words, getting the course done in advance opens up many more doors for future TEFL teaching opportunities globally, as TEFL recruiters will always place more skilled candidates who have gone the extra mile right at the top of their lists.

Additionally, the courses themselves are designed and led by a team of expert TEFL professionals, who have spent years honing their craft in order to be as knowledgeable as they currently are.

This means that they are able and willing to share their expertise with future TEFL teachers, on elements of the career as diverse as classroom management or speaking with clarity and confidence.

Last but not least, the program is an ideal way to make new friends in the sphere, who can share useful hints and tips throughout the course itself, as well as keeping in touch and helping one another through any potentially difficult moments in the early weeks and months of their new jobs.

Therefore, getting qualified ahead of time is the best approach for any new TEFL teacher to take when beginning this journey.

What is a good place to teach TEFL right now?

One great option to think about teaching TEFL either in person or online is the picturesque central European nation of Italy.

Whether trying to work there for a short time before thinking about a move elsewhere, or looking at a more permanent move to Italian shores, there is something for every tourist who wishes to combine work and travel. 

For starters, the capital city of Rome has something for every tourist.

Naturally, the Colosseum has drawn visitors for thousands of years, and those who see it today can only begin to imagine the raw energy that events held here in Roman times must have had.

For many, the Trevi Fountain is the perfect site to toss in a coin and make a wish for good fortune to come.

Alternatively, those in search of a nice hike may contemplate taking on the Spanish Steps, made famous in common culture and in many movies set in the Eternal City.

By contrast, those with a more romantic leaning might just favour a trip to the city made famous by William Shakespeare, that of the north-eastern town of Verona.

Renowned as the home of Romeo and Juliet, the play’s connection to the city lives on to this day through the iconic Juliet’s Balcony, visited by thousands daily.

Building on this love-based theme, the design of this ancient city is actually in the shape of a heart, encompassing a whole host of old churches and cathedrals, as well as even older edifices like the Ponte Vecchio (which literally translates into English as “Old Bridge”).

For anyone who prefers to view a more modern side of the town, an excellent location is the Museo della Gran Guardia, which houses art from the last millennium from Italy and beyond, both old and new.

In either case, the main factor to balance work and travel is to think about how busy a tourist site might get.

Most travelers like to go in the middle of the day, so visiting a major site either early in the morning or later in the afternoon can mean the lines are far shorter, so building a flexible work timetable around that could really pay off.

Work from home tips:

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