One of the great aspects of the TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) industry is how flexible it is; how there are so many different paths to go down; the countless possibilities.
There is no ‘correct’ way to go about it. If you want to teach at home, in your living room with your laptop then you can do just that; if you would prefer to fly to the other side of the planet and teach in a remote village then that’s an option, too. The world is your oyster.
If you’ve been looking for a way into TEFL or want a change-up in your current teaching post then you should consider business English.
What is Business English?
Business English is essentially what it says on the tin: English language lessons with a lean towards business terms and ideas. It’s definitely not for beginner-level speakers as students are expected to have a good basis that can be improved upon.
Students will generally be adults and professionals looking to boost their employability rather than teens or youngsters. For this, you will almost always need further training or comprehensive knowledge of the business world or you will find yourself completely out of your depth. Fortunately, this extra experience and training often result in a better salary than normal teaching.
How to get qualified
There is no single way to become a Business English teacher. What we recommend is that you gain some experience teaching English normally so that you get to grips with the struggles of classroom management and lesson-planning. Once you feel comfortable with everything, it is worth completing a course, such as the one offered by TEFL Org, that can teach you the basics of Business English as well as provide an accredited qualification. Having a qualification under your belt can prove to both employers and students that you know your stuff and can be trusted to deliver a quality lesson.
Just so you know, the likelihood of a business English position requiring a degree-holder is pretty high. This is due to the expectation of a more advanced level English being taught as well as the students themselves being slightly older than usual.
Where to do it
The truth is, you can teach Business English almost anywhere – the fact that English itself is in demand in most countries, coupled with that this is a more specialised version of teaching means that it’s possible to work in most places. So, the countries listed below are there because they have a particularly high demand for business English and are spread across the world, representing how far teaching can take you!
English fluency is notoriously high in Germany, meaning it’s never really enjoyed ‘top TEFL destination’ status. That’s not to say it’s impossible to find work as an English teacher here, it’s just pretty competitive. Thankfully, business English is more in demand here than other types, possibly owing to the strong Germany economy plus an already strong basis of English. German employers value experience above all else, so don’t try to impress with fancy qualifications if you’ve never actually stepped in front of a classroom to teach before.
It’s a tad more difficult for non-EU citizens to work here than those pesky Europeans, though. A knowledge of German, a local friend, or even a translator might be needed to battle through the visa process.
With its proximity to the US and both countries’ close trade relations, Mexico is a great place to go and teach business English. Demand is huge as many want to be able to improve their employability and exploit the country’s closeness to their neighbour. You could find yourself teaching at language schools, for companies, or state schools.
Unsurprisingly, China is one of the best countries to teach business English in. The second-largest economy in the world will inevitably come with a huge demand for business English. Young adults and professionals seek out specialist lessons to improve their chances of rising up in the business world. As Chinese companies focus their efforts beyond their national borders, the need for English – the global lingua franca – grows. It’s very easy to tutor privately to supplement your income here, too.
Ah, the newest, largest, and fastest-growing destination on this list: the Internet. Tutors of not only English but nearly every field you can think of, have flocked to the Web to offer struggling students their services. Online teaching gives you the flexibility and freedom that can be lacking in more contemporary workplaces. It’s also a great place to conduct business English lessons; rather than having to trek to far-off countries, the students will come to you. If you have the right qualifications then there will be plenty of platforms and companies more than happy to hire you as a tutor, then all you have to do is wait for the work to come to you… well, that’s a little easier said than done – it does require a bit of hard work on your side! Anyway, you’d be silly to ignore the online teaching route – after all, it’s not like it gets in the way of your travel plans.
Find out more at https://www.tefl.org/teach-english-online/