What is a TEFLer?

A TEFLer is an acronym for a teacher of English as a foreign language. It is used to refer to someone who is (usually) working overseas teaching English. A TEFLer is often someone who is doing the job as a learning experience in their twenties or thirties. Teachers who have been teaching ESL a long time often dislike the term TEFLer as they feel it is for people who haven’t made teaching English as second language a full time career.

Which Country?

A TEFLer can work anywhere in the world and this is one of the travel to teachattractions of the job. It allows you to travel to teach your way around the globe. There is, currently, a huge demand for learning English in Asia and TEFLers can be found as far south as Indonesia and as far north as Japan. Thailand is a hotspot for TEFLers as the cost of living versus the lifestyle is very appealing to many. Lots of TEFLers will want to know how to move to Thailand once they have their TEFL certification. China has an enormous need for ESL teachers as they country opens up. South Korea and Japan though, are still known as the big spenders of the Asian region with salaries for ESL teachers above $3000 a month.


People’s motivation for becoming a TEFLer can vary, though a common theme is escaping or delaying a move into a corporate / business job in their home country. Many are tired of the long hours and the three plus hour commutes and feel they can make better use of their time or perhaps they have just left college or university and haven’t decided what they want to do with their life. Whatever the reason, it is very rarely regretted as experiencing other cultures and ways of life always enriches one’s own life.

old classroom4Where TEFLers work

A TEFLer can also be split into two broad camps depending on whether they work in a language school or a government/private school. At a government/private school a TEFLer’s day will start at around 8am and finish at 4pm with maybe 4 hours of actual teaching within that time. Class sizes usually range from about 30 students up. A TEFLer at a language school however, will be busy from about 3pm to 9pm Monday to Friday and also from around 9-5pm at the weekends with class sizes from one to fifteen.. That doesn’t mean they’ll be teaching all those hours, it’s just those are the peak hours for language schools.
One of the perks of being a TEFLer in any part of the world is the outlook on life you gain meeting and interacting with, not just locals, but also other TEFLers who can be from any corner of the world.
If you are looking for a change in your life and you want to try something exciting and new, getting an online TEFL certification is your first step to a new adventure!
May 7, 2015

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