Coronavirus FAQs: TEFL & Teaching English Abroad or Online - What Are My Options?

Coronavirus FAQs: TEFL & Teaching English Abroad or Online - What Are My Options?

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Is the coronavirus (COVID-19) putting your goals of teaching abroad in doubt? Are you wondering if there is a market for teaching English online? Do you have concerns that getting TEFL certified will be a waste of money? 

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In the age of coronavirus, many of us are pondering such questions as we strive to stay healthy while facing an uncertain future. Here at International TEFL Academy (ITA), we cannot predict the future and we certainly aren't public health experts, but as leaders in the field of TEFL certification & teaching English abroad for the past decade, we are here to help you.

We can do this by providing a realistic overview of your options (and even opportunities) for TEFL certification and getting paid to teach English, whether online or in-person overseas. 

Our TEFL classes provide you with a qualification that will enable you to teach English online (even during coronavirus) and then teach English overseas when opportunities reopen in the future. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, ITA has been monitoring the situation closely and we have been in touch with our partners, alumni, recruiters, online teaching companies, and others involved in the field of TEFL and TEFL certification around the globe.




What is the current situation for teaching English overseas?

With communities - and even entire countries - on lockdown, physical schools across the world are closing and postponing classes. International travel is at a standstill. Based on current information, experts estimate many schools and language institutes won’t reopen and hire English teachers to work in physical in-person classes until mid-summer or fall. 

The situation is fluid and different countries are facing different situations and it appears are at different stages of the outbreak. South Korea, one of the early hotspots for coronavirus, has seen a steady decline of new coronavirus cases and some schools have reopened.

While nothing is certain at this point, certain countries could reopen for business and begin hiring new English teachers sooner than others (and sooner than when the crisis passes in the United States).

Worldwide demand for English language education is massive and demand for teachers will continue to grow. Once the virus is brought under some control, there will likely be very strong demand for in-person teachers across the globe. In the 10 years ITA has been in business, we've seen that in times of economic crisis, people across the world invest in English language education. Gaining a new skill and boosting your resume is critical for getting hired in so many sectors of the 21st century economy.

The economy is tanking - is now the time for me to invest money in a TEFL course?

Obviously the economy in the United States and around the globe is facing a massive crisis as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.  We are all fearful for our health, our jobs, our families, and our futures. It's scary stuff.

We believe that while times are tough and uncertain, those who prepare themselves now will best weather the storm and will be best prepared to hit the ground running once the world returns to some sense of normalcy.

Some points to remember if you are interested in teaching English online or in-person in the future:

  • Demand for English teachers online remains strong and will continue to remain strong. This is a viable way for you to earn money if the coronavirus and lockdowns continue in the U.S. and Europe.
  • Education is largely recession proof - schools will continue and people will invest in their education to improve their job prospects, this is especially true for the case of English language training.
  • If you want to teach English abroad, take advantage of the downtime you have now to get certified so you are prepared to take advantage when jobs open up in the future.
  • Your TEFL certification will never expire and your access to ITA Job Search Guidance is also lifetime. So, if you get TEFL certified now you will be able to call on the resources you need to get a job teaching English abroad or online at any point in the future, whether it be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years or whenever you want to take the next step. 

Teach English Online Form The Comfort of Your Home

How can you get TEFL certified during the Coronavirus crisis?

ITA's accredited 11-week, part-time Online TEFL course or the 4-week, full-time Intensive Online TEFL course are your best options at this time for getting TEFL certified and preparing you for opportunities to teach English online and overseas in the future. 

Most in-person TEFL schools around the world are also being closed and classes are getting canceled or postponed until at least late summer. So if you're looking to take an in-person TEFL course for teaching English as a foreign language, unfortunately this likely will not happen until late summer or fall. 

Important to know: You can take both the 11-week online course and the 4-week intensive online course safely from home. You can also complete your 20-hours of student teaching online to ESL students. 

Click here to receive your TEFL & Teaching English Online Starter Kit Learn how to get TEFL certified and begin your online teaching  career from the safety of your home!

What is a realistic timeline for TEFL certification & then getting a job teaching English abroad or online?

ITA’s Online TEFL course is 11 weeks long and then you’ll need to finish your 20-hours of practicum (live practice teaching). These practicum hours can be completed during or after your TEFL class at an in-person location or online.

If you take ITA's 4-week Intensive Online TEFL course, which has the practicum hours built into the course, you can realistically begin looking for teaching jobs immediately after your course ends.

Your lifetime job search guidance begins the day you enroll in your TEFL class, so you can get the conversation started with your ITA Student Affairs advisor when you’re ready. Your Student Affairs advisor can help you put together your resume and cover letter; gathering any documents that you may need.

Teaching Jobs Abroad:

As of May 2020, most recruiting and hiring for in-person teaching jobs is on hold. Timetables will always vary based on where you want to teach, but it’s best to give yourself anywhere from 6-9 months from the time you start your TEFL class to the time you’re heading overseas.

ITA’s Online TEFL class is 11 weeks long and then you’ll need to finish your 20-hours of practicum (live practice teaching) within 60 days of your course end date. These practicum hours can be completed during or after your TEFL class at an in-person location or online. If you need more time to complete your practicum hours your Student Affairs Advisor will work with you on getting an extension. 

The process of lining up an in-person teaching job can take anywhere from 1-6 months depending on the country and the employer. If the coronavirus crisis begins to wane in 3-6 months, you could feasibly be abroad as early as late summer or mid-fall (best case scenario) if you begin your Online TEFL class this spring. 

We will be monitoring the situation and continually updating this article as we learn more about hiring timelines around the world.

Prepare for Teaching English Abroad By Getting TEFL Certified Online

Teaching Online Jobs:

From the time you begin your 11-week part-time Online TEFL class, it’s possible to be teaching English online in 4 months. If you take the 4-week Intensive Online class you can begin your job search as soon as your course ends. 

No matter what course you take, the process of lining up online teaching jobs can take at least a couple weeks with interviews. 

You may be able to get part-time work teaching or tutoring online during your TEFL class, but these opportunities are usually part-time and offer lower pay as the vast majority of major online teaching companies will only hire you once you have your TEFL certification.

TEFL Teach English Online and Abroad Coronavirus Timeline

Can I get paid to teach English online during the coronavirus crisis?

Many schools are resuming classes online and online schools are hiring TEFL-certified teachers to teach English online. In our experience from working with online language schools, the demand for online education, including teaching English online, will continue to grow, especially during the current crisis. As a matter of fact, ESL students in other countries are likewise socially isolated and on lockdown, and are already taking their other classes online. The key is taking an accredited TEFL certification class (more on that below) that will provide you with the teacher training you need and the qualification required by the vast majority of online teaching companies.

Why consider teaching English online?

  • First-time teachers typically make $15-$20 an hour teaching English online. You may not get rich, but it can supply sustainable income during uncertain economic times.
  • You can work from the safety and comfort of your home during the coronavirus and any social isolation, or lockdown, caused by the outbreak . Check out Can I Teach English Online from the USA?
  • While many sectors of the economy are coming to a standstill and millions face the prospect of losing their jobs, there is strong demand to hire TEFL-certified teachers during the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
  • If you do eventually plan on teaching English abroad, teaching English online first from home will help you gain valuable experience and boost your resume for when you’re applying to in-person jobs.

teaching English online coronavirus

Why should I get certified with International TEFL Academy?

We care about you. Simple as that. We are all world travelers and have spent years of our lives living all over the world. We are not the cheap guys and we're not a diploma mill, we sincerely believe in what we do. We've helped more than 30,000 people get TEFL certified and experience life as a paid English teacher online and in over 80 countries worldwide. We truly set the standard in the TEFL industry with internationally accredited TEFL classes and lifetime job search assistance. We offer the best accredited TEFL-classes both online and in-person (note - most in-person classes are not available until further notice). Further, we offer the very best job search guidance in the industry. As a full-service TEFL provider, we not only stress the quality of our actual TEFL classes, but also provide personalized  guidance from our team of experts, in addition to access to the best information and resources.

Learn more about why International TEFL Academy is considered world leaders in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad & teaching English online by reading 10 Reasons Why International TEFL Academy is the Top TEFL School in the World in 2020.


What does ITA recommend at this time?

  • #1 - Stay safe!  Stay informed and follow guidance set out by local and national authorities.
  • #2 - Talk with an ITA Admissions Advisor about your options for teaching online and overseas. Fill out this form and your personal Admissions Advisor will get in touch. You’ll also receive your TEFL starter kit via email in a few minutes. You can also call us now at 773-634-9900.
  • #3 - Take advantage of our flexible payment options. We are doing everything we can to help our students through this challenging time. If you are interested in teaching online in the coming months or overseas in the future we have created a special payment plan for this crisis to make this affordable in your budget
  • # 4: Plan for the future: We are all going to get through this. It typically takes 6-9 months start-to-finish to get TEFL certified and teach English abroad. So take action and get your planning started so you’ll be ready to go when the time is right.

Finally, we are doing our best to stay informed on this rapidly developing situation and advise our students accordingly. Check out our coronavirus (COVID-19) updates page for the latest information.



Posted In: Teach English Abroad, TEFL Certification, TEFL Certification Online, Teach English Online

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