Teaching English overseas pays well for many East Londoners
With jobs in SA hard to find, even for graduates, teaching English in China, Japan and the Far East offers lucrative employment, and it takes only five weeks to get a recognised diploma.
“In the past three years, around 250 students have studied the Teaching English to Foreign Language Students [Tefls] course through East London Language Institute [Elli], and over 90% are now living and working overseas, and earning good salaries,” said Elli owner Susan Zwicky.
Zwicky said one of her star pupils, Pheloza Nyangiwe, had been in Japan for four years, and loved it.
“She took the Tefls course, was an exceptional student, and even though English was not her first language, she is a good teacher.”
Some of her oldest past students were in their sixties, Zwicky said, and most had left SA to find jobs overseas.
“We do the placements, working with colleagues in China and Thailand. The salaries vary but one of our older teachers is earning R44,000 a month, teaching in South Korea.”
Liezl Owen recently returned home after spending five years teaching English in Taiwan.
Owen said she now taught English classes to children in China via the internet.
The classes range in size from four up to 300 children at a time, aged between four and 10.
“Using the internet I can see the whole class, who all have computers. It’s easy to control them because the Chinese kids are very disciplined,” she said.
Owen has a psychology degree and a good knowledge of Mandarin, which, although not essential, helped, she said.
“I would encourage people, especially mothers with youngsters to explore the opportunity.”
Owen said she could teach five half-hour classes in the evenings, while her child was asleep.
“The only hurdle, aside from the qualification, is access to sufficient band width, which is expensive but possible.”
“If I can teach from SA to China it should be possible for me to teach in our rural villages. The only drawback, and it is a huge one, is setting up classes with computers. Do that and we could quite quickly make every village child proficient in English.”..