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TEFL – the use of technology may be one of the latest trends for 2022

While many travel restrictions were lifted in 2021, hiring levels for English teachers internationally remain well below pre-pandemic levels. Photo by Katerina Holmes.

While many travel restrictions were lifted in 2021, hiring levels for English teachers internationally remain well below pre-pandemic levels. Photo by Katerina Holmes.

Published Apr 7, 2022

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IT’S no surprise that more than 1.1 billion or roughly 15% of the global population speaks or learns English daily, as English has become a universal language outside our traditional native tongues.

It is for this reason that teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) has fast become a growing trend in the field of international education.

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After Covid-19 lockdowns were implemented all over the world in 2020, and not forgetting the deflated optimism that normalcy might return in 2021, the TEFL world faces uncertainty heading into the rest of 2022.

This is according to the International TEFL Academy (ITA), which has released a report detailing the state of the TEFL job market as well as trends to look out for in the coming year – one of which is technology.

“While many travel restrictions were lifted in 2021, hiring levels for English teachers internationally remain well below pre-pandemic levels. We have seen some big Asian countries like Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan announce that they are reopening to international travel and that makes us hopeful that English teaching jobs will increase substantially over the rest of 2022.

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“A resurgence of Covid-19 infections or major international events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine can change the equation at any time,” says John Bentley from ITA.

Based on its findings and feedback from alumni, currently teaching English across 80 countries, there are still high demands in the East Asian markets such as South Korea, which has been hiring throughout the pandemic.

There is also a huge demand in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Even though China has cracked down on foreign English tutoring services in the past year, there are still opportunities in many other parts of the world.

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ITA anticipates international travel and border restrictions continuing through the year, despite recent easing. In the face of continued requirements for Covid tests and quarantine for English teachers heading abroad, online TEFL certification continues to be the top option for certification due to Covid uncertainty.

According to Bentley, there will be a continuous trend of both TEFL schools and students increasing their use of technology for English language education in classroom settings and in online learning.

“While Covid may continue to be a part of the conversation for the global TEFL industry, international hiring is still occurring for prospective English as a second language (ESL) teachers, from schools to private tutoring, and ITA’s team does not expect demand for English learning to go down any time soon.”

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