Are ESL Teachers in Demand Even During the Global Pandemic? (2021)

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Someone asked me a question the other day, “Are ESL teachers in demand?”

I thought to myself, oh my goodness! The ESL market is enormous; of course, ESL teachers are in demand. However, I guess I didn’t stop to think about how the pandemic has affected this; and what the future of ESL teaching will look like.

ESL teachers are in high demand because an overwhelming number of people abroad have to learn English. Whether it is for academic, social, travel, or careers, there is an inherent pressure on non-native English speakers to learn the language.

How Great is the Demand for ESL Teachers?

According to reports, 1.35 billion people worldwide speak English. That’s almost one-fifth of Earth’s entire 7.8 billion inhabitants. English is the most studied language in the world, leaving ESL teachers quite sought after.

Multinational companies are continuing to mandate English as the accepted corporate language of choice. English is now seen less as optional and more of a core skill that the workforce needs; whether they are CEOs, doctors, or waiting staff, many businesses rely on their workforce to have English language skills.

Job Outlook in the U.S.

Job prospects for teachers are good in the U.S., and the median salary for an ESL teacher across the country is approximately $56,000.

ESL teachers find jobs at schools, colleges, universities, and organizations that attract foreign workers. Some tutors work independently.

Job Outlook Internationally

There are a wide variety of opportunities for teachers who wish to teach abroad, and those who would prefer to teach online from the comfort of their homes.

Those who look to relocate can expect a high median starting salary of $25-$35 per hour. The median annual salary is about $65,000. This varies depending on the teaching location.

Those who work online can expect to earn a slightly lower median salary. Still, they have more opportunities to consider other avenues of revenue, such as content creation, private tutoring, and teacher referral bonuses.

However, the pandemic has overturned the needs of the ESL market. There is another perspective to consider when looking at this.

Are ESL Teachers in Demand Amid the Global Pandemic?

I recently got in touch with ESLStarter, a recruiting site for ESL schools, and they said that “placements are extremely limited” at the moment, but they are hopeful that it will resume soon.

ESL teachers are still highly demanded, but some have to manage the classes from their homes.

In some countries, classes are resuming as usual, but they pay native English-speaking teachers to work online. A teaching assistant is present in the physical classroom, and the teacher is projected on the screen.

Even though the global pandemic presents a challenge for teachers today, there are still opportunities for teachers to work abroad or online. The bottom line is that kids still need an education; they need to learn English.

Popular Countries Where ESL Teachers Are Demanded

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Vietnam
  • Japan
  • Taiwan
  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom

Online ESL Teacher Demand

The level of online ESL teaching has skyrocketed in the past year due to the pandemic. This has resulted in shifts in the online teaching world. There are more online schools than ever before, and many students have switched to this hybrid teaching model.

Even before the pandemic, there was a great demand for online teaching, with global edtech investments reaching over USD 18.66 billion in 2019.

So, is online teaching as effective as in-class teaching?

Reports confirm that those who have access to the right technology can learn more effectively online. Students retain 25%-60% more material when learning online compared to just 8-10% in a classroom.

This is because students can learn at their own pace, go back, skip slides and accelerate through concepts, which ultimately saves time and leads to better learning.

Finding ways to collaborate and engage with online users that promote interaction and personalization improves the online learning experience for all.

Global Digital ESL Market 2020-2024

Technavio is a leading global research company that focuses on emerging market trends for businesses. According to Technavio’s latest research…

  • The global digital ESL Market is expected to grow USD 14.69 billion from 2020-2024.
  • The acceptance and adoption of the English language as a global language is a key driver of the demand.
  • The continual investments in language learning startups and the penetration of digitalization have propelled the adoption of digitalized English language learning.
  • Academic and non-academic learners are said to make use of digitalized language learning.

You can find a free download of their report here.

The overall market of online education is predicted to reach USD 350 billion by 2025.

Why is now the best time to get TEFL-certified?

  • Plentiful jobs for native and native-like speakers. A degree is not required but preferred.
  • An excellent source of income (part-time or full-time).
  • Live and work in almost any country, with great benefits.
  • A high demand for ESL teachers that is only set to rise according to market trends
  • Teach from home flexibly to supplement income

We don’t know what will happen with the coronavirus pandemic. Many are not as secure in their job positions, and it has become harder than ever to find new employment.

The best armour you can use is to invest in yourself, focus on your skills, and enhance the job opportunities available to you. ESL teaching is not going out of style any time soon.

Best TEFL Certification

If you are still looking for TEFL certification, I highly recommend The TEFL Academy’s course. This is a 168-hour course, which is equivalent to a level-5 diploma. Check out their course here.

This course is highly-accredited and internationally recognized. I got a job in less than a week of its completion.

For more information about The TEFL Academy, see my review.

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In Conclusion

Teaching English abroad has seen some dramatic shifts due to the changes with the coronavirus, which affect much of 2020 and at least the first half of 2021.

With that in mind, teachers have many opportunities to teach ESL online, as the market demand continues to grow well into the future.

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I am a 24-year old online ESL teacher from rural Ireland. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK and Europe. This blog aims to help educate you on the existing possibilities of becoming an online teacher. Please show some love and support by sharing this article with others. Thank you!

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