Covid-19 & Teaching English Abroad

The coronavirus is crippling industries around the world. 

One may argue that no other industry has been hit harder than the travel industry.  Numerous countries have closed their borders and many flight paths have been cancelled globally.

As this is a teaching and travelling website, I’m going to quickly address how this modern day nightmare is affecting ESL teachers in Asia and Europe. 

English teachers in Europe are currently experiencing what teachers in China, Korea and Vietnam have been going through since February.  School closures have resulted in little to no pay, lack of job security and mass worry.   Hundreds of ESL teachers have already left their positions to either return to their home countries or travel to less infected areas.

Unfortunately, I think many private education centers and schools may not survive this uncertain period.   Many countries have not even begun to close schools yet and many in countries like China, are still undecided on when schools can re-open again.  All businesses and teachers are being hit hard. 

The next few months are uncertain, but regardless of the coronavirus timeline, I think it will impact the ESL industry in 2 stages.

The 2 Stages of ESL Teaching During the Coronavirus

Stage 1 – Online Demand

This is happening right now. A great deal of ESL teachers in Asia  have switched to online learning.  Either they are teaching for one of the many online ESL platforms out there or teaching their existing students via a portal organized by their school.

Stage 2 – Recruitment Boom

Fingers crossed that this all ends sooner rather than later, and when it does, be prepared from an in surge of emails from recruiters.    The coronavirus is going to leave a huge hole in the ESL market in Asia, and I suspect Europe too.    When the situation calms down, I think thousands of schools and learning centers will be without teachers.  This will lead to a growth in job opportunities. Keep yourselves informed.  However, when this may be, is anyone’s guess? 

My advice – To those who want to teach abroad in the future, use this time to do your online TEFL and build up some practice hours online.  To the existing ESL teachers, if you have not already, switch to online teaching (if possible) and keep your eye on facebook groups, davesesl café etc to update yourself on what countries are doing in regards to hiring teachers. 

Most importantly – stay safe, wash your hands, listen to government recommendations and take care of each other.

How do you think covid-19 will impact the world of TEFL?

What are you experiences?

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