Active Language

TEFL courses in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed things. The online digital world has made the CertTESOL courses not just possible but arguably superior to before. The demand for English teachers is growing. Now is the time.
Train online to teach English in 2021 (2)

We are living in evolving, changing times. It’s a time to look forward to new possibilities and different ways of doing things. COVID-19 has challenged many of us in many ways and we hope that we can all embrace the new normality.

Through our 100% online Trinity CertTESOL courses we can harness the best in digital technology, video conferencing software and learning management systems to make teaching and training to teach languages online a vibrant and fulfilling experience. Beyond the CertTESOL courses we are at the very centre of the TEFL Development Hub where we use online spaces to connect teachers, share insights and best practice and develop our community in these times of COVID-19 and beyond. All graduates from our courses will have access to the Hub, as well as the personalised careers advice and support. All of our courses, whether online or face-to-face here in Cádiz, will harness the best of technology to remain up-to-date with new developments and continue to provide the best experience for learners and teachers alike, no matter where you are.

Here’s a selection of questions we’ve been asked recently. I hope they help you and that we meet on our 100% online Trinity CertTESOL course soon.

What is happening in TEFL overseas?

Teaching English (outside English-speaking countries) is continuing across the world despite the challenges. Language schools, like so many other educational organisations, have adapted to the new conditions in three key ways: some teachers are teaching behind a mask in socially-distanced physical classrooms, some are working 100% online and others are working in hybrid environments with some students in the room and others joining with video-conferencing software. In addition to this there are growing numbers of online language schools opening up and new business is, in some cases, booming.


Compared to many professions and industries, we are very fortunate in that we can continue to work, technology has enabled us. There is also a continued and enormous appetite among our students to learn and many of them have also adapted to the new conditions. People throughout the world are continuing to learn English, increasingly using online and digital tools and teachers are still in high demand. Now is, in many ways, a very good time to work as an English teacher.

Can I still do a CertTESOL course?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. The Trinity CertTESOL and other courses are running smoothly across the world.


However, at the same time, governments the world over are responding to the ebbs and flows of the pandemic by limiting travel, restricting how many people can gather and changing working hours, all of which put limitations on how TEFL courses and English classes are run. 


Some courses are running face-to-face, most are not. For us at Active Language, it would feel wrong to encourage international travel during a pandemic and so all of our CertTESOL courses are currently online. The quality of the qualification is exactly the same and for many the course has become more affordable as they can do it from the comfort of their own home. You can find details of our online CertTESOL courses here. Perhaps now is an ideal time to enrol on a course.

But will I find work if I get qualified now?

Again, the answer is yes. And there are a variety of options opening up. 


Traditional bricks-and-mortar private language schools are advertising for teachers when they need and we are frequently contacted by schools all over the world looking for teachers, including locally in Spain and Andalucía and even in Cádiz too. Demand was down at the beginning of the academic year but people are slowly moving back into after-school or after-work English classes and so there is a gently growing demand for English teachers. It is possible to find work in a language school, it’s often a case of being persistent and being in the right place at the right time.


And there is a growing market place in online language learning provision and the possibilities are many and varied. From enormous online schools teaching hundreds and thousands of students to individual teachers offering classes online, there is something for everyone. That said, the market is largely unregulated and is something of a jungle with rates of pay offered and terms and conditions for teachers and indeed students varying hugely. Most people appreciate help navigating this landscape and our careers service is for just that, to help, guide and advise you.

The global economy seems to be in something of a melt-down. Is now a good time to take a CertTESOL course?

Now is a great time to get qualified. We need to remember that pre-COVID-19, demand for English teachers was climbing all the time and now with online teaching taking off in such a way, it’s at record levels.


Education and training, including language learning, is often regarded as being recession-proof as people invest during economic downturns to make sure that they are well-placed as things pick up. We should also add that many parents are adamant that their children will not lose out and fall behind in their studies. So many people want to carry on learning languages and progressing through the levels, arguably now more than ever.


We should look at things on an individual and human level. Perhaps the pandemic has stopped your previous plans in their tracks or you are furloughed or without work and weighing up your options. Perhaps you are thinking of venturing overseas whenever things look a bit different or it might be part of an alternative plan for a few years down the line. The Trinity CertTESOL qualification you get now is valid forever and you can use it to work online or in classrooms all over the world as soon as you graduate or at any time in the future.


However you look at it, now is a great time to take your CertTESOL.

Should I take an online course or wait for the face-to-face option to become available?

More than anything, it’s a question of timing and thinking about your personal situation. Our 100% online CertTESOL course takes place in a vibrant, dynamic online space where you’ll interact with your fellow teachers and students in engaging and fulfilling ways. Wherever you choose to teach from, being comfortable and confident both in the physical and online classrooms is a great thing for you as a teacher and for potential employers on your CV.


Why would you wait? Life continues and we all need to be ready for it. Vaccines are being distributed and we’re all hoping that we can move around again soon. With an uncertain future opening up, hold on to your dreams and take the next step with your CertTESOL.


If you get qualified now you can get some experience online and you’ll be in an excellent position to find teaching work in the country of your choice, when travel restrictions are relaxed.

I have my heart set on doing the course in Cádiz. My plan is to do the course there and then find work locally or anywhere in Spain. What should I do?

We understand that taking the CertTESOL course with us here in Cádiz is a dream of many people. In so many ways you still can, the majority of our teaching practice students are from the area so you’ll still be making connections with the people. We are still 100% available to help with all the normal things about being in Cádiz; visas, accommodation and bureaucracy, amongst many others. It’s just a question of changing plans a little; take the CertTESOL online at home and then come out already qualified to find a job. And don’t forget the careers service is still available to you, not just during your course but for career-long advice and guidance. We can advise you on when to come out and how to find work.


As previously mentioned, there are jobs available here in Cádiz province, in Andalucía and dotted about all over Spain: doing your CertTESOL online places you ahead of others who are less comfortable with the technology which is now commonplace in many classrooms.

How can we help?

Flexibility seems to be more important now than ever. Perhaps you are unsure about investing in a CertTESOL course over 5 or 11 weeks as you don’t know what might happen in that timeframe. Our job is to work for you and to be able to be flexible is so important at the moment. We work in close contact with Trinity College London and can find solutions for (almost) any problem. For example, if you’re furloughed and not sure when you’re going back to work, you can join the course and we can be flexible about transferring to a future course if necessary.


COVID-19 has changed things. The online digital world has made the CertTESOL courses not just possible but arguably superior to before. The demand for English teachers is growing. Now is the time.


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