2023 is done and dusted – and what a year it has been! Barbie and Tay-Tay took over social media; floods, wildfires and earthquakes caused havoc across the globe; and ChatGPT became a buzzword. There’s no doubt 2023 has given us both remarkable highs and memorable lows.
The question now is, what on earth does 2024 have in store for us?
When it comes to teaching English as a foreign language, or TEFL, we’ve noticed a few trends creeping into our peripheral vision which look set to come into focus in the new year. So we thought we’d take a look at the next 12 months or so in relation to TEFL and teaching English abroad to see exactly what’s in store for us.
Is there a demand for TEFL teachers in 2024?
The future of the TEFL industry looks set to be stronger than ever in 2024. Realistically, there’s no reason the demand for English instruction would decrease – which is great news for us TEFL teachers!
As more and more people look to learn to speak English, opportunities for TEFL teachers flourish all over the world. It might be true that language learners are turning to online resources for their learning, but – as yet – there is nothing quite like the human component of language instruction.
In fact, technology looks set to play a more important role in language instruction, but in addition to the teacher rather than instead of the teacher. We don’t think technology like chatbots and AI are likely to replace teachers. Instead, we are upskilling ourselves with the knowledge and skills needed to add technology to our arsenal of teaching tools.
Where should I teach in 2024?
In terms of work and travel plans for next year, there isn’t really a wrong answer to this question. Of course there are destinations with more teaching opportunities than others, but there is something for everyone out there.
Want to work hard and earn tons of cash? Head to South Korea.
Want to go with the flow? Go to Thailand.
Interested in East meets West and old meets new? Hong Kong is where you should go.
Looking for fiestas and siestas? Spain is calling.
Don’t want to leave your home? Go online.
Should I teach online in 2024?
Absolutely yes. Online teaching is going nowhere but up in 2024. According to sources, online learning has grown 900% since 2000, making it the fastest-growing market in education. Online learning is no longer an alternative educational option but more mainstream than ever before.
Online learning is more inclusive, accessible and sometimes even more affordable than in-person lessons.
Which is why more students than ever are turning to online learning for English lessons. Yes, this means that the number of online teachers is also increasing. But don’t let that dissuade you. Quality is everything in education. By offering high-quality, reliable online lessons you’ll soon make a name for yourself in online teaching.
I’m already qualified. What should I be doing in 2024?
As a qualified or practicing TEFL teacher, 2024 should be a year of professional development. Take a short course or do some reading on topics which appeal to you. Gamification, AI and blended learning are still going to be hot topics at the water cooler this year, so why not make yourself a leading teacher by embracing these subjects and incorporating them into your teacher’s toolkit?
Consider doing a short course to upskill yourself. Make a plan to attend an ELT conference near you. Fill your Kindle with ELT books to challenge your brain. Read The TEFL Academy blog to keep abreast of what’s happening in the world of TEFL.
How can I look after my professional self in 2024?
2024 is a year to focus on your brand. Develop a corner of the internet for your personal TEFL brand. It could be a website, a blog, a LinkedIn presence or a social media persona – figure out how to carve a name for yourself in your niche.
A likely trend for 2024 is to specialise in a specific niche of TEFL. Be that Business English, English for Specific Purposes, or English for Academic Purposes. A top tip from The TEFL Academy is to get involved in English for Exams, as that is a corner of the market which seems likely to explode in the coming years, as can be seen by the increase in the number of English exams being utilised for admission purposes.
2024 has arrived – and we’re ready and waiting! Whatever 2024 may bring you, we wish you a prosperous and productive year.