Californians turn to teaching English as a Foreign Language after a 550% uptake in courses
An expoert tutor of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) has urged Californian students to consider the booming profession as an exciting career choice after college following a huge uptake.
Dr Joan Pagnotta has stated TEFL is fast-becoming a recognised career choice amongst many young Californians as course enrolment bounces back from the pandemic.
It comes as the world’s largest and most accredited TEFL provider, The TEFL Org, hit record sales of its courses in the US. These have increased 550% since 2019, leading to the firm’s sharp rise in market share from 0.2% in 2017 to 22.5% in 2021.
The company found more Californians enrolled in its courses than citizens from any other of the 50 states.
Dr Pagnotta, who now holds a Master’s degree in English as well as a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, first discovered TEFL after graduating from Pacific Oaks College in Southern California and re-locating to South Korea to teach English abroad. There, Dr Pagnotta earned her TEFL certificate and stayed for 12 years to teach before moving back to the States.
She said: “TEFL is a well-paying profession providing flexibility, which in today’s climate makes it an ideal job for those who either want to teach from home, or who would like to travel and experience living and working in different countries.
“Many students after graduating from college or university do find it hard to figure out their next step in life, and I include myself in this.
“I had a passion for languages and looked into teaching English as a career and haven’t looked back since.
“There is a lack of awareness about TEFL around this State, it can provide an individual with full time occupation, it pays well, and it gives you the opportunity to explore new countries and cultures helping people learn English.”
With more than 20 years’ experience, Dr Pagnotta has been mentoring young people with a desire to teach English as a foreign language with students travelling as far as New York to attend her classes.
The need for domestic EFL tutors is also high. According to The California State University, which provides its own English classes, more than 40% of Californians speak a language other than English at home, however in order to progress, most need to speak, read and write English well, indicating a demand for more TEFL classes in the State.
Dr Pagnotta added: “Not many students want to, or have the opportunity to take a ‘gap year’ once they have graduated college or university, which means they tend to miss out on travelling before going straight into full-time work.
“TEFL provides individuals with the rare choice of deciding where they would like to work, and this has been seen recently by the influx of those interested in TEFL remotely in the last five years.”
“It is a fantastic career opportunity that I fully encourage people to get involved with at some point in their life, especially if they find themselves reaching a point where they are questioning what their next step is going to be.”
Andy Healy, Managing Director of The TEFL Org, said: “The US has untapped potential in terms of TEFL opportunities. However, we are gradually seeing more students from across the country enrolling in our courses and California is the best performing State in the US for sales, followed by Florida and then Texas.
“It shows there are changing attitudes to TFEL, and that people can rely on it as a steady source of income.
“Our goal is to of course expand our reach in the US but we also want to showcase TEFL as a career where you can pick your hours, your jobs and the destinations you choose to travel to.”
The TEFL Org has seen international sales grow by 386% in the past three years, increasing the proportion of overseas sales from 16% to 49%.
It has recently been recognised by The Queen’s Award (the highest official awards for British businesses) for Enterprise in International Trade for outstanding short term growth in overseas sales as it eyes further international expansion in the coming months.
The TEFL Org is now a market leader in its sector, providing internationally recognised qualifications to more than 150,000 teachers who have gone on to find employment across the globe. The firm provides a range of flexible classroom, virtual and online courses, ranging from 20 hours to 188 hours.