a story about bad grammar and non-existent punctuation and my TEFL adventures
South Africa is a bit of an odd place to teach English, it must be said. It’s miles away from anywhere and it’s not considered a very English-speaking country so you would wonder why students come here to learn English. But they do. Not in the hordes like in the UK or the US, but a fair amount, depending on the season. So, what can you expect from teaching TEFL in the rainbow nation?
Teaching EFL in South Africa pretty much means teaching in a language school. You won’t be able to teach in a mainstream school without a teaching degree (PGCE or BEd) and to be quite honest, you probably don’t want to. The main EFL cities are Cape Town, Joburg, Durban and PE and in these cities you will find all the major language school chains and numerous boutique schools.
Your students will be adults from all over the world, though we tend to attract a lot of Angolans, Saudi Arabians and Brazilians, while handfuls of Europeans and South Koreans can be found wandering around too. Your working hours will be great in that you will work a maximum of 4.5 hours a day, but not so great because you will work a maximum of 4.5 hours a day. Two sides of the same coin.
Which brings me to the next point which has to be brought up. Don’t come to South Africa for the money. There isn’t any. Come to South Africa to see Table Mountain, go on a safari, hang with the penguins on the beach, but not to make your TEFL millions*. The cost of living is relatively high and TEFL wages are miserable.
What is great about teaching here is that there are opportunities for volunteer teaching in underprivileged areas, which is great for your CV and will show you a bit more of our amazing country. There is also a growing IELTS market because South Africans need to take the IELTS before they can emigrate and often they want a quick exam workshop before they take the test.
All in all, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world. I want to teach in basically any other country but here, but I’m here to stay and won’t be moving abroad again anytime soon.