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WorldTeach partners with Ministries of Education and well-established NGOs in countries around the world to provide volunteer teachers with opportunities to teach in developing countries. Established by a group of Harvard students, WorldTeach has placed thousands of teachers overseas since its inception in 1986.
Meet Thanh Nguyen and Katrina Deutsch from WorldTeach
What involvement in TEFL and sending native English speakers to foreign countries does World Teach have?
WorldTeach: WorldTeach sends native English speakers to developing countries to teach mainly English, as well as math, science, information technology, and other subjects. The countries in which WorldTeach primarily focuses on Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) are China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Thailand and Tanzania. We also teach TEFL courses in Namibia and the Marshall Islands.
What countries get the most TEFL teachers?
WorldTeach: Our largest TEFL programs are Ecuador, China, and Colombia, with over 35 volunteers in each program.
What trends have you noticed in the TEFL industry?
WorldTeach: The demand for TEFL-certified instructors is increasing, especially in countries that are growing (or have grown) economically. These countries want their students and civil servants to speak English to better compete in the global market. This is especially the case for countries in the Middle East and Asia, such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, South Korea, China, Thailand and Japan.
What are some reasons you have seen for the growth of the TEFL industry?
WorldTeach: English is the global language, and the language of international business. For people, and countries, to be able to compete globally, they need to have a strong command of the English language.
What are the benefits/downfalls of governments recruiting foreigners to teach English?
WorldTeach: One of the benefits of governments recruiting foreigners to teach English is that the students not only receive English language instruction from native English speakers, they are also exposed to the culture of that native English speaker. In turn, the increased demand for English teachers has created more opportunities for English speakers to take the leap and immerse themselves in another culture. Intercultural exchange between locals and the teacher is a huge benefit to the promotion of global citizenship and to the WorldTeach mission. One downfall is that most foreigners teaching English abroad are working directly with students, but not with native teachers. In order to truly improve the quality of language instruction of a country, foreigners need to train the local teachers in both the English language and teaching methodologies, so that those native teachers can use what they learn and teach their own population.
What are some outcomes (positive and/or negative) of an increase in recruiting English teachers abroad?
WorldTeach: The increase in recruiting English teachers abroad has created a greater global understanding for both the teachers and the students. It has opened doors for native English speakers to travel internationally while learning about and helping a country. In some ways, the increase in recruiting English teachers abroad helps to improve the quality of ESL instruction in the U.S. and the U.K., as these teachers do return home eventually, and can use their skills (both teaching and cross-cultural) to work with the increasing immigrant population in their own country.
Do you have any statistics (at least just for World Teach) about how many people go abroad to teach English, where they go, why the go, etc.?
WorldTeach: The number of volunteers we send abroad has been increasing in the last decade. In the early 2000s, we sent about 100 volunteers annually. Currently, we send about 500 volunteers each year. WorldTeach is currently in seventeen different countries, but we believe that the demand for English teachers has risen in all corners of the globe. This is apparent through the frequent request for partnership that we receive daily from ministries of education and local organizations all over the world.