A geographically and demographically diverse country, South Africa is truly a magical place. One day you could be out on a game reserve, within arm’s distance to a lion, or you could be out on the coastline, soaking in the incredible views at the southernmost point in Africa. Alongside all this natural beauty, there are also major cities in South Africa, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, where there are larger concentrations of English teaching jobs. Explore this dynamic country, where there truly is never a dull moment.
Photo Credit: South Africa Tourism.
In South Africa, while a TEFL certificate is not required for every job open to foreign teachers, the background and experience from the course itself provides an incredible skill set. There is little variety in the types of courses offered, but there are plenty of providers to choose from, and each one offers detailed training.
4 Week TEFL Courses:
Often geared towards teacher trainees with little to no experience, the 4-week, intensive TEFL course is an affordable and comprehensive option. Covering the basics of teaching English to foreign students in about 120 hours, these courses in South Africa provide a strong foundation for novice teachers. Along with learning the methodology of TEFL, the courses also cover lesson planning, classroom management, and even live teaching practice. Lastly, you will have the chance to observe a class in session, and take notes on what works best while teaching ESL students in South Africa.
If you are an experienced English teacher, or looking for extra instruction, you may consider taking an advanced, speciality course. Often times, TEFL providers will offer an “add-on” segment for those interested in teaching a specific subject, such as Business English or teaching English to young learners. These courses are very helpful if you plan to teach long-term, or even need a bit more practice or instruction before entering the ESL classroom!
When and Where to Look:
In South Africa, TEFL courses are offered year-round; most schools and recruiters hire throughout the year. Though, if you are planning ahead, note that the South African school year begins in mid-January and runs through early December (and is broken up into 4 terms).
There are no official requirements to take a TEFL course or teach English in South Africa. Generally, the only two widespread requirements are that you are a native speaker and able to qualify and apply for a South African work visa. To apply for a work visa, you must register through the South Africa Center for Education or (SACE). With this, foreign teachers must be cleared through South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
Since English is one of South Africa’s eleven official languages, there is a low demand for English teachers. Although, the majority of teaching jobs are located in and around Cape Town, where ESL teachers are needed in low-income neighborhoods. You can volunteer in public schools in this region, where English language education is underdeveloped. Additionally, many public schools in South Africa are in need of math, science, and technology teachers. There is a shortage of teachers in these subjects, and schools recruit foreign teachers.
Another option for foreign teachers in South Africa is to teach at an international school. Primarily located in the country’s major cities, South African international schools follow international curriculums, and teachers are needed for a variety of subjects. Lastly, teachers can also find employment at a private language school, where courses are offered daily for a range of students and levels.
Cost of Living:
In general, the cost of living in South Africa is fairly inexpensive (in comparison to the U.S. and Western Europe). However, costs can vary depending on an individual’s preferences and spending patterns. An inexpensive restaurant meal will cost around $7 USD, while a ride on public transportation will cost about $1.20 USD one-way. Keep in mind that schools will typically provide assistance for housing, but will not always provide accommodations. Rent for a one bedroom apartment will cost you between $300 to $450 USD per month. In addition, airfare is often an individual expense, so you may want to factor in the high costs of airfare to South Africa.