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Being an Online TEFL teacher in South Africa – Graduate Story

Thinking of being an online TEFL teacher from South Africa? Want to know what it’s like? Then you’ve come to the right place! One of our amazing graduates from South Africa, who is now working as an online TEFL teacher, agreed to answer some questions about her experience. Read on to find out more!

Can you introduce yourself?

Hi I’m Samuke (Sam) Zulu and I’m an online TEFL teacher from South Africa!

What did you do before TEFL?

So before TEFL I had a full time fashion career and 9 years of experience in multiple fashion industries. Prior to that career, I did fashion studies and acquired a Diploma in Fashion and Textile Design at a University in Durban, South Africa.

What made you decide to TEFL?

I decided to try a TEFL course after a friend of mine told me about it, especially because I was curious to see what work is available that will enable me to eventually get to work and travel.

What course did you pick and why did you decide that was the right one for you?

The first course I did was a 120-Hour Level 3 Certificate, but, after the travelling restrictions that were instated during the pandemic, I decided to upgrade to the 180-Hour Level 5 Course in order to increase my chances of being able to get work teaching online.

How did you find the course?

The course was a really interesting experience because I came across so many fascinating things while I was studying. There’s a lot that we aren’t aware of in our daily speech and grammar practices, and this is all really important for you to know if you want to teach English! I also received plenty of support from i-to-i, which was really appreciated!

Teaching online guide

What made you choose online teaching?

I chose to teach online because of the flexibility it provides and because it is a safer option (health-wise) during these uncertain times.

How did you land your first online TEFL job?

Using some of the information that i-to-i provides, I was able to send applications and create profiles on multiple online teaching platforms that were suitable for someone with my qualifications. The process takes a few months and with persistence I was able to get accepted onto some teaching platforms. I stuck to the platform that showed me positive results sooner because just like any regular job, it takes a while to find something that best suits you.

I am only teaching online with one platform (Preply) at the moment, but I have more than enough work!

What are your favourite aspects of being a TEFL teacher?

My favourite aspect of being a TEFL teacher is getting to know my new students. There’s a lot of excitement during new lessons because the student is always happy to talk about themselves. I also enjoy learning new things from my students who take conversational English lessons, as well as doing research for new lessons, since this is also where I gather new information and improve my teaching skills.

What are some of the challenges of teaching English?

The only challenge for me with teaching English, particularly online, would be teaching in an area with bad reception because this could affect your students choices when booking with you again, and a bad connection is discouraging.

What are your plans for the future of your TEFL career?

I hope to meet more students in the future and use those opportunities as a learning experience again and to one day be able to physically go and teach in a foreign country.

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Sounds like a great career plan Sam! If you want to know more about Sam, head over to her Preply profile.

Feeling inspired and ready to become an online TEFL teacher yourself, but need to get qualified first? No worries! Arrange for a free call back with one of our TEFL experts, and they will be happy to talk you through your options. You could also take our free course matching quiz to see which course is your perfect fit.

Already qualified and ready to look for online teaching jobs? Check out the amazing range available on the LoveTEFL jobs board. And our brilliant jobs team, headed by Jordan, are always on hand if you need any help with your application!

I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.

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