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Teaching English – Sowing seeds

Church planting teams seek to make Christ known and also practically bless the communities in which they live. As they build friendships and show God’s love, seeds are sown and opportunities for Gospel conversations arise.

Using medical skills, establishing good businesses, running community development projects, and other vocations, are all excellent ways of blessing communities and getting embedded in cross-cultural living. But have you ever thought that your seemingly simple ability to speak English can be utilised as a tool too?

English is the most widely spoken language in the world, and the desire to learn it spans much of the globe. From Saudi to the Sahara; Lebanon to Libya; Refugees in Birmingham, to Royals in Bahrain; English is in high demand.

A great opportunity Teaching English is a great way of engaging with communities overseas, or of blessing refugee communities in our hometowns. As such, many teams use English teaching in some format… For example:

  • Teaching English in local schools, colleges, and universities.

  • Setting up English language school businesses.

  • Teaching English as part of community development projects and centres.

  • Running English language summer camps.

  • Running informal English classes for refugees in the UK.

  • Leading one-to-one conversational classes.

Formal or informal, beginners or advanced, kids or adults, paid clients or free, in person or online; you name it, there will be an opportunity to serve.


Can anyone do it? If you’d like to give it a go, test the waters, and visit a team short-term in the UK or overseas, then yes! Assisting with classes, or having one-to-one conversations with higher level students, are great ways to practically contribute. Contact a SWAN partner to find out more.

To take English teaching to the next level, where you are confident and well equipped to teach classes of any stage, some training is a must. But the good news is it’s relatively inexpensive, takes just a few months, and can be done alongside a fulltime job. There are two main options that open up the world of paid English teaching jobs or equip you for higher quality teaching in a voluntary setting:

  • A TEFL course: This costs between £200 and £350, is usually done online, and equips you with all the basics to get you going.

  • A CELTA course: This costs around £2,000, is usually done as a combination of online and in person training, is more in depth than a TEFL, and opens up higher level opportunities.

  • ChristianTefl.com and ODILS Equip are great places to start.

So what do you reckon? Could you transform your day-to-day skill of speaking English, into a tool to teach others, and to make a Kingdom impact?