Ukrainians’ demand for English language tutors has grown sharply

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) tutors play an important role in providing Ukrainian refugees with practical language skills as they settle in the UK.

The world’s biggest provider of TEFL courses has said many of its UK graduates have offered their time and skills to provide free or heavily discounted lessons for many of the 100,000 Ukrainians who have arrived in the UK since the war began.

Andy Healy, managing director of The TEFL Org, noted an increase in inquiries and discussions with current and prospective student tutors over the past six months regarding studying in Ukraine.

Claudia Latzka and Lucy Hill are two tutors who have volunteered their time to help teach, both holding TEFL Org qualifications which they gained a few years ago.

When news of the conflict first broke, demand for teaching services from refugees increased instantly.

Klaudia, 32, from Poland, who now lives in East Sussex, said: “It was terrifying to know that the bomb had fallen just 20km from the Polish border. It really impressed me.

“I decided to post on Facebook about my tutoring services and received a wave of responses asking if I could help. I received so many messages that I reluctantly had to decline some.

“Several of my students have shared their experiences with me – it was all very hard to take. In one of my classes, I learned that a person was separated from his elderly parents in Ukraine, as well as from his 18-year-old son, who had to stay and fight.

“Many of the people I taught just needed someone to listen to them. I always put in extra time at the beginning of each class because I wanted to be their mentor as well as their teacher.

“Everyone I have taught has expressed such gratitude and hearing how their lessons have changed their lives has been incredibly rewarding and brought me so much joy. Some of them had to stop classes when they found out they were hired, and one told me that she was able to make an appointment with the doctor for the first time. I was delighted.”

The teachers’ focus was on practical language skills that would help in everyday life situations, including words and phrases needed to find a job.

Lucy, 51, from South Croydon, said: “I knew I had to help as much as I could. I had been donating to the cause but felt it wasn’t enough and wanted to help in a more practical way.

“I saw a post on Facebook asking for qualified TEFL tutors to help teach refugees and I knew it was something I had to do.

“I delivered 16 online lessons to 11 Ukrainian refugees over eight weeks and I was overwhelmed and humbled by the gratitude I received from the group. I felt I didn’t deserve it. One of my teachers told me that she often uses the words and phrases she learned in her new job in a coffee shop in South London.’

Both Claudia and Lucy said that the experience was humbling and that the TEFL Org course helped them deal with a sensitive learning situation.

Claudia said: “When I completed my course and became a TEFL tutor, I never thought I would be using my qualifications in such circumstances, but the experience has given me the confidence to try and help more people who find themselves in this terrible situation.

“The experience was so fulfilling. This life-changing situation could happen to any of us – you never know what’s around the corner.

“Demand for English language tutors in Ukraine continues to be high, and I encourage anyone who is interested to try this incredibly rewarding career.”

Andy Healy said: “Being able to teach English as a foreign language is an incredible life skill.

“We keep hearing amazing stories just like Claudia’s and Lucy’s. There is an incredible amount of work going on behind the scenes, helping refugees – not just from Ukraine – to settle and ultimately thrive in often unimaginably difficult situations.”

Headquartered in Inverness, TEFL Org is now a market leader in its sector, providing internationally recognized qualifications to over 150,000 teachers who have gone on to work around the world. The firm offers a range of flexible classroom, virtual and online courses ranging in duration from 20 to 188 hours.

It was recently awarded the Queen’s Award (the highest official award for British business) for International Trade Entrepreneurship for its outstanding growth in overseas sales as further international expansion is planned in the coming months.

For more information about the TEFL organization and the opportunities it can provide, visit:

TEFL tutors mobilise to help Ukrainian refugees settle in the UK