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What you need to do to teach English in a foreign country

Travelling abroad is a wonderful and eye-opening experience that allows you to see the world while gaining new language skills and better understanding foreign cultures. However, the difficult part of sustained travel often comes with finding a means to support your life abroad.

A great solution is learning to teach English as a second language. If you’re interested in travelling and teaching across the world, here are some tips and reasons for entering the ESL workforce.

Getting certified as an ESL teacher

Cambodian school children in Koh Chen

There are many academic organizations and institutions that offer courses that will lead to either a certification or degree in English language teaching. Some of these are attainable via weekend courses, while others take longer and more devoted periods of study. Each come with their own job opportunities and possible career paths.

ESL Certification: General certifications tend to be acquired via a short but intense period of study. These usually include classes in building curriculum, classroom management techniques, and meeting the needs of diverse learners. ESL Certifications alongside undergraduate degrees make you eligible to work in most countries.

Teaching Credential: Most teaching credentials are given out alongside undergraduate studies in education. For those whose university studies didn’t focus in education there are one to two year postgraduate programs that award the qualification. A teaching credential from your native country (or where you studied) will put you in competition for the highest paying ESL jobs.

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL): This is a graduate school degree that focuses heavily on second language acquisition, language testing, and teaching methodology. The degree will allow you to teach at university level in many countries, and also opens doors for research positions.

Where are the best places to teach?

Cambodian school children in Koh Chen

Because of the constantly growing global economy, it is becoming more and more critical for non-native English speakers to acquire English language skills. Today’s biggest markets are focused in the Middle East and Asia, where salaries can be as high as 4000USD/month, and 3000USD/month respectively.

The majority of schools and language organization will also offer you a stipend for housing, or a pre-paid apartment. The best paying countries in Asia and the Middle East are Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

Teaching English as a Second Language will not only give you the ability to continue a prosperous life living and travelling abroad, but your foreign culture experience will also provide plenty of opportunities for future employment both in and outside teaching.

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