I am a one-way ticket free spirit, who is on a mission to spread positive vibes and live life to the fullest! I hope to inspire others to do the same!
So, as the name implies…this job involves teaching English to non-English speaking students!
I am going to refer to a few different routes you could take toward landing a job as an English teacher…the conventional way vs. …the way I have done it!
If you would like to take the more legit, contracted, money-earning sort of route with becoming an English teacher abroad, you can become a certified “TEFL/TESOL” teacher.
TEFL= Teach English as a Foreign Language
TESL= Teach English as a Second Language
TESOL= Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages
When I say “TEFL” teacher, I am referring to an English teacher who has undergone the TEFL certification process, and has met certain requirements, in order to find work on a full-time basis with a set location, work schedule and salary.
Perspective TEFL teachers will be recruited to schools and other institutes abroad, to work for a contracted period of time, with work weeks ranging from 25-35 hours within the classroom. In addition to their pay, TEFL teachers will oftentimes have additional benefits included in their pay-package, such as accommodation and flight reimbursements.
If you would like to take an alternative route toward teaching English— the not-so-career-oriented route—you can become what I like to call an Englsih-Speaking-Hustler.
When I say “ESH” teacher, I am referring to an English-speaking person who is hustling their way into finding teaching gigs. Perspective ESH teachers could search the internet for virtual positions via Skype or through other language exchange apps, or they could attempt to their way into tutoring opportunities while abroad, by sourcing out non-English speakers who are interested in face-to-face lessons.
The pros and the cons of freelancing come along with this style of teaching. On the positive side of things, the ESH method is obviously less standardized and will give you more flexibility with your working hours. On the downside, it might be trickier to find steady work, and you may not make much money while abroad as wages tend to be lower compared with those of the U.S. or other developed countries.
Where in the World does this Job Exist?
There are English-teaching opportunities all over the world! If you are looking to become a TEFL teacher, you will find many opportunities in locations including SE Asia, South Korea and China, Latin American countries, and some European countries.
For more information on teaching locations, check on this article which highlights some of the top countries to teach in, and how to go about finding work!
If you want to be an ESH going for virtual teaching gigs, then you could in theory teach from anywhere in the world- as long as you have wifi and a time zone which cooperates with your schedule!
If you would like to find face-to-face tutoring opportunities while traveling, your best bet would be to try out popular backpacker towns, touristic places or large cities, especially in Latin American countries or European countries. Because of the large numbers of English tourists coming through, there may be a demand for tutors among locals, students and those involved with hospitality-related jobs.
How to Get the Job
TEFL Teacher TIPS
In order to become a TEFL teacher, you will need to become TEFL-certified by taking courses, either online or face to face in a classroom. Once you begin researching how to go about getting your certification, you will find that you have many options!
Option 1: Take your course online.
If you would like to complete your courses online, you should take some time to look through the different websites and programs. Before you commit to a program, look up reviews, articles, blogs, etc., in order to get an idea of what is out there and what is reasonably priced.
Be sure to compare costs, look at TEFL message boards and search TEFL Facebook groups that might have members with experience or helpful advice for you.
Keep in mind that online courses may be less pricey compared to in-classroom courses abroad, but may not be as thorough as face-to-face lessons.
It is worth mentioning that sometimes there are even online TEFL class deals on groupon, for much lower rates! Online programs will usually take about 6 weeks to complete, but can oftentimes be done at your own speed.
Option 2: Take your courses in a classroom.
You can also get your TEFL certification by taking a 4-week course in a classroom, whether in your home country, or abroad. Again- do your research before you commit to a program!
Alright, once you have your course completed, you can start searching for your dream job! Available jobs will be listed on TEFL-specific job board websites, and will require Skype interviews.
A few examples, just for you!:
You can also try to travel directly to the country in which you would like to teach, and try to network your way into interviews and ultimately, a job!
WOW! This is a lot to take in! At this point, you are probably feeling overwhelmed by all of this information. If you would like more guidance, I have found an extremely helpful article that gets into a lot of the details about everything that I am mentioning! Click >HERE<
ESH Teaching TIPS
MOVING ON! So, if you want to take the less complicated route of an ESH, let me just say…it is much easier to get into this method of teaching English! If you want to sign up to become a virtual English tutor, EASY! Visit www.nicetalk.com, and sign up. You can teach for $10/hr around your own schedule, and all you really need is the ability to speak English and a good wifi connection.
As for trying to secure English tutoring jobs while traveling abroad…NETWORK! You can attempt to network in a variety of ways:
-try to connect with local hotels and hostels to see if there are any opportunities with teaching basic English to staff members
-hang up fliers around town-try to recruit locals who work in shops or restaurants when you are out and about meeting people
-make a posting on www.couchsurfing.com messageboards in order to reach out to locals who might have advice for you
-make a posting on www.craigslist.com
-check out www.workaway.info
My point is, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Maybe local businesses will want you to proofread their websites, or restaurants will want you to translate their menus; maybe a local family would like their child to practice their English- who knows!
As an experienced ESH, I can tell you that if you try hard enough, you will usually find a way to teach English- if not for money, at least for free drinks, accommodation, or in exchange for lessons of another language!
So, I think that we have established that you will need your TEFL certification in order to become a TEFL teacher. You may also need a college degree in order to teach in certain countries. Do not forget to check out requirements for work and travel visa as well!
To become an ESH teacher, you will simply need the ability to speak English. For some virtual tutor jobs, a TEFL certificate will be preferred, but most likely not required.
Availability & Pay
TEFL teachers can find work year-round, although most contracts will fall in line with the dates of the school year. The best time to look for work will vary between countries. Contract lengths will also vary between jobs; some may be for a school year and some may be as long as 2 years.
Pay is dependent on location and program. If you are teaching young professionals rather than elementary students for example, you may get a higher wage; if you are teaching in a large city in China or South Korea, you may earn more than if you are working in a small village in Vietnam. Generally, wages will range from $1000-$3000 per month. A pay-packages may also include airfare, accommodation, insurance and other benefits in addition to your salary.
As an ESH, you are in charge of what you earn, because you are essentially working as a freelancer. Your wage depends on your rate for tutoring, and how many hours you choose to work.
As mentioned, if you are tutoring English while traveling, you may also end up agreeing to compensation in the form of free accommodation, food/drink connections or an opportunity for language exchange.