How do get a job teaching English abroad?

In asking for advice on unconventional employment, a Doper recommended teaching ESL
abroad. I’ve always wondered about this job, and how I go about getting it. From online research I found many sites advertising TESL Certification. From my understanding, certification is a must. Am I correct in this assumption? How would I go about finding a reputable company providing the certification? Beyond that, how do I find
a job teaching English overseas? What exactly does this job entail? Although I speak Spanish and a wee bit French, I wonder, can a person who speaks only English teach ESL? It was mentioned that some people teach illegally. How can I be sure that what I am doing, or any agencies I am involved with are on the up and up?

I know, I have so many questions. I hope some Dopers can answer them. And, of course, I’d love to hear about personal experiences in teaching abroad.

How do get a job teaching English abroad? :smack:
Perhaps I need to take a remedial class before I set out to teach others.

Out of interest, why is it ‘unconventional’ ? We are qualified professionals doing a job for which we get paid. We need to turn up on time and do our job well. We often we live outside our home country sure but not always.

Anyway may I point you in the direction of this thread which covers a lot of stuff although the OP was referring to a particular advert they’d seen.

Qualification - yes get one, it’s the first way for language schools to weed out unprofessional candidates and vice versa. Most EFL/ ESL* qualifications are internationally recognised. You learn ‘how’ to teach, not just grammar but language skiils too.

Language skills - some knowledge of or ability to pick up other languages is a plus for your private life if you live abroad but the whole idea of EFL is that only the target language is used in the classroom and once qualified you should be able to teach speakers of all languages equally well. Some people see the teacher’s monolingualism as a distinct advantage - they teach a pure communicative method rather than falling into sloppy translation.

Most EFL teaching ‘abroad’ is aimed at classes sharing a common language but in the anglophone countries you have Japanese speakers, Polish speakers, Brazilian Portuguese speakers together in the same room - bravo to any teacher who can help them all by using translation !

Where are you ? If you are in the UK or Ireland you want to be looking for places which offer the Cambridge CELTA or Trinity TESOL certificates. REputable schools will always expect you to have a teaching qualification. For job adverts The Guardian newspaper on a Tuesday and the EFL Gazette.

My e-mail is in my user profile (not sure if guests can access this) but drop me a line if you have specific questions (if you can’t find it ask here).

*In reality there is dlitle difference between the two but EFL - English as a Foreign Language is aimed at people who need English but don’t live in an English speaking country, ESL - English as a Second Language is more for those living in an Anglophone country. The latter, ESL, seems to me to be more common in North America.

bananafish - the above post was made by me (not Ponster) please use MY e-mail.
(have asked the Mods to fix this.)

I taught English in Taiwan for 4 years and in Japan for 2 years. If you have any interest in teaching in Asia, you MUST have a university degree. TESOL Certification helps, but is not necessary. Taiwan, Japan and especially Korea have (in many cases) deservedly bad reputations. You need to be careful about which company you are going to be working for. Check

As far as finding work, it really depends on where you want to go. If you want to go to Japan, and are probably your best bets. The Monday edition of the Japan Times has an extensive list of jobs as well, but they aren’t listed in the online edition. (Try the Japanese embassy)

Like one of the posters in the other thread, I initially went abroad for a year, and ended up staying for many more. I’m still not back in my home country (I’m from Canada), and don’t really have any interest in going back. Teaching English abroad has been a great experience, but it is definitely not for everyone. I didn’t have a lot of things to tie me down in Canada, so the move wasn’t that big of a deal for me.

If you have any specific questions, please ask away. And good luck!

Sorry, Cat, the most elegant solution would be to just change the poster name but we can’t do that. (Literally ‘can’t’, not just ‘won’t’.) The most we can do is what you’ve done:

Hey bananafish, e-mail Cat Jones, not Ponster!


OK, thanks anyway :slight_smile:

Teaching English to a broad?

Where do I sign up?! :stuck_out_tongue: