Guest blog by Rosa David
If you have an undergraduate degree, are a native or native-like English speaker and have the desire to live abroad, there are countless opportunities to make this dream a reality. With the rise of globalization, English has become a lingua franca. The English language plays a leading role in international business, trade, academics and even is the language of the sky (aviation). Because of this growing need for English speakers, the prospect of teaching English is now better than ever. This article will highlight some possible teaching opportunities.
Many people who are thinking about teaching English overseas often choose to get some kind of teaching certification. Although it is not impossible to find a job as an English teacher without any kind of formal training, your chances of finding secure position with better benefits increases when you have some kind of English teaching certification. There are four certifications that you may consider: TESOL, TESL, TEFL and CELTA. These certificates range in cost, instruction, time commitment, location, curriculum, evaluation and job placement assistance. The British Council has written a nice article about the different certificate (http://www.oxfordseminars.com/blog/tesol-tesl-tefl-or-celta-which-is-right-for-you/), though please take into account that the British Council offers the CELTA and therefore paints a better picture of the CELTA. Take the time to think about your personal investment and choose wisely.
For individuals who are thinking about teaching English and would like a more structured path into English language education there are other options besides paying top dollar for certification. Here are a few options you may want to consider.
The JET Programme (http://jetprogramme.org/en/) The JET Programme places Assistant English Language Teachers (ALTs) throughout Japan to provide language instruction to elementary, junior, and high school students.
The TALK Program (https://www.talk.go.kr/talk/talk_new/main/main_eng.jsp) TALK offers individuals with at least two years of post-secondary education an opportunity to gain teaching experience in South Korea.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program (http://us.fulbrightonline.org/about/types-of-grants/english-teaching-assistant-awards) The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Programs place English teaching assistants (ETAs) in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to teachers teaching English within the region.
Heart for Change (http://www.heartforchange.org/index.php/en/) Heart for Change places English language teachers in the public school sector throughout Colombia. They offer short-term English training programs to support teachers on the ground.
Please keep in mind that these programs range in teaching activities, location, salary and time commitment. Please look at the websites carefully before deciding which program is best for you.
There are also numerous recruitment agencies that provide job placement services. Often times there is a fee for their services. Here are a couple that may be useful.
Footprints Recruiting (http://www.footprintsrecruiting.com) Footprints Recruiting is a free job placement service. Footprints works with both experienced and first-time educators to find teaching positions internationally.
Greenheart Travel (http://greenhearttravel.org) Greenheart Travel is a nonprofit organization that provides a number of different cultural immersion programs. Its aim is to help like-minded individuals find programs that fit their interests. Whether you want to teach, volunteer or study, Greenheart Travel has the partnerships to help you reach your professional goals.
Finally there are countless job boards on the internet for individuals who want to teach abroad. Job boards are a great place to learn not only the job market, but to meet other educators living and working abroad. Below are two of my favorites.
Dave’s ESL Café (http://www.eslcafe.com) Dave’s ESL Café is a great place to start any job search. It also has discussion boards and serves as a space where teachers can share materials. The layout of the website can be a bit cumbersome, but don’t let it detract from its usefulness. Dave’s ESL Café is a great starting point to an international teaching career.
TEFL (http://www.tefl.com) TEFL is a great resource for individuals looking for jobs overseas in the field of English education. It also has a section devoted to English language professionals who are looking to work as teacher-trainers overseas.
There are also a number of international language schools that are always recruiting language teachers. Please keep in mind that these schools should be thought of as being part of a chain and can be thought of as the McDonalds, or Starbucks of language education internationally. Often times these schools offer impressive packages, just remember that they follow their own language education principles that may or may not match your own beliefs.
International House World Organization (http://ihworld.com) International House (IC) is home to over 160 private and independently owned schools in 52 countries. IC has a CELTA program and currently employs over 5,800 worldwide. Generally speaking, IC offers language courses in English, Spanish, German, French, Arabic, Russian, and Italian. However each center offers different languages and IC states that internationally it offers more that 30 languages.
Berlitz (http://www.berlitz.com) Berlitz prides itself on being one of the leading providers of language instruction. Berlitz has language schools in over 70 countries and has been in the business since 1878. It prides itself on the “prove-success” of the Berlitz Method, which language instructors are required to teach. Students are thought of as customers and thus, their success rate is apart of their marketing scheme.
Education First (www.ef.com) Education First (EF) is an international educations company that specializes in language education, academic degree programs, educational travel and cultural exchange opportunities. EF has schools located in more than 110 countries internationally and currently employs approximately 40,000 people. The EF model focuses on “learning through doing” and sees experimental learning as a cornerstone of modern education.
Teaching a foreign language is a great opportunity and serve as a way to move overseas and experience another country. As a language teacher, you will be a cultural ambassador and will be apart of a cross-cultural exchange of information and ideas. Please keep in mind that this is blog is not an extensive list of teaching opportunities, but should be thought of as a starting point to gather information and the writer does not have any affiliation with any of the companies or organizations listed above.