Over the last decade or so, English language teaching has exploded across the planet. Why do so many people want to do it? Why does English language teaching as a career rock? Maybe it’s because it’s so darn rewarding. It’s definitely not easy, but when you see your students finally get a complex grammar rule, you literally feel like a superhero.
In the classroom, you’ll experience many “a-ha” moments, especially because your students will say the most incredible things, and make you look at things you took for granted in a totally new light. Not only that, teaching English earns you a host of transferable skills: time management, public speaking, patience, negotiation skills, the list goes on and on!
What is English Language Teaching?
Don’t think there’s a one-size-fits all approach to English language teaching though. In fact, the field is s=very diverse. You can volunteer to teach abroad, find a salaried teaching job in another country, work as an au pair, or even teach English as a second language in your home country. You can teach large classes, small groups, or have one on one time with students. You can choose to teach more formal classes in public and private schools or teach core literacy skills to underprivileged folk. You can teach little kids, business professionals, teenagers, or adults. You can choose to dip your toe in the water or dive in deep with a couple of years in the classroom.
Why does English language teaching rock as a career?
If there is just one thing, English language teaching as a career provides a lot of diversity when it comes to job opportunities. Who doesn’t love a career that opens up the whole world to them? Volunteer to teach monks in Thailand, and then spend another year teaching at a public school in Korea. Spend time mastering the subject at a posh international school in Dubai or Hong Kong. Do you really need any other reasons? After all, who wouldn’t love to get paid and travel!?
How can you make English language teaching your career?
Become a Teaching Volunteer Abroad
Volunteering is one of the most popular ways to get started with English language teaching. If you’re not sure about it as a career and just want to give it a go, you can volunteer to teach for a couple of weeks or longer in a variety of countries around the world, particularly in developing countries that have a high need for English teachers.
Want to find out more? Click here to learn more about volunteer English teaching abroad.
Find English Teaching Jobs Abroad
This is one of the most popular ways to travel the world and earn money. Get a 9 to 5 English teaching job at a public or private school, and then use your time off to really immerse yourself in the culture and explore all your location has to offer.
Ready to make a career change? Click here to search for English teaching jobs abroad.
Work Abroad as an Au Pair
Being an au pair is a great way to live with a family in a foreign country and teach English. As an au pair abroad, you will be expected to teach the family’s children English, and the family will provide you with free room and board, and perhaps a small stipend, in return.
Sound like your cup of tea? Start searching for au pair jobs abroad.
Look for Teaching Opportunities at Home
English language teaching doesn’t always mean packing a bag and moving overseas. Believe it or not, but you can find equally fulfilling English language teaching jobs in your home country, whether teaching English to newly arrived refugees or immigrants or working with native speakers that still need some help to master the language. You’ll have to search locally to find these opportunities, but they will be setting you up for a long career of English language teaching.
5 awesome English language teaching programs to get you started
1. Teach abroad in China with Good Teachers Union
Teach English in China with Good Teachers Union. This program offers entry-level teachers English language teaching positions in various locations in the Middle Kingdom, including popular cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The program promises a lot of support to help teachers ease into life in China and have a positive teaching experience. Good Teachers Union also ensures that all placement schools are properly vetted.
Pros: The program offers a competitive salary ($1500-$2500 a month), free tickets to China/flight reimbursement, free accommodation or a living allowance ($500-$700), health insurance, and paid holidays. Also, it even welcomes teachers with no experience and provides free training!
Cons: It only offers six or 12 month contracts, and is restricted to native English speakers with the following nationalities: Americans, Europeans, Canadians, Australians, and South Africans. You must love kids because you will only have the chance to teach children from the ages three to 12 years-old.
2. Become a Language Ambassador in France with Speaking Agency
Speaking Agency offers participants the chance to teach English in France. The program operates in Toulouse, Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux, Lille, and Lyon and offers two types of jobs: teaching kids, teens, or adults for two to 10 hours per week OR babysitting children between the ages of three to 12 years-old for five to 20 hours per week.
Pros: Speaking Agency hires native or bilingual Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, and German speakers so you can become part of a truly international community. It promises to teach methods developed by language acquisition experts. Speaking Agency also offers full training, free French classes, and a bike sharing yearly pass!
Cons: English language teaching jobs offered by Speaking Agency are part-time, so teachers only earn 13-20 Euros an hour, before taxes. If you want to live comfortably in France, you may have to find other sources of income or other forms of financial support to make that happen.
3. Work as a Language Assistant in a Spanish School with Meddeas
Meddeas offers participants the chance to teach 20 to 24 hours per week as a language assistant in a local Spanish school. The program is very structured and lasts a full academic year. Teachers can work at any of 200 educational centers around Spain teaching children between the ages of two and 18.
Pros: The program promises a guaranteed monthly income (312-912 Euros), free TEFL training, and isn’t fussy about participants’ Spanish language competency. They also offer a university-certified course in bilingual education or TEFL. Teachers stay with a host family or have the option to find housing on their own. The cherry on top? There is no previous teaching experience required to participate.
Cons: Meddeas’ program is only open to American, European, Canadian, and Australian participants, and participants must be university students, students on a gap year, or have recently graduated from college (in the last four years).
4. Teach English in Korea with TravelBud
Those who want to teach English abroad and earn a competitive salary should teach English in Korea with TravelBud. This provider offers placements across the country and throughout the year, with 24/7 support to all teachers while in country. All schools undergo background checks and all teachers must be TEFL certified to be placed.
Pros: Salaries are competitive (up to $2300 per month), and TravelBud offers free accommodation, free flights, and an end of contract severance pay. You don’t even need to have any teaching experience to apply. If you aren’t TEFL trained, TravelBud can provide you with a 120 hour online training course.
Cons: TravelBud’s program is only open to people who have completed a bachelor degree in any field, and there are some fees required to participate.
5. Get a Teaching Internship in Russia with Language Link
Not sure if teaching’s right for you but what to give it a go anyway? Try a teaching internship in Russia with Language Link. Every year, the program provider offers internships to around 50 participants who don’t have a TEFL certificate or teaching experience. Each internship lasts nine academic months, and at the end of the program, each intern receives a TEFL certificate.
Pros: The program is internationally recognized and supported by the Russian Ministry of Education and the Moscow Department for Education. Participants will receive a free, four-week TEFL training course before the internship starts, and are then paid for the duration of their teaching internship.
Cons: Housing can be hit or miss. The initial training can be intense, especially if you’ve never taught before. The salary is on the low end.
Want More? Check out these 10 Highest Paid Teaching Jobs
Last minute tips on how to find the perfect English language teaching program
A teach abroad program can totally transform you or send you running to the hills. To avoid making expensive and regretful decisions, carefully read program reviews written by people who have actually done it. Talk to program alumni in forums. Bookmark, save, and compare programs side by side with MyGoAbroad ← #travelhacks never felt so easy.
Consider this: are you prepared to give up certain creature comforts to teach in a developing country or does your lifestyle require the conveniences of a developed country? If you are ready to step outside of your comfort zone, learn why you should consider teaching English in a “less traveled” country. Make your desired lifestyle a priority in the decision making process.
Another important factor to consider when making this decision is whether you speak the language. In some places, speaking English alone won’t cut it. In fact, not being able to utter key phrases in the country’s native language can cause you to feel very isolated. You should probably choose a country based on your language abilities.
Are you ready to make English language teaching your future?
Join thousands of people around the world who’ve made the choice and never looked back and brace yourself for the adventures to come! It is time to find the program that suits you best.