Landing an ESL (English as a Second Language) Teaching Job
The most important aspect of landing an ESL teaching job is to understand that it is somewhat different from other kinds of teaching jobs. There are more ESL teaching jobs available around the world than there are teachers who are qualified for them. ESL teachers teach in regular classrooms, separate classrooms for English Language Learners only, in "pull out" and supplemental programs, and in adult programs. By doing your groundwork, you can get a great job teaching ESL!
Preparing for ESL Teaching Jobs
- Get certified: Here is a good link to different TEFL, TESOL Programs in the United States. There may be some schools or districts that will give you an ESL teaching job based solely on your teaching degree, but you can get a much better job if you are properly certified to teach English as a Second Language. In parts of the US, you may be required to have an ESL credential in addition to your regular teaching credential to teach in any classroom. To be expertly qualified to teach ESL, you need to have a Language Development Specialist's Certificate (LDS) or a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL or TESL or TESOL) certification. Here are some things to keep in mind about these certificates:
- Your TEFL/TESOL certificate should be recognized globally and not just in your home country. Most recruiters nowadays will not even look at an ESL teacher's resume unless it includes an internationally recognized certificate.
- If you want to apply to a specific country abroad, it is best to get your TEFL certification from that country. If they do not have any TEFL courses, your next best option is to get one from a country near it.
- Enrolling yourself in a weekend TEFL course is not going to do you much good. Ensure that the course is at least four weeks in duration as that is the minimum that most ESL recruiters seek.
- Make sure your TEFL course includes a minimum of six hours of practical experience in teaching in a real TEFL classroom. Once you have some practical knowledge teaching real students, you will be better equipped to handle anything that occurs in your ESL teaching job.
- Master the language: It goes without saying that you need to be an expert in the English language if you want to land a good ESL teaching job. What you need to know is that different forms of English are taught throughout the world. Thus, you need to know British English and other forms of the language, in addition to American English. Spellings, pronunciations, and syntactic forms vary greatly; therefore, it is vital that you know many varieties of English. It also will not hurt for you to speak some of the language of the country that you will be teaching in.
- ESL teacher resume: Your ESL teacher resume may be different from a standard teacher resume. If you want to teach only ESL, your resume should focus on your specific qualifications and certifications for teaching English as a Second Language. It should also include all prior experience you have had pertaining specifically to TEFL, such as teaching ESL abroad, working with children, and any foreign language skills.
If you want to include ESL on your basic teacher resume as an additional skill, include it in a separate section and list your qualifications, experience, and language abilities related to ESL jobs. Because your ESL resume is such an important aspect of landing the ideal ESL teaching job, it is best to have it written by an expert resume writing service.
- ESL teacher job listings: Start looking for an ESL teaching job on the internet. You will have access to hundreds of jobs internationally within minutes. If you want to take it one step further, you can register yourself with an ESL recruitment company. They can help you find an ESL teaching job abroad. You will have to spend money for registering with a recruiter, but, in the end, the expense may be well worth it.
By preparing and planning properly, you can find a great ESL teaching job and perhaps travel the world teaching English!