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How to Get a Job Teaching English as a Second Language

Preparation is key if you aim to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). Targeting ESL teaching jobs can be an excellent way to jump-start your teaching career if you think you have what it takes to help students in this area.

As English has become one of the most important languages to know to conduct business, connect to literature, and attract tourist dollars, demand for English instructors for non-native speakers has skyrocketed.

Unfortunately, there are still children and adults who never learn the language due to lack of education or isolation. There is an ever-increasing need for qualified individuals to teach English as a second language, also known as ESL. ESL teachers can find positions ESL teaching locally or abroad, due to the global demand for English skills.

If you think you have patience and what it takes to help people learn to speak and read English, you might consider entering into this field.

ESL Teachers in English Speaking Countries

If you are interested in teaching English to non-native speakers but aren’t ready to fly around the world yet, your dream job might be closer than you think. Many schools in English speaking countries employ ESL teachers to help educate students who either speak very little English or do not speak any English at all.

It is quite common for schools to accept students who have either emigrated from a non-English speaking country or who live in a household where English is not spoken.

Often, instructors who are qualified to teach English as a second language are in high demand, due to the need to work with a diverse group of learners with a wide range of English skills.

There might find native speakers of multiple languages in your classroom, and you might not be able to speak all of those languages. Develop alternate means of communication with them while you try to instruct them in the English language. Some schools have students who speak the other language, who can help teachers with interpretation.

In some regions, you will need to be certified to teach ESL in addition to a generalist or subject area certification for your age group. Teachers with an ESL certification can teach in both generalist classrooms and classrooms populated by English language learners. In other places, there is no official ESL teaching certification.

In these cases, schools are willing to employ anyone as an ESL teacher as long as they have a Bachelor’s degree and speak English as their native language. If you hold a teaching degree but have been unable to find a job in your subject area, you may increase your chances of obtaining a job by temporarily teaching ESL.

If your goal is to teach English as a second language closer to home, but you don’t want to specialize in a school-aged population, you still have options.

In addition to teaching elementary, middle, or high school students, there are opportunities to teach adult classes, work with private schools or work independently as a tutor. These are just a few options that could help you advance toward the goal you want to achieve, even if it isn’t English as a second language (ESL) instruction.

Teach English in a Non-native Speaking Country

ESL teachers are frequently in high demand in countries where English is not the most commonly spoken language. English is the most common language for business transactions worldwide and many schools require their students to learn English.

ESL teachers are frequently in high demand in countries where English is not the official language. Click To Tweet

If you want to teach English in a school outside of your home country, it is quite helpful to know at least a bit of the language that is spoken in that country. A few schools require you to speak the country’s dominant language while others just strongly prefer it. Schools may offer an interpreter or a student who speaks both languages to help you.

If you teach English as a second language (ESL) in a foreign country, you are likely to have classes that vary in size. In some areas, ESL teachers will find themselves instructing up to 40 students at a time.

This tends to occur mostly in areas that have a high population density and overcrowded schools. If class size is a concern for you, make sure you request information regarding average class size from any school in which you would like to work before committing.

Often, ESL teachers who work in a foreign country will be provided housing, airfare to and from the host country, or related benefits by the school where they are working.

Teaching overseas can be an excellent opportunity for those interested in seeing the world. Just be confident you can stand being away from home if you commit to an English as a second language (ESL) position abroad. Some schools require a commitment of up to two years.

ESL teaching is an ever-expanding field, and as an ESL teacher, you will have the pleasure of seeing your students grow and develop daily. There is a diverse selection of English as a second language teaching opportunities, as far away as the other side of the globe, and as close-by as your neighborhood elementary school.

If ESL teaching is something that interests you, explore your opportunities carefully before you commit to one choice. ESL teaching can be your chance to make a difference. Are you ready to take the chance and embark on a new career direction?

Start preparing for a career to teach English to students who are learning the language? Are you an English as a second language (ESL) teacher hoping to move up to manage a program?