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Can I teach English as a foreign language?

Teaching English is one of the most common jobs for a new expat. Qualification requirements vary considerably, from country to country and among employers within the same country. For many institutions it is possible to teach without a degree or teaching certificate, but beware of doing so illegally as penalties can be sever.

Language Schools

The easiest way to get started teaching English is to find a school. The best situations are companies that pay for health insurance and aid in getting visa paperwork completed. These positions may be difficult to come by and there is fierce competition in some cities.

Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson or a grammar test. Some schools will throw teachers right in for a 90 minute class where the school observes and either offers the job, or does not.

It is common for new teachers to only receive a few classes at first. If they are able to prove them self reliable an be able to handle a class, they will gradually be given more classes. Many teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.

TESOL Certificate

TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.

These courses tend to be expensive, but in a competitive market they will make you a more desirable candidate.

Private Lessons

It is also an option to work for yourself. Private Lessons are usually more profitable per hour, but a lot more hard work finding customers. The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's like EasyExpat's job listings. Having basic native language skills will help expand your clientele as you can then work with beginners.

Private lessons in technical and business English at private companies is the most lucrative strain of teaching. These jobs are hard to come by without experience. Teachers must provide valid permits for these positions.


 [12-04-2011]
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