English as a Second Language: Teaching Abroad
Welcome to the English as a Second Language: Teaching English Abroad TCBoK career page! The English language teaching position is ideal for anyone looking to work and travel abroad. As globalization progresses, the need for cross-cultural communication becomes increasingly important. Therefore, many non-native speakers use English to communicate internationally. As a result, countries in Asia, Europe, and South America are educating their citizens to speak English.
These teaching abroad programs use many interchangeable names. The following acronyms are most typically used:
These programs hire native English speakers to either lead or assist with English language classes in countries around the world. Other opportunities include private tutoring, online classes, and English language camps. This wiki provides information on qualifications and skills, as well as additional facts on locations, salaries, and traveling necessities. This page also lists multiple websites that provide more information and further readings. These sites include popular ESL websites, salary websites, and visa and passport websites.
Althought this job does not require extensive experience or education, programs prefer applicants to fulfill certain qualifications. ESL teachers are not required to know the language of those they will be teaching. Generally, teachers are advised to only speak English in the classroom and to encourage students to do the same. ESL is an atypical job that requires participants to be spontaneous, as well as skilled in writing, proofreading, and communication. In addition, the job requires teachers to live in unfamiliar conditions and to adapt to different cultures.
-Bachelor's Degree: Preferred in English or Education
-Native English speaker
-Many Asian countries prefer white females under age 35
-Typical contract length lasts one year, but can extend to two years
-Weekly hours vary depending on country: Common hours range between
15 and 30 hours per week
-Asian countries typically have longer school days and a longer school year
-European countries, such as Turkey, have a school year more comparable
to that of the United States
Experience and Skills:
Since this job is becoming more popular, programs are becoming more selective. A good way to ensure prority in the selection process is to obtain a teaching certificate, generally referred to as a CELTA or TEFL/TESOL Certificate. A typical certification program lasts from a few weeks to a month and a half. In addition, classes cost around $500, and there are options to take classes online or abroad. There are many places to find certification programs. The following websites are a few ways applicants can acquire a teaching certificate for an ESL program:
-Offers TEFL/TESOL qualification programs
-Good resource for people who are very new with ESL
-Explains the job and its requirements in simple terms
-Offers detailed overview of the teaching certification program
-Provides details about housing, transportation, and customs
in the countries where ESL programs are offered
-UK based website for training ESL teachers
- Choose between three options:
- Online at your own pace: Training that includes 4 weeks in Tarragona,
Spain on the Mediterranean; Combined course: part online and part
two weeks in Tarragona
Extensive Online ESL Information:
-Lists job opportunities and salary information
-Provides specific information for each country
-Recent job listings
-Discussion forums for current and prospective teachers
Salaries range from country to country. However, South American countires typically have the lowest salaries, while Asian countries pay the highest. Most ESL websites provide salary figures. The following website lists the top five countries with the highest paying salaries for an ESL position:
Travelers need to acquire a Visa if they plan to live or work in a foreign country for over 3 months. Every country has certain requirements that can be found on the following websites:
Needs to be valid up to sixth months after teachers plan to return to the U.S.
English Teaching Job Database. (2010) New York, New York: International
Schools Services Inc.
Anglo-Centres. (n.d.) Online Certification in TEFL. Retrieved April 14, 2012,
Teaching English Worldwide. (n.d). TEFL/TESOL training courses. Retrieved
April 13, 2012, from