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Teaching English Abroad


Date Modified: 07.13.2008
Content: Information on Teaching English Abroad

Source: Wikipedia


Teaching English abroad has much in common with teaching of foreign languages at home, but also has its own unique challenges. Among other things, it needs some understanding of how the English language itself works, quite a bit of patience and considerable showmanship.


>> Qualifications Needed To Teach English Abroad

The ideal qualification is an undergraduate degree in any subject, plus a certificate in teaching English.
English teaching certifications can be earned through an intensive, 4-week program or longer part time program which is in turn internationally recognized qualification that is accepted by many employers around the world. The CertTESOL and the CELTA are generally the most widely recognized and they are accredited in the UK on the National Qualifications Framework. Both qualifications are accepted by the British Council in their accredited teaching organizations worldwide in 100+ countries. However, there are several international certificate programs which are run by schools in various locations around the world.

Qualification requirements to teach English abroad vary considerably, not only from country to country, but also among employers within the same country. In some cases it may be possible gain employment teaching English Abroad without a BA degree or without a teaching certificate. However, as a general rule, private language schools in some countries are likely to require a certificate based on successful completion of a course consisting of a minimum of 100 hours.

Many English language schools will accept any teaching certificate which fulfils these criteria, while others might look for English teachers with specific teaching certificates. It is also possible to gain certificates by completing shorter courses, or online courses, but these certificates do not always satisfy employer requirements due to the lack of teaching practice. Also, some private language schools may require teachers to complete their own in-house training programs whether or not they have obtained a certification from elsewhere. Where there is a high demand for teachers and no statutory requirements, employers may be willing to accept unqualified candidates. All in all each country is different and it depends on the demand for English teachers and the teacher's previous teaching and life experiences.


>> Pay and conditions worldwide

As in most fields of work, the rate of pay depends greatly on the teacher's education, training, experience, seniority, and expertise. As with much expatriate (aka "expat") work, the employment conditions vary considerably between countries depending on the level of economic development and the perceived desirability of living in that place. In relatively poor countries, even a low wage may equate to a comfortable middle class lifestyle.

There is potential danger of exploitation by employers. This is increased when working in a foreign country where the labor laws may differ, may not be applied to foreign employees, or may not be enforced at all. For example, an employer might ignore contract provisions, especially as regards to working hours, working days, and end-of-contract payments. Difficulties faced by foreign English teachers abroad regarding language, culture, or simply limited time may make it difficult for them to demand pay and conditions stipulated in their contracts. Some disputes can be attributed to cross-cultural misunderstandings. Some teachers who cannot adapt to living and working in a country overseas and leave after a few months. TEFL Black List sites, such as the TEFL Blacklist and TEFL School Reviews have been started to deal with these negative working conditions.


>> English Language Teaching techniques

The technique of using literature aimed at children and teenagers for TEFL is rising in popularity. Both types of literature offer simpler material ("simplified readers" are produced by all the major publishers), and are often written in a more conversational style than literature aimed at adults. Children's literature in particular sometimes provides subtle cues to pronunciation, through rhyming and other wordplay. One technique for using these books is called the "multiple-pass technique". The English instructor reads from the book, pausing often to explain words and concepts. On the second pass, the instructor reads the book completely through without stopping.

Communicative Language Teaching
Communicative English language teaching (CLT) is an approach to the teaching of languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language. Despite a number of criticisms, it continues to be popular, particularly in Japan, Taiwan, and Europe. Task-based language learning (TBLL) is a particular approach to CLT which has been gaining ground in recent years.

Blended learning
This is a combination of face-to-face teaching and online interactions. This can be achieved through the adoption of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

VLEs have been a major growth point in the ELT industry over the last five years. They are developed either as an externally-hosted platforms onto which content can be exported by an English school or institution (a proprietary example is Web Course Tools and an open source example is Moodle), or as content-supplied, course-managed learning platforms (e.g. the 'Macmillan English Campus').

The key difference is that the latter is able to support course-building by the language school. This means that teachers abroad can blend their existing courses with games, activities, listening exercises and grammar reference units that are contained online. This has applications in the classroom and as self-study or remote practice (for example in an internet café).

More information on English language teaching


>> Teach English Abroad - Find Jobs Teaching Abroad Here



Living Overseas -

Univesity of Kent
The Careers Service at the Unoversty of Kent offers TEFL information and resources

US Department of State Office of Overseas Schools
Contact and background information on worldwide American-sponsored elementary and secondary schools overseas, current fact sheets on the American international schools, and job hunting resources.

European Council of International Schools
ECIS is the oldest and largest institution of international schools in the world. Has details of all member schools and colleges. Teaching vacancies also available.

Education resources on the Internet
Offers links to jobs, books, and teaching advice.

English International
Information on TEFL/TESL job market, job searching techniques, job guides, and related resources.

International School Services
A private, non-profit organization serving American international schools overseas.






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