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How is teaching English in Asia different from teaching English in Latin America?
- Asia and Latin America are two of the most popular regions for teaching English abroad. Both have a strong demand for English language instruction, and there are always plenty of employers ready to take on experienced and newly qualified teachers in a wide variety of countries. If you are undecided on which destination would suit you best, take a look at the following points as they might help you to make an informed choice.
- In general, most people who head to Latin America will find that they can live comfortably on their earnings, but are unlikely to save much (if anything at all) of their monthly salary. Paying rent and other bills, socializing, and exploring the region should be affordable for most, but if you have debts to pay off or need to save to fund further travel, it may not be the best choice for you.
- In contrast, teaching English in the most popular destinations in Asia will generally allow you to save a considerable sum every month. In countries such as China, South Korea and Taiwan, the low cost of living and generous salaries mean you can potentially put away anything from $500 to $1500 per month, depending on your income and lifestyle. If saving money is an important factor in your decision, Asia is the clear winner over Latin America in most cases.
- Across Central and South America it is common practice for employers to interview and hire teachers locally, rather than recruiting from abroad. In most cases, prospective teachers will need to travel to the country they have chosen and begin job hunting on arrival. As demand is typically high in the region, most teachers should secure face-to-face interviews and then a full-time position within a couple of weeks. While this is fine for those with the money to support themselves until they receive their first month?s pay, it can be a deal breaker for those with limited funds.
- In many parts of Asia, the standard hiring practice is to interview via Skype or phone from within your home country. You are free to arrange as many interviews as possible with a variety of employers in different countries, and then choose the one that you prefer. This structured approach to recruitment can be a deciding factor for some teachers, particularly those with little or no experience of international travel. Unlike those heading to Latin America, many of those heading to Asia will also have their airfare and accommodation taken care of by their new employer.
- You are likely to find that there are significant differences in the classroom atmosphere in Asian and Latin American schools. In many parts of Central and South America the classroom can be a very lively environment where the students have strong opinions on many subjects and are not afraid to make them known. Strong classroom management skills and a good sense of humor are two things that are often necessary when teaching in this region.
- The classroom environment in a typical Asian school couldn?t be more different. In most countries teachers are held in very high regard so rowdy or boisterous behavior is much less common than in many other parts of the world. In fact, it is not uncommon to find your students are reluctant to speak at all in class, so brushing up on methods to combat this reluctance can be a big help when teaching English is Asia.
- Both areas provide huge potential for adventure and the opportunity for experiences that most people can only dream of. Whether you want to save money, learn Spanish, walk the Great Wall or explore the Andes Mountains, there is the perfect destination waiting for you in one of these fascinating regions.
Finding a Job
In the Classroom