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What types of school hire English teachers abroad?
- Native English speakers teaching English abroad can find themselves working in a wide range of schools, institutes, academies, colleges, universities, camps and other settings. The most numerous opportunities, particularly in Europe and Latin America, are generally found in private language schools. State-run schools also offer a high number of teaching positions, particularly across Asian countries.
- A significant percentage of all ESL teaching jobs are located in language schools that are privately owned by individuals or independent companies. These can range in size from a single room school with one teacher, to large chains spread across several countries. Many of these private schools provide general English instruction to all ages and abilities, while some may specialize in teaching young learners or teaching business English.
- Although conditions vary from one school to the next, you should expect to teach somewhere between 25 and 30 hours per week, with a further 10 to 15 hours of planning time. As many schools cater to students looking to study after work or school, you should also be prepared to work some evenings and weekends. Class sizes can be anywhere from a single student up to 15 or more. Private schools in Europe and Latin America generally cater to the adult market, although the number of schools aimed at young learners is increasing every year. In contrast, Asian countries generally have a larger number of schools specifically created for young learners.
- Certain countries also provide the opportunity to work as an English teacher in public or state-run schools. The majority of these positions are found in Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan, although there are a smaller number of openings in Europe and the Middle East. The role of the teacher in these settings is usually to work as an assistant or in partnership with a local teacher, following a typical school routine from around 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
- In order to qualify for a position in a public school in most countries, you will need to be a native English speaker with a four-year college degree. In return you can expect to receive a good salary and other benefits such as health insurance and paid holidays. Many positions also include paid airfares to and from the country and assistance with accommodation. Recruitment for these positions is usually completed from within your home country, around six months before the start date.
- Working in an English language summer camp is a popular option for many ESL teachers as it involves short periods of work so you are not tied to a long contract. Teaching jobs in summer camps generally consist of four to six weeks working with children of various ages. Camps can be found throughout Asia and Latin America, although the most numerous opportunities are found within Europe, particularly Spain, France and Italy. Recruitment is often aimed at younger teachers under 30 years of age, with the majority of positions filled locally. Some camps do also recruit online so it is well worth checking out a range of ESL recruitment websites.
- If you are a TEFL certified teacher who has professional teaching experience and high-level academic qualifications, you may be eligible to work in universities in some countries. Although small in number, these positions allow you to work with advanced level language students and typically offer a higher salary than public schools or private language centers.
- Volunteering as an ESL teacher is a very popular option as it allows you to visit fascinating parts of the world that are generally less travelled. It also offers a unique opportunity to provide a valuable service to children and adults who would otherwise have little chance of accessing language instruction. Many volunteer positions are on a short term basis ranging from one week to two months, although longer stays are also an option in some instances. Charitable organizations offering language teaching positions can be found in many developing areas of the world including Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Private Language Schools, Academies and Institutes