Keen to see the world by teaching English along the way? Better Traveller details how to equip yourself for the journey ahead.
As the official language for global business and organisations, English is the most widely used language in the world today, and as such, the need for teachers of English to speakers of other languages continues to rise. Indeed, there are approximately one billion people actively learning English around the world today. With teaching posts available in many Asian, European, South American and Middle Eastern countries, teaching English can be incredibly rewarding in its offer of rich cultural experiences. But what do you need to be able to teach English abroad? And what do all those acronyms actually mean?
Firstly, they essentially all mean the same thing. TESOL [Teaching English to Speakers of Foreign Languages] is the most common, but you might also have come across TEFL [Teaching English as a Foreign Language], ESL [English as a Second Language] and ESOL [English for Speakers of Other Languages], among others. What they have in common, however, is the need for a certificate containing one of these acronyms to be officiated as a teacher of English abroad. While you don’t need a university degree, a TESOL course typically comprises 120 hours or more of study, with modules including methodology, lesson planning, grammar, classroom management and communication, and you can study at a private college, TAFE or online.
Locally, TESOL offers courses online and, having been established for over 20 years, is widely respected throughout the world. STA Travel offers online study and assistance with placement, too. TAFE, meanwhile, offers courses at most of its campuses, offering a Certificate IV in the subject and online options, too. At a higher level, most universities – including Macquarie, Monash, Flinders and Sydney – offer qualifications such as graduate certificates and masters in teaching English to speakers of foreign languages.
When it comes to planning your trip abroad, figuring out what your want out of the experience will help to narrow the field of options, as salaries and opportunities differ around the world depending on demand and competition. In Costa Rica, for instance, you might make around US$500 per month, whereas South Korea offers a government-funded English education apartment with a monthly salary up to US$2000, accommodation, health insurance and airfares (with placements made through Greenheart Travel). The school where you train will be able to provide more specific advice on overseas job placement, whereas searching online can be confusing, time-consuming and ultimately risky.