Teaching English As a Second Language
- As of June, 2013 there are 7,095,217,980 people in the world.
- Native languages spoken by percentage of the world’s population:
- Mandarin Chinese 12.44%
- Spanish 4.85%
- English 4.83%
- Arabic 3.25%
- Hindi 2.68%
- Bengali 2.66%
- Portuguese 2.62%
- Russian 2.12%
- Japanese 1.8%
- Standard German 1.33%
- Japanese 1.25%
- Other 60.17%
- FACTOID: 7.100: estimated number of languages spoken in the world; about 80% of these are spoken by less than 100,000 people.
- English as a first language:
- English is spoken In 112 countries by over 335 million people.
- English is spoken by a total of over 765 million people, 335 million of those as L1 (Native) and 430 million as L2 (Second language) speakers.
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) & TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language)
What’s the difference?
- TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
- The term TEFL is used when English is being taught in a country where it isn’t the native language (for example teaching English to Chinese people in China).
- TESL – Teaching English as a Second Language.
- The term TESL is used when English is being taught to non-native speakers of English in a country where it is the native language (for example teaching immigrants in the United Kingdom or Canada).
- FACTOID: Worldwide, English is the language spoken by the greatest number of non-native speakers.
- Frequently, TEFL programs are instituted for professional purposes, as one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
- A better grasp of English allows workers to more freely and better communicate with:
- 1. Contemporaries
- 2. Business associates
- 3. Potential customers in a global environment
- FACT: Practically every country in the world has some form of TEFL, whether it is government run, taught as a required subject in school, done through private institutions, or simply an individual or group of interested students studying under a qualified instructor.
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language is an incredible career opportunity for anyone interested, as the requirements are often far less strict than they are to teach English in a country where it is the native language.
Countries with the most TEFL and TESL teachers and programs:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
What are the salaries for English teachers abroad?
- 1. Depends on the teacher’s position, qualifications and the country where they teach.
- 2. Foreign English teacher salaries are typically, though not always, paid in local currency and should be viewed through the prism of the local cost of living.
- 3. Europe and Latin America: English teacher salaries abroad in these regions typically allow expatriate English teachers to live comfortably in an apartment, cover basic expenses, dine out, travel by public transportation and have some extra money to travel and pursue other interests. In most cases, first-time English teacher salaries will not enable you to save extensive sums, but in both regions, private lessons are in high demand and provide excellent opportunities for English teachers to earn additional income.
- 4. Asia: English teacher salaries will typically enable you to save between 30%-50% of your salary after expenses, which can range from $200-$300 a month in a country like Thailand to $ 1,000 or more a month in South Korea.
- 5. Middle East: English teacher salaries abroad in the UAE, and other Persian Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain are some of the highest in the as pay can range from $1,500 – $4,000 a month, with benefits including free housing, paid vacation, health insurance and flights to and from the teacher’s home country.
- 6. In less developed countries like Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Turkey, English teacher salaries will typically enable a first-time teacher to earn enough to support themselves comfortably, but should not expect to save much, if at all.
- 1. There are no standard international requirements for TEFL.
- 2. Desired qualifications and requirements vary from country to country.
- 3. In North and Central America and most of the Far East, the most important qualification is to have a good degree.
- 4. In South America, the European Union, the British Commonwealth and Central Europe qualification means having passed a 70-hour TEFL course and frequently having a university degree in any discipline.
- 5. Some countries require proof that the potential instructor attended the the majority of their schooling in an English speaking country.
Certifications that are frequently required:
- 1. Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA)
- 2. Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Cert. TESOL)
For teaching young learners, age 4-18:
- 1. Certificate in English Language Teaching to Young Learners (CELTYL)
- 2. Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners (Cert. TEYL)
Things to consider if you go:
- 1. Make yourself understood: For goodness sake, learn the language! While there is nothing like total immersion for learning to speak a foreign language, you want to arrive with more than a rudimentary smattering.
- 2. Language courses are available via apps or programs like Rosetta Stone, but your local library probably has CD courses you can use if budget is a concern.
- 3. It will be a wise investment of time and money if you don’t have to refer to a phrase book just to ask where the restroom is.
- 1. Do you have a work visa, so that you can legally work in your country of choice?
- 2. Many countries like Japan require you to have a job already lined up in order to obtain a work visa. You can enter on a visitor’s visa and search for a job, at which point you can attempt to convert to a work visa, but if you fail you may find yourself leaving a country you came fully prepared to move to.
- 1. There are many countries where local and cultural laws are different to those from where you originate.
- 2. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the laws of the land BEFORE heading to your desired country.
- 3. There are a many ways to land yourself in prison simply by doing things as you did them at home.
Moving to a new country can be incredibly stressful in and of itself, and concerns like health add a new dynamic that most people never consider. What if you’re hurt?
- 1. Do you have health insurance?
- 2. Does it apply when you’re in a foreign country?
- 3. If not, do you qualify for medical insurance in your country of choice.
- 4. If you are hurt in a foreign country, who is your medical contact?
Medical issue: Do you have pre-existing medical conditions?
- 1. Do you have a medical condition that requires specialized care?
- 2. Do you take medication on a regular basis, and will it be allowed in your country of choice?
- 3. Will a note from your doctor or surgeon suffice in justifying your need for the medication, or do you need to visit a doctor when you get there?
- Check it out: Schools in some countries provide national health insurance and paid vacation time. In other cases, employers provide free accommodation and utilities to help teachers with living expenses.
- Another perk could include the reimbursement of airfare. Such benefits will vary from region to region and job to job.
- 1. You have a job and money, but where are you going to put it?
- 2. Will you keep it under your mattress and simply pay in cash, or will you need to open a bank account?
- 3. What will you need in order to open a bank account, references, forms of identification?
Cost of living
- 1. How much money do you earn, and how much will be left over after paying rent?
- 2. What other expenses to you have?
- 3. Do you have to pay for transportation to work, taking a bus, train, or taxi.
- 4. Do you have an International driver’s license and will that suffice or do you require a local equivalent?
- 5. Can you cook, or will you have to learn?
- 6. Will you have enough money to explore the amazing new culture all around you?
- 1. Can you afford an unexpected expense like being out of work due to a broken leg?
- 2. If you need to fly home in an emergency, do you have a cash reservoir if you need it?
- 1. Depending on where you choose to work, cultures can vary greatly.
- 2. What is understood and commonplace in one country might be completely inappropriate in another.
- 3. Be aware of the culture into which you are moving, and attempt to adjust manners and habits accordingly. You don’t want to be making cultural faux pas like forgetting to remove your shoes or not wearing a head covering when called for.
- 4. Take the time to research and familiarize yourself with whatever the locals do.
Where are you going to live?
- 1. Do you have an apartment lined up, or did the company you’re working for set up an apartment for you?
- 2. How will you get furniture, and who will help you move it?
- 3. Moving to a new country is not like moving to a new town or city, you cannot simply drive your belongings over to your new residence. Chances are, when you move to your country of choice, you will have a bag or two of clothes and possessions, no furniture, and no group of annoyed friends to help you move in.
Cellphones, Internet, Wifi
- 1. You probably have a cellphone. Will it work internationally, or will you have to obtain a new phone when you arrive?
- 2. Is it a phone for work, and will it make international calls?
- 3. Which plan do you need to have in order to fill your needs.
- 4. How much will the phone plan cost on a monthly basis?
- 5. How does your phone bill affect your budget?
- 6. Will you need help switching the phone over to English?
- 7. Don’t assume that you will have 3G or 4G as you do here. You may have to pay extra for this.
In some countries, setting up an Internet connection can take time and be expensive. In others, Internet access is restricted and in others you may not be able to get a personal hook up at all, especially in some third world countries. You need to make yourself familiar with all that it will take to get yourself set up, especially if you need these for your work.