With English becoming a Universal language of communication, many non-English speaking countries like China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Venezuela, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, etc. are now taking extra efforts to ensure that their children learn the language at an early age.
In the last decade or so this occupation has grown in a big way where teachers from English speaking countries are travelling the world to teach English and make money while travelling the world.
Academic needs for this career
Most Schools, Colleges and Universities need you to have at least a valid Bachelor’s degree, while a Master’s degree is always given a higher value. It doesn’t need you to have a degree in teaching or in a certain specialty; as long as you received it from a valid University.
Most importantly, though, you need a TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language) or ESL (English as Second Language)
certificate. There are various levels of certification here, minimum being of 120 hours. Once you have this certificate you can start applying for jobs almost anywhere in the world.
More about TEFL:
This certificate must be received from an internationally recognized institution and hence, you must ensure that this certificate is valid. Talk to alumni; ask the institution for their certificate of accreditation, etc.,
You can do the various level of course, where you would be taught how to teach students, whose native language is not English. These students can be kindergarten kids or professional executives who deal with the world for their business.
Hence, each level prepares you to deal and train with certain kind of students. You will learn many teaching techniques where you can engage the class and encourage them more and more to communicate in English comfortably.
Other Skills needed for this career:
You need to have a neutral or western English speaking accent. As most countries prefer teachers from countries that are native English speakers; the expectation is that non-native English speaker should have at least a neutral accent; so that kids find it easier to understand.
In addition, you need to be very outgoing and friendly to excite kids about learning and teaching English. Hence, you will need to be a bit animated in your class.
A TEFL teacher is expected to be a bit creative as you need to come up with lesson plans that are engaging and fruitful. Depending on the need of each school you will need to come up with creative ways to teach and engage the kids.
This job pays well as your accommodation, airfare, etc are taken care by your employer and some even offer food coupons. Hence, you end up saving much money if you are smart.
Many such teachers work continuously for few years in same or different schools and then return to their country or travel the world for next few years.
Once you have this international experience your value in the job market increases, even in your own country. In addition, you can also teach online without having to move countries and this could be your part-time income while you may be focusing on other things in life.