Sunday, January 23, 2011

Teaching English

Native English speakers have a particular advantage over speakers of most other languages. Since English has become the de facto international language (replacing French, which replaced Latin,) there has been a large demand abroad for people capable of teaching English to locals.
Native speakers are in great demand, because they can teach the correct accent, slang, etc., and this leads to many employment opportunities abroad.
Who has not considered teaching English in some distant, exotic country? For the adventurous, it can be a rewarding life, and opportunities exist from Chile to Mongolia to Western Europe. Some English teaching jobs, partiuclarly those in Japan and the Gulf States, are very well-paid, while others offer little more than subsistence wages. But they all provide the chance to live and work in a foreign country.
For qualified or experienced teachers, the Website offers a wealth of information and updated job openings. If you just want to sample teaching English abroad, the site has a number of short-term teaching gigs in South America, Asia and Africa. You need to pay for the latter, but rates are usually reasonable and often include some training in the art of teaching your native language (it's not as easy as it looks.) For example, a four-week stint teaching English in southern Thailand costs just $1495 plus air fare and some other expenses, and includes a week of teacher training.
If you are very independent, it is often possible to just go to your desired destination and set yourself up as an English teacher for private students, or connect with a language school there. This is not likely to work in Western Europe unless you happen to hold a European Union passport, since rules on work eligibility are strict in Europe.
I have taught English to speakers of other languages, but so far only in Montreal. I found it both challenging and rewarding. though not very lucrative. For the better paid positions, it is important to have a university degree or two and special training in education or specifically in the teaching of English.

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