Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Is a TESOL/TEFL Course Right for You?

As most people already know The TESOL(Teaching English to Students of Other Languages) Certificate is designed to allow native English speakers to travel to different parts of the world (where English is in demand) and teach English. The biggest benefit is you can travel and see the world and earn money along the way to support this travel lust. All of this is essentially true however what I have defined above is not for everyone. Or more specifically, not for everyone's goals.

Who is this Certifcate for?

Native or Near Native English speakers 21 or over in good health

I use the age of 21 because in many countries, a university degree is required for being issued a work visa. However this is not the case for all countries. Although it may require you to work a bit harder in some countries to find a job.

There is no age limit as long as the person in question is in good physical and mental condition. Almost every course, we get a few people over fifty which adds to the quality of the course.

People who want to live in a country other than their own

The TESOL Certificate really is designed to teach in a non-native English speaking country. That said, due to the lack of ESOL teachers in the United States and England, it is possible to find an ESL position in your home country provided you agree to continue your education in the field. I do have former expatriate friends who have returned home and found positions without much difficulty.

People who are able to spend at least one year in a given country and teach English

The idea of travelling the world and teaching English conjures up romantic images for many people. They imagine themselves as free spirits who are in one country one day and who could end up in a completely different part of the world the next.

While a lot of that is true, know that teaching contracts are typically one year, sometimes two. Yes contracts can be broken but if you are some one who chronically leaves after a few months, you'll find it increasingly difficult to get the next job. Yes, contracts cramp our inner free sprit but understand that there are few countries that offer short term work (3-4 months)that pays. Plan to commit to at least a year in one place.

People who want an ESL teaching position to support only themselves and maybe one other person

We do not join the ESL biz to become rich or to support an entire family by ourselves. We do it to spend a long time outside of our home country. That said no matter which country we look at, ESL teachers are well-paid as is proportionate to the standard of living in the host country. It is enough to live comfortably on for one person, maybe two, assuming the second person is not too demanding.

People who just want to teach a little English and travel, that's all

If you are looking to climb a corporate ladder, rest assured there isn't one in the ESL jungle. Well, let's just say it's a short one. What this means is, don't take an ESL position expecting promotions, significant pay raises and title positions. You will be hired as a teacher and after a few years you will still be a teacher. Yes, its possible to rise to head teacher and get a little more money. It is possible to get more trainning and make attempts at being a director of studies but that is about it along the direct line from English teacher.