Sunday, February 20, 2011

How Long will it Take to get an ESL Job Abroad?

If I had a nickel for everytime I've been asked this question...The answer? Well, it depends on the country and region. Of the regions where there is a demand for teaching English, the Mediterranean countries often do not offer instant gratification. But that's only in comparision with countries such as China, U.A.E. and South east Asia where one can get a job in a matter of days.

Despite the economic crisis, ESL teachers are finding positions in France, Italy, Morocco and the rest of region in a timely manner. I'll admit that after each TEFL course we give, some people find work right away, as in a matter of days and others do not find work for several weeks. I don't have a solid answer as to why but I can say that there seems to be some consistent themes;

1. Personality and Positivity often prevail. Those who succeed in securing work weren't necessarily the best during their TEFL course but clearly were able to communicate their ideas well in an interview. And you must be positive in believing that you can find work. If you beleive that you won't find a job, you're probably right.

2.Timing should also be considered. Looking for work in July and August really arent the best times to look for work as everyone goes on vacation. Late September/October, January and March/April are the best times to look for work.

3. Persistance is the key to anything in life and finding work abroad is no different. If you give up after two weeks of looking, you probably won't succeed. Imagine, even if you were to change cities in your home country and look for work, wouldn't you allow more than two weeks to find a suitable job?

4. Money dovetails onto persistance as you need to have a money cushion saved in the first place to allow you the time necessary to find work.

5. Lastly, you really need a TEFL certificate to be competitive. I know this wasnt the case a few years ago but times are changing as more and more people are certified to teach ESL. On line courses just dont cut it but then again they never did.

Now more than ever before, English language teachers are in demand just about everywhere but be prepared to do a little work.


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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

English Teaching Experience:Required or Not?

The question comes up often; You've completed your TEFL certificate course but you have little or no teaching experience. Is it realistic to expect to find an ESL teaching post? Yes. Consider this, even if a given company is asking for a minimum of 2 years of teaching experience, its possible that they won't find people who have that much experience. The average life expectancy of an ESL teacher is often about 2-3 years. ESL teachers travel and teach for a few years and then go back to their home countries. Therefore, if you have less than the experience required but everyone else applying is the same as you, the playing field is now leveled.

If you have no teaching experience, the best thing to do, really, is to take an on-site TEFL course with has a minimum of 120 hours of classroom content and at least 6-8hours of observed teaching practice. With just that alone, your odds of finding a job increase exponentially. You can also include your teacher practice training as teaching experience on your CV/Resume. Forget about online courses as its not enough to get a job as most employers do not recognize on-line courses.

Lastly, just having prior work experience helps as it demonstrates that you are responsible and can in fact hold a job. Look at your past jobs and think of times when you had to teach someone something, for example orienting a new intern or training new staff. Those are things that could be put under job duties on your CV/Resume that demonstrate that you have prior experience teaching. Many job skills are often transferable from one profession to another.


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