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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