Has anyone that is not a professional teacher taught English abroad?

By | October 7, 2015

I am curious about something I saw on the internet about persons’ teaching people abroad to speak English, has anyone done this? What exactly is it like to do this? Do you need to have a college degree or just a great command of the English language? Last but not least, if you don’t need a degree, are you trained? Thank you for answering my ton of questions!!

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One thought on “Has anyone that is not a professional teacher taught English abroad?

  1. Jess214

    It’s easy to get a job teaching English as a Second Language overseas even without any license or teaching experience, especially in Asia. Usually you do need a bachelor’s degree to get a working visa, but it doesn’t matter what you studied. Of course, if you have teaching experience and/or certification the schools will snatch you up and you might be paid more, but there is such an incredible demand for English teachers abroad that some schools will accept anyone who is a native speaker.
    The quality of schools and programs varies widely. I got certified in TESOL from my university (my major was Intercultural Studies); and after I graduated I applied for the JET Program which is one of the higher-end ways to teach English abroad. Through this program, the Japanese government hires several thousand native English speakers each year to be assistant teachers in public schools throughout Japan, especially in the countryside where there are not many foreigners. The application process takes half a year and the finalists have to interview at an embassy or consulate. The pay, vacation, benefits, and prestige are higher than the average of other overseas English teaching jobs. In this position you do mostly team-teaching where you are supposed to plan lessons and teach together with a Japanese teacher of English.
    I know many people who took a different route and were hired by private Language School companies. A few of the big-name companies in Japan are NOVA, ECC, AEON, GEOS, GABA, and Berlitz. (There are similar schools in China and South Korea too.) Such schools often have recruiting offices in major cities such as Chicago, Toronto, London, etc. People hired through these schools go through about a week of training sessions once they arrive. They often have to pay their own airfare, teach classes on their own for 8 hours a day for 5 days a week, have about 10 days of paid leave per year, and may receive help in finding an apartment (though the contracts vary).
    If you want to know more details about people’s experiences in these teaching positions, there are tons of blogs online. One guy even made a comic strip about it. You can see it at: http://www.angelfire.com/comics/esid/ There are lots of inside jokes that may only be understood by those who have taught abroad. The guy named his comic strip ESID, which stands for “Every Situation Is Different” – a phrase used often in our orientation because it’s hard to generalize what it’s like to do this job when each town and school presents a unique situation.
    If you have any other questions feel free to send me a message.

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