It is relatively easy to become qualified with the basic level ESL/TESOL/TEFL qualifications which enable you to teach in some (but not all) countries around the world. There are many ESL training companies either online or in your local city who offer courses offering a "Certificate in ESL Teaching" at its completion. Some of these companies can even guarantee job placement (if you're not too picky of course) when you have completed the qualification. You can't legally get an ESL job without this basic certificate (and that goes for all countries) and nor should you try. Depending on the particular qualification you wish to gain, the courses can vary from a few weeks to a few years.
I am affiliated myself with ATA (Australasian Training Academy). I gained my own certification through this company therefor I can safely recommend them. Of course you may want to do some searching of your own depending on the country you live in and exactly what qualifications you wish to gather. Do try to find a company that includes a practical "in class" unit, giving much needed real hands on training to go along with your online units that need completing... It is extremely useful (when you suddenly find yourself in front of a class full of faces waiting for your lesson) to have experienced practical on site training.
Once you have completed the minimal ESL course and gained your ESL/TESOL/TEFL certification, you can teach in some countries immediately, but as I mentioned before... not all. Depending on the country you wish to travel and teach in, you will need to do some research to check if you need some form of teaching degree or other form of higher education to go along with your ESL certificate. This is not the case for all countries, sometimes all you need is your ESL certificate, the want to go and experience a new lifestyle and whole lot of guts, strength and determination to actually get on the plane and do it!
Find jobs you like, apply and see what they say. The more qualifications you have often opens extra doors to more countries, higher wages etc. But you just never know if you don't apply and try.
It could be an obvious decision for you where you would like to go. For instance if you've always had a dream to see China and climb "The Great Wall", or would love to embrace the harsh cold winter in Siberia, then it becomes a very real and exciting opportunity for you to embrace and run with. If you're really not too sure where you would like to go...that doesn't matter, a big part of the excitement can be surfing the net, perusing the library and watching travel documentaries to check out which country, city or even a remote little village in the middle of nowhere just might take your fancy. The company with which you have trained, can often directly help you with finding a job or at least give you all the internet sources advertising the positions available worldwide. Sticking with a good training company on into your job search can possibly help you find safer more reliable jobs that are often only advertised within that companies community and are therefor often already trialled, tested and trusted schools.
There are many choices for locations and lifestyles out there that are sure to suit any of your destination desires but always do your research. Check for blacklisted schools on google, not all companies are good to work for.
What Does Being A TESOL Teacher Entail?
This can vary of course from school to school, but the basic requirements are planning and presenting lessons that aim towards getting the students to actually listen, understand and speak. Often the students already have a good knowledge of grammar from their everyday English classes but what they often don't have is a chance to put their English into real life practice. It must be pointed out that this job, whilst satisfying, can be extremely tiring. It can often seem that you need performance skills to go with your teaching skills just to get the point across, especially when teaching ages through from kindergarten to middle school. It could also be the case that when you arrive at your new job, you actually have no workbooks and little materials to work with, this means many hours searching the internet for teaching ideas that are not only informative but interesting enough to keep the students motivated and happy to learn. What and how you teach ESL is variable depending on age groups, learning levels, teaching facilities, places of employment and so many other factors. Be prepared!
If this applies to you, you can still teach ESL in your home country. As we know, the world is a big melting pot of races and many of these people arrive in your country with a need to learn the local language. It may however be the case that you will need a higher form of certification to teach ESL in your own country, where as teaching ESL overseas, in some countries, requires nothing more than your ESL certificate and your resume, which in turn then gets you your working visa.
At The End Of The Day
Remember that even though you may get to wing your way to amazing places around the world, it is work. In fact it is hard and tiring but satisfying work. The whole experience of being an ESL teacher and visiting different places, gives you a tremendous opportunity to grow as a person. Life challenges come up that you could never have imagined. You get to see how people live in other countries and cultures, that are often incredibly different to your own...in fact it may feel like you've accidentally flown to another planet rather than just over to a different country. To get a return flight included in your job package, you usually need to work a 1 year contract and re- sign. 3,6 and 1 yearly contracts are commonly available. If this job appeals to you, if you need a change in direction or if you want to do something completely different whilst you are in a transition period in your life, this could be just what you're looking for!