University Graduate, ESL Instructor
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Teach English abroad with leading ESL institutions around the world
ESL teaching jobs are some of the most in-demand positions for new university graduates who lack formal teaching experience, as well as for experienced TESL or TEFL qualified educators.
ESL stands for English as a Second Language. There are many different types of ESL jobs available. ESL teachers use their expertise as native English speakers to teach English to students of all ability levels and ages.
There’s no better time to explore a career as an ESL teacher overseas than right now. With a projected two billion ESL students worldwide by 2020, demand for English teachers is soaring.
Every year, more than 100,000 new ESL teaching jobs open up at over 40,000 ESL schools worldwide. The booming global English language learning market offers thousands of job opportunities for native English speakers of all backgrounds and experience levels, including:
ESL teachers can find ESL jobs at the following institutions worldwide:
There are also opportunities for ESL teachers to find online teaching jobs. ESL jobs can be either full-time or part-time. The types of ESL teaching jobs available range from preschool, elementary, middle-school and high-school, up to college and adult level English teaching positions.
If you’re from the US or Canada, there are a wide variety of ESL teaching jobs at public middle and high schools, teaching students of varying ages and abilities who are not currently proficient in English.
The number of ESL job vacancies in the US has grown rapidly, due in large part to the fact that ELLs (English Language Learners) have become the fastest-growing population of students in the country, growing by around 60% over the past 10 years.
According to the US Census Bureau, over 61 million people in the US currently speak a different language to English in their homes, making ESL an increasingly high-need subject in schools across the country. The US National Center for Education Statistics recently stated that “27% of all schools with bilingual/ESL teaching vacancies found them very difficult or impossible to fill, more than for many other teaching fields.”
Along with English language classes for adults, ESL teaching positions currently on offer in the US and Canada include the following:
ESL teachers usually need to have, at minimum, a Bachelor’s Degree, across any major.
ESL jobs usually require an internationally-recognized TEFL or TESL certificate.
A TEFL certificate can help aspiring ESL teachers qualify for English teaching jobs abroad.
Previous teaching or volunteer experience is considered an asset when applying for ESL jobs.
ESL teachers need to be organized, patient and positive, with strong listening and communication skills. Other key skills and strengths you need to possess as an ESL teacher include the following:
A TEFL is one of the best ways to grow your ESL teaching skills and launch a successful English teaching career abroad. Earn your TEFL certificate online from the University of Toronto OISE.
An ESL teacher teaches English to students who are not native speakers, commonly referred to as ESL students or English language learners. An ESL teacher is expected to perform similar duties to any other teacher, from creating lesson plans to performing student assessments.
Interested in becoming an ESL teacher? Wondering what qualifications you need to land a job teaching English abroad? Read on to find out all about the education requirements and credentials you’ll need to cover.
Note: If you’re wondering whether you need teaching experience to qualify for ESL teaching jobs abroad: you don’t! Depending on where you want to teach ESL abroad, teaching experience is typically not required.
For example, Teach Away’s Explore program are now accepting applications for hundreds of ESL teaching opportunities in China for the upcoming school year from new graduates without any formal teaching experience. However, any prior experience working with children (including tutoring or coaching) is still considered a bonus and well worth including on your ESL teaching resume.
While the demand for ESL teachers is booming worldwide, some sort of bachelor’s degree (any major) is usually considered a base requirement by ESL schools and foreign language institutions overseas. Becoming an ESL teacher without a college degree, while not impossible in less sought-after ESL destinations abroad, is becoming more and more difficult as global requirements become increasingly more stringent.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career teaching ESL in the US or Canada, then a master’s degree, while not strictly required, is also considered a strong asset for many domestic ESL teaching jobs.
If you’re a college graduate interested in teaching English as a second language overseas, you’ll need to obtain an ESL qualification that’s recognized by international employers, such as a TEFL certificate, that’s at least 100 hours in length.
A TEFL certification is the globally accepted qualification to teach English abroad to students (both children and adults) whose first language isn't English.
There are many options available to suit different budgets and schedules, from online to in-person TEFL courses.
If you’re strongly considering pursuing ESL teaching overseas as a long-term career, it may be worth considering investing in a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) course. However, a CELTA tends to be more expensive and time-intensive than most TEFL certification programs and is not required for most ESL teaching jobs abroad.
If your primary goal is to teach ESL students in your home country, you can choose to opt for a master’s degree program in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or a 120-hour TESOL or TESL certification.
ESL jobs benefits may include:
For a list of available ESL jobs, along with information on salary, benefits, and contract details, please visit the Jobs page.
Want to know how much money you can make as an English teacher anywhere in the world? Use our Teach Abroad Salary Calculator to find out!
ESL teaching jobs in public and private schools in large cities and towns throughout Taiwan offer ESL teachers a chance to advance their teaching careers in one of Asia’s most desirable teach abroad destinations.Teach English in Taiwan
Teaching English in public and private schools across Japan gives ESL teachers the chance to experience life in Asia, whether it is in the beautiful, rural countryside or the fast-paced big city environment.Teach English in Japan
Teach Away is hiring teachers to work within the public and private school systems in cities across South Korea. Korea is one of the most popular destinations for teachers starting their international teaching career.Teach in Korea
China offers amazing ESL job opportunities as demand for English language teachers continues to rise across private language schools, public schools, International Baccalaureate schools and private international schools in China.Teach English in China
Teaching English in Saudi Arabia at private international schools, ESL language institutes, universities and colleges is a great option for new and experienced ESL teachers alike.Teach English in Saudi Arabia
One of the strongest job markets for teaching English in Latin America, Mexico is a popular for ESL teachers looking to teach abroad.Teach English in Mexico