As the worldwide market for qualified English language teachers is so huge, there are plenty of jobs available for non-native English speakers as well as those who come from a native English speaking background. Due to the ever-growing demand for teachers in many countries around the world, we actively encourage non-native speakers to sign-up for our TESOL certification courses providing they possess a good standard of written and spoken English. Many people choose to stay in their home country to teach after completing their training, while many others take advantage of the strong demand for their services in countries across Asia and Latin America in particular. Whatever your post-course plans, rest assured that not being a native speaker of English should in no way stop you from realizing your dreams as a TESOL qualified teacher.
In fact, far from being a disadvantage, being a non-native English speaker actually has several advantages for ESL teachers in the classroom. The simple fact that you have already been through the exact same scenario as the students you are teaching can go a long way to building a solid understanding and a level of trust that native speaking teachers might sometimes struggle to achieve. Students can be less afraid of making mistakes in front of a non-native English speaker and are often strongly motivated to succeed when taught by someone who started out at the exact same level as them. It is also worth noting that non-native speakers typically have a better understanding of English grammar than native speakers as they have had to learn it in great detail from the moment they stepped into their first English lesson. In contrast, many native speakers learn little of the mechanics of the language during their school years.
Post-Course Teaching at Home
Although many non-native teachers will head overseas to work in countries all over the world, a significant percentage will choose to stay and teach in their home country. Those that choose this route often find that there are many advantages, including not having to compete with native speakers in a foreign country when looking for employment. And it is not only the teacher that can benefit in this situation. For the students it can be extremely beneficial to have a teacher who is familiar with their own culture and language, and the specific problems that they might face when learning English.
Post-Course Teaching Overseas
Due to government restrictions or simple preference, there are some countries where non-native English speakers will find it hard to secure a teaching job. However, there are still countless options available for qualified TESOL teachers. As it is home to the largest demand for foreign teachers in the world, it is no surprise that Asia offers many opportunities for non-native English teachers. Thailand has long been a popular country for teachers as jobs are plentiful year-round. Other popular destinations in the region include Cambodia and Vietnam. Another great option is Latin America as there are few restrictions on non-native speakers anywhere in the region. The most popular destinations right now include Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia. One other country that is rapidly growing in popularity among non-native teachers is Turkey, where you will find plenty of jobs, a fascinating culture and a great climate.
Maximize Your Potential
If you plan to teach in a foreign country, it is advisable to do all you can to maximize your options when looking for work. The single most important thing you can do is complete an internationally recognized TESOL certification. Once qualified, your CV/resume will look more attractive to potential employers and you will have all the skills and knowledge you need to feel confident during interviews and demonstration lessons if they are required. You might also want to consider gaining some practical classroom experience by volunteering at language schools or community projects in your home country before heading overseas.