What is an ESL teacher?

With increased globalization has come an increase in demand for knowledge of the English language in many parts of the world. To meet this demand, teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) is a sector of the education field that is booming, especially in the developing world. Essentially, an ESL teacher is a professional educator who works with non-native English speakers who have a desire to improve their English skills either by choice or as an obligation of their employment or wider educational program.

How is an ESL teacher different from a foreign language teacher?

Unlike foreign language teachers, ESL teachers generally do not share the same native language as their students. They are also specifically trained in techniques suited to teaching non-native English speakers, such as repetition, drills, demonstrations, and visuals.

What age groups do ESL teachers work with?

Although it is often assumed that most ESL teachers work with young learners, this is not necessarily the case. ESL teaching jobs can cover any age group, from kindergarten all the way through to university level and beyond. Many language centers have a specific focus on certain groups, with some specializing in teenagers while others are aimed at adult business people. In contrast, some schools will have classes that cover all different age groups and English language needs. Because of the wide variety of classes taught by ESL teachers, it is important that teachers in this field are flexible and adaptable to whatever environment is required of them.

Where do ESL teachers work?

Jobs for ESL teachers can be found in almost any country in the world, including English speaking countries where migrants and refugees can often be found in large numbers. The largest markets for qualified ESL teachers can currently be found in Asian countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East are also popular destinations, while Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico offer a large number of opportunities. In many cases teachers work as a main classroom instructor, but some will either work as a classroom assistant to a local teacher or in a partnership teaching role.

How do I become an ESL teacher?

The most common route to becoming an ESL teacher is to complete a TESOL certification course. These courses can come in many different forms, although the majority are completed online or via in-class training at a specialist training center. The price of a TESOL certificate course varies greatly depending on the length of training and the format, however, it should be noted that many employers of ESL teachers worldwide will expect potential teachers to possess a TESOL certificate of at least 120 hours duration.

What are the benefits of being an ESL teacher?

There are many reasons why people choose to become ESL teachers. Some are drawn by the huge potential to save money for debt repayment or travel expenses, while others are looking to explore foreign cultures and to meet new people. Some see it as a way to leave behind the monotony of modern life, or maybe it is just the endless opportunities for adventure that appeal. Ultimately, there are many different benefits of being an ESL teacher as it is a job like no other.

How do I get my first job as an ESL teacher?

Every year the number of people taking the leap into a new career as an ESL teacher continues to grow, which means competition for the best jobs also increases. To make sure you stand out from the crowd it is vital that you can prove to employers that you are serious about teaching and not just looking for a vacation in an exotic destination. By completing a TESOL course you can demonstrate that you have learned all the latest skills and techniques necessary to becoming a top class ESL teacher.

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