What types of school hire English teachers abroad?

Depending on their chosen location, ESL teachers can find jobs working in a wide range of settings, including schools, institutes, academies, colleges, and universities. The largest number of positions, particularly in Europe and Latin America, are found in private language schools. Government run public schools are also a good choice in some countries, particularly in Asia.

What are the pros and cons of teaching English in a private language school?

Private language schools provide the largest percentage of all ESL teaching jobs worldwide. This type of school can vary in size from a single classroom with one teacher, right through to large chains that operate in several countries and employ hundreds of teachers. Some will offer classes to all age groups and language abilities, while others might specialize in young learners or business related English. Working conditions will vary considerably from one employer to the next, but a typical week would involve around 25 to 30 teaching hours, with an additional 10 to 15 hours for planning. As classes are often aimed at students with other work or school commitments, many teachers will be expected to work during the evenings and at weekends. There is no real average class size in this type of school, as they can vary from a single student up to 15 or more. Language centers in Europe and Latin America are more often aimed at adult students, while Asian countries often have more schools that focus on young learners.

What are the pros and cons of teaching English in a public school?

In some countries there are good opportunities to work in public or state-run schools. Although there are some options in this sector in Europe and the Middle East, the majority are found in Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan. In this type of setting the teacher?s role is often to work as an assistant to a local teacher. Most public schools have a similar timetable of around 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. The requirements for working in public schools are often tougher than in language schools, with many only hiring native English speakers with a four-year college degree. If you meet the criteria you can expect a good salary and maybe some extra benefits such as health insurance and paid holidays. It is also quite common for these positions to come with paid return airfares and help with accommodation. Generally these positions are filled in advance before you leave your home country.

What are the pros and cons of teaching English in a summer camp?

English language summer camps are a popular option for ESL teachers who are looking for a short-term contract. Summer camps typically run for around four to six weeks and involve school children of all ages. These camps are particularly common across much of Europe, although a smaller number can be found throughout Asia and Latin America. The most numerous opportunities in this sector are in Spain, France and Italy. Summer camp jobs are often aimed at teachers under 30. These jobs are mostly filled in person, however, some of the bigger employers do advertise vacancies online.

What are the pros and cons of teaching English in a university?

ESL teachers who have plenty of previous experience and a high-level of academic qualifications might be eligible to work in universities in some countries around the world. The number of opportunities in this sector are relatively small, but the salaries are often superior to those offered by public schools or language centers. Students in this environment are likely to be at an advanced level of English ability.

What are the pros and cons of teaching English on a voluntary basis?

Volunteer teaching can be a great way to spend time in fascinating parts of the world that are often off of the beaten track. It also provides a chance for teachers to make a real difference to the lives of children and adults who have no other way of gaining English language instruction that can lead to jobs in the tourism industry and elsewhere. Many volunteer teaching jobs are based on short term stays of between one to four weeks, although longer term options are also possible in some areas. This type of teaching role is most likely to be found in less developed parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa.

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