Some of the biggest markets for foreign ESL teachers are restricted to native English speakers only, including Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. However, if your first language is not English there are still many exciting destinations all over the world where there are no such restrictions. It is worth noting that the term 'native English speaker' typically refers to teachers from the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Where can non-native speakers teach English in Asia?
As the demand for foreign ESL teachers is very high in most parts of Asia, there are a wide range of options for non-native English speakers. Thailand is a particularly popular choice due to its widely popular culture and cuisine, and the beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. In order to get a work permit you need to demonstrate an English assessment score of 600+ on the TOEIC test, or 5+ on the IELTS test. You will also need a four-year degree in any subject. Although a TESOL qualification is not officially required, having one will improve your chances of getting a good job as a non-native speaker. Cambodia is another popular option in the Southeast Asia region as there are even fewer restrictions on who can teach ESL. Jobs are plentiful in many areas and employers are not overly concerned about where you were born or your academic history. China is the biggest employer of foreign ESL teachers in the world and although non-native speakers cannot apply for a work visa, the huge demand means there are often ways around this. As many schools struggle to fill all their vacant positions, they are often happy to let you teach using a business visa. Although this method is common, it is technically illegally and is likely to lead to deportation if you are caught.
Where can non-native speakers teach English in Latin America?
Latin America is a great destination for non-native English speakers as few countries have any official restrictions in place and jobs are widespread throughout the region. The only thing you need to have in order to find a range of job options is a TESOL certificate and to actually be in the country of your choice ready to interview. You will find jobs available through a variety of employers in most countries, although the largest amount of jobs are located in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico.
Where can non-native speakers teach English in Europe?
Non-native English speakers will generally find it quite tough to secure a good job in most European countries. The main exception to this is teachers who have a passport from an EU country as they are free to work in any other member state without a visa or work permit. One option that is becoming increasingly popular with non-Europeans is Turkey. Jobs are widely available, although you will need a four-year degree and maybe some previous experience. It is a good idea to arrange a webcam or phone interview in advance if possible, so you can demonstrate your English language skills directly to the employer.
How can I improve my job prospects as a non-native English teacher?
There are a few things you can do as a non-native English speaker to improve your chances of finding a good teaching job. Although TESOL certification is not officially required in every country, having one on your CV/resume can only improve your chances in the job market as it demonstrates a strong commitment to your teaching career. Having some form of previous classroom experience is also a great way to impress potential employers. Before heading overseas you can volunteer your services in local community centers or language schools where you can practice the skills you have learned during your TESOL training. Someway of proving your English language ability is also a highly recommended option. Completing either the TOEFL or IELTs English language tests can be a real boost to your job application form. Also, if you can arrange a webcam session or meet the employer in person, you will have the chance to demonstrate your language skills and dismiss any concerns they may have regarding your accent.
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