Details such as the age, background, and general motivation of your ESL students will vary considerably depending on the location and type of school that you work for. Your class could be full of university students, businessmen, or hotel workers, all of whom will be looking for a different type of lesson. Alternatively, teachers in government run schools will have a class full of children whose could be aged anywhere from five to sixteen. Whatever the individual group, they will have distinct characteristics which may or may not appeal to different teachers. It is worth remembering that by completing a TESOL certification course before you start teaching, you will learn all the skills you need to be successful in any classroom environment you are likely to come across.
Will I be teaching adults when teaching English abroad?
Many people teaching English abroad will find themselves teaching adults of various ages and backgrounds. In much of Europe and Latin America it is difficult for foreign teachers to get jobs in public schools due to government restrictions, so most teachers end up working in private language centers. These centers typically provide classes on their own premises or by sending teachers to work directly in the offices of local businesses. In this scenario, your students could be employees of cross-border businesses, people who work in the tourism industry, university students, or individuals who are looking for a better understanding of English music, books, movies or television. One important thing to consider when teaching adults is that most will have other work or study commitments which means you will most likely be expected to work evenings and at weekends.
Will I be teaching young learners when teaching English abroad?
If you are teaching in Asia in particular, there is a much bigger chance that you will be teaching young learners. In South Korea and Japan there are large government programs that recruit thousands of foreign teachers to work in public schools (similar schemes exist in other countries such as Spain, France, and Chile). Summer English camps for young learners are another popular option for teachers in some parts of the world. In many countries it is also common practice for parents to pay for their children to have extra language lessons outside of normal school hours. To service this demand, there are a large number of private language schools that employ teachers to deliver lessons in the afternoon, evenings and at weekends. Many of these students will also be looking for specific help in passing the English language college entrance examination known as TOEFL.
Can I also earn extra cash as a private tutor when teaching English abroad?
Although most teachers will find themselves working in a government-run school or a private language center, private tutoring is also a common sideline for many. This can be a great way to add a little extra to your monthly income and you are free to decide what type of students you want to teach. You might want to stick to the same type of student you are familiar with, or branch out into a different age group or background. Whatever you decide, you should make sure you don?t fall foul of any rules or regulations regarding teaching outside of your main job by doing a bit of research before you get started.