Cool Britannia offers an almost vertigo-inspiring range of attractions, life-styles and experiences, and one can chose between the big cities and their glittering array of restaurants, nightlife and cultural attractions, and the justly famous countryside offering everything from mountains and lakes, to the verdant, bucolic landscapes that inspired many an artist and writer. In addition to this Britain is an immensely culturally diverse society. This brings with it great food, fascinating people and life-styles, and it matters little that nobody is quite sure - or that fussed about - what it means to be British any more! One of Britain’s greatest assets is its density. There really is an awful lot of stuff packed into a relatively small island. In addition this dirt-cheap airfares make it a great launch pad to the Continent, Scandinavia, Holland, and the Republic of Ireland. So if you are in the business of ‘doing Europe’, the United Kingdom is a great place to start.
Britain’s ‘open door’ policy on immigration means that great opportunities await TESOL teachers. In the last four decades wave after wave of immigrants have decided to make the UK their home. Presently the greatest influx is from Eastern Europe, and the newly arrived tend to have an entrepreneurial bent recognising that good English skills are the key to getting on.
There isn’t much of a market for teaching English at secondary schools, however, anyone wishing to teach in a state or private high school must expect to have a degree, and possibly a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and a TESOL qualification. Two years’ language teaching experience is an advantage, but not a requisite, at this end of the market.
With language institutes you can, in the main, expect to find yourself teaching anybody and everybody. The large body of migrant workers from Eastern Europe keen to hone their language skills constitute a substantial part of the student population; however, there are, equally, those on study holidays who are in the business of getting their English up to scratch and those seconded by their home country to do business in England, the latter of which take their English tuition particularly seriously.
Be prepared for the fact that some of those you are teaching will have many years experience learning English. On the one hand this means you will have to keep up and be clear, confident and well-prepare in areas such as grammar. On the other hand you may be faced with the need to help people break bad linguistic habits that are deeply ingrained.
On the whole, enthusiasm for English is high amongst this varied student body. All the people you are teaching will be there because they need to speak English well, rather than because it is a hobby or a social activity.
Visas and Regulations
Some schools are not prepared to go through the difficult process of hiring native English-speaking teachers from outside of Europe. However, in some cases it is easier to place teachers from the US than from other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand. Non-EU citizens should check with their local British Consulate to look for language exchange programs, etc. Americans may wish to contact Interexchange (www.interexchange.org), of New York, who run an exchange programme.
It is important for non-EU citizens to look at all the available angles. For example, America has a reciprocal arrangement with the UK, whereby those with an undergraduate degree can work for a sponsoring company for one year. In addition to this, those form Commonwealth countries can exploit, where possible, patriarchy - having a grandparent or better, who was actually a Brit. It also pays to present your self as a specialist, think about what specialist part of the market you might be able to cater to and sell yourself in. It’s worth using your imagination and putting in the work because once you have naturalised status in the UK, then Europe is yours for the taking!
Most individuals working for institutes are self-employed, or ‘freelance’. Therefore, they are responsible for paying their own tax and social security. New arrivals are required to get a National Insurance number, entitling them to free medical care, organise a bank account into which their wages will be paid, and get a tax code their local tax office.
All of the major population centres - of which there is a great plenty - act like a migrant magnet; however, all those migrants, like you, have to get their calculators out and do a cost benefits analysis to determine what it costs to live versus what one can earn.
The UK can be expensive and it pays to get smart about your lifestyle and always be on the lookout for cheap deals. London can be one of the most expensive places to live on the planet, but it doesn’t have to be. There is an abundance of cheap places to eat, lots of clubs, pubs and restaurants offering happy hours to entice you in, and a barometer of this is the huge student population, who study, buy books, and still have the funds to have a good time. However, the rub is accommodation, which never comes cheap, and those on a budget often find themselves sharing three to a bedroom!
A better trade off is perhaps to be found in places like Manchester, which is a really thriving metropolis, with great nightlife, a rightly famous music scene, and a very strong sense of its own identity. The difference between London and Manchester is that the finances may work out such that, in Manchester, you are able to afford a room of your own!
Hence, it is wise for the aspirant TESOL teacher to base themselves around major metropolitan areas, always mindful that beautiful scenery is always a stone’s throw away, and that hopping on a plane to Italy for the weekend is not only doable, but very much the done thing.
Getting a Job
Getting a job couldn’t be easier: Just look in the electronic Yellow Pages under ‘Language Schools’ and you will find a plethora of entries for your local. Nevertheless, finding the right job for you may take a little application. One should interview the schools as much as be interviewed by them. A common issue is whether or not, or how many ‘privates’ you may be required to teach in addition to classroom teaching. In London, for example, the trend is towards classes at institutes, but privates at the home of the student. You can easily find yourself doing an awful lot of running around which you are not getting paid for!
Obvious questions for a potential school are class sizes, preparation time, materials, etc. Look for well-resourced schools, but be aware that you probably will not get paid for preparation time. Also be aware that you are in a market where there are a lot of people who ‘Teach English and…..’ In other words a good part of the market is oriented to people who teach English part-time, whilst pursuing other goals in life.
Again, some modicum of specialisation will help bump up your salary - for example, teaching IT English or Business English are a good areas in which to work. In addition to this building up a portfolio of your own ‘privates’ is an excellent mid-term goal, and is a method of greatly increasing your earning potential. It is also something that language schools expect - though they may get markedly unsympathetic if you start stealing their students!
If you decide to take a TESOL certification course in London, you will surely not be disappointed. Besides the city’s extensive historic attractions, you will also get to enjoy its intercultural side with influences from countries all around the world. So what are you waiting for?
Even though England is obviously an English speaking country, there are many job opportunities for qualified ESL teachers. Should you not want to stay in England, with your TEFL/TESOL certification in hand, you will be able to land top positions across Europe, or almost anywhere else you can imagine. The opportunities are endless as there is a high demand for English teachers in virtually every corner of the world.
TESOL Jobs in England
Since most ESL teaching positions around the country require previous teaching experience, you will be a top candidate after completion of your intensive ITTT certification course in London. Not only does the vibrant capital offer great opportunities for new TESOL graduates, but towns and cities throughout the country are also looking for qualified teachers. Sometimes it is especially those smaller towns where you can fully immerse yourself in the local culture rather than the big cities.
During the summer months, numerous English language camps are held throughout the country and these are another great employment option for our course graduates. The camps are aimed at non-native English speakers who are seeking to improve their English language skills during a short stay in the UK. As you can see, the possibilities for certified ESL teachers are truly endless.
TESOL Course in England’s Capital
Our London training center offers the following two course options: a four-week intensive course and a combined course with only one week of teaching practice. Both options result in an internationally recognized TEFL/TESOL certification that enables you to teach anywhere in the world. On top of that, both of our courses run year-round, so they can fit into every schedule.
When in London, do as the Londoners do and visit the local theater where Shakespeare and co. are brought back to life, explore countless world-class museums or simply relax and enjoy a good old cup of English tea. Don’t forget to pay the royals a visit at Buckingham Palace or outside the city at Windsor Castle. Besides these grand landmarks, the country also offers natural wonders such as the white Dover Cliffs just across the channel from France. Should you decide to stay downtown, be sure to stop by London’s famous clubs and pubs where the vibrant nightlife lures you in.
However, London isn’t the only city worth paying a visit. Historic centers such as Liverpool, Manchester, Bath and Brighton are all well worth checking out during your stay. Thanks to the underground and other train systems, these cities are conveniently connected through a vast public transport network.
At the end of the course, you will be the proud owner of a TESOL certification which should provide a successful start to a new international teaching career. And our support doesn’t stop there. Even after you have completed your training, ITTT offers professional recruitment assistance to help you find your dream job in England, Europe or elsewhere around the globe. Our staff will assist you in questions on your TESOL resume and interviews, and even guide you in the creation of demonstration lessons that your future employers might want to see before hiring you. At ITTT we are happy to guide you every step of the way towards your new TESOL career.