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Monday, December 13, 2010

Requirements For Teaching English

Requirements For Teaching English
 by: Matthew Kepnes

People who are interesting in teaching English overseas come from many different professions and backgrounds. A lot of times they are unsure about how to go about becoming an English teacher overseas. Fortunately, the process to become an ESL teacher is pretty straightforward. You don’t need to have a lot of skills or requirements to become an English teacher in another different country. Though rules and regulations vary from country to country in general, a potential English teacher will need to have the following credentials: They need to be a native English speaker, they must have a 4 year college degree, a TEFL certificate, and some working experience. However, in many countries, you don’t need experience or a TEFL- you simply need a university degree. Some jobs (not countries) will ask that you have a TEFL if you don’t have any experience. Furthermore, if you wish to teach at one of the many international schools, you will definitely need to be a certified teacher with experience teaching.

Those wishing to teach English in a different country should also have qualities such as patience and commitment. It doesn’t matter what type of teacher you are, you need to communicate to your students in a friendly and approachable manner. A good student/teacher relationship is essential for a child to learn a new language, especially when you are in a foreign country and your students don’t understand a lot of what you say and might not be that interested in learning English. If you are patient and creative and keep the class interesting, you will find your students will be much more motivated. If you are bilingual and can speak the native language then it’ll be easy to make the subject interesting. ESL teachers need to have many different skills besides just the experience and degrees that schools and countries want. Teachers need people and professional skills in order to succeed at being an ESL educator.

Beyond these soft qualities, potential teachers need a number of other things. For starters, they have to be from a native speaking country. Employers won’t hire you if you are not even if you are fluent in the language. Additionally, unless you are in countries where they desperately need teachers, you will also have to have a university degree. It doesn’t matter what the degree is in so long as you have one. Moreover, in some countries, like Korea and Japan, you will need to have a TEFL degree. This is a teaching course that teaches you how to teach English. Most countries and schools don’t require you to have experience. If you wish to teach to businesses or in international schools, you will need a master’s degree and have previous teaching experience.

ESL teachers teach students a language that is spoken around the world and that helps them in all their endeavors. Teachers need to have many skills to be an English teacher if they want to succeed. Often people just go overseas with no skills or desire to teach English and end up quitting soon after because they are unprepared for the experience. Overall, it does not take a lot to become an ESL teacher and if you are looking to leave your country and work in a foreign land, it is one of the easiest jobs to get and one of the most abundant. However, know that while being a native speaker is sometimes all you need, teaching is a lot of work and if you are not prepared for the job, you will burn out quickly.

About The Author
Matthew Kepnes has taught English in Asia for over two years. You can find out more about him at his website