Guide to Teaching ESL Abroad
For the trainee or novice ESL teacher, working abroad is an experience that truly shouldn’t be missed. You will get the opportunity to see wonderful sights, meet and make new friends, travel to exotic places, and experience different world cultures first hand.
Teaching abroad will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are teaching in and an easy opportunity to visit nearby countries. If you are the adventurous type, then overseas ESL teaching is definitely for you. If you want to learn a foreign language, then what could be better than teaching in that country? You’ll also benefit from having the students to help you learn the language, and you’ll get plenty of practice talking to native speakers.
Teaching ESL abroad is also an excellent way to give your curriculum vitae (CV) that little extra boost. It’s always impressive to be able to show that you have had experience in teaching abroad: a lot of ESL heads of department and directors of studies will have several overseas posts proudly listed under ‘work experience’ in their CVs.
Furthermore, if you and your partner/spouse are both ESL teachers, you will be glad to know that couples are welcomed by the majority of overseas educational institutions. The only disadvantage here is that if one of you is fired for some reason, the situation may be a little difficult for the remaining partner/spouse.
However, before you get the post, you’ve got to sign the contract. Here are a few points that you should take into consideration if you are not to be disappointed.
Assuming that you have been offered an ESL teaching post in the country of your dreams, make sure that you read the contract carefully BEFORE you sign it: do not assume that all ESL teaching contracts are basically the same – they are not! In particular, you should pay attention to the following points: (1) the salary and the manner in which it is paid, and whether the full salary is also dependent upon fulfilling any additional non-teaching duties; (2) your teaching and non-teaching duties; (3) medical health insurance and hospital cover; (4) the duration of the contract; (5) penalty clauses; (6) whether a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme is included; (7) holidays and days off and whether they are paid; and (8) paid sick leave.
If you are interested in doing voluntary ESL teaching, you should ensure that medical health insurance and hospital cover is provided by the organisation that you intend to work for.
Do your research before you go abroad – that way you won’t be disappointed when you start your overseas ESL teaching career.