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6 Tips To Help You Get Hired As An ESL Teacher

English is the world’s most widely-used commercial language, and in the 21st century, being able to speak good conversational English is almost a prerequisite for success. There are, consequently, many countries where those who can effectively teach English as a second language are very much in demand.

If you think you’d like to experience life in another culture, and support your adventure by teaching English as a second language, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you get the job you want in the part of the world you’d most like to see.

1. While finding jobs in the Pacific Rim countries--Korea, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia--is not very difficult, you would be better off seeing the school facilities and talking to their staffs, especially and ESL teachers already working there, in person before making a commitment. They will be your best sources of information on what you can really expect from each school.

Because it’s hard to get a job, in Thailand in particular, without undergoing a personal interview, arrange to take a few days off to visit the schools there in which you are particularly interested. Be prepared either to stay on if you are hired, or to return home, possibly with a layover in another Pacific Rim country for additional interviews.

2. Dress professionally; clean neatly pressed slacks, shirt and (definitely) a tie for guys; skirt, pressed blouse, nylons and dress shoes for gals. You are applying for a teaching job, so dress like a teacher.

3. You need to bring documentation of all your teaching credentials to each meeting. These will include copies of all your college degrees, and ESL or TEFL certificates if you have them. In Korea, you’ll need your original college transcripts.

4. Having the ESL and TEFL certificates is absolutely essential if you want your choice of the best ESL/EFL teaching jobs. They are not difficult to get; the most respected is the CELTA--Certificate in Teaching English Language to Adults--a month-long course offered through Cambridge University at over two hundred and thirty locations worldwide.

5. Be sure to stress any teaching experience you’ve had, especially that which involved children. Even if you’ve only been the scoutmaster or den mother for the local Cub Scout or Brownie troop it will be surprisingly important, especially if you are applying for a job teaching ESL to middle schoolers.

6. Finally, familiarize yourself with the idiosyncrasies of the local culture, so that you do not unwittingly do anything which will upset your students or their parents. And always remember that your fellow ESL teachers who have been at it for awhile are your best resource for advice on how to be effective in the classroom!

Will Robins

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