For those of you out there who have ever wondered on how to become an ESL instructor, the following bit of information may be helpful. Due to the fact that American technology has been wide spread throughout the world, many professionals around the world have found learning English a necessary tool in enhancing their job prospects. This has created a huge demand for qualified instructors both in the U.S. and abroad.
The steps on becoming an ESL instructor both in the U.S. and abroad can vary significantly. There can also be huge variations among the different countries as well. Becoming an instructor here usually requires a master’s in TESOL; this would definitely allow you to get your foot in the door.
There are some private language schools that will accept a bachelor’s degree in any subject with a qualifying certification in TESOL, which can generally be obtained online at www.americantesol.com. There are other websites that do offer TESOL certifications, but be aware of quality and number of hours needed to obtain certificate. The American TESOL Certif. usually requires a minimum of 80 hours of lecture / instruction. Also keep in mind that teachers without a master’s in TESOL are usually considered adjunct instructors.
Teaching abroad requirements are usually less rigorous than teaching at home. This is due to the fact the demand for a qualified teacher outstrips the supply. Usually being a native English speaker can guarantee you a job in southern Europe. Northern Europe may require a bit more qualification, such as having a degree and a TEFL certification.
The English speaking level in such countries as The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway is quite high. Individuals from these countries have an advantage over the rest of the world, because their languages share the same common Germanic roots as the English language; so much of the instruction that is needed is normally at the advance conversational level.
Although the American TESOL Certification is an internationally recognized accreditation, Europeans may often times lean towards the British equivalent certification such as Trinity College London TEFL Certif. or the Cambridge TEFL Certif. Due to its proximity to the UK, this would be the more logical route, but the majority of teaching opportunities are granted to Americans as well, especially in the business sector.
Southeast Asia has been by far the most popular destination for American ESL instructors to work. The demand is high and the salaries are extremely competitive. Work tends to be more stable here than compared to southern Europe. There is less red tape since there are many organizations that sponsor individuals to teach in Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, etc. So all in all, the opportunities are there, it is just a matter of deciding which one best fits your expectations.