No experience? No problem! Here’s how you can teach English abroad

One of the greatest challenges that college graduates face these days is landing a position with their limited experience in their desired field. Due to this, a lot of people overlook the ESL industry, as they think they do not meet the requirements with no formal classroom experience. However, this is not the case. No experience? No problem! This article will show you how you can teach English abroad from an ESL recruiters’ perspective.

There are a few key characteristics that a recruiter will look for in a candidate. A Bachelor’s Degree, an ESL Certification, an interest in working with children and in education, and the ability to work in a multi-cultural environment in a foreign country.

The bachelor’s degree and an ESL certification are 2 key components for obtaining the legal working visa. There are many ways to obtain your ESL certification. Some companies – like EF – even offer a sponsored ESL Certification as an initial investment into your position with them. Even if you don’t have an ESL certification when you interview, showing your intent and interests in taking the course will communicate your commitment to entering the ESL industry.

Showing recruiters your interest in working with children and in education doesn’t necessarily have to be from formal teaching experience. In the ESL classroom, all experiences count, be it formal or informal work with all age groups. The ESL classroom is a dynamic environment, using games, songs, and media to help students learn – not your typical classroom setting huh? Informal experiences could include and are not limited to volunteering, camp counseling, tutoring, training, child minding, working with siblings, cousins, nieces or nephews.

There are also a few ways of developing your skills to help you with developing your teaching skills. In your classes, observe your lecturers. Where do they put their hands? How do they stand? How do they ask questions, and elicited answers from students? You could even practice in the mirror or record yourself after watching a few YouTube videos. YouTube and other social channels are a great resource to learn more about ESL teaching and help you identify if it is an industry that you can see yourself working in, whether it for 1 year or your whole life. That’s the beauty of it, it is neither limiting nor restricting you to one career path. Familiarize yourself with the important elements of teaching ESL, such as TPR, or the use of realia. You could even incorporate this the next time you’re helping your niece do her homework.

Lastly, the desire and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment in a foreign country. Working abroad is great, but a preparation for making a big move across the world is important. Often teachers underestimate how culture and society may impact the way one does things. Our advice to you is to seriously do your research on a country and the culture, identifying if you would be able to live there for the entirety of your contract. Working abroad opens so many doors for individuals to become a global citizen, and helps one develop a network around the world. From these connections, you’re able to travel the world, be it for work in ESL or pleasure, spending your off time “visiting your friend from when you lived in another country. Show your ability to do this to your recruiter by doing your research, indicating where you can see yourself living, and that you’ve paid some thought to the cultural differences of the country.

Overall, working in the ESL industry opens many doors for teachers in their global career, as well as providing the exciting opportunity to travel and explore the world. While meeting people from every corner of earth on your adventure, forming connections and relationships with people that will last a lifetime.

Post by: Leanne Robinson



Teach, travel, and train with EF English First