Teach English Abroad Programs

One of the ways to travel the world and earn money along the way is to teach English to local communities. In this article we will cover the necessary skills and qualifications as well as top programs that enable English speakers to teach English internationally.

As the world is becoming more interconnected due to globalization, the demand for English proficiency is increasing.  And although English is the most-studied global language, widely taught in schools, there is still a need for interaction with native speakers. That’s when countries benefit from Teach English Abroad programs that enable instructors to create a language environment on a smaller scale.

Teacher giving english class
Teacher giving english class


Teach English Programs

Teach English programs provide international candidates with opportunities to teach English abroad for various lengths of time, including summer jobs and year-long programs. Typically, you work on a contract at a local school and provide practical lessons to younger students. You generally don’t need to know the local language, however, you are likely to be required to have a teaching qualification.


English Teaching Qualifications

Examination sheet
Examination sheet

The two most common certificates you can get online are CELTA (Certificate of English language Teaching to Adults) and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). In this article, we go into depth on how to choose between the two of them. Generally speaking, it will come down to three factors: company requirements, certification price range, and the duration of the course. CELTA is on the pricier end, starting at around $1,500 for a four-week, intensive course. TEFL, on the other hand, is a more affordable option with prices averaging around $200 per course, with courses of varying duration. Make sure to check the eligibility criteria for teach English abroad programs and budget enough time and money to complete the training.


English Teaching Skills

Some of the skills that come in very handy in teaching in general are planning skills, setting long-term targets, clear communication, and management skills. When it comes to teaching a language, you may want to invest in a couple of non-traditional techniques that will ensure your lessons don’t include rote-learning.


Flipped Classroom Concept

In the traditional model, a typical lesson may include students’ listening to their teacher in order to obtain information on a new topic for the first time and then applying it afterwards in the class and as part of their homework. The flipped classroom approach switches homework and classwork, putting emphasis on active information gathering. This approach was first introduced in 1993 by Alison King in a research article on the importance of using class time for the construction of meaning rather than transmission of information.

Active participation of the pupils
Active participation of the pupils

In a flipped classroom, students start researching a new topic before a lesson and then collaborate with each other on filling in gaps in each other’s understanding under the mentorship of a teacher. As a result, students receive the information optimally as it’s not new to them and are they more engaged in practical work. Read this guide to learn how you can implement the concept in your teaching.


Engage, Study, Activate (ESA)

This technique allows teachers to engage their students in the learning process by giving them a “case” to solve and only then to focus on the theory behind it.

Engage. Start off by giving students a scenario or a question to warm them up and get them to begin thinking and using English. For example, if you’re learning about Halloween, you may want to start off with a short cartoon covering useful vocabulary.

Study. The next step is to zoom in on specific aspects of the tasks. During this stage comes the active acquisition of new information. Building on the example, you can break down the script of the cartoon and talk about the history of the holiday.

Activate. The last step is to put the new information to practice and do a couple of exercises to check students’ understanding and accuracy. This time can also be used to gather feedback and answer questions. ESA can include as many iterations as needed and can be in the form of ESA, ESASA, EAASA, etc.

Depending on your employer, you will need to meet certain job requirements that include having a Bachelor’s degree and/or an English teaching qualification. Common program benefits include a competitive salary, assistance in the visa process, housing covered, and airfare reimbursed. Candidates should be ready to pay administrative fees for assistance in the preparation process.

To get a taste of the types of teach abroad programs here are a few programs for working in China, Thailand, and Korea.


Teach English Abroad in China

The program allows amateur English-speaking natives to work in Chinese schools with no Chinese language prerequisite. The goal of the program is to help students build transferrable skills through continuous language practice. The minimum commitment duration is one year starting in September, however, there are openings each month. The starting salary is $22,000/year, and the benefits include living in rent-free furnished housing, health insurance, lunch each day at school, airfare reimbursement, and paid holidays.

Main criteria:

  • Hold a passport from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Africa or Ireland
  • Bachelor’s degree in any subject is required
  • TEFL certification or 2+ teaching experience are required


English Program in Korea (EPIK)

Candidates will be placed in a school, training center, or other educational institution. You may be designated to work in multiple locations, and the grade level of your students will not be made known until after your arrival in Korea. Your responsibilities will include assisting Korean teachers with their English classes, conducting English conversation classes, and developing teaching materials. The minimum contract length is 52 weeks. EPIK teachers work five days per week, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Korean national holidays. Total instructional hours will not exceed 22 hours per week.

Main criteria:

  • Candidates should be citizens of a country where English is the primary language
  • Hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • Be mentally and physically healthy
  • Have a good command of the English language
  • Have the ability and willingness to adapt to Korean culture and life


TeachAway Elementary Learning Expert in Thailand

University graduates are invited to join the BASIS International School Bangkok on a three-year contract. Candidates will be provided with furnished housing and full airfare for the employee and immediate family. The additional comprehensive benefits package includes health coverage, housing allowance, travel assistance, and assistance in obtaining a visa.

Your responsibilities will include evaluating students’ academic and social growth, communicating with parents via email, and helping students solve health, attitude, and learning problems.

Main criteria:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Education, Childhood Development, or a related field
  • 2 years of teaching experience

For short-term teach abroad programs you may refer to Go Overseas and Teach Away  platforms. They provide a comprehensive overview on all the stages of the application process including information on language certification, a variety of job openings, and additional resources for soon-to-be teachers.

Photos: Shutterstock / Edited by: Martina Advaney

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