Teaching English as a Second Language
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5 Finding a Job
ESL teachers have several employment options. They can be employed by a school, teach privately or, as many do, combine the two.
There are different kinds of schools. These include private English schools, schools and colleges in mainstream education (ESL teachers are employed by English departments) and organizations offering services (including English lessons) to immigrants.
Some countries operate centralized recruitment schemes for ESL teachers in schools, eg the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme in Japan. Teachers employed under such schemes have the advantage of being public employees and also enjoy working standard business hours (TESL hours can be very unsocial).
When applying for jobs try to sell yourself as much as possible with your CV/resume. Don’t only state your TESL qualifications and experience, but include absolutely anything that may be relevant, eg have you trained staff in a previous job, do you have any hobbies that show you get on well with people, do you have a background in business or working with children that may equip you for specialised teaching?
Be prepared to do some sample teaching, or even give a free, observed, trial lesson when you attend a school for interview.
You can find private students through placing small ads wherever English learners might see them. Often, if you are a good teacher, students will refer friends and colleagues to you. It’s a good idea to offer students a free trial lesson. Try to put the potential student at ease. Spend some time on introductions. Tell them a bit about yourself, but more importantly listen to them.
Private students will often tell you what they want to focus on, eg fluency, grammar, English for work etc. You may notice other areas that might need attention, eg listening, pronunciation. Point these out, but avoid being too critical. Praising students for what they do well goes a long way in winning confidence - and a new customer.
Online resources for TESL/TEFL job seekers:
TESL : Jobs - a sub-page of The Internet TESL Journal's TESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links. Lots of useful links for teachers and would-be teachers.
TEFL.com - the world's largest real-time database of English Language Teaching Jobs.
The English Job Maze - the most comprehensive collection of ESL jobs, TEFL jobs, English teaching materials, books and resources for EFL/ESL schools and teachers worldwide.
TEFL.NET ESL Jobs - job offers for teachers posted by schools around the world, teachers can also post their resume for employers to read.
ELTWeb English Language Teaching Jobs - view ELT / ESL Jobs from around the World.
EnglishClub.com ESL Jobs - job offers and resources for ESL teachers seeking employment worldwide.
Next: Types of ESL
© English the international language 2005