Over 1 billion people are learning English as a foreign language so the demand for teachers has never been higher – but which countries offer the best conditions?
Usually a degree is required to get employer as an English teacher abroad (the degree can be in any subject), and also a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification. No previous experience is required before you can expect a teaching job in the following countries in Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, South Korea, and China. Other countries in Asia usually require a year or two experience in another country before you can seek employment there.
Teaching abroad is a great way to fund your travels, and as long as you are passionate to help children get by in the world by giving them more language skills, then surely it’s a no-brainer to begin your teaching quest in Asia!
So let’s take a quick look at the top 5 countries in which to teach English:
5. Singapore is on this list because of the high living conditions available in the country and the chance to work with some of the best young minds in Asia (even if they are still kids!). However, you need at least 2 years experience of Teaching English as a Foreign Language before you can get work here. That means you need to earn your stripes somewhere else first. But for many people, myself included, Singapore represents the ultimate goal: to live and teach in the Lion City!
4. Cambodia is a great choice in which to teach English, as the tropical climate and interesting culture provide a good way of finding hobbies during your days off. Low entry requirements are also prevalent to Cambodia, although perhaps the country is not the best for living standards (or health service). If you have a real passion for the Khmer people, like I do, then you will have a great time teaching them the basics of the English language, so they can gain personal confidence and employability.
3. Thailand for many people is the number one choice to teach English abroad, as the requirements are usually lower than in most surrounding countries – not to mention the hot climate and quick access to the beach. Chances are you will be teaching in a rural setting though, so take that into consideration. Wherever you teach in Thailand, though, you will get a lot of satisfaction in the kids’ smiling faces as you entertain them throughout their English classes.
2. China has more people learning English than any other country (by far) so demand for English teachers is always going to be very high. So high in fact that most new recruits don’t even accept the first teaching job they are offered in China, instead preferring to wait until they receive better pay conditions somewhere else. The big cities like Beijing and Shanghai are high on the list of all teachers, but it is easier to get jobs in the centre of the country, in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. The chance to learn English is a big thing for Chinese kids, and their future could depend on how well you teach them the basics – so dedication is a must!
1. South Korea is my number one choice for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. A dedication to helping young Koreans learn an important ‘western language’ is important. New teaching recruits usually get their accommodation paid for by the Ministry of Education, so that enables you to save up while you are working. If you work in rural areas, you get paid even more money than if you were based in Seoul. Salary starts at 1.8m Korean Won (around £900), even for teachers with no experience. Some people may be put off by the cliquey Korean culture where foreigners are somewhat excluded, but it is still the best place to work for an English teacher.
Do you have what it takes to teach English as a foreign language?