Teaching English as a second language is an increasingly popular option awaiting adults in the US and Canada. It allows the teachers an opportunity to get to know people from other cultures and also to learn their culture through immersion. Such programs are abundantly available in local communities to help natives who want to learn English. This article, however, will concentrate on teaching English abroad.
So why would someone want to teach English in another country? First, it is an opportunity to learn another language through immersion, and get paid for it! Unfortunately, the pay isn’t always that great so don’t plan to get rich. It is, however, an opportunity to use a learned language daily and this is the best way to make a language one’s own. Students who have learned a language in school often find it a giant step to use it in daily living. Teaching English abroad is a great chance to learn how the people use their own language.
Second, it is a great chance to get to see other cultures first hand. A culture is a combination of many factors, including language, that make a people group unique. Experiencing it in the country and with the people is the best way to learn it. That is exactly what ESL teaching positions offer. Third, think of the reward you will experience as you help others not only to learn English, but also to understand what Americans are really like!
Most Americans are already qualified; they know English! Of course, that doesn’t mean they know how to teach it. Therefore, most opportunities demand a minimum certification such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language, Canada), or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). One example of ESL training is offered from ITTO (International Teacher Training Organization). In four weeks of intensive training in Mexico, they guarantee certification and a job in Mexico! Programs available in other countries are similar. A host of other certification programs are also available.
The first step to prepare for future employment as an ESL teacher is to learn English grammar well! Volunteer to work with local ESL children and adults. This will hone your skills in English. Read good English literature that uses grammar correctly. Tell friends to correct your grammar if they notice an error. In short, get to know your own language as well as possible. Then, take courses in community colleges or universities that prepare you for ESL certification. One school offers 12 additional hours of classes (beyond a B.A.) just dealing with ESL teaching. This seems to be typical. Online courses are also available.