Great opportunities in teaching jobs abroad
Interested in teaching jobs abroad? If you have a passion for teaching, a love for the English language and an itch to travel, you might want to think of teaching abroad.
Today the Job Mail team takes a closer look at what you will need to teach English abroad as well as some advantages and disadvantages you might encounter in these types of overseas jobs.
Though we are going to cover the formal tertiary education needed for teaching jobs, do note that not all overseas teaching jobs require a Bachelor’s degree, but do instead require a TEFL / TESOL certifications, like seen with TEFL jobs.
Qualifications and certifications needed to teach English
Whether you want to teach locally or teach English abroad, you will need to get the right qualifications. While some overseas teaching jobs might not require a Bachelors or other degree in teaching – more on this a little later – some do require a formal, university qualification.
What is great about a formal education is that, when you do come back from teaching overseas, you are qualified to teach locally as well.
In South Africa, in order to become an English teacher, you will firstly need a National Senior Certificate with a degree entrance.
Your first option is to enrol for a four year long Bachelor of Education Degree (B.Ed.) with a specialisation in languages. A number of South African universities do have a Faculty of Education and you can visit each university’s website for more information – from the University of Pretoria and the North-West University, to the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Johannesburg.
The second option you have is to enrol for a relevant Bachelor degree programme. Once you have successfully completed your degree programme, you will have to complete a one year long Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
It is important to note that, in South Africa, teaching jobs are regulated by the South African Council for Education (SACE). Before you will be allowed to work as a teacher in South Africa, you will need to meet the requirements set by the SACE to register.
You will also need to pay annual registration fees as well as comply with the SACE’s Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requirements.
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If you want to teach English Abroad
For teaching jobs abroad, some potential employers only require a relevant Bachelor’s Degree but, like seen with TEFL jobs, you might need extra certifications – teaching English to foreign language speakers are most definitely not easy.
What s TEFL and TESOL?
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and TESOL stand Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
While courses do not necessarily require a university qualification, it is highly recommended that you do have a tertiary education, be fluent in English and/or have some work experience. These certificate courses cover everything from classroom management and lesson planning, to contextualisation, receptive skills procedures, teaching conversations, grammar and language awareness, to name but a few examples.
Intensive in nature, these training courses and certificates will equip you with the needed skills to teach English abroad. When choosing your institution for training and certifications, it is vitally important that you do your research.
Make sure that your training provider is accredited and offers the correct certifications you will need to apply for TEFL jobs and teaching overseas. Ensure that the training you enrol for covers everything and anything you might need and, that it is in fact the right training programme for you.
Keep in mind that, if you want to go into teaching English abroad, some employers might require a TEFL / TESOL certification, a Bachelor’s degree in Education (Languages) or both.
Teaching abroad also means that your passport and other travel documentation should be in order. Some employers also ask for a minimum of one year commitment.
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Advantages and disadvantages of teaching jobs abroad
Like with all jobs, teaching jobs abroad do come with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Before you dive head first into anything, we wanted to highlight some of these pros and cons.
Advantages of teaching overseas:
- There is a need for talented, qualified English teachers. Being able to, and qualified, to teach English abroad can open up the door to a number of great career opportunities.
- You get to see a part of the world. Being so involved, at a community level, in the daily lives of students, allows you to fully immerse yourself in a foreign culture. You get to see a little piece of the world and experience it as well. Travel is a great thing and, living and working in another country, gives you the opportunity to fully explore that country.
- International work experience is a great feat to add to your CV. If you’ve gained work experience in another country, successfully working with foreign language speakers, it makes for a great addition to your CV.
- Working with foreign language speakers not only gives you the opportunity to experience another culture, but learn another language as well.
- Teaching is a fulfilling career and teaching jobs abroad really gives you the chance to make a difference in the lives of students.
Disadvantages of teaching overseas:
- Teaching is not the easiest of jobs. Teaching English to foreign language speakers is most definitely not an exception to this rule. Language barriers and foreign language ‘rules’ will need to be taken into consideration with everything you plan and do in the classroom.
- While it is true that you have the opportunity to learn another language, this might not necessarily happen in the classroom. Keep in mind that your main role is to teach English, so your interactions and lessons will be in English. Learning the local language though can be highly beneficial in the classroom as well, but you will need to go out and experience the world around you to really learn the language.
- Teaching abroad means that you will be plunged into a world that is completely foreign to you. Adjusting to a completely different culture, language and ‘world’, can be difficult.
- There might be cases where you are the only foreign teacher at the school or language institution you work at. Getting lonely and becoming isolated can happen and it is up to you to immerse yourself in the world around you, truly embracing your surroundings.
- There will also be cases where you are not the only English teacher and, while this will help with adjusting to your new surroundings, you may also get caught up in this small and safe ‘English teacher world’.
There are many advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to you to decide if one outweighs the other. To teach English abroad you will need a strong understanding of the English language, a passion for teaching and be willing to adapt to different, and sometimes difficult and challenging environments.
Ready to start applying for teaching jobs abroad? Awesome! Register your CV on Job Mail now and check out the great opportunities listed. Who knows, you might just find the perfect opportunity to not only explore a part of the world, but have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your students.