As the plane began it’s descent into Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi, my breathing was shallow and my palms sweaty. The ‘fasten your seatbelt’ sign lit up and I gulped. Loudly. No, I am not a nervous flyer. In fact, I quite enjoy flying. No… it was much more terrifying than that.
Making the decision to pack up and move to Vietnam in search of English Teaching work, without ever having actually visited the country (or Asia for that matter), was one of the most nerve-racking things I’ve ever done. Armed with my 150 hours of TEFL training and a copy of my degree certificate, I was hoping for the best… and preparing for the worst.
I had heard mixed reviews about Vietnam: the life threatening traffic, the barbaric practice of eating dog, the unhygienic food and questionable manners of the locals. I needn’t have worried. As true as a lot of this may be, I loved it as soon as I arrived.
Yes, Vietnam takes a little bit of adjusting to and there are certain things which I will never understand. This, however, is all part of its charm and if I could offer one piece of advice to anyone considering Vietnam as a TEFL location, it would be: do it!
By Dhilung Kirat (originally posted to Flickr as High Dynamic Peace) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
There’s been a growing interest from travellers to volunteer as teachers for quite some time now. Only a decade ago, school leavers would simply laze around on the beach in South East Asia, or grab a cheap rental car and speed around the Australian coast; but now, the younger generation are turning their hands to selfless work in countries more suited to structure than sunbathing. Volunteering is now seen as a learning curve prior to university – and afterwards, too.
The issue with volunteer teaching, though, is the expectation that it will be easy without any training. While an amateur teacher may have a classroom’s best interests at heart, how easy is it to actually throw yourself at the mercy of a group of children and hope that you can impart some worthwhile knowledge?
So, you’ve gained your TEFL qualification and started processing which area of the world you want to start making a difference in, am I right?
If money is not your main desire, but fascinating culture, mind-blowing food, incredible people and insanely confusing political situations are…then Bienvenida Mexico!
From the hot and dusty cartel controlled areas around Nogales and Chihuahua to the surf loving South West of Oaxaca this is a vast and wide land that promises you more than just teaching others English, but learning about yourself.
If you have been looking online and cannot find a job through a reputable website or will not be considered due to being out of the country then the route I have taken (which has proven successful and fun on the way) is just to turn up!
At the airport you are immediately granted a 180 day visa and then you can decide where you want to travel and where you want to try and gain employment.
Is it late at night and you feel at your wits’ end? Are you tired of coming up with new ideas for all your lessons? Here are a few tips to find ways of providing your students with useful activities that will cater for their needs and interests; and best of all, they do not need over planning. Sometimes, online resources can make it extremely easy for teachers to plan a lesson, but it`s always a good idea to keep in mind that our internet connection may not work. Read on and you`ll find a few ideas on how to plan easily, making the most of online resources and students’ preferences, and how to get going even if the computer deserts us.
If you work within the frame of an institution where syllabi have to be followed and deadlines have to be met, then you will find fun ways to fit all the required content in your lessons skipping boring activities from textbooks in this guide.
Argmda at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
Rio, Buenos Aires, Quito… ahhhh starting a new life teaching English abroad in South America sure does sound tempting! If, like thousands of other TEFLers, you are longing to make the big move to South America then you’ll need to make sure you get clued up about how to make it happen!
Done the ‘TEFL jobs in South America’ Google search? Not brought up loads of jobs? Don’t panic – this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a demand for TEFL teachers. Instead, a lot of job opportunities tend to be advertised on the ground – many TEFL teachers seeking employment visit the employers in person!
Here’s a short guide to landing your dream TEFL job in three of the most popular South American destinations!
By Liuchoi (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Every person who has travelled a bit has a taxi story to share. Over the past 30 years or so that I’ve been travelling, I can safely say that I’ve heard a taxi story from every continent. I’ve heard some shockers in Vietnam where I live and work nowadays, but equally, I’ve had my own less than desirable experiences in more developed parts of the world including Australia where I come from – and North America.
Some taxi-tales are a good news story – the birth of a baby in the back seat and alike – but most are about the kind of situations that travellers dread. We’ve all heard stories (or experienced them first-hand) about getting ripped off, taken to the wrong location, ‘lead foot’ taxi drivers, arguments about tips, traffic accidents and much, much worse.
By ryanluikens (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Buenos Aires may seem far away from the main English speaking cosmopolitan centres but it certainly has an English speaking oriented mentality. Raging from English-Spanish bilingual schools to high standard Teacher Training Colleges, the opportunities in Buenos Aires are sure to cater for any teacher of English looking for a challenge.
In order to succeed in this highly competitive and culturally bustling city, English is a tool required in most fields, especially tourism, commerce and business, as many of the office buildings around the city centre are owned by multinational companies. Most of these companies hire freelance teachers of English for group classes, or private individual lessons, generally at lunchtime. The fee could range between 80 and 100 pesos an hour. These lessons might have to focus on skills such as fluency and public speaking for business meetings and presentations. I have taught in companies for almost 10 years, and it can get really laid-back, as the student is constantly on the phone, or being summoned by his manager; or if he is the manager, he may have to call off your lesson unexpectedly, and you may find yourself with some free time on your hands. It is of vital importance to agree on a cancellation policy beforehand with your students, as they may not want to pay for a lesson they have not taken, but if for example they have cancelled 2 hours before the lesson, you may charge for it anyway, as you have invested time in preparing it and that time is part of the fee.
I, Ondřej Žváček [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Vietnamese Government is very focused on improving the quality of English language teaching across the country. Unlike a number of countries in South-East Asia – Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia for example – the days of the ‘backpacker’ foreign English ‘teacher’ have largely finished in Vietnam with more hoops to jump through to be eligible to work. Over the past year or so, there’s been a noticeable exodus of backpacker ‘teachers’.
With backpacker ‘teachers’ leaving in droves, there is huge demand for foreign English language teachers in Vietnam who meet the requirements to be eligible to work, laid-down by the government. Specifically, if you wish to legally work as an English language teacher in Vietnam for a period exceeding 3 months, you need to produce the following:
by Stuart Allen @Stu_RAYEnglish
Ray English TEFL Recruitment, China
By D. Sharon Pruitt from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, USA [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Five small things which will help you in the first weeks
It is both a little daunting and very exciting making the transition from being a CELTA or CertTESOL graduate to actually flying out to a new country to start a new life as a TEFL teacher. As a new teacher, one can often feel a little bit of apprehension and pressure going into the job. You might be asking yourself ‘what if I mess up my class?’, ‘what if the students don’t grasp what I’m trying to say?’, ‘yikes…what if the students don’t like my classes??’
Well, first of all, those fears are natural and we have all asked ourselves the same questions at some point. The more lessons you teach, then you will begin to become more familiar and at ease with your own teaching style and so will your students. However, if you follow these five pointers, then your progression from a new teacher, to an experienced member of the academic team will come much more smoothly.
By Thomas Hollowell
By ArishG (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Many wouldn’t leave their home soil in an attempt to work abroad without first having a job in hand – especially if that place is Morocco! The financial burden of the plane ticket alone makes this risky business. Nonetheless, a decade ago, this is exactly what I did. I first started by teaching English. And now, I run a Morocco travel company called Journey Beyond Travel; we arrange private trips for couples, families, and small groups. Here, I’ll share some of my inside knowledge about surviving, working, and thriving in the Kingdom of Morocco.