7 Ways to Gain Experience as an ESL Teacher

Teaching English to kindergarten kids I remember walking into a classroom in South Korea for the very first time to watch someone else teaching, thinking, ‘how will I do that?’ The teacher was confident, he joked with his students, and they didn’t seem to mind being in class – a far cry from my experience of school as a teenager. I remember being in class and thinking that teachers were another species, entirely disconnected from myself and my classmates.

Despite being nervous, I settled in quickly and it wasn’t long before I felt at ease at the front of the classroom. As someone who is not naturally confident, my experiences before I started teaching definitely helped me gain experience that was both valuable for obtaining a job and for real-life teaching situations. Here are a few ways that you can either gain experience or improve yourself as a future English teacher. Read: Why You Should Avoid TEFL Internships!

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Teaching Abroad in Many Countries and Finding True Love

Teaching English abroad and traveling the worldI stumbled into teaching English quite by accident. All through school I had always said that I would never be a teacher and I was sure of this, even as I finished university. But then an opportunity arose for me to work in a school for three weeks, offering me money and the chance to extend my stay in my university town. I found it hard, but I took the opportunity – standing in front of a crowd of judging teenagers can be quite daunting. During these first three weeks I was able to build a few fleeting connections with the children. They were little glimmers of hope in an environment that I wasn’t particularly comfortable with, but they reminded me of how much of a guiding figure a teacher can be in one’s life.

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5 Myths of Teaching English Abroad

5 myths of teaching English abroadMany folks equate teaching English abroad with a free holiday and, while moving to a foreign country definitely gives you great travel benefits and unique experiences, it certainly doesn’t mean that you will not be expected to do the job that you were hired for. It is a real job, and it will be harder than you think. Here, some of the most common myths about teaching English abroad are debunked, allowing you to check that attitude, rid yourself of counterproductive misconceptions, and get on the track to success.

Read: Why You Should Avoid a TEFL Internship

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Teaching ESL and Traveling in the Czech Republic

1024px-Vltava_in_PragueThe red-roofed city of Prague is one of the most culturally rich capitals in all of Europe. A conglomerate of Eastern and Western European ideals and culture, Prague is truly a hub for travelers aiming to experience both sides of the spectrum. The Czech Republic is the home to the history, culture, and Baroque architecture of Bohemia and Moravia. As such, a walking tour- whether with an organized group or on your own- is always a great option for an insightful weekend activity. Wander the streets of Europe’s most picturesque medieval Old Town or take to the former Iron Curtain-esque neighborhoods…or both! Read: Types of Jobs in the Czech Republic

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Teaching English in Italy: Wages and Tourism

Teaching English abroad in ItalyYour wages as an ESL teacher in Italy will entirely depend on if you are working legally and the region that you are in. While the northern regions of the country boast expensive cities and a lot of pretty wealthy people, the south of Italy is the polar opposite. A teacher might make 20 Euros per hour in Milan while earning far less than 10 for the same work in Naples. Business professionals can offer 30 Euros per private lesson, while university students may only be able to pay 7. However, your rent and other expenditures will also change accordingly, so be flexible and choose your destination wisely. Live like a true local and go where the Italians go. Read: TESOL Jobs and Job Hunting In Italy

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Teaching English Abroad in Colombia: Lifestyle and Tourism

Teaching English abroad in ColombiaOn average, an ESL teacher working full-time in Colombia will make between $800 and $1500 (tax-free)per month, obviously depending on the school and the individual’s qualifications. Paid overtime is also a common option. This is more than enough to live a middle-class lifestyle with the opportunity to explore, travel, and treat yourself. A nice apartment in a major city will run you around $400, but there are plenty of cheaper options available to you, especially if you don’t mind sharing with a friend or co-worker.

-Read: How to Find the Best TESOL Jobs in Colombia

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Teaching Abroad in Ecuador

Teaching English Abroad in EcuadorWhile the cost of living in Ecuador isn’t as cheap as some Southeast Asian countries, it is still ridiculously affordable compared to other Western countries. If you’re debt free, there is definitely a potential for saving or spending on travel, but you will not get monetarily rich by teaching here. It’s pretty easy to find an apartment for $200 per month, even in the capital of Quito. Plus, getting out and about to explore via public transportation will only run you about $1 per hour of travel! With such a compact landmass, you could get around all of Ecuador for much less than a single paycheck.

Read: TEFL Jobs in Ecuador and Job Hunting Tips

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Teaching Abroad and Traveling in Brazil

Teaching English and Traveling in BrazilThere are many types of lifestyles that one can have as an English teacher in Brazil, and the type of job that you take will play a huge role in this. Salaries for ESL teachers in Brazil are higher than those in a lot of other South American countries. If you arrive in the country with a bit of savings, spend a modest amount, and work around 25 hours per week, you’ll certainly be able to afford to live comfortably and still travel extensively. Teaching privates will only increase the flexibility in your work and play schedule. School teachers can earn around $10 per hour (give or take a few) and privates can run a student closer to $20 per hour. Smaller cities will prove less lucrative, but the cost of living will also be lower.

-Read: How to Find the Best TESOL Jobs in Brazil

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Teaching Abroad in Peru

Teaching English in PeruThe solid salaries earned by ESL teachers in Peru combined with the low cost of living allow you to live a comfortable lifestyle. Wages start at around $500 a month, but experience and a TESOL certificate can earn you much more (over double, in fact). Considering the fact that you’ll only work around 25 hours a week – unless you take on more in private lessons- this is a pretty good deal that will allow you to have plenty of time to explore. A job at an international school or university will typically pay at least $20,000, which will allow you to actually save if you want to. Read: Types of Jobs and Requirements in Peru

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Teaching English in Canada with Authentic Material

I teach English in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and my job is to assist students in preparing for the IELTS exam. There are books that focus on the types of tasks performed on the IELTS test, but I often found it difficult to choose textbook materials at the right level. In nearly all cases, the vocabulary […]