Teaching English in the Dominican Republic

As a popular tourist destination, the Dominican Republic has seen an increase in English speakers. Teachers are needed, especially in poorer towns, as inequality between the urban and rural areas increases.  There are three types of English teaching jobs in the DR:

International schools

Most international schools follow an American curriculum, so typically American teachers are preferred.  Primarily teachers are needed for elementary-aged children, learning beginner’s English.

Volunteer work

EFL teachers are needed in low-income areas, as volunteers for primarily young students. These programs do not look solely for TEFL certification, but rather prior experience working with children and/or some knowledge of Spanish to help in the classroom. In addition, there are short-term opportunities to volunteers in summer camps, teaching not only English, but art, sports, or music for example.

Government sponsored jobs

The Ministry of Higher Education actively seeks English teachers for university-aged students at immersion schools. Many of these students have zero to little background in English language education. In addition to teaching EFL, teachers would help instruct a bit of computer literacy (i.e. basic computer competency).

When and Where to Look for Jobs

International schools are primarily located in the larger cities of Santo Domingo and Santiago. Though, volunteer programs are widespread in rural and low-income areas. These programs hire year-round.

Qualifications

Most schools and programs require some sort of teaching certification in order for instructors to teach English. However, if you are volunteering at a school or summer camp that offers arts or music classes, then you are not required to have TEFL certification.

Salary & Cost of Living

Volunteer teachers may receive a stipend of around $200-400/month, or expect around 200-400 Dominican Pesos per classroom hour (about $4-10/hour).

Aside from rent, cost of living in the Dominican Republic is quite affordable. If you eat locally, you will be able to save part of your stipend. Many people do not spend money on activities (e.g. movies, attractions), but prefer to use their free time to see friends and family. Keep in mind that imported items, such as clothing and gas, tend to be expensive.

Classroom & Work Culture

Some knowledge of Spanish might help in the classroom. Although, you may develop a slight Dominican accent! In addition, avoid speaking about Haiti. Even though conditions between the two nations have improved, it remains a touchy subject given the two countries’ turbulent history and recent issues of illegal immigration (from Haiti to the D.R.).

  • Peak Hiring Times:year-round
  • Average Monthly Salary:$400-600
  • Average Cost of Living:$300-500
  • Save or Break Even?save a bit
  • Work Visa:Dominican Republic work visa needed for those staying in the country for over 1 year

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Teaching English in Thailand

Learn, Understand and Embrace Thai Culture

This is not just a suggestion, but a requirement by the Teacher’s Council of Thailand for anybody who wants to teach in a Thai school. Thai culture is quite different from Western culture. Knowing a thing or two about Thai culture will not only help you build rapport with your students and Thai colleagues, it will also help you minimize the risk of putting your foot in your mouth. Get informed about the monarchy, religion, customs, and general beliefs. There is a lot of information available online and the mandatory 20-hour Culture course will ensure that you have a basic understanding of Thai culture. 

Lesson Planning is Extremely Important

This one is especially important for people without much experience teaching in Thailand yet.  It is recommended to print out a lesson plan, including a broad layout for your planned topic, even if you are a seasoned teacher. Your Thai colleagues highly appreciate it because you appear well prepared and they can learn from your lessons at a different level. You also will make it easy for any teacher who may need to substitute for you, since they know exactly what you intended to teach your students. Your lesson plan doesn’t have to be a literary work; a few simple bullet points outlining the topic and aim of your lesson, the new vocabulary taught, and the exercises and games used to reinforce the material will do the trick.

How You Dress is Very Important in Thailand

In Thailand, people care a lot about looks and this is especially important for a teacher.  Teachers are held in very high respect and not dressing appropriately will have a negative impact on that perception. Teachers that don’t look professional will almost always have more trouble managing the classroom than their peers who are dressed appropriately.

Do Not Speak Thai in the Classroom

If you are in the need of explaining something and can’t do it with pictures, drawings, and realia, you most likely are teaching something too complex and above the students’ comprehension level.

Unless you’re speaking Thai perfectly, you will most likely make a fool of yourself with wrong pronunciation and perhaps even wrong usage of some words. Students will at the very least laugh at you (even if just silently) and at worst will be confused about what exactly you are trying to explain to them.

Make it FUN!

Thai students and Thai people in general like things to be fun.  No matter how important the material you are teaching to Thai students, if it is not fun they will not pay attention for very long.  The Thai culture is in a lot of ways about “sanook” – a Thai word that means FUN!  So think of activities that will be fun for your students, while still providing the information they need to be successful for the objectives of your lesson.

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Teaching English in Spain

Reputable schools

There are around 6,000 private language schools in Spain, but only about 5 percent are registered.  If you don’t want your salary to arrive in a “brown paper” envelope at the end of each month (if it arrives at all), do your best to ensure the school is a reputable school.  Some of the people running schools don’t know anything about teaching but will place very high demands on their teachers to be everything to everyone, so it is always best to work for a registered school.

Qualifications

The days when simply being a native speaker of English was enough to get you a TEFL job are long gone. Nowadays you almost always need to be trained and qualified.  Good schools in Spain will now ask for teachers to be a native speaker of English, have a university degree and possess some kind of English teaching qualification. Ideally, they will also want you to have some experience and to speak some Spanish.

Workload

Most Spanish contracts involve working 24 to 26 contact or teaching hours a week. The actual contract will, however, be for 34 hours a week. The extra time will be given over to preparation, marking, exam marking, parent meetings and training. So if you sign on to 30 hours a week, you won’t have much of a life.  25 hours is the maximum workload recommended for a new teacher.

Pay

Most good schools in Spain will offer a monthly salary of around €1,200 to €1,350 a month before tax.  That’s for about 25 contact hours per week.  Madrid and Barcelona are quite different. The vast majority of people in those cities are working as freelancers and getting paid an hourly wage. Many of these people will be travelling around and giving in-company classes and perhaps working for two or three different schools.

Consider jobs outside of Madrid and Barcelona

Some people who think about teaching in Spain end up in Madrid or Barcelona just because they’ve heard of these places.  Choosing to live in a small place can have its advantages. Small schools can offer a lot more support. If you need resources, you can go straight to the source and cut out the middle man.  There’s also the satisfaction that comes with getting off the beaten track and immersing yourself in Spanish culture. You might find a Spain you never knew existed.

Apply early

The academic year at most of Spain’s private language schools runs from late September through to the end of June the following year. But don’t get caught napping. Many schools are already advertising for the 2014–2015 school year.   May and June are the right time to start applying for jobs.  But if you want to boost your chances, start sending out those resumes now.

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Teaching English in Singapore

English teachers in Singapore can expect to find jobs throughout the year, as this is a wealthy nation with a high need for qualified native English speaking teachers. Interviews here are conducted well in advance, both over the phone and via e-mail. Instructors are responsible for airfare and housing expenses.

A solid hourly wage affords English teachers a comfortable lifestyle, with the possibility to save up to 500 USD per month above the cost of living. English language schools in Singapore typically offer around 20 to 25 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time for you to take advantage of your location and explore. English teachers need to have a Bachelor’s degree to teach in Singapore, and TEFL certification is required.

English Teaching Requirements in Singapore

  • Education: BA/BS is required; TEFL TESOL Certification is required.
  • Citizenship Requirements: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.
  • Typical hiring process:via phone in advance
  • Average teaching hours per week:20–25 hours of classroom plus extra prep time
  • Type of students:Business professionals, children in public schools and private language schools
  • Cost of living per month:2,100–2,500 USD; 3,000–3,500 SGD 
  • Average monthly pay:2,400–3,000 USD; 3,300–4,200 SGD 
     
  • Start-up cost:2,100–2,500 USD
     
  • Potential to save or break even:Save 300 – 500 USD/month 
  • Accommodation/housing benefits paid:no, employer will assist to find
  • Vacation: Paid 2 weeks
  • Flight reimbursement:no

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

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Teaching English in Saudi Arabia

The highest TEFL salaries and the best benefits in the world are in Saudi Arabia.  If you can handle living in such a place for a length of time you can certainly save a lot of money.  The ultra-strict Muslim way of life is not particularly compatible with other belief systems and therefore many Westerners will require considerable time to adjust to what can be a stifling and rigid cultural environment. 

Experience is essential and many employers require at least three years previous teaching experience.  You will also need at least a Bachelor degree and a TEFL certificate

Despite the large expat community and great salaries, life here is hard for Westerners and the rigid laws make it quite difficult to enjoy yourself in your spare time. Western women may find things especially difficult.

Salaries range from $2,500 USD to $4,500 USD per month and even higher for certified teachers with a lot of experience.  Teachers can typically expect ten weeks of vacation time plus national holidays.  You can expect a 40 hour plus work week and there is nothing easy about teaching in Saudi Arabia.  Your students and the school will have very high expectations and the demands on a teacher can at times be unrealistic.

Consider a move to Saudi Arabia very carefully. Can you really handle the considerable cultural restrictions for a year or more?  Be sure that medical insurance, accommodations and flight allowances are included as part of your benefit package.  Work permits should be arranged before you arrive in Saudi Arabia. This must be done in conjunction with your employer.

The cost of living in Saudi Arabia is high. However, the fabulous tax-free salaries mean that you ought to be able to save a good portion of your salary each month.  Your salary is tax-free. You should receive your salary on a monthly basis unless otherwise stated in your contract.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Teaching English in Russia

There is a strong demand for English-Foreign-Language Teachers in Russia at the moment, especially in the larger cities. With the opportunity to earn on average between $500 and $2000 a month and some schools even offering reimbursed airfare after the completion of your contract, which is generally a twelve-month commitment, Russian larger cities are expensive, so unless your employer is providing accommodations, you will need to ensure your salary is on the upper end of the pay scale.  The cost of living is much less expensive outside of the bigger cities, but western amenities that you may be use to, will most likely not be available.

Most jobs can be found via online job boards and it is best to arrange a job before traveling to Russia.  As with any ESL teaching job be sure and do your research and make sure this is the type of job you are looking for.

If this sounds like something that you might be interested in, then you will require a Bachelors degree and a TEFL Certification. You’ll also need to get your employer to arrange a visa for you.

If you’re looking to experience the cultural and architectural highlights of Russia, then stick to the European cities, west of the Urals. However, if you’re looking to get off the beaten track to experience Russia’s great outdoors, then make sure you make time for the immeasurable spaces of Siberia and the Far East.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Teaching English in Poland

If you are a native speaker of English or speak English at an advanced level, you can probably find a job teaching English in Poland.  You will need to have at least a Bachelor degree and a TEFL certification to find a good teaching job in Poland.  

It is possible to find jobs in Poland before traveling to Poland, and if you are not the holder of an EU passport it is best to arrange a job before departing for Poland.  You will need to get a work permit in your home country at a Polish embassy or consulate and the required paperwork needs to be provided for you by your employer.  This is the legal way to teach in Poland; that is not to say that people do not teach on tourist visas and resident cards, but to be safe you should get a work permit before traveling to Poland.

Some things to remember when looking for a job:

  • Start searching as early as possible:It’s not uncommon for schools to interview and hire for fall semester starting in May or June. You can still find jobs at the last minute, but it will likely be just a few hours here and there.
  • Private schools will only give hours in the very early morning or from 4pm to 8pm:For many, that means teaching only 1-3 classes a day, which might not be enough to survive. Teaching children at a public school or teaching in a business (some businesses provide language lessons for their employees), is the only way you’re going to get hours in the middle of the day. Also, classes on Friday are rare — they will usually only happen if you teach children.
  • You may need to work at 2 or more schools:It’s not uncommon that a school will only offer you a couple teaching hours, so you may need to work at several schools to get enough hours. That said there is generally more work than teachers, so you won’t have any problems finding schools that need you!

Some salary and benefit facts:

  • Average teaching hours per week: 20-30 hours of classroom & extra prep time
  • Types of Students: Business professionals
  • Cost of Living per Month: 2,500-2,800 PLN, $ 800-900 USD
  • Average Monthly Pay: 2,500-2,800 PLN, $ 800-900 USD
  • Start-up Cost: $ 1,350-1,500 USD
  • Potential to Save or Break-even: Break-even
  • Accommodation/Housing Benefits Paid: No
  • Flight Reimbursement: No

 

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Teaching English in Malaysia

English teachers are definitely in demand in Malaysia, although not as much as in Japan, Korea or China. Don’t expect to arrive on Friday and find a job by Monday as you can in some places. You will have to make a serious effort to find a good job in Malaysia.

Malaysian employers will want to put you through a full interview and then consider carefully before employing you. What you can do is to start compiling a list of schools, language centers, and colleges that you can call when you get there.  It will probably take you about a month or longer to find a job in Malaysia.

Check the newspapers every day for job listings. Most places do not mind if you just call up and ask for a chance to come in and talk to them. They will expect you to bring a copy of your resume and to dress smartly, which means slacks, a shirt and tie for men and an appropriate business dress and shoes for women.

There is quite a variation in the salaries offered for English teachers. The British Council and international schools offer the highest salaries, but of course also demand the most credentials and experience.

Jobs here will give you good experience as you are likely to be teaching foreign students as well as Malaysians and most centers have computer labs and modern facilities.

Getting a visa is reasonably straightforward, yet time-consuming. You are likely to have to wait three to six months before getting approved by immigration, although the government is taking steps to speed this up. During that time, you will be on a social visit pass, and you may have to leave the country and reenter via Singapore or Thailand if the process takes over three months.

Generally, immigration will not entertain applications from teachers under 25 years of age and they are unlikely to be happy if you have spent time in Israel. Israeli citizens will definitely not be able to get a work permit. Teachers from countries where English is not the native tongue may also find it difficult to get a permit.

Choose your job carefully because it is not always easy to change jobs. Technically, you must leave the country for six months before taking up a position with a new employer although there are ways around this.

Malaysians prefer to use British English, so Americans may have to adapt accordingly.  The Malay majority are moderate Muslims; they don’t drink alcohol or eat pork. Religion is a sensitive topic, along with sex and politics. 

If you live in Malaysia you will probably have to work hard, but you will be exposed to all kinds of different cultures. On weekends, you can travel around the country and visit the islands. You can get to Singapore and Thailand easily by bus, train, or plane. Language is not a problem. Basically, you can experience a whole new world without giving up the “Western” comforts that you are used to.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Teaching English in Indonesia

Teaching English in Indonesia can be a rewarding experience, however, to be sure that you fully enjoy your teaching experience it is important to plan carefully and know what you want to get out of the experience.

Think about the length of commitment you would like to make. Most organizations offering paid teaching positions require a yearlong commitment. Some organizations might offer six-month teaching positions, but you will have to search harder for them, and the benefits and rate of pay decline significantly.

Decide where you would like to teach. Do you want to soak up the indigenous culture of the rural areas? Or is a major city such as Jakarta more appealing? Would you like to teach adults in a business school or children in a primary school? There are many programs that offer a variety of positions. Knowing what you want ahead of time will help you narrow your search.

Choose an organization. It is not recommended to acquire a teaching position on your own in Indonesia. There are many organizations that specialize in placing Western teachers in teaching positions in Indonesia. Spend a few days searching and be sure that you know all of your options before choosing an organization.

Research the organizations that you’ve chosen. Pay close attention to classroom size and the number of hours that you’ll be teaching to be sure that the requirements are something you feel willing to take on.   Call and ask to speak to an administrator about the successes and limitations of the program and any other questions you might have. Then, ask to speak to someone who has been placed in a teaching position similar to the one that you are interested in and discuss your questions or concerns with them.

Assess your qualifications. Different positions and organizations require different qualifications. More often than not, you will be required to obtain a certification to teach English as a Foreign language. When choosing a program, be sure that the TEFL course is internationally recognized and accepted by the school to which you are applying. And, keep in mind that many private institutions or business schools want their teachers to have had teaching experience that many online courses do not offer.

Apply to at least three organizations. Be sure that your proposed start date will give you enough time to complete any certification courses, obtain your passport or make any other arrangements.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Teaching English in France

Get a TEFL Certificate

The first thing you will need is an accredited TEFL Certificate to be considered for an English teaching job in France.  Some schools will consider a teacher with a lot of experience that do not have a TEFL certificate, but the better and more reliable schools will insist on a TEFL certificate.

Choosing the right school

There are plenty of academies or private language schools out there, including around 300 in Paris alone, but the reality is some are much better than others, and some are worth avoiding completely.  Do your research and ask to speak to other teachers before accepting a teaching position.  Look out for corporate crooks. Chains of language schools are usually an easy option for getting a quick teaching position, but will not necessarily be the most intellectually stimulating, and will often work out as the worst option financially.  It’s easier to concentrate your job searches around the established academies, as they often have the biggest staff numbers and turnover of teachers. However it might pay off to spend some time looking elsewhere.

Know your salary

In terms of pay, €1,200 after tax per month is the absolute minimum wage you should envisage in Paris, although slightly less could be feasible elsewhere in France.  Make sure the job you get allows you this salary, or the time to do other teaching work to supplement your salary.  Remember that the French take, on average, 5-10 weeks holiday each year and you may not be paid during the time your students are on holiday, depending on your contract.

Consider travel time for classes you will be teaching

A love of travel is why most English teachers end up doing what they do, but travel can also cause many to give it up.  Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France region is a huge area, and academies will soon have you travelling to teach at companies far and wide, and your time spent on a [regional] RER train will normally not be paid.  Make sure you find out during the interview how much travel will be required and how it is remunerated. If you teach for three hours but have to travel for five, your day works out much longer, and your hourly rate takes a big blow.

Get your CV out there

Sending a CV is still the best way of getting a job at a language school. The best time to send them off is June and July, before the new term starts. This is when a lot of teachers move on and schools are desperately hunting for new recruits.

What about a work visa

France is a country in which many ESL teachers envision themselves teaching. Although France appears to be the ideal teaching location, its inclusion in the European Union (EU) makes obtaining a work visa quite difficult for non-EU citizens and the process is lengthy. Typically, a sponsoring employer must prove that there are no qualified EU citizens who could fill the position in question. Given that the UK and Ireland are members of the EU, native English language ability alone is usually not sufficient to support this claim. Applicants must prove that they have additional expertise that makes them unique among EU candidates.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!