Working as a teacher of English as a Second Language is an exciting and rewarding career which can take you across the world and bring people everywhere closer together. Whether your goal is to experience new cultures, meet new people, travel, or just make a good living, here are some tips to help you out.

Understand the Needs of Your Audience

The first step in finding an ESL Job is to understand the needs of those you are teaching. The better you can connect with your audience, the more you can benefit them. Their needs can be wide and varied, including:

  • Finding a new higher paying or better quality job with English speaking requirements
  • Finding a new place to live and melding with the surrounding culture
  • Better understanding their children's school and social life
  • Simply wanting to experience a new perspective on the world

In many ways, the needs of the English student will be similar to your own as an ESL teacher. You're both engaging in the social aspects of language acquisition and broadening your cultural perspective. In this way, you can relate to them better.

Starting as a Volunteer ESL Teacher

One of the best ways to begin your ESL teaching career is by volunteering at a local place of need. This could be a church, school, or even a community. By volunteering, you can build your reputation and make connections for future ESL job opportunities. Also, you will be enhancing your skills as a teacher and benefiting those who are most in need of new language acquisition.

What to Consider in an ESL Job

When considering possible employment opportunities as a teacher of ESL with a business, school, or otherwise, be aware that each offers its own unique advantages. Which you choose should depend upon your needs. If you'll be leaving the country, choose an opportunity with food and boarding. If you'll be teaching ESL at colleges or universities, consider the necessary qualifications, associated cost of obtaining those qualifications, and the resulting payoff. Here are more considerations to make when looking for an ESL job:

  • Decide where you want to live – in a rural or urban area? And also what state or country?
  • Once you've decided where to live, check whether the various ESL jobs offer shelter, food, and transportation.
  • If you're being offered shelter, is it shared with others or a private facility?
  • How long will you have to work, how many students will you teach at once, and what will your compensation be? Also – will you be paid for overtime?

Always decide first under which conditions you'll be at your best before jumping into any opportunity. Making a difference for your students comes first, only then can you enjoy the full benefits of making a living in a job as an ESL teacher.