Itching to travel? Teaching English overseas is a great way to explore the world and truly impact a community. Enjoy freedom to travel while financially independent. Most positions just require completion of a TESOL course and a strong grasp of the English language. What do you need to know before teaching overseas?
Enjoy an unparalleled rich cultural experience when you teach in a new country. Make lifelong friendships from all over the world. Before you embark on your new adventure you need to know the local educational system. Why? Every country has its own requirements. For example, in Spain you need a work visa and certification. But if you teach privately in China, you may just need a tourist visa.
Some regions will allow you to craft your own syllabus and coursework. Many public schools have their own national curriculum that you must follow. Go to the country’s website and research their educational department and requirements. You might want to focus on a specific city or province for more specific information. Whether you have to follow a core curriculum or can develop your own, make your classes exciting and fun for your students. This will make it fun for you, too!
Improve your skills before you teach English abroad. Your TESOL certification program should have provided you with the basic skills you will need. Sometimes volunteering as a teaching assistant will help you gain valuable experience in classroom management and instruction. Practice teaching in a variety of settings to multiple age groups and abilities. Every bit of educational experience that you gain before you go overseas will help you.
Another key professional tip that you must understand involves communication. Remember that your students do not speak English, or only speak very rudimentary English. Avoid colloquialisms and slang, and speak slowly. If your students give you blank stares, then they do not understand you. Use tools like writing on a chalkboard, colorful visuals, and technology to help teach English in a variety of ways.
When you teach in a new country, take advantage of the resources around you. Ask other teachers for help and shadow successful instructors. Develop work friendships to build your network. Remember that you are the stranger here. Ask for help when you need it. Never be afraid to reach out to your fellow colleagues. You can also reach out to former English teachers and ask about their experiences. Ask for professional tips, advice, and materials. They might have lesson plans that will help you.
Finally, when you travel overseas, always live like the locals. What does this mean? Be a part of the community. Don’t act like a tourist. Hang out with other teachers at local restaurants and attend community events. Try to learn the local language. Be a part of your new community. Be open-minded when you encounter something or someone unfamiliar. Not only make friends with local residents, but reach out to any foreigners from your home country that live in your area. Build friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime.