When looking for an English as a second language overseas teacher job, it’s important for English teachers to consider many different aspects beyond the teaching hours, students ages and English levels, and pay. There are many things that can make an English as a Second Language course or international school good, bad or horrible. The prospective ESL teacher should always think about the campus location, housing and what past employees have to say about it before deciding where they want to teach English.
Location of the International School
The ESL school’s location is an important and often overlooked consideration when choosing an overseas teaching job. Many international schools are located outside the city centre, often far out in the suburbs; this is particularly common outside of Europe. This can mean the English teacher lives an hour or more away from the downtown area and only has a limited choice for shopping, eating out, and socializing after work. If the campus is particularly far away, the only people the English as a Second Language teacher can meet will be ESL students and co-workers.
Even if the ESL teacher doesn’t live on the suburban campus, the commute could take an hour or more. Riding on a crowded bus for an hour each morning and afternoon is far from enjoyable, especially if the ESL class is scheduled for early in the morning.
Occasionally there will be multiple campuses, and an ESL teacher may have to move between two campuses on the same day. If the English classes are scheduled close together, a traffic jam could force the English teacher to cancel classes, which will have to be made up later.
Housing for ESL teachers
Housing is an important issue that most new ESL teachers take on blind trust. Often an international school will promise a furnished, well maintained apartment or dormitory on the phone, but once the new English teacher arrives he finds he’s in small, moody, water damaged dormitory surrounded by English students wanting to visit at all hours.
Generally, the more famous and wealthier public international schools and private ESL schools will supply better housing. They have a reputation to maintain and can afford the extra expenses. If possible, English teachers who are looking at smaller schools should look over the housing situation first hand. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible when applying for overseas teaching jobs. In that case, the prospective ESL teacher should ask to speak to another English teacher currently working at the school. It’s possible that teachers will lie about the conditions, but they’re more likely to give a straight answer than the school secretary.
Get Info Before Accepting Oversea Teaching Jobs
Finally, the best way to ensure good overseas teaching conditions to see if a prospective ESL school is good, without actually visiting the international school, is to check online. By visiting English as a second language websites such as Dave’s ESL Cafe, and various blogs and networking sites it is possible to find comments about several thousand international schools from around the world.
These comments may be vague, and the ESL teacher may have to ask a specific question about the language school on various forums, but it is usually possible to get first and second hand information on most ESL schools that have been open for more than a year. This information can be invaluable for an English teacher trying to decide which international school is best for him or her.
Be Careful with International Schools
When choosing to teach English as a second language at an international school, English teachers should not jump blindly at the first job that comes up. Making an informed decision can mean the difference between having a rewarding ESL experience and deciding that teaching English students is a waste of time. The more knowledge an ESL teacher has when choosing an international school, the less likely heartbreaks and headaches will occur.
Once you have an ESL job Videos and Role Play can be a great activity for English students. Or if you’re working as an IELTS teacher Practice Conversations regularly.