Pros and Cons of a TESOL Career

November 26th, 2012 by The JetSetter Team | 1 Comment »

Decent pay, good hours, and the chance to submerge yourself in a different culture can be the trifecta of self-actualization for someone looking to experience a foreign country up close and personal. So is teaching English as a second language to natives all it’s cracked up to be? You might have seen one of these before:

“Hey,

you don’t even need a degree to get a good job. Schools looking for anyone who speaks English.”

Before you make any snap decisions, keep in mind that these ads are posted by for-profit schools who will be charging you tuition in return for preparing you for a new career teaching English. Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with the notion, just be aware they are going to portray the endeavor in the best possible light.

But before you head off blithely into the jungles of Borneo with nothing more than a vague idea and dictionary, understand what the deal is first – the WHOLE deal. The following questions are a good place to start the self-examination process.

What exactly are you looking for in the field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)?

• Talk to those with personal experience in the field and country you’re interested in.
• Make sure there is a demand for TESOL skills where you want to go.
• Tip: www.ESLCafe.com/forums/job/index.php is a great resource to find jobs and make connections.

Are you prepared for the culture shock?

Don’t make the decision to uproot your life and head overseas on a whim. This is a BIG change. To avoid a quick, disenchanted trip back home, understand that rarely does anything go exactly as expected. Be ready

to roll with the flow and look at the totality of the situation.

Do you have the proper credentials?

It wasn’t that long ago that all you needed to teach English abroad was to be a native speaker of the language or have a bit of college education. This is no longer the case. As interest in the field has soared, so has the number of people applying for jobs. Unless you’re a credentialed English teacher already, you’re probably going to need to complete a TESOL certification program in order to be competitive for positions that become available.

As a seasoned international travel who has visited dozens of countries, Jason Hartman suggests those interested in a TESOL career explore the website TESOL.org. (Top image: Flickr | *Chia-Ling)

The Jetsetter Show Team


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