Posted: May 30th, 2013 | Author: John Thomson | Filed under: How to find teaching jobs, Places in Asia | No Comments »
Malaysia is a surprisingly large country, made even more so by a huge swath of ocean between peninsular Malaysia and the part of the country on the island of Borneo. This can make it a difficult country to fully experience as a mere tourist, and a time-consuming detour for backpackers. For anyone living or working in Malaysia with a little time on their hands, however, it’s suddenly easy to explore an extended backyard.
How to find a teaching job in Malaysia
Over 90% of English speaking expatriates who live and work in Malaysia do so working as teachers. The first step to any successful job search is to scan the job market to figure out what’s out there. Click here to see an updated list of teaching jobs in Malaysia.
How to Get Around
Malaysia has wonderfully maintained highways, perfect for coach trips anywhere not nearby. The locals drive for the most part, and car culture is big across the country. Expect to see some pretty fancy rides, especially in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Airlines also runs reasonably priced domestic flights, and budget carriers like AirAsia and Fireflyz are also available, so it’s much easier to just take a quick jump to the other end of the country. There are also ferries available to the islands, but the seas can be rough between the peninsula and Borneo.
This is the Malaysian landmass still attached to the Asian continent. There’s a lot to do on and around this part of the country, and one is never far from a national park for some serious trekking. Here are a few specific options.
Capital of Malaysia and it’s largest city, Kuala Lumpur is a modern metropolis. It represents the cultural mix of Malaysia well and it’s a great stop for some high-class city living and partying. It’s a bit more expensive, though, and the traffic downtown is epic. Rush hour is a standstill every day. It’s never boring, though, and anyone with some money in their pocket will have plenty to do in KL.
Resorts, beaches, and then more beaches. Langkawi is a tourist hotspot for both foreigners and locals looking to unwind. Langkawi actually refers to an archipelago of over one hundred islands, only two of which are heavily populated. Much of it is developed for tourists, so it’s a little on the pricey side, but it has some magnificent resorts, beaches and restaurants. It was also declared a World GeoPark by UNESCO in 2007, showing that there is still plenty of unspoiled nature to enjoy.
Melaka is a popular day-trip location, especially from the capital. It’s a well-preserved example of Malaysia’s colonial past. There are old Portuguese and Dutch buildings throughout the area, and tourists come to snap pictures and eat a snack in the streets lined with Colonial-era storefronts. It’s a very touristy area, full of handicrafts and souvenirs, but a great place to go for the day.
Peninsular Malaysia shares borders with two other countries. To the north is the southern tip of Thailand. To the south is the island city-state of Singapore. Either one is a four to five hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, but it will take rather longer to take a coach.
Malaysia on Borneo
The island section of Malaysia isn’t as heavily populated as the peninsula, but there is still plenty to do, especially for nature lovers.
The largest city in the Sarawak area, Kuching is a cultural center for the region. It’s full of museums showcasing the natural history of the Sarawak people. Fans of body art may want to find a Sarawak tattoo parlor for a little ink. Their ink-work is legendary. And once a year, Kuching hosts the Rainforest World Music Festival, an event that draws attendees from all over the world.
Another popular Malaysian tourist destination, Kota Kinabalu (or just KK) is the largest city in Sabah. It’s along the north-east coast of Borneo and has famous beaches and great night life. It’s also surrounded by national parks and it’s a gateway to Borneo eco-tourism. It’s near several sanctuaries and reserves, many of which feature exotic birds and wild orangutans. The diving off the coast is superb.
Nestled into the center of Malaysia’s Borneo territory is the tiny nation of Brunei. Brunei is small, ultra-modern and generally very expensive. It is a beautiful expression of Malay and Islamic culture of the region, with gilded edges. To the south is Indonesia’s section of Borneo. One will see many cultural similarities between the Malaysians and Indonesians on this island, but it’s another stamp in the passport! To get access, it’s probably best to go to Kuching first, and then head over land to Singkawang.
What to Do in Malaysia
For anyone looking for a trip to exotic south-east Asia, but without the hefty bank balance, teaching English in Malaysia is a great option. As a multi-cultural, multi-lingual country, most people will speak at least a little survival English. But they need to learn it somewhere. Public school offer English classes, and there are many private institutions that help build fluency. Every major city, and certainly some of the smaller cities, will have a demand for skilled English teachers. The first step to your job search is to browse available jobs.
Posted: April 30th, 2013 | Author: John Thomson | Filed under: How to find teaching jobs, Places in Asia | No Comments »
Vietnam is still a developing country, but it’s a world success story and developing more every year. Since 2000, the Vietnamese economy has grown by over 6% a year. That growth has thrown Vietnam onto the world stage again, and they need to join the international community on equal footing. This alone should be reason enough to take a good long look at teaching English in Vietnam.
The country is also stunningly beautiful, the people warm and friendly, and the food world-renowned as some of the most flavorful anywhere. An excellent quality of life can be had as a teacher in Vietnam, at least as a native-speaking teacher, and with just a few helpful tips an English teacher can survive, thrive, and save very easily. Before we start, it might be helpful to browse available teaching jobs in Vietnam, just to wrap your head around what’s out there.
How much does an English teacher make in Vietnam? There are a few variables that can affect one’s salary. The foremost among those are training and ethnicity.
Teachers with TEFL or TESOL certification command a much higher price in Vietnam. Usually 10% to 20% more. And that’s for a relatively brief, inexpensive extra certificate. There’s no excuse not to get certified, either in a classroom or online.
The factor that a teacher has less control over is skin color. Many schools pay not just for a teacher, but a teacher’s FACE. It gives the school prestige to have a bona fide native-speaker on hand. But since most parents will speak limited English themselves, they can only choose based on popular culture impressions. It’s sad, but true, that white teachers make far more than an equally qualified but darker-skinned counterpart. In some cases, a white teacher will make double the salary of another ethnicity.
So with all those calculations, the salary range typically falls between 200,000 and 400,000 dong an hour. That works out to about 10 to 20 USD or around 6 to 13 GBP per hour in the classroom. Most schedules offer 25 teaching hours a week.
Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Maybe not back home, but in Vietnam a little goes a long way.
Cost of Living in Vietnam
Compared to a major city like New York, the cost of living in Vietnam is almost infinitesimal. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. In fact, it costs about 32% as much to live in Vietnam as it does in a big city in the West. Food, accommodation, clothing, and entertainment all costs a fraction of the price. And with a few quick tricks, an English teaching living in Vietnam can live like royalty.
Tip #1 – Eat Like the Locals
Don’t be the expat that transplants their body but doesn’t budge their tastebuds. Burgers and fries are a treat now, not a staple. To get the most bang for each buck (or dong), eat the way locals eat. Unlike most Western countries, it’s as common to eat out as it is to cook at home. This means that eating local dishes like pho, bun, or spring rolls will cost a fraction of the cost of even a meal at a more familiar fast-food joint. And Vietnamese food is (not to put too fine a point on it) amazing.
And to save even more money, feel free to visit the local market for what good right now, then cook it for yourself. It’s an adventure-and-a-half to make food you don’t even recognize into something delicious.
Tip #2 – Live Outside City Centers
If you work in the city center, then the convenience may be worth the increase in price. Especially with transportation being what it is in much of Vietnam. If at all possible, however, live just outside of the city to save a bundle. Rents outside city centers are about half what you’d pay for something similar, and you have the advantage of a greener, quieter neighborhood.
Tip #3 – Get a Motorcycle (and a Helmet!)
Public transportation still isn’t very reliable in Vietnam. It most definitely isn’t comfortable. Taxis are expensive, at least compared with other options, and the allure of motorcycle-taxis wears off quick, as does the inevitable bargaining for price. Buying one’s own motorcycle, though, practically shrinks the country and is a very cost-effective means of transportation. Just drive safe, for heavens sake!
Tip #4 – Use Tailors
If you’ve a hankering for jeans or a T-shirt, you’re probably better off going for name-brand recognition. But for most other clothing needs, Vietnamese tailors are world-famous for a brilliant combination of value for quality. Some people fly into the country just for the tailors! And frankly, such are their talent, that many tailors will make copies of just about anything you can show them a picture of. So even those jeans and tees might be a possibility.
Tip #5 – Learn to Bargain
As a foreigner you’ll probably get “special price” on everything. This is significantly higher than the price given to the locals. It could be double, triple, or more. And event he price given to locals is high, the expectation being everyone haggles. It will benefit the English teacher in Vietnam (and their wallet) to learn a bit of basic Viet and how to strike a bargain. Basically, always smile and be willing to walk away from the deal. There’s no sense getting upset about a bad deal, and there’s always other vendors in the area.
More information on available teaching jobs in Vietnam
Posted: March 30th, 2013 | Author: John Thomson | Filed under: How to find teaching jobs, Places in Asia | No Comments »
Singapore is a small country with big ambition. The tiny nation-state at the bottom of the Malaysian peninsula is an economic powerhouse, and has been for some time now. Singapore manages to stay on top of their game by maintaining the highest possible quality of it’s education system. If you’re looking for teaching jobs in Singapore, it may be challenging, but it will likely also be worth it. Before you start, it might be worthwhile to quickly browse through a few teaching jobs in Singapore just to wrap your head around what’s out there.
Teaching Requirements in Singapore
The very minimum requirement for teaching in Singapore is a university degree. It’s simply not possible to work legally without one, and the laws are infamously strict in Singapore. A TESL/TEFL/TESOL certificate will also be helpful and give applicants an edge, but it’s not strictly necessary to work in Singapore.
Other specific jobs may have other requirements. For example, working with young children often requires some training or certification in early-childhood development. Likewise, teaching at a junior college level may also require additional certification.
Due to a close relationship with the UK, teachers with a UK accent will be slightly favored over North American teachers in all schools but those specifically marketed to learn American English.
Ministry of Education
The Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) does hire non-citizens for work. They require a university degree at the very least. They need primary, secondary and junior college teachers. To qualify, the teacher should have at least one teachable subject, but the MOE prefers two teachables.
Primary teachers would be working with younger students, grade school or elementary school ages. Secondary teachers would be dealing with adolescents and young adults. A junior college teacher would be teaching young adults also.
Teachers with the MOE will be well compensated with additional training, but it’s a very competitive market. These jobs are best suited to career teachers looking to either build a career in Singapore or to build experience for a professional career elsewhere. It’s probably not a good option for the short-term teacher hoping to finance some travel.
There are job opportunities in pre-schools, but these will almost always require special training in Pre-School Training or Early Childhood Education. Again, these are great options for professional teachers looking to build a career here or elsewhere. Many of these will be private companies not directly associated with the state education systems, in some cases little more daycares with educational components.
Primary or Secondary Supplemental
Many schools are privately run institutes meant to improve students’ general English abilities. Though most people in Singapore learn English quite naturally, there is a distinct “Singlish” dialect that can be hard to understand. Some parents will prefer that their children speak “proper” English, and also develop stronger reading, writing and speaking skills. This may be to get into an English-speaking school, pass a test, or go abroad for an exchange. Or it could be to open up every possible opportunity.
Some institutions will focus on preparing students for specific tests. This may be IELTS, GMATs, or even MCATs. These schools will teach the students all the materials on the test, as well as the English to be found there. This means that the teachers writing the tests are also expected to be experts in those fields. They will often have to show their own test scores a part of their qualifications.
Adult Education or Professional Development
Many adults will seek to improve their English to open up new professional opportunities, or just for fun. These make a large number of the English teaching opportunities in Singapore. There is a lot of variety between these schools in the curricula they teach, the goals of the students, and the overall “vibe” of the company. Some may be quite stuffy, others informal and relaxed.
Finding a Job in Singapore
To find a job in Singapore, it’s best to know what one is looking for. Someone interested in working with kids will have that option. But children are challenging, and parents even more so. There’s also teaching adults, who never have behavior problems, but often have difficulty balance their own expectations with busy schedules. Every English program has its own challenges and rewards.
And since Singapore is a very competitive market, it’s probably not the best idea to just pound the pavement and see what happens. Instead, it will serve the English teacher well to check out a directory of teaching jobs in Singapore. Even if the teacher doesn’t get a job right away, he or she can definitely see what the job market is like and what the chances of a good job are. It would be a real shame to land and have to move on to find teaching work in other parts of Asia.
Posted: March 9th, 2013 | Author: John Thomson | Filed under: How to find teaching jobs, Places in Asia | No Comments »
Moving to China can be daunting. Everything is new and exciting. Or foreign and scary. The sights, smells and tastes are different from everything you’ve taken for granted. But one of the greatest challenges to face is the language barrier. Suddenly, it’s an effort to order breakfast or take a taxi. The entire world is just a buzz.
Take heart in the fact that your students likely feel the same way in class. There are so many fundamental differences between English and Chinese that it’s a marvel they’re both generated by the same species. Knowing these differences, though, makes it much easier to teach English to Chinese-speaking students. By comparing the two languages, students can build off something they already understand and learn much more quickly. If you don’t yet have a job, why don’t you click here to see a list of available English teaching jobs in China?
Everyone has an accent. It’s just which accent you have. Like many speakers of foreign languages, however, Chinese speakers consistently have problems with several sounds in English. These are sounds that don’t exist in Chinese, much like English doesn’t have the tongue clicks found in some African languages.
Short i – This is the only short vowel sound that doesn’t occur in Chinese. Students can’t even hear the difference between the short i and the long e sounds. That means that ship and sheep are pronounced the same. Comparison activities and drilling are good ways to overcome this pronunciation quirk.
th – This sound also doesn’t occur in Chinese. It doesn’t occur in many languages, in fact. Chinese-speaking students literally can’t get their tongues around it. It often comes out as an s sound or an f sound. Again, drilling can overcome this so long as the teacher shows the students how to make the sound by putting the tongue between the teeth.
v – Another sound that doesn’t show up anywhere in Chinese, it often turns into a b sound. The f sound is a Chinese phoneme, though, so showing the students it’s the same, just with the voice added, is usually enough.
For the most part, Chinese sentences are constructed like English sentences. They have subjects, verbs, and objects. They usually go in that order. A basic Chinese sentence has the same fundamental pattern, but with a few differences.
In English, we often put the adverb at the end of the sentence.
I have English class today.
Or we can move it to the beginning to make this sentence:
Today, I have English class.
In Chinese, the adverb of time (“today”) always goes right before the verb. Students just starting out will transcribe the Chinese directly into English. They will often come up with a sentence like this:
I today have English class.
Questions are also a frequent problem. The Mandarin sentence structure actually stays the same for questions. It’s exactly the same as a statement, only with a question particle at the end indicating it’s a yes/no question. Or a question word is added to the added to the end instead of the beginning. So the question:
Do you like cookies?
Is just a simple:
You like cookies?
It’s not that strange, but when made into an open question:
What do you like?
It’s much more obvious, and sometimes difficult to understand.
You like what?
These are just a few of the word order issues a Mandarin Chinese speaker is likely to run into when transcribing English into Chinese. The challenges can be overcome, however, in breaking down the components of the sentences and having students practice forming their own. A combination of speaking and writing is especially effective.
Chinese is a language without tense, so mastering the different conjugations of English verbs is one of the greatest challenges. Mandarin replaces conjugating verbs with adding other words into the sentence. It will add either specific times (again just before the verbs) or special time particles that indicate that something will happen or has happened already.
There is no easy way to teach tenses to Chinese speakers. In Mandarin, each word is unchangeable. It’s essentially a small picture that can’t be modified, thus the adding of more words instead of changing the words being used. So explaining that verbs change based on the time is very difficult. It’s usually best to include the study of tense in reading, writing, speaking, and listening exercises. And they need to be repeated over and over again.
Where Chinese Speakers Excel
The traditional method of teaching Mandarin is through rote learning. This works very well as students are required to memorize the vast numbers of characters hey will need for a life of reading and writing. This translates very well into English skills that require memorization: spelling and phonics.
Chinese speakers are often very good at spelling, and they can memorize a huge number of vocabulary words, as these are both familiar tasks. It’s the teacher’s job to help the students apply this rote-learned information in the very fluid, dynamic language that is English. It’s a task that’s as challenging as it is rewarding for both teacher and student. For an up to date list of English teaching jobs in China, click here.
Posted: April 28th, 2012 | Author: John Thomson | Filed under: About teacher CVs / Resumes, Interview tips | No Comments »
In today’s competitive teaching market, you can only get employed if your teacher’s resume sells all the key points at a glance. Employers are selective about who they will invite to an interview and hire. Therefore, you have to learn how to package all fundamental details- skills and experiences-into a document that will meet the requirements of the employer. Your resume backs what you will have to say in an interview to the employer. The section below, highlights some of the essential components and points to consider when creating an effective teacher’s resume.
Steps in Writing a Successful Teacher’s Resume
Layout – First, consider the kind of layout that you will use in your resume. The right layout should allow you to include all the necessary details in an orderly manner while at the same time improve or maximize readability. The secret of creating a powerful resume is presenting essential details in the resume in a simple way. Of course, you have to include your personal details- full name, address, telephone number at the top.
Resume profile – Next, write a simple and clear resume profile (after the header section). The teaching profile in your resume gives you the chance to showcase your suitability for the teaching role you are interested with, and the value you bring to the employer. You can highlight your demonstrated diplomacy and forbearance or strong classroom management skills among other aptitudes.
Teaching Objective- One of the common mistakes that people make when creating a resume is to use the hackneyed phrase- “I want to get a job which can allow me to make a positive impact”. This may sound okay, but you have to sound like someone who really love teaching and sincere about it. In short, a good teaching objective should state your interests and goals clearly as a teacher. A good objective should be specific and clearly state your goals and interest in becoming a teacher.
Teaching Experience- you also need to include your past teaching experience in your resume starting with the most recent going your way back. Also, mention any experience you have had as a substitute teacher. If you have non-teaching experience, then indicate it under a subheading as a list of transferable skills for each position you have occupied before. To draw the attention of the employer, blend teaching and non-teaching experience and focus on the ones that match the employer’s description in the advert.
Education Background& Certification- also, mention your relevant education background in your teaching resume. This should also include all professional training and continuing education to date. Don’t forget to list your certifications and it is imperative to mention the ones on teaching. These endorse your resume and prove that you are a qualified teacher.
Handy Tips when Writing a Teaching Resume
You don’t have to be experienced to write a resume that will draw the attention and interest of the employer. Some of the key points to consider when drafting the cover letter are:
Proper Formatting- use a formal or professional format on your resume. Check out templates or references with appropriate layouts that you can use.
Keep it Short- brevity is an important aspect to consider when creating a resume. The shorter it is the better. It should not be longer than 2 pages
Proof& spell- check- as rule of thumb, you should take time to proof and spell-check your resume and the accompanying cover letter. Even after you go through the document, you should consider asking a friend to go through it again and let them comment on the final copy.
Updating Your Resume
It is advisable to update your resume from time to capture your current skills profile and experience to date. Keep the contact details intact, unless you have changed your physical address or location. You might be contacted in future for an opening that you qualify and you would not want to miss the opportunity. Remember to keep the style simple after making changes to your resume.
You might have the passion and dedication for a teaching job, but this does not mean that your resume will secure you a job. So, take time to learn how to create an effective resume. You can make use of resume building tools and professionally designed templates and even check out samples of resume from experienced teachers who have had successful teaching career.
Posted: March 15th, 2012 | Author: John Thomson | Filed under: Places in Asia | 2 Comments »
It is apparent that at any one time, the TEFL expatriate has plenty of employment opportunities outside his or her native country. One’s qualification may be the passport to a profitable teaching job in an expansive language market which includes South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and other Asian countries. New openings are being created as a vast majority of local speakers are eager to learn and use English. If you have a university degree or formal training and the enthusiasm to teach, then you can explore the top 10 cities highlighted below.
# 1 Tokyo
If you are visiting Asia, then Tokyo has to be your first stop over ESL teaching destination. Most schools here offer the best working and living opportunities to English expatriates. Interestingly, recruitment goes on all year round and successful recruits get sponsorships, low cost housing, partial insurance cover, and other forms of assistance to facilitate comfortable lifestyles. Beginners also have access to on the job training, feedback, and a ready curriculum which gives them a upper hand when teaching. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry much if you don’t have ESL certification. Above all, you must have the eagerness to teach professionally and to live in Japan. On average, teachers receive about ¥250- ¥300,000 or $2,000-$2,400/ month, but this varies with the locations and schools. You can check out recruiting agencies such as aeonet.com, GABA, and Interac. These are good for beginners and experienced teachers.
# 2 Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is a commercial hub which doubles up as a tourist destiation, and certainly one of the most expensive cities to live. Surprisingly, it also has a considerable number of citizens including students who are dying to learn English. The pay scale for ESL teachers is very high and the best thing about it is that teachers get tax free salary and free housing. The flourishing economy makes it among the favorite destinations for ESL teachers looking for a good pay and comfortable lifestyle.
In Abu Dhabi, the Ministry of Education regulates the curriculum and English is a core component of education. This explains why there are several international schools which offer professional language training. Besides that, there is also a good number of public and private schools which absorb most of the ESL teachers. Unlike in other parts of Asia, qualifications and expectations of a TEFL expatriate is high and so most teachers have TEFL certification besides their bachelor or masters degrees. Although majority of openings specify natives, sometimes, there are openings for non-native speakers.
# 3 Seoul Korea
One of the best destinations for ESL teachers in Asia is Seoul, South Korea. This fascinating city has a huge demand for native English teachers which outstrips supply. This location has abundant opportunities, the remuneration for teachers are better than other cities. Teachers also get perks such as air tickets, paid holidays, medical insurance, and free housing which are a big plus. On average, the monthly salary can be between $1.7 million to 2.1 million won ($1,450-$1,600.
There are also a considerable number of private schools in most suburbs of Seoul. The basic requirement for ESL teaching is a Bachelor’s degree though most private institutions prefer native English speakers. Generally, the cultural rules and social etiquette can be challenging for foreigners, but with the help of other teachers, you can quickly adapt to the lifestyle and culture of a warm people.
# 4 Hong Kong
Besides being a manufacturing hub, Hong Kong is a great destination for native ESL teachers. Sometime back, the outbreak of SARs caused a flight of teachers and consequently, this created a considerable demand for both experienced and untrained teachers. Beginners who venture into this territory may have the impression that it is impossible to find work. However, if you are a native speaker then you can land TEFL jobs easily.
What makes Hong Kong a favorite for ESL teachers is the high wages that are paid to teachers. Part time teachers can earn $30-$50/hour. Those who are employed in language centers earn $2,000/month while those brought in by the government about $4,000. Besides the good pay, Hong Kong is an exciting city with a fascinating atmosphere and way of life. Its atmosphere is a sort of East-West blend which means the local and exotic have been juxtaposed.
# 5 Shanghai
China has one of the largest populations of people in Asia who are hungry to learn the English language. Interestingly, native English teachers from the west have been plying their trade in academic institutions in the last two decades. Cities like Shanghai and Beijing have a prosperous middle class which explains why there is an explosion of private learning institutions in all the major cities. There are new opportunities being created online and so it is easy to spot new ESL openings.
Requirements for those aspiring to teach ESL in Shanghai are not stringent and so anyone with a university degree is considered capable. Anyway, if you have received formal training and teaching experience, then you stand a good chance of finding good employment. The perks and remuneration in cities like Beijing and Shanghai are great and they include free air tickets.
Indonesia is a populous country and it is slowly recovering from political turmoil and economic hardships that had beset it in the 90s. Even so, language schools pulled through the challenges and there is an invigorated interest in English language in cities like Jakarta. There is a considerable number of individuals and companies that hire foreign teachers (British& Americans) to teach in large schools at a pay 10 times that of local wage.
Beginners may have a difficult time which may confine them to locally managed backstreet institutions. Individuals who have received TESL training have the greatest prospects of teaching English in Jakarta. Contracts may last anywhere between 12-18 months and one can find job postings in dailies such as the Jakarta Post or the Indonesian Observer. Visas are a major requirement and fortunately, most schools apply for visa permits on behalf of teachers. Generally, schools pay between $700-$900/month and teachers receive free housing which allows them to lead relatively comfortable lifestyles.
It is evident that Bangkok is a top ESL destination for both trained and untrained teachers. Besides the capital, there are also plenty of opportunities in the provinces. One fascinating thing about Bangkok is that jobs for native English teachers are almost guaranteed. There is also less teacher recruitment outside Thailand. One thing to note is that most private institutions and colleges with EFL departments rely greatly on native English speakers.
Most TEFL teachers have no work visa and most teachers only use tourist visas. The good thing is that colleges and universities may be willing to apply for work permits on behalf of teachers with vast experience and who can agree to sign 1 year contracts. The minimum qualification for applicants is a BA and sometimes a relevant TEFL certification is required. The only downside to a city with more teaching opportunities is the low wages. The hourly rate is 250-300 baht which is less than $6. Even so, living expenses are low which makes life affordable.
If you are looking for a destination that has ready jobs for native English speakers with college degrees, then you should venture into Taipei. Despite changes in legislation to curb immigrant flow, the demand for native English teachers who can teach for up to 1 year remains considerably high. Most private schools, cram schools, and state funded secondary schools assist foreign teachers acquire work permits.
One fascinating thing is that most people in the capital still prefer American accents. The basic requirements for aspiring ESL teachers include University diploma, work contract, and health certificate issued while in Taiwan. The rates are not bad for beginners and may average NT$700 or $17/ hour. But, private schools offer better pay than public ones. The only problem with this capital is the stratospheric levels of pollution which only rivals that of Mexico City.
If you are looking for ESL teaching openings, then you can check in the South China Post, notice boards, and some agencies like Taiwan-Teachers which can organize interviews for teachers.
#9 Ho Chi Minh City
The most striking thing about Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh city is the characteristic youthfulness of its population. More than 50% of the population are in the youth bracket. Not only that, this vast population also has an overwhelming number of people who desire to learn English as a prerequisite for employment and, this creates a vibrant market for ESL teachers.
Although there are several opportunities for ESL teachers, most expatriates work in private institutions. There are several hundreds of teachers in Ho Chi Minh City. Most classes focus on general English, though there are classes for special needs such as TOEFL preparation or Business English. The minimum qualification for working in a private institution is a BA. A TEFL certification will certainly be an added advantage, though it is still possible to get employed without any certification, but the opportunities will be fewer and the pay less. Remember, majority of employers want to see certificates and valid documents.
#10 Kuala Lumpur
The last city that squeezes its way into the top ten cities (destinations) for ESL teachers is Kuala Lumpur. This city has the longest skyscrapers and a great number of shopping malls, and lots of entertainment galore. It has a mixed population of English speakers who range from good to poor speakers. This city like the rest of Malaysia has a diverse culture comprising, Malay, Chinese, and Indians.
If you are British native then you stand a good chance of finding a good job because Malaysians prefer British to American accents. Unlike other parts of Asia, Malaysia has several foreign students from the Middle East who come to study English first before pursuing university degrees. Given the widespread use of English in Kuala Lumpur, it might help if you are formally trained or if you have CELTA/TESOL plus experience at the time you submit an application to a job vacancy. The rates are competitive and the good thing is that teachers have greater flexibility when working.
Posted: March 15th, 2012 | Author: John Thomson | Filed under: Interview tips | 1 Comment »
Anyone venturing into ESL employment always has the prospect of being subjected to an interview. Early preparation for the interview allows you to be confident and be able to diligently and accurately answer all the questions that will be directed at you. For purposes of better understanding and creating order, we will divide these questions into 3 main categories: personal questions, career related questions and the general knowledge questions.
1. What Are Your Strengths?
This is among the most common questions you will find in any given ESL teachers’ interview. As such, you would expect that people would give an answer that would boost their chances of being hired. However, as it is a common question, many will give a cliché answer. In an interview of 100 people approximately 90% of the candidates will give the same answer. Be honest in your response and give a unique and relevant strength to your field perhaps one that will give you an edge over other interviewees.
2. What are some of your weaknesses?
The funny thing with this question is that it elicits responses that often compromise the ability of an ESL teacher to do a particular task. For example, as a teacher, if you say that your biggest weakness is dealing with a slow learner, you will only succeed in ruining your chances of being hired since the employer knows that a good teacher ought to be patient and considerate of the student’s needs. What you can do in this case is to give an answer that portrays you in good light. Avoid giving out weaknesses such as being a perfectionist which has been used over and over again, and adds little or no value to you image.
3. Are you a team player?
This question has many sides to it. It can be used to determine how well you can relate as an ESL teacher with the fellow staff members. This is an important attribute in any school setting as it provides a healthy learning environment. So, if you want to create a good impression, you should at least say that you get along quite well with other people. Secondly, this question can imply how well you are able to participate in activities that require combined task force such as team-teaching and other co-curricular activities for the benefit of both the staff and students. With this in mind, your response should not be a single word but a brief explanation of all these aspects mentioned here.
Career related questions
4. Can you describe how your ideal class room looks like?
If asked such a question, you should put into consideration how your class rooms operate, how you teach and the way the students interact and participate in class. This should be in relation to the level of the education of the students and your expertise as an ESL teacher. Use this opportunity to build a good image of how you would be able to effectively carry out and manage your class. Start from the time you enter the room and describe how everything appears. You can use pictorial evidence of your previous class to demonstrate your class arrangement and its effectiveness.
5.) What made you decide that you want to work in our school?
So as to answer this question correctly, prior research or the school and the location of the school is required. You should find out the academic performance and reputation of the school in question. A good approach would be to give precise reasons for your interest in that particular school or district. Find out about their academic achievements, goals and perspectives. You would also do well to familiarize yourself with the faculty and the activities that take place in the school. This way, you show your potential employer just how serious you are about getting that position in the said school.
6.) What is your take on discipline in a classroom?
Depending on the level one is teaching and the mode of teaching, this will vary from one ESL teacher to another. However, there should be some form of discipline in the way the students will interact with the teacher and the fellow students. Be keen to outline how you hope to effectively instill discipline in your students while at the same time effectively carryout your lessons. Present to your employer a plan of how you are going to achieve this. The best way would be to ensure the students get to know what you can tolerate and what you cannot during the first week of service.
7.) What are some of the aspects that qualify one to be a good principal?
You should be careful in answering this question as principal of the school is likely to be among the interviewing panel. Do not air views that might put the principal in bad light or show a disapproval of his/her running of the school. This is why it is important to conduct a feasibility study of the school before the interview. By asking you this, the panel wants to know the traits that you value as a teacher.
8.) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?
Such a question is used to determine the aggressiveness and vision of a potential teacher in an interview. It is a fact that a successful person always has a vision of where they want to be or what they hope to achieve in the future. Be careful not to say that you envision yourself as being the principal of that school in the near future as you might portray yourself in bad light. Instead try to focus on what you hope to achieve with the students.
9.) Is there anything you would like to ask us?
In an interview, you might be given an opportunity to ask questions. When this happens, ask questions that build your image and avoid the ones that you can find out the answers by yourself. This way, you show the interviewing panel that you have an interest in the ESL teaching field and the vacancy as well. Your questions should major on areas related to the school.
10. What is your view on the education system in this area or district?
Here, you are given an opportunity to give suggestions on how the current education system can be improved or what you think might be good or bad about this system. It goes a long way to show just how much experience you have as a teacher and how much you are able to give to the school.
One of the traits that a panel will look for in an individual is honesty. So, try as much as possible to be honest in your responses and make sure you answer each question in a simple yet precise manner. And, when you are asking questions, don’t turn the tables so that you dominate the interview.
The above are just but a few of the questions you might be asked, so take time to know the possible questions and the appropriate responses to these and other related questions. Remember, preparation and understanding the needs and expectations of the interviewing panel is the key to sailing through an ESL teacher’s interview.