8 Best Apps for ESL Teachers

8 Best Apps for ESL Teachers

The modern world is pretty amazing, especially when it comes to technology and how much it can help when you are looking to simplify certain parts of your life. When you can find a way to make technology part of your work day — and actually benefit from it — that’s even better.  

If, as an ESL teacher, you’re looking for some advice on the best ESL apps to help make your life simpler and your lessons easier, you’re in the right spot.  

Here are some of the 8 best apps for ESL teachers that really will make a difference.

8 best esl apps for teachers

1. Class Dojo

To help you keep everything organized and accessible, Class Dojo is an ESL app that offers a series of forums that you can customize for each of your classes. 

Each class has a separate, private forum. In this forum, your students can interact and enjoy an online culture. As the teacher, you can award points and digital stickers to students within the app.  

There is also a private section of the app that allows for communication between you and your student as well as parents. Nice to have everything all in one app!

2. FluentU

Students absolutely love the idea of watching a video. It’s even better if it’s a video about things that they care about. 

When you want to bump up engagement and help them to discover real English content that is relevant to speakers of all ages, FluentU is great for compiling it all together in one app. From news articles to funny cartoon videos, it’s all available here along with the listing of what level the English speakers should be at, and the number of words used.  

This app is also great because it has an interactive game function where a student can tap on a word and see how it is used in a sentence with images.  For those that need a little extra boost in vocabulary, it’s a great helping hand.

3. Kahoot!

Great for bringing out a healthy competitive edge, Kahoot! will help in the classroom whether you want to use this as everyone individually or in groups.  

You create a quiz with a series of questions that you design, focused on the ESL lesson you just did. The students have to race each other to finish the quiz using their own mobile devices. You can display the results on the board.

4. English Listening and Speaking

If you want to encourage your students to get more immersed in the actual world of English, this app helps do that be putting together a series of resources that are focused on promoting English listening. 

This ESL app is entirely focused on exposing students to English so that their comfort in a conversation will strengthen. This is great for those who specifically struggle in social conversation situations. 

It can also be used in class or at home.

5. Speedy English Grammar Practice: Fun ESL Exercises

When you want to make grammar fun, this ESL app is a great trustworthy option that everyone can enjoy. 

Great in the class or assigned as homework, this app will test each student on grammar exercises so that they can use games and their competitive sides to learn English.

When you are looking at refining their grammar skills in particular, game-based activities like in this app are a great option.

6. Memrise

Great for homework, this ESL app works by you designing an assignment with words and vocabulary that relates to your recent lesson, and then assigning it to your students.

This focuses on making learning fun and can be customized to each lesson as you want it to. It’s also great because students will move through the assignment at their own pace, assuring you that you aren’t moving anyone along too quickly or, on the other hand, holding anyone else back.  

This is particularly helpful for new topics and grammar.

7. VIP Talk

If you, as an ESL teacher, want to test out your teaching skills or refine them, you may find that VIP Talk is great. You will work with students who are learning English and help them along however you see fit. You’ll also get paid for your time — the rate varies based on your experience — so this is great for when you are looking at adding a bit of extra income to your life. You can teach ESL your way.

8. The Talk List

If you are looking at working with adults and ESL, this app will help you to interact with them one on one and get a feel for how they learn. This app doesn’t require experience, a degree, or even that you’re a native speaker.  They just want you to work with anyone who wants to try speaking English.  

If you teach kids ESL and want to try switching to adults, this is a great app to trust to help you try it out, to even to add to your ESL schedule.  Another fun way to teach English in China.

find your ESL teaching routine

Figure Out Your ESL Routine

Everyone runs their classroom a little differently, and it can take some time to figure out what is going to work for you. 

Whether you’re looking for a classroom management option, a student helper that uses games to enhance their English learning, or a mobile app that is going to be great for trying out ESL teaching on your own time while getting paid, there really is something for everyone. The goal is to figure out which one is going to work best for your ESL routine.

Test and Choose What’s Best For You!

Teaching ESL is a rewarding job and, regardless of how you decide to do it, you can add technology and apps into your schedule to make it easier and more engaging for everyone. 

These are some of the best 8 apps for all of your needs, whatever they may be. You’ll be able to enjoy all of them to satisfy your comfort, practical and technological needs.

Now all that’s left is for you to determine which of these apps for English teachers is going to be best for you!

You might also be interested in:

8 Best Apps for ESL Teachers

12 Best ESL Classroom Games to Engage Your Students

8 ESL Warm-up Activities to Start Strong for Your ESL Lesson

10 Interesting ESL Conversation Topics to Help You Engage Your Students

8 Best Overseas Jobs for Americans

Overseas jobs for Americans

Working overseas? Not as difficult as you might think

Sometimes, staying in the same job in America can be a stressful life and the wanderlust is far too strong to resist. There is a desire in you to leave everything behind to explore the world, one corner at a time. It’s like a siren’s song, you have to follow it.

However, establishing in a new country that’s totally different from America is not as easy as some films might portray. It requires stability, the one that can only be provided by a steady income.

But how to get a job abroad?

What are the best sources for finding international jobs for Americans? Check the following eight options, all sorted within categories according to topic and expertise. You decide what suits your talents and interests. 

Tourism & Hospitality

Working overseas in hospitality industry

Many countries make a living out of their booming tourism industry, meaning there is a steady demand for jobs within that field. 

Armed with your English skills and your desire to explore your host country’s culture, any of these jobs will prove to be fulfilling, both financially and culturally.

8. Hotel & Resort jobs

During peak seasons, many hostels, hotels, and resorts require seasonal hiring to deal with the massive influx of tourists. Lucky for you, most establishments prefer people with high English skills.

Receptionist work, cooking duty, and cleaning routines are activities you may have to perform, but the plus side is the thriving cultural environment. 

If you would like to get to know the city and people from all over the world, this might be the dream job for you.

7. Join a Cruise Ship

Who says working overseas cannot be taken literally

Traveling through the sea means each ship must provide all the services their guest would be able to get on land. Odds are you have at least one of the abilities on demand for cruises, so applying would allow you to earn a living while exploring the world. 

While cruise jobs are on high demand, speaking English grants you an advantage many others don’t enjoy, so give it a go and enjoy!

Health & Humanitarian Aid

Working overseas in NGO

Few things are as universal as wellbeing. 

You can support struggling countries by aiding and providing for those in need. One of the best ways to do so is, of course, enrolling in humanitarian jobs. You get paid for your services, while changing the world for the better.

6. Work alongside NGOs 

Working with Non-Governmental Organizations and non-profit institutions does not grant a luxurious lifestyle. However, if you are committed to a particular cause, this type of job will enrich you in more ways than one.

The best part? There are NGOs for everythingEven better, NGOs need English-speaking staff to guarantee stable communication and reduce the language bridge, and almost every field is required, IT, political science, agriculture, finances, and more.

5. Healthcare

Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are in demand everywhere. If your calling is providing and assisting in healthcare, you will be pleased to know your job knows no boundaries. 

American citizens are always an asset, both because of their language and skills. While you can start your duty as a volunteer, you can always turn your activity into a paid job. 

You don’t even need to be on the medical field to assist, as they often require other experts as well.

Technology & Communication

Working overseas in tech industry

The rise of the information and communication technologies (ICT) has created a new plethora of job opportunities that are practically universal.

Whether you remain in the US or travel across the sea, you almost have a job guaranteed if you specialize in tech and communication, whether in a company or as a digital nomad.

4. Journalism and Blogging

While freelancing jobs can involve any field, it’s undeniable that journalism and blogging are, perhaps, some of the best ones to engage in while living overseas. 

Turn your experience into a work of art by reflecting it according to your talents—be it writing, photography, cinematography, modeling or any other medium.

With hard work (and some luck) you will find success through social media or freelancing markets—all while learning and enjoying your host country.

3. Tech jobs

Technology might be the one thing even more universal than English. Every country seeks to innovate themselves through tech development, and experts on the field are quite popular nowadays. 

Whether you are an engineer, a programmer, or perhaps an entrepreneur seeking the next investment, odds are your English skills and expertise will be applauded in any booming industry, either as a freelancer or as an employee.

Teaching & Childcare

Working overseas in education - teach englsih in China

Luckily, knowing English is an asset that never goes out of fashion. As the most universal of languages, people seek to learn it—through native speakers, of course. 

If you have a talent for teaching or handling kids, then perhaps this might be your calling overseas.

2. Au Pair

Similar to a nanny, but not quite. Comparable to a teacher, yet not completely. The au pair is, perhaps, one of the most popular job options for Americans overseas.

As an au pair, you will work with a family and look after the kids. The difference between an au pair and a regular nanny is that you will be required to teach them valuable intercultural values and, most importantly, English. 

You get paid in return, but also acquire a strong support system and the chance to explore and know the local culture.

1. Teaching English… In China! 

As you may have realized, having English as your mother tongue is an invaluable asset while trying to establish yourself in another country. Taking this into consideration is not a surprise that teaching English is the best job for American expats. 

While every single non-English speaking country benefits from English teachers, China stands out. 

With an impressive population and booming market, China’s desires to expand globally reflect in their interest towards English — native teachers are on-demand, and the job has incredible remuneration and benefits to consider, all while exploring a rich culture. 

You will need to fulfill some requirements — including a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification — but it is worth it.

Bottom line? The best job depends on you 

In all honesty, your skill set and interests will determine whether or not a particular job is the best one for you. Your talent is endless, and so is the list of possibilities available for you in every corner of the world.

Teaching Abroad Tips: What to Bring

Teaching Abroad Tips: What to Bring

If you’re thinking about how you’d like to teach English overseas, you certainly aren’t alone. You can get paid and travel at the same time, all while getting some great photos and meeting incredible people that will be in your life forever.  

That being said, there are some practical details that you need to focus on when you are considering the journey overseas. Particularly, how to pack when teaching abroad. It’s not quite the same as when you are just going away on a small trip over the weekend.  

Here are some of the most important travel items to have on you when you get on that plane. 

Know the dress code

what to bring teaching abroad - know the dress code

You have to make sure that you are prepared in your clothing choices for the venue in which you’re teaching. While some are okay with relaxed and casual clothing, most will prefer that you look the part of educational. This means natural colours, high cut tops, clean shoes and dress pants or skirts.  

Prioritize this when you’re packing your clothes, but try to tuck away a few pieces that you are going to need in your downtime (jeans, a hoodie, etc).


You can’t just run home when you forget something, so it’s important to double check and triple check that you have all of the documents that you need. This includes copies of your academic certifications, your health insurance, registered ID and work visa (if applicable).  

Try to have electronic copies as a backup, but make sure you have paper copies, too.  This will make sure you’re prepared for whatever comes your way in terms of formal paperwork and identification. 

Your personal items

what to bring teaching abroad - personal items

From special moisturizer to medications, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got enough of everything to last you until the end of your adventure abroad, unless you’re absolutely sure that you can get refills and replacements in the place you’ll be in.  

If you don’t have any kind of special products that you absolutely need, you can just take enough supplies for a week’s worth, and enjoy the idea of shopping around for local items. 

Comfort food

Travelling is hard and you will get homesick at times. Make sure you bring some of your favourite comfort food must-haves so that you can have a little taste of home — literally.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy local cuisine while you’re there, of course, but you don’t want to wish that you had brought your favourite food with you, too.

Extra money

Even if you have a good amount of certainty that you are going to have access to funds from the moment you get there, make sure you are prepared with extra cash that you have already converted into the local currency.  

Even if it’s just for peace of mind, knowing that you’ve got access to cash when you may need it is worth its extra packing! 

Be ready for homesickness

what to bring teaching abroad - get ready for homesickness

From a favourite stuffed animal to a photograph, make sure that you are prepared for those hard moments of homesickness that will sink in at first. 

You may find that you have to stay in constant contact with your loved ones, or simply detach and isolate yourself intentionally in the space until you adjust. Do what you need to do, and bring pieces of home with you at the same time. 

Dress for the season

From outerwear to seasonal comfort to protection, you need to make sure that you are ready for the season and the conditions of the country that you’re visiting. 

It’s always a good idea to have a raincoat/multi-purpose jacket, a good pair of sneakers, and dress shoes, for instance. Make sure you are ready to take on the climate and be prepared to have to do some emergency shopping if not. 

Bring a backpack

what to bring teaching abroad - a backpack

Sure, you don’t think you’re going to need something as primal as a backpack when you are heading overseas to teach ESL, but you really will. You’ll want to make sure that you have a lightweight, comfortable backpack that is going to help you pack away all of your must-haves for the day. From commutes to day trips, your backpack will be your most prized possession.  

Not sure what you want?  Bring an old one and be prepared to invest in a new one once you get there and see what you really need.

Bring earplugs

Even if you sleep easily, travelling is fraught with all sorts of new occasions and sounds that can keep the already stressed out traveller up at all hours. There’s nothing like a week of poor night sleeps to make you feel like absolute crap. Bring earplugs or a white noise machine or anything else that you think will help you get a good sleep when you need it.

Get a camera

Phones are great and all, but you’re travelling to a foreign country and you’re going to want to take photos that will be incredible. Phones take some good photos, but they’ll often break or die or delete data and you’ll be left wishing you had a camera. So, bring a camera.  

It’s best to invest in a really good quality one, but if budget is an issue, just borrow one from a friend, or get a low quality one.  Any camera is better than none at all. 

Got everything you need teaching abroad?

ready to teach abroad

There’s nothing quite as exciting as travelling overseas, but once you get on the plane, that’s it. Make sure you are as prepared as possible by putting together a suitcase filled with all of the things that you are actually going to use. 

There’s nothing worse than packing it wrong and wishing you had learned about what you should pack, so use this guide of 10 must-have travel items to make sure that you are always prepared for the amazing experience of travelling abroad, and all of the memories that it is going to bring you and all those around you.

Standard of Living in China

Standard of Living in China

A Brief Overview

Visiting and living in different countries allow you to experience an entirely new culture, an unknown language, beautiful traditions, and interact with people of different beliefs. But there are a few of the constraints too, especially when you are planning to live there long-term.

With China’s emerging economy, a lot of people are also moving here either for their job, business, or studies. And many of them share a common concern; what is the standard of living in China?

To answer your question, we have put together fact-based, data-driven information in hopes of giving you a clear picture.

For starters, the rising economy in China has certainly elevated the lives of millions of citizens. Today an average middle-class Chinese family enjoys similar luxuries to those of the European family. Tourism has been increased tenfold as more tourist destinations have been built, so you will never feel alone, or at a loss for things to do.

Food Quality and Variety:

Food Quality and Variety in China

Many of us have heard of the issues China has faced historically because of overpopulation, especially when it comes to food deficiency.

In efforts to control limited resources, many unhealthy fertilizers and hazardous chemicals were used. But luckily, because the government started implementing stricter food safety policies; today China offers safer and higher-quality food to its citizens.

Not only this, but Chinese cuisine is also getting more popular worldwide for the variety it offers. Many leading chefs all over the world and especially Asia are even moving to China to work (Dwain, 2019).

This means the tourists can enjoy not only local foods on the streets of Beijing, but also foods from around the world, be it Indian, Thai, Japanese, or Arabian. 


Transportation in China

China has a well-developed transport system with diverse options.

For the people traveling on a tight schedule, there are enormous airports in many major cities, offering convenient and quick travel around the country. Otherwise, there is the bullet train, available to take you to nearby cities in the blink of an eye.

These are not only quick but offer you a closer look into the cities as they surpass the window screen. Other than that, there is rental car service, wide network of buses including Bus Rapid Transit (BRTs), metro systems in most major cities, and bike-sharing programs to make your travel easy and enjoyable. 

Public Safety:

Public Safety in China

There have been significant efforts to eliminate corruption throughout the country, be it police, policy-making institutions, health sector or any judicial firm.

These efforts have made China is a safer place to travel and enjoy, even for foreigners, be it night or in rural areas. The citizens are no longer at high risk for violent crimes and robbery. The government imposed public safety rules that have been effective and allow citizens to feel safer. (Marchetto, 2019)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP):

Gross Domestic Product in China

The government has launched an anti-poverty scheme in attempts to mitigate class differences, which are currently significant. They have introduced various education, health and local industrial initiatives to help the cause.

A very common way to visualize the living standard of a country is to evaluate per capita GDP. 

GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is the average amount of goods and services produced per person in a nation in a given year at constant prices.

According to the recent evaluation, China holds second place in the world’s top ten countries with the highest GDP with GDP of $15,543,710 (world population review).

Shanghai is the city with China’s highest median monthly wage of $1,135 (The globalist, 2018). Shanghai’s median wage is higher than that of Hungary and is nearing that of Czechia and Poland. (The globlist, 2018)  


Infrastructure in China

Infrastructure, including skyscrapers, road, rails, and telecommunications, do a lot to improve a country’s economy.

China has already proved its mettle in the field by building four of the world’s top 10 tallest buildings. It’s incredible to see all of these enormously tall buildings in cities like Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

There has been a 51% increase in road construction connecting the rural and urban areas from 2005-2015 (Jingnan, 2018). Also, more than 100 million citizens have benefited from the upgrades in power and telecommunication fields (Jingnan, 2018).  

Work life:

Work life in China

The economic reforms introduced in the country would have been useless without the struggles of the citizens. Despite the height of economic prosperity that they have reached still many people are working long, 12+ hour days.

Although China is considered one of the most highly over-populated regions they are not facing the scarcity of jobs and career opportunities as many of the economic prosperity has attracted the well-known companies to come and establish their plants in the region offering numbers of job opportunities to the residents. 

China’s economic prosperity has surely elevated the standard of living of not only the Chinese citizens but also of the foreigners.

Life in China is not only improving but also a lot more fun with many places to visit and a more diverse range of people. So if you have an opportunity to live or even settle in this country, it is a place is full of cultural heritage, taste, and economic stability. 


Dwain. (2019). travelguide/living-standard. Retrieved from China highlights: www.chinahighlights.com

Jingnan, Z. (2018). news/3d3d414d7949544e31457a6333566d54/share_p.html. Retrieved from CGTN News: www.newscgtn.com

Marchetto, P. (2019, june 17). travelguide/article/chinese-laws. Retrieved from china highlights: www.chinahighlights.com

The globalist. (2018, april 14). china europe living standards gdp. Retrieved from The globalist: www.theglobalist.com

world population review. countries/countries-by-gdp. Retrieved from world population review: worldpopulationreview.com

12 Best ESL Classroom Games to Engage Your Students

For many people, Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) is such a rewarding opportunity. It really allows you to try out different approaches to language learners of all ages.  As you can imagine, playing games is the best way to not only help young ones learn, but to make learning English fun and accessible for learners of all kinds and ages.

Here are some of the 12 best ESL games to make part of your classroom activities,  guaranteed that it’s going to be as fun for you as it is for them.

It’s important to note that these games are not an exhaustive list. These are simply some of the preferred classroom games by experienced teachers. Any of these can be adapted towards whatever topic or lesson you have been teaching that day. So they’re always relatable and educational while promoting fun.

1. Charades 

ESL games Charades

Charades is great for encouraging healthy competition against classmates. You can do it in groups or partnerships. Someone has to mime the action displayed on the card  they pull from a hat, and their teammate(s) has to guess what the action is.

This is great for customizing to each lesson and can be scaled into small or large teams as needed.

2. Pictionary 

Similar to Charades, Pictionary requires no communication and will work with the person drawing a representation of the action on their chosen card/paper from the hat. 

This is great for those who are self-conscious as well as those who are artistically inclined.

3. Telephone 

This popular game requires for students to sit in a circle.  The teacher must develop a medium to long sentence using new vocabulary or a related lesson topic. The message is whispered from ear to ear around the circle. The last person to hear the message says it out loud and then it is compared to the teacher’s original statement. 

This is great for those days where students are tired or have a hard time focusing.

4. Hot Potato 

ESL games hot potato

Similar to Telephone, Hot Potato works by someone tossing something soft around a circle (in order, or at random) and each person must say a word of phrase related to a central topic that is chosen by the teacher. The more words that are said by the time the counter runs out, the higher the reward.

This can be a group activity in a large circle, or it can be done in smaller groups to encourage teamwork and healthy competition.

5. Chalkboard Acronym 

Chalkboard classroom games can be more basic too. In Chalkboard Acronym, a teacher writes a word vertically on the board.  Students must come up with a word for each letter relating to the central topic chosen by the teacher. 

This can be done at their desks, or on the chalkboard for a more interactive approach.

6. Hangman 

Hangman is a classic game that requires the teacher to write a series of lines  on the board, forming an (untold) word. Then students guess a series of letters. Each letter that is guessed correctly gets put on the appropriate space(s). Each incorrect guess gets a piece of the “hangman” drawn on its pole. Students can guess the word at any point, but incorrect guesses create another add-on to the hangman. When the hangman is anatomically correct, the game over and the students lose. 

This can be customized to just about any lesson at any point and is especially useful for spelling and writing comprehension.

7. Bingo 

ESL games Bingo

Bingo works by having a scoreboard determined in topic by teacher. It can be simple as coded pieces of paper and each code relates to a certain lesson from the week. The teacher will start pulling out hints or codes at random and the first person to fill a straight line wins a prize.  

8. Hidden Objects 

A true classic that allows for students to work together as a group, this game involves collecting several items together from the classroom, especially relating to the most recent lesson. The objects are laid out and then covered after a few minutes. The students have to guess the objects that were on display.

The more objects, the harder it is. For bonus points, students can also guess the location of the objects in relation to each other.  This allows students to help each other, too. 

9. Quizalize 

Using technology, teaching games can be used for live-time action. This game allows for one quiz to be accessed by several students at time on tablets and the results of the questions answered are displayed in real time. 

This is great for teamwork, as the teams can compete each other to get the most answers correct in the shortest amount of time.

10. Two Truths and a Lie 

ESL games Two Truths and a Lie 

This game involves students telling two truths and a lie and others having to guess which is the lie. This can easily be related to classroom topics as needed. It can also be done in groups or as a class.

This is especially useful for those students that love to talk!

11. Simon Says

A great full class activity, Simon Says requires a student to instruct their classmates to do something (related to the central lesson theme if possible) using the precursor “Simon Says”. Without saying that, and indicating the action to do, the students who follow the instructions are either “it” (aka Simon), or tagged out of the game.

12. Problem Solving 

ESL games Problem Solving 

By using labels on headbands or on their backs, students must guess the term on their label by asking questions to their fellow students. Students cannot offer advice, only answer their questions.

This is great in groups or as a classroom.

Bonus: New game ideas from Linguish 


ESL classroom games are always fun for the teacher and students. Finding the right ones can be a fun challenge and you can customize each of these to be whatever you want. Designed to help students learn and enjoy it at the same time, these 12 examples ESL games are fun for learners of all ages. 

How to Become an ESL Teacher?

how to become an ESL teacher

There are a lot of people out there that want to learn how to become an ESL teacher. ESL jobs are only getting more and more popular as the world’s population looks at learning English.

An ESL teacher has the responsibility of teaching English to students of all ages who are looking to understand the basic skills in the English language. Sometimes the classes can be specified in a certain environment so that the English skills are developed to be useful in that environment (for example: a doctor’s office).

Why be an ESL teacher?

why become an esl teacher

There are so many perks to consider when looking at why to become an ESL teacher.

Firstly, there are a lot of perks in terms of teaching a language. You get to inspire minds and show them that learning English isn’t hard of scary. You get to be a supportive and encouraging person in a learner’s life to show them that everything that they try is worthwhile.

You’ll also find that being an ESL teacher helps you to learn about the world, too. You’ll learn about different cultures, different backgrounds, and some great people skills that will stay with you everywhere that you go in life.

So, the question then becomes: Why NOT be an ESL teacher?

Teach ESL in your home country

teach ESL in your home country

If you’re interested in teaching ESL but don’t want to travel, don’t worry, you can teach ESL in your home country and still have a rewarding experience from start to finish.

  • Bachelor degree

Just like anywhere that you might teach English in your own country, you often will require a bachelor’s degree in a related field.  This is to make sure that you are qualified in English and that you are comfortable teaching it.

  • Internships

From there, you will participate in teaching internships that will help further hone your skills and give you the support and feedback that you need to be the best teacher that you can be. Once you are ready, you’ll be licensed by the state or country, and be qualified to teach ESL.

  • Community or association

If you want to get better job prospects within your home country, it could be helpful to be part of a community or an association.  The more contacts you have within your local community, the better.

Teach ESL Abroad

Teach ESL abroad, teach English abroad

If you like what you’re hearing but what to consider the idea of seeing the world and teaching at the same time, say no more. You can look at teaching ESL abroad and enjoy the travel bug as well as the opportunity to teach to those who really want to make the most out of the experience.

The requirements for teaching do vary depending on your country of choice, but you’ll often find yourself in need of a complete bachelor’s degree (with no specification), as well as a TEFL certificate. This qualifies you for international teaching.

Once you have those two things, you can gain some teaching experience by enjoying an internship or volunteering in local schools. This will help you get a feel for teaching and make sure that you are comfortable when you really do start.

Lastly, you should also get a clean background check. Since you are working with children and teens a lot of the time, this is also required from most countries for everyone’s protection and comfort.

Salary for teaching ESL abroad

Salary for teaching English abroad

Let’s be honest.

One of the most exciting things about being an ESL teacher abroad is the salary, so let’s take a look that. As you can imagine, the amount that you make will often depend on the country in which you are teaching. Here are a few examples of monthly salaries (USD) that you can expect:

  • China: $1 250-$2 850
  • Japan: $1 700-$3 500
  • Mexico: $500-$800
  • Qatar: $1 600-$4 000

These salaries would have to be able to pay for your monthly rental, food and other living expenses that you’ll encounter when you are looking at teaching abroad.

However, even with all of that in mind, you can often still shovel away upwards or $500 a month into savings. This is great when you want to travel, work and save money all at the same time.

–> Teaching English Abroad Salary: 8 Countries With The Most Demand

Career Outlook

career outlook for ESL teachers

  • Global citizen

Another thing to consider is what teaching ESL will do for you as far as a career goes. When you look at this as a job in your future, you’ll become a global citizen.  You’ll be able to travel around the world and teach English to anyone who wants it. This is great for those that just want to travel their whole lives.

  • Start your own training school

You cal also use this experience to give you the launching point for your own training school. If you are someone who really wants to be an entrepreneur and use their experience to motivate other teachers and learners, ESL teaching is a great first step.

  • Become a senior teacher or executive

You can also use this experience to help you become a senior teacher and even take on higher, larger executive roles within the company.  For those that want a focus on stability in the workplace and a corporate home, this is great.

  • Transform into another career

Lastly, ESL teaching can be used as motivation to take on another career entirely. Examples include marketing, freelancing and anything else that involves dealing with people. The thing about teaching ESL is that you get comfortable in working with new people and working outside of your comfort zone.  Skills like that are critical no matter where you decide to go with your corporate life.

Make the most out of ESL teaching 

While it’s true that teaching ESL may not be for everyone, it’s hard to argue with the process that you see here. You get to enjoy new countries, new cultures (or teach ESL in your home country, if preferred), and earn money while you’re at it.

There are no restrictions in sight with something as exciting as teaching English. The goal, now, is to determine just how you are going to make it right for you and your life so that you can make the most out of what ESL teaching has to offer.

You might also be interested in:

8 Best Apps for ESL Teachers

12 Best ESL Classroom Games to Engage Your Students

8 ESL Warm-up Activities to Start Strong for Your ESL Lesson

10 Interesting ESL Conversation Topics to Help You Engage Your Students

Teaching Abroad: 7 Things You Should Know Before Jetting Off

Teaching Abroad: 7 things you should know

Now that our world is so global, connecting with others in language is even more important than ever. Many countries are eager to learn to speak English as a second language which is why there are so many teaching opportunities around the world.

If you’ve grown tired of your current industry, want to do something different, or see more of the world, teaching abroad is an excellent choice. You’ll get paid quite well for your efforts and have liaisons helping you obtain any visas you need, set up your housing, and handle your airfare. However, there are some things you should be fully aware of before you sign up and commit to it. 

1. It’s a real job

teaching abroad is a real job
You need to show up and do your best for your students

Teaching English abroad is a real job, and should be treated as such. While you will get plenty of free time to explore, it’s not a paid vacation all the time. You need to show up and do your best. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never taught before, but you should apply the same principles you would for any job like showing up on time and doing what is required of your job. It’s a commitment, one that you should show up and do with professionalism

–> Teaching Opportunities in China

2. Teaching English in every country is different

In every country, you’ll notice a different teaching style. It’s very easy for you to adapt to it. And adapt you should because it’s much harder for students of any age to shift to your style. You can absolutely incorporate some of your culture into it and make it fun, but take some time to know how your students learn and line up with it for the best success. 

–> Best Countries to Teach English Abroad

3. Get to know the culture

respect and learn the cultures when teaching in a different country
Respect and learn the cultures when teaching in a different country

This ties in with the last point. If you go to another country to teach English but you don’t take the time to get to know more about the culture, you’ll be missing out on what truly makes this opportunity so rewarding. Every country has something unique to experience. You don’t need to master the language, but do try to learn the basics. Find out what foods are considered the best, what people do for fun, and what things to avoid to keep from committing a faux pas. 

4. Set goals for yourself

Some people move abroad to teach English to make more money. Others do it to broaden their horizons. And still others will do it for a combination of both things. Whatever your motivation, set your own personal goals. If you’re trying to earn enough money to come back home and start your life over, perhaps buying a new home, you’ll want to teach somewhere that allows you to earn enough salary. If you’re trying to branch out and do something different, think of what you want to accomplish and write down all your mini goals for the time you’ll spend teaching abroad. Examples could be mastering a new language, learning a new skill like cooking the cuisine from that country, and so on. 

5. Know how to be spontaneous

Lesson plans are meant as a guide to help you cover the materials and topics you’ll need to teach during a year. You should use them to prepare for class, but be flexible when you need to be. Sometimes, you have a great lesson set up on your laptop but the network is down in your school which will force you to rely on a backup plan. Always be prepared for that!

6. Gain respect first

gain respect from your students when you teach
Kids can be naughty sometimes, but they will respect you if you show them how to

One thing you should know is that in some countries, the kids can be very rude to new teachers. In afterschool classes where parents are pushing their kids to learn more English after a full day of school, these kids are tired and often have many other activities (like practicing piano or violin for example) to balance. It’s a lot to live up to. Still, that doesn’t mean you need to allow disrespect. From the start, be fun yet tough. Smile, tell jokes, and if someone exhibits bad behavior, have a plan in place to punish it. 

7. Build up your expat network

And finally, one of the most important things you should do when teaching English abroad is to forge friendships with your fellow expats. No matter how nice the school is to you, no matter how great your students are, no matter all the blessings you may find, there will be days that you will simply miss home and all the people you love there. It’s not always easy to adjust to another culture, especially when it’s so different from your own. When you have other expats in your network, they instantly get it. They’ve had bad days too, and when you stick together, you can lift each other up when you need to. 


Teaching English abroad is a wonderful opportunity. Not every day will be a great one, but most days, you’ll find a new way of looking at the world. After a year of teaching abroad, you may even want to keep doing it. Or you may want to go home. But whichever you decide, you’ll be changed in the best of ways and have a brighter future waiting for you. 

10 Interesting ESL Conversation Topics to Help You Engage Your Students

10 Interesting ESL Conversation Topics to Help You Engage Your Students

When it comes to teaching ESL, whether you’ve taught before or are new to it, you need to make it fun. Kids from young to their teen years that are trying to learn English won’t find it interesting if you simply drone on and on from a book.

Sure, your school might require you to use certain textbooks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t extend the lesson out to incorporate interesting topics. They need to learn the basics, but in order to teach them that, you have to capture their attention.

Not sure what ESL topics will interest your class? Here are some suggestions for all kids from small to big!

1. Family

In China, family is such an important aspect of the culture. While older kids will find this snooze-worthy, little ones find great excitement in telling you all about their parents, grandparents, if they have any siblings, or if they have pets too.

Example questions:

  • How big is your family?
  • How many people are in your family?
  • How old are your parents?
  • What is the best memory you have of your family doing something together?
  • What kind of things do you do with your family?

(Source: Family)

2. Food

ESL conversation topic - Food
ESL conversation topic – Food 

Food is likely a universal love all around the globe. And in China, food is such an important element. People don’t ask you how are…they ask if you’ve eaten. This topic can be used for all age groups of children, though you should tailor your lessons to be more detailed for older ones. For example, having them write the recipe of their favorite dish in English would be a fun lesson.

For all age groups, you can also see if your school will allow you to do a cooking demonstration. It could even involve a no-bake or no-cook recipe. This hands-on approach is a delicious way to capture their attention.

Example questions:

  • Did you eat lunch today?
  • Do you always eat dinner with your family?
  • Do you cook? If yes, what food do you cook the most often?
  • Do you like pizza?
  • What foods do you love?
  • What food do you hate? Why do you hate it?

(Source: Food)

3. Music

We all have our own tastes in music. While children are often encouraged to take up a musical instrument at a young age, making it a captivating subject to teach the English names for these, older children and teens have groups they like. Pop music, rock, classical, and more are fun ways to engage your ESL students

For younger children, you can teach them what each instrument is called and teach them to sing easy kids songs in English. Older kids and teens will love hearing American music that is age-appropriate. Pick songs they can understand and have them interpret the meaning of the lyrics for a bigger challenge.

Example questions:

  • What kind of music do you like?
  • Are you a good singer?
  • Can you concentrate on other things when you are listening to music?
  • Can you play a musical instrument?
    • If so, what do you play?
    • How long have you been playing?
    • Are you good at it?

(Source: Music)

4. Sports

In China, you can find major common ground with your students if you talk about sports. Particularly basketball and soccer. If you’re able to do so, you can even take them outside to play a quick game. Perhaps there’s a ping pong table at your school or even a badminton net, also opening up the chance to get the kids to play and have fun while learning English.

Example questions:

  • Do you play any sports?
  • How often do you exercise?
  • What sports do you watch?
  • When was the last time you went to a baseball game?
  • Which do you prefer, baseball or volleyball?

(Source: Music)

5. Movies

ESL conversation topic - movies
ESL conversation topic – movies

Remember when you were a kid in school and you got to class to discover your teacher was going to let you watch a movie? Those were the days! Students of all ages love watching a movie in English. This is a trick you can employ several times per semester as you can correlate it to whatever you’ve been talking about in class.

With young kids, anything Disney will work. Older kids may not stay as interested with those types of movies but there are plenty more that can capture their attention that are appropriate for their age group.

Example questions:

  • What is your all-time favorite movie?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • Are there any kinds of movies you dislike?
    • If so, what kinds?
    • Why do you dislike them?
  • Do you like to watch horror movies?

(Source: Movies)ESL conversation topics


6. Video Games

Can’t seem to get any of the kids in any age group engaged with your English lesson? Bring up the topic of video games and they won’t stop talking!

In China, video games are extremely popular. It helps to look up what games are currently the most buzzworthy like Honor of Kings or League of Legends, the latter of which is abbreviated as ‘LOL’ which can confuse kids that text if you try to use it to stand for that dreaded ‘laugh out loud.’

Example questions:

  • What is your favorite video games?
  • Do you play video games?
  • How often do you play video games?
  • Who you usually play video games with?
  • Which do you list the best, Honor of Kings or League of Legends?

7. Superheroes

You’ll definitely have all the kids talking once you bring up your superheroes. Show up in a cape, act out a scene from one of the Marvel movies, heck, SHOW them the movie. Ask them what superpower they wish they had and why. You’ll have lots of avid learners during this lesson!

Example questions:  

  • If you knew where the Batcave was, would you go to it?
  • If you woke up in the middle in the night and you saw Batman in the corner of your room, what would you do?
  • If the Joker was holding one of your loved ones hostage, and was asking you to do something that you don’t want to do (E.G. kill your next door neighbor), would you do what he says, or would you count on Batman to save your loved one?
  • Who is your favorite female superhero? (super heroes)

8. Holidays

ESL conversation topic - Holidays
ESL conversation topic – Holidays

China has many important holidays, and Chinese New Year tops the list. This is a great lesson to pull out before the holiday break. You’ll have a chance to learn more about Chinese culture while getting them to tell you about it. You can also share about the holidays celebrated in the West, like Christmas, and do fun activities based around them. Little kids love doing holiday crafts and seeing Santa, if you can arrange it.

Example questions:

  • Do you think holidays are important? Why?
  • What kinds of thing do you like to do on the holidays?
  • What is your favorite holiday food?
  • What is your favorite holiday song?
  • When is the holiday celebrated?

(Source: Holidays)

9. China

And while all kids love the holidays, they also love their homeland. Asking older children what they love about China will certainly get them talking. You can also try to work in history about the country and then share some tidbits from your home country.

Example questions:

  • What do you like about China?
  • Which is the most interesting city you ever visited in China?
  • What’s your favorite Chinese food?
  • Who is your favorite historical figure? Why?

10. Places to Go

And finally, there is a whole great big world out there to see. Teaching geographical locations in English can only be boring if you let it. Ask your students where they would like to go someday. Show them photos and videos from other places around the world. Give them a glimpse into the culture of another place and see what they think. Keep it more basic for younger learners while going more in depth for the older ones. 

Example questions:

  • Have you ever been to a foreign country?
  • What was the most interesting place you have ever visited?
  • Which countries have you travelled to?
  • What countries would you like to visit? Why?
  • What do you need before you can travel to another country?

(Source: Travel)

ESL conversation topics


Have some fun!

Put the fun back in learning and explore these interesting ESL topics with your students. You just might be surprised at how much better they become when they come to your class for lesson time! 

If you are also interested in learning new games to make your class fun, check out this article of 12 best ESL games.

ESL Teacher Resume: The Ultimate Guide [With Template]

ESL Teacher Resume

Applying to become an ESL teacher overseas is an excellent opportunity, but knowing how to present yourself in front of potential employers can be challenging for a lot of first-time ESL teachers. One of the things that presents you as a potential candidate is your ESL resume.

Although there’s no absolutely right or wrong way of writing your ESL resume, you want to tailor it towards being an ESL teacher so that you’ll greatly increase your chance of getting hired. After all, a great resume is something that you have to spend hours creating, typing up, and honing, so you want to make sure it stands out! 

Download the ESL Teacher Resume Template

Know the Basic Format for ESL Teacher Resumes

Here are some basics for getting started, so as long as you can follow directions, you can easily create the perfect ESL teacher resume. 

  • Personal Information

The personal information section will contain your name, address, and phone number, but this is also where you will include your date of birth, gender, and nationality. 

These are the basic information what overseas employers will be looking for on your ESL resume. 

  • Education Information 

This section will include all the education that you have received, starting with your TEFL certification and continuing with your highest levels of education and working down from there.

It is necessary for you to be very specific in this section and include where you received the education, what your major was, and when you received your degrees. With our recruiting experiences, some international schools even require the candidates to be graduated from certain top universities! 

If you do not have an education degree, you do not need to worry that you will automatically be disqualified. All you need to do is list all the courses that you have taken in the past that are relevant to education. A few of those courses could include English literature, public speaking, foreign languages, and even journalism.  

  • Your Skills  

The skills section will have you touting all those special skills that you have acquired over the years, even if they are not related to teaching. 

This is a great place to share that you are proficient with computers, know multiple languages, or anything else that you think will be helpful. It is always nice to include both hard and soft skills, as they allow the employers to see how well-rounded you really are.  

A few hard skills that would help boost your ESL resume include being proficient in at least one other language, capable of writing and editing, knowledge of computers, and prior teaching experiences. Soft skills are also important such as the ability to communicate with others well, capable of building relationships, adaptable to any situation, and being quite patient (extremely important for young ESL learners).  

  • Work Experience

ESL teacher resume guide

Almost anything counts under work experience and you will want to include what you have accomplished over the last ten years. 

Most overseas employers love seeing job titles in this section, so add those along with what you did for each position, you start and end dates, and any recognition you received while there. 

If you just graduated college, or have little job experience, volunteer work and even summer camp positions are helpful. These experiences are also strong proof that you are someone who’s active and driven, and are capable of working with others in a team environment. 

  • Extracurricular Activities

Schools also want to get to know their potential employees as much as possible on a personal level, which is why they love to see what you have been doing in your spare time. 

This is really your place to shine on your ESL teacher resume, because you can list all those times that you mentored, tutored, or coached others, as well as any activities you are passionate about which showcase you are a positive person. 

  • Professional Photo

It is also recommended that you place a professional photo at the top of your ESL teacher resume. As mentioned above, schools love getting to know their potential employees, and nothing does that better than a professional picture of you! Employers will instantly form a personal connection with you and will love that they have a face to put with the name and skills that they are reading about.  

When you have your picture taken, make sure that it is done professionally. This is not the time to do a quick selfie and hope for the best!

Enhance Your ESL Teacher Resume

Enhance Your ESL Teacher Resume

There are certain things that you must keep in mind when you are crafting your ESL teacher resume. 

1. The Language You Use

First, please remember that a non-native English speaker may be reading your resume. Therefore, it is important that you keep the format simple and standard, while making it easy for anyone to read.  This is not the time for you to use words that most people would need to take a dictionary out to understand.  

2. Big Bonus: Overseas Experiences

The last item that you should make sure is on your ESL teacher resume is any of the times that you have studied or lived overseas. This is not a deal breaker, so do not panic if you have never been away from home. However, employers love to see that their potential employees have the ability to adapt to new situations and can be independent.  

3. References

Not everyone requires references, but they are nice to include just in case. 

Three references are recommended, and it is important that you list how you know each one, how long you have known them, and their email and phone number.  

A Checklist For ESL Teacher Resume

ESL Teacher Resume Checklist

Click to download the ESL Teacher Resume Checklist

ESL Teacher Resume Samples

The good thing about writing an ESL resume (or any resume), is that you don’t always have to start from scratch! There are a lot of great samples available online that provide both basic templates as well as creative inspiration.

ESL resume samples:

ESL resume template

Resume Templates (Downloadable, Customisable): 

Resume Templates

Looking For An ESL Opportunity?

A great ESL resume is there to help you knock the door of  the ESL teaching world. The next step is to explore all the opportunities possible!

With its creasing demand and cultural appeal, China is probably one of the best places to start your teaching journey abroad. The teaching positions are opening all year round, which you can review and apply at your convenience.

Final Words

As you can see, it is not that difficult to write an ESL teacher resume. However, you should also be able to see why it is so different than many of the other resumes you have sent out in the past.  

Now that you know how to write this type of resume, you can sit down and type one up to send out and start living your dream of being an ESL teacher in another country!

Prepare for your ESL interview? Check out this article!

Exploring Guangzhou: 4 Interesting Things To Do

Exploring Guangzhou

There are many cities around the world known for being busy trade destinations and Guangzhou happens to be one of them.

Despite the busyness within the trade area of this city, the rest of the streets have quite a different atmosphere, which is laidback and calm.  Visitors can spend their time in this city exploring sights, both old and new, while admiring how past and current traditions and thoughts blend together seamlessly.  

Here are 4 things that everyone must do while visiting Guangzhou:

1. Go to the Top of Canton Tower

Canton Tower, Guangzhou
Photo Credit: Wiki 

Canton Tower is the tallest building within Guangzhou and the second tallest one in the entire country.  Those who venture to the top will find themselves four hundred and fifty meters in the air on the observation deck, as they see panoramic views of the city.  The best time to visit this tower is at night, as the views include the magic from the city being lit up.

2. Visit Shamian Island

Shamian Island, Guangzhou
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The trade industry was important on this island until the middle of the 19th century, and while some of that history is still present, visitors can tell that the colonial influence is everywhere.  As people wander around the island, they will see how some areas have been influenced by one country, while other areas have been influenced by other countries.  The French Catholic Church is one of the main attractions on the island, as are the row of houses that used to be known as the Thirteen Factories.

Interested in Teaching English in Guangzhou?

3. Visit the Chimelong Zoo

Chimelong Zoo, Guangzhou
Photo Credit: Tribaeast

This zoo is also a safari park, circus, amusement park, water park, golf center, and resort, so people will find something that they love when they visit!  Everyone can either ride in a cart or walk past animals that are allowed to roam freely within the three hundred and twenty acres of this park and zoo. While the animals are wild, visitors are allowed to interact with a few of them.  Although there are many animals, the most popular one is the pandas, and the only area of the country that has more than they do here is Chengdu. There is also a crocodile farm with at least one hundred thousand crocodiles that many people are fascinated by.  The amusement park has some amazing rides, as does the waterpark, so visitors may want to plan on spending at least a day here.

4. Take One of the Pearl River Cruises

Pearl River Cruises, guangzhou
Photo Credit: Pioneeringminds

The Pearl River is the third largest river in the country and one of the best ways for visitors to see the city of Guangzhou is to take a cruise along this river.  While the daytime cruises are wonderful, most people will prefer the evening ones when the city is lit up bright under the nighttime sky. A few of the places that cruisers will see include the Nanfang Mansion, the White Swan Hotel, the White Goose Pool, and the Guangzhou Bridge.  

These four things are the highlights of this fabulous city, but there are many other attractions that everyone will want to visit when they are there.  These four things only touch upon the beauty that is everywhere in Guangzhou and there is plenty more waiting to be discovered.