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?


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


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.

>> Best ESL Apps for Teachers

>> ESL Teacher Resume (Proven Templates)

>> ESL Interview Tips

Teach ESL 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.

>> ESL Teacher Resume (Proven Templates)

>> ESL Interview Tips

Salary for teaching ESL 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

>> 10 Best Places to Teach English in Asia

Career Outlook


  • 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.

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