English is an extremely globally significant language. Around 1.27 billion people around the world speak English – a staggering number. As well as native English speakers, there are millions of people who learn it as a second language for work, pleasure, or travel. In fact, the majority of English speakers learn it as a second language. According to the world economic forum, only around 400 million people have English as a first language. International negotiations, business dealings, and networking events often take place with English being used as a common tongue between geographically disparate participants.
If you speak English – and it is safe to assume you can, seeing as you are reading this article – then your language potentially opens up a career in teaching. Teaching English as a second language requires great interpersonal skills, a willingness to travel, and a desire to understand other cultures, but it can lead to some amazing places. Here is where teaching English as a second language can take you in life:
A Flexible Career
In order to teach English as a second language, you’ll need to enroll in a course that affords you a qualification like TEFL or ESL. These can take the form of intensive month-long residential courses or long-term evening and weekend classes. Taking a teaching course – like an online ESL program at Merrimack College – is probably the most structured part of your new journey. For the rest of your time as a teacher, you will be very flexible indeed. Because English teachers are always in demand, the contracts offered by English schools are usually very favorable. Although the pay is not out of this world, the terms are. You’ll be picking and choosing your working hours like never before.
This means that you’ll be able to have time to actually enjoy the country where you are teaching, travel to meet friends, or take some much-needed downtime.
Travel The World
The opportunity to travel the world is one of the main reasons why people are training to become English teachers in large numbers. Being fluent in English is a great way for people to get ahead in business and education all around the world. For this reason, schools in every corner of the globe frequently hire English teachers. English teachers are in especially high demand in China and South Asia.
As a teacher in a foreign culture, you’ll have the opportunity to be engaged in a cultural exchange with your fellow teachers – who will be from all around the world. You’ll be seeing how education is pursued in a completely different society.
Learn And Teach
Sure, you’ll be teaching your students English, but you’ll also be learning from them. Teaching English as a foreign language can be an enlightening experience. Seeing things from a new perspective (or even multiple new perspectives) can give you a completely new lease on life. It is very unlikely that you will come back from your first stint teaching abroad as quite the same person you were when you set off!