Teaching English Overseas

Most of us have wondered what we are going to do with our lives after we graduate. Teaching English overseas is a great way to postpone real life a little longer, while making money on the side and travelling while you still can. I myself am interested in teaching English overseas after Honours to save some money and to delay the day I step into a 9-5 job with minimal benefits.

 

 

UCT offers an accredited TEFL course which will render you capable of becoming an English Language Teacher. The full-time course costs R12 500 and spans over a period of four weeks, whereas the part-time course is taught over 14 weeks and costs R14 000. Bursaries are available and applications are due six weeks before the start of the course. An important thing to note is that you are not guaranteed a job after you complete this particular TEFL course. You also need a police clearance certificate, as proof that you aren’t dodgy.

There is a difference between a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and a CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. In a summary, TEFL makes you competent in teaching English where English is not the primary language. TESL makes you competent to teach English in an English speaking country to students who don’t speak English as a first language. TESOL is a combination of TEFL and TESL and can be either one, or both. CELTA is a brand of TESOL, working under Cambridge University. This link explains it in greater detail.

 

 

I interviewed Dylan (24), who has been teaching English in Hong Kong for the past two months. He is currently employed by a company called Monkey Tree English Learning Center.

What requirements did you meet in order to become qualified for teaching English as a foreign language?

“Have a degree of any kind and hold at least a 100 hour TEFL.” Dylan has obtained a Bachelors of Education.

Can you explain what happens between applying for the job and actually being placed?

“I was interviewed via Skype after only two weeks from the original application. From there it was a little admin and document signing, but once that was done it was easy. If you already have the degree you can go from interview to orientation within two months.”

What inspired you to teach English overseas?

“I’ve been to Asia before, so when I completed my degree, the experience, pay and further travel opportunity made it a no-brainer.”

Tell me a little bit about your experience. What are the best and worst parts about teaching overseas?

“The best parts are the kids. They want to learn and they love interacting with us. The worst part is that sometimes it can feel more like a business from the owners’ end and so there’s instances where kids are placed second behind profit, which hurts me.”

What advice / tips / recommendations would you give someone who is interested in teaching English overseas?

“DO IT! Just make sure you’re never putting yourself in debt to a company. That’s where traps lie. By paying subsidized rent you keep yourself free to break away if you don’t end up liking it and you can always find more opportunities to teach here.”

Dylan describes Asia as “welcoming” and he is convinced that after only two months of teaching, he knows he “can’t go back to living in South Africa.” Our interview concluded on this optimistic note.

After completing a TEFL / TESL / TESOL / CELTA, you have to be placed overseas by a company. Goldkey Education is an accredited company through which international placements are effected. Goldkey Education offers teaching opportunities in Korea, China and Columbia, for those with degrees, diplomas or matric. Here is a brief overview of Goldkey Education’s teaching opportunities, as found on an informative pamphlet.

Korea:

The English Program in Korea (EPIK) takes teachers in on a bi-annual basis.  The contract is renewable over 12 months. The salary ranges from KRW 2 million to KRW 2,7 million. Converted to Rand, this is about R 26 172,23 to R35 332,51  . Teachers also receive a KRW 1,3 million travel allowance (which amounts to R1 7011,95) and KRW 300,000 settlement allowance (R 3925,83).

Benefits include: private / rent-free / furnished apartment, medical insurance and bi-annual vacations.

Contract teaching is 22 hours per week from Monday until Friday.

Requirements:

  • Native or near/native English speaker
  • Bachelors Degree or Teachers Diploma (NQF7) from a university in USA, GBR, RSA, NZL, CAN, IRL or AUS.
  • TEFL/TESOL or CELTA may be required
  • Citizen of USA, GBR, RSA, CAN, IRL or AUS
  • Attended English medium school in USA, GBR, RSA, NZL, CAN, IRL or AUS or an accredited International School. If you have a South African passport with Zimbabwe schooling, you also qualify
  • Good health, no chronic illness, under 62 years old
  • No criminal convictions, including driving while intoxicated

 

 

China:

This program takes teachers in on a bi-annual basis. The contract spans over four months and is renewable. Monthly allowance is RMB 2 000 (R 4278,70) and you receive RMB 4 500 (R 9627,07) towards flight contribution.

Benefits include: Pick up from the airport, orientation, free accommodation, free meals on work-days, free Mandarin lessons and cultural excursions.

Contract teaching is 15 hours per week from Monday until Friday.

Requirements:

  • Native or near/native English speaker
  • Completed matric
  • Being adventurous
  • TEFL/TESOL required after interview and before departure
  • Good health, no chronic illness, under 40 years old
  • No criminal conviction including driving while intoxicated
  • There are no nationality restrictions on this program

 

 

Columbia

Intakes occur once a year in January. The contract is 5, 6 or 11 months long and is renewable. A salary of COL $ 1,5 million (R 7 199,06) is received per month.

Benefits include: Pick up from the airport, two-week orientation, cheap apartment rentals which under 10% of your salary, local health insurance, school vacations, 24/7 local support, and work with local co-teachers.

Contract teaching is 25 hours a week from Monday to Friday.

Requirements:

  • Native or near/native English speaker
  • Bachelors degree or national higher diploma
  • Being adventurous
  • TEFL/TESOL required after interview and before departure
  • Good health, no chronic illness\No criminal convictions including driving while intoxicated
  • There are no nationality restrictions on this program

 

 

Link to website: www.goldkeyeducation.com