ERIC Identifier: ED321587
Publication Date: 1990-08-00
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics Washington
Opportunities Abroad for Teaching English as a Foreign
Language: A Resource List. ERIC Digest.
Teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) offers varied employment
possibilities. For people wishing to live in another country for a period
of time, there are teaching opportunities outside the United States. Individuals
with little classroom experience or with no degree in Teaching English
as a Foreign Language (TEFL) can often locate entry-level positions in
countries such as Korea and Japan. The rate of pay may be low, but can
provide a sufficient income to live on for a period of time.
CONSIDERATIONS IN TEACHING EFL OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES
--One should have at least an undergraduate degree, preferably in a
foreign language, English, or a related field. It is also helpful to have
some classroom teaching experience, even if only as a volunteer. --Native
English speakers can often obtain freelance tutoring positions in countries
where English is not the first language.
However, it can be difficult to make enough money to live on, especially
in large cities.
--Native English speakers are sometimes hired at language schools, even
though they do not possess teaching qualifications or credentials in the
field of English language teaching. However, salaries may be low. --English
language education, like science or mathematics education, is a discipline,
and the ability to speak English does not necessarily qualify a person
to teach it as a foreign language. --Every summer, Teachers of English
to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) sponsors a summer institute at a
university where leading educators offer intensive three or six week courses
to newcomers in the field, and where participants can obtain teaching certification.
QUALIFICATIONS AND SALARIES IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD
Qualifications and salaries depend on the country and the type of institution
in which an individual obtains a teaching position. Some basic information
is provided below.
"Africa." TEFL and related qualifications are prerequisites for teaching
at the university level; requirements for teaching experience depend on
the particular institution or country. The demand is great for instructors
who are qualified to teach English for academic purposes and technical
and business English, as well as for specialists in curriculum design,
teacher training, material development, and administration. Salaries are
modest and vary according to the type of teaching institution.
"Asia." There is a continuing need for EFL teachers, especially in China
and Japan. Teaching opportunities also exist in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong
Kong, and Sri Lanka. An M.A. in TEFL is preferred. Salaries and benefits
can vary greatly within a single nation.
"Latin America." Government regulations dictate employment terms for
foreign language teaching professionals. Preference is given to teachers
with TEFL qualifications, with the highest demand for instructors who have
the ability to teach all four language skills. Salaries are reported to
be low. Major employers are USIA-sponsored binational centers, especially
in universities in Peru, and Mexico.
"Middle East." The Middle East is a major employer of EFL instructors.
Salaries tend to be high and benefits are excellent. TEFL credentials are
preferred, but an M.A. or PhD in English, linguistics, or literature suffices.
Instructors are usually required to have substantial international teaching
experience, and must be able to teach English for special or academic purposes.
"Europe." The employment situation for EFL teachers in Europe, with
the exceptions of Spain and Portugal, is limited because high unemployment
rates render it difficult for Americans to get work permits. Master's degrees
in TEFL or other EFL qualifications are generally prerequisites. Salaries
and benefits are diverse (Gonzalez, & Schott, 1987).
GENERAL INFORMATION SOURCES ON TEACHING ENGLISH ABROAD
TESOL publishes a newsletter six times a year that features job notices,
and offers placement and information services to individuals interested
in teaching outside of the United States. Contact the nearest TESOL affiliate
to find out when the next TESOL conference will be held. At a conference,
one can meet individuals in the field who may direct newcomers to job leads
in another country. Contact TESOL, 1600 Cameron Street, Suite 300, Alexandria,
VA 22314-2705, (703) 836-0774.
"International Employment Hotline" ($28/yr) is a monthly newsletter
that publishes information on overseas employment, including information
on teaching positions. For information, write Cantrell Corp., P.O. Box
6170, McLean, VA 22106.
"ELS International" recruits EFL teachers for it's overseas programs.
For more information contact ELS International, 5761 Buckingham Pkwy.,
Culver City, CA 90230, (800) 468-8978 outside California, or (213) 642-4618.
"American Language Academy" has several schools in Venezuela. For more
information, contact American Language Academy, 11426 Rockville Pk., Suite
200, Rockville, MD 20852 (301) 984-3400.
"Peace Corps." Teaching positions are available in elementary, secondary,
normal, or vocational schools and universities, and no teaching experience
is required. For more information, contact: Peace Corps Recruiting Office,
Recruitment Resources, 1990 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20526, (800) 424-8580
or (202) 606-3387.
TEACHING IN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
Opportunities for teaching and coordinating EFL at the elementary/secondary
level exist in international and American schools in more than 300 countries
throughout the world. Most schools are accredited, which not only ensures
good quality education, but also allows teachers to return to employment
in the United States with recognized teaching experience.
The qualifications needed for all accredited international schools are,
at least, a BA/BS degree and valid teaching certification from a state
education authority in a minimum of one subject area. Many schools also
require two years of teaching experience.
In addition to the sources listed above, specific information on teaching
opportunities in international schools can be obtained from the following
"Department of State, Office of Overseas Schools" will provide information
on overseas American-sponsored elementary and secondary schools. For more
information, write A/OS, R245, SA-29, U.S. Dept. of State, Washington,
DC 20520-2902, (703) 875-7800.
"Department of Defense Schools (DoDDS)" hire a number of EFL staff for
their schools in various parts of the world. Although the clientele is
American military, there is a need to provide special services to children
entering the schools speaking a language other than English. For information,
write or call DoDDS, 2461 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, VA, 22331, (202)
"ARAMCO or the Arabian American Oil Co." (Foreign Service Employment)
places qualified teachers in Saudi Arabia. ARAMCO, P.O. Box 4530, Houston,
TX 77210, (713) 432-4014.
"International Schools Services, Inc. (ISS)" is a non-profit organization
that recruits teachers in the United States to match educational openings
abroad. ISS holds an annual conference where recruiters interview applicants.
There is a registration fee for participation in the conference and a placement
fee ($600 in 1990) that is paid either by the individual or the school.
For more information on ISS, call (609) 452-0990 or write ISS, P.O. Box
5910, Princeton, NJ 08543.
"American International School." For information on teaching opportunities
outside of the United States, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
American International School, EISN, P.O. Box 662, Newton, MA 02161-0002.
"University of Northern Iowa (UNI), Overseas Placement Service for Educators"
sponsors an annual recruiting fair. UNI's fair provides prospective candidates
with an opportunity to interview with representatives from more than 60
international schools. Typically, one third of the applicants find jobs
at the fair. There is a fee of $60 ($100 for teaching couples). UNI also
provides periodic vacancy newsletters for all registrants ($35 if not registered),
December through August. UNI Overseas Placement Service for Educators,
Student Services Center, Rm 19, Cedar Falls, IA, 50614-0390, (319) 273-2083.
"National Teacher Placement Bureaus of America" operates a number of
recruiting services each year. Registration and placement fees are about
six and a half percent of the first year's salary. National Teacher Placement
Bureaus of America, P.O. Box 09027, 4190 Pearl Rd., Cleveland, OH 44109,
The following is a list of other fairs or agencies: --Educational Career
Services, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024, (213) 825-2981. --Association
of American Schools in South America, Inc., FIU- Bay Vista Campus, Biscayne
Blvd. at 151 St., N. Miami, FL 32611. --Field Services, Edinboro University,
Edinboro, PA 16444, (814) 732-2804. --The International Educator's Institute,
PO Box 103, West Bridgewater, MA 02379, (508) 580-1880.
ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF OVERSEAS TEACHING INFORMATION
Many countries recruit educators through their embassies in Washington,
DC. It may be worthwhile to contact the educational officer of the foreign
embassy or to write directly to the Ministry of Education in a particular
Other possibilities for procuring teaching positions abroad include
"Teacher Exchanges" --Teacher's Fulbright Exchange, 301 4th St., SW,
Rm 353, Washington, DC 20547, (202) 485-2555.
"Teaching Assistantships/Fellowships" --Institute of International Education,
1400 K Street., NW, Suite 650, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 898-0600. --Institute
of International Education, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017,
(212) 883-8200. --United States Information Agency (USIA), Staff Office
of Personnel and Training, 301 4th St., SW, Washington, DC 20547, (202)
"International Corporation Programs" --Exxon Corp., ECI Recruiting Office,
200 Park Ave., Florham Park, NJ 07932 (201) 765-7000. --Northrop Aircraft-Saudi
Arabia Manager, English Language Training, Northrop (137), APO New York,
NY 09616. --Transcentury Corporation (for African universities), Placement
and Recruitment, 1724 Kalorama Rd., NW, Washington, DC 20009, (202) 328-4411.
"For United States Territories" --Director of Education, Department
of Education American Samoa: Pago Pago, American Samoa 96920. --Assistant
Superintendent, Personnel Department of Education, Government of Guam,
Agana, Guam 96910. --Personnel Officer, Office of High Commissioner, Trust
Territory of the Pacific Islands, Saipan, Mariana Islands 96950. --Secretary
of Education, Department of Education, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00900. --Commissioner
of Education, Dept. of Education, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin
"Religious Schools" --United Church Board for World Ministries, Overseas
Personnel Office, New York, NY 10027.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Anthony, R. & Roe, G. (1986). "Educator's passport to international
jobs." Princeton, NJ: Peterson's Guides, Inc.Connotillo, B.C. (Ed.). (1984).
"Teaching abroad." New York, NY: Institute of International Education.
European Council of International Schools. (1987). "The directory of
the European Council of International Schools." Petersfield, England: Author.
Gibbs, S., Lorenz, A., & Schmida, L. (Eds.). (1987). "Teaching opportunities
in the Middle East and North Africa." Washington: AMIDEAST.
Gonzalez, R. D.,& Schott, A.A. (1987). "International employment
opportunities for ESL graduates: Implications for programmatic design."
Unpublished manuscript. University of Arizona, Tucson.
Hagen, E. (Ed.). (1987). "The ISS directory of overseas schools, 1987/88
edition." Princeton, NJ: International Schools Services.
Sargent, K. (1985). "Schools abroad of interest to Americans, 1985-86.
(6th edition)." Boston, MA: Porter Sargent Publishers.
Schott, A.A. (1986). "Employment opportunities for ESL/EFL teachers:
An international directory." Unpublished study, University of Arizona.