Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is usually abbreviated to TESOL, a similar role to Teaching English as a Foreign Language, except that TESOL is usually for people who live in English-speaking countries.
The basic idea behind TESOL is the instruction of English to adults and children in the UK whose mother tongue is not English.
ESOL teachers often work at adult education colleges, schools, community centres, or other such locations.
- Lesson preparation
- English instruction
- Developing teaching materials
- Group lessons and workshops
- Exam and homework marking
- One-to-one lessons at community schools
- Classroom support for younger students
- Teaching Business English to migrant workers
- Teaching English privately at student’s homes
ESOL teachers are generally required to have a university degree or a teaching qualification such as CELTA or Trinity TESOL. In some cases, a degree is not necessary, especially when teaching privately.
TESOL also demands quite a specific skills set, such as the ability to be organized, patient, dedicated, and entertaining.
- University Degree
- TESOL, or CELTA
- Patience and motivation are key skills
- Openness to new cultures
Salaries and conditions vary according to the type of employer. Employers include schools, adult education centres, language schools, or even self-employment. Some language schools in the UK can pay very low hourly wages, but you should expect a better rate with a reputable company.
Evening and weekend work is also common in TESOL, and it’s important to be flexible with time. Conditions are normally quite good, with teaching materials and classroom facilities being fully provided.
- PGCE qualified teachers can expect a starting salary of around £18k
- Colleges, language schools and private work should pay around £15-20 per hour
- Watch out for “cowboy” schools paying low wages with poor working conditions
Part-time and short-term jobs are easier to find than permanent positions, so the usual career development path starts with a temporary post, such as working at an English summer school.
TESOL can lead to lecturing, school teaching, private teaching and even working abroad as an EFL teacher.
One can ultimately progress to being a headteacher, or director of studies. A career path that leads to university work is also common. These jobs may take you away from teaching time, and more towards the course and curriculum design.
- Director of Studies
- Private Teaching
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language
- Public and private elementary and high schools
- Adult education centres
- Language schools
- Colleges of Further Education
- Community centres
- Refugee and voluntary centres
- Business with large numbers of migrant workers
Finding a Job:
- National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA)
- Training, Adult Literacy, ESOL, and Numeracy Teachers (TALENT)
- Primary school teacher
- Secondary school teacher
More advice on TESOL and Language teaching.