Teaching English in Southeast Asia
With natural beauty, friendly people, exotic food and gorgeous weather, it should come as no surprise that many people come to Southeast Asia on a holiday and never want to leave. One of the best ways to experience this incredible region for longer than just a few weeks or months is to secure a job teaching English as a foreign or second language.
What Qualifications do I Need to Teach English in Southeast Asia?
Gone are the days when you could rock up to an English language school in Southeast Asia and secure a job based on the color of your skin or the simple fact that you could speak English. Schools and governments across the region are cracking down on backpacker type teachers with no qualifications, and if you don’t have the proper education and certifications, you may find that your offers of employment will be next to nil. At the very least, you should have the following to teach English in Southeast Asia:
• A bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree – your degree does not necessarily have to be in the field of English language or education, but it certainly helps if it is.
• A CELTA, TEFL or TESL certificate. This should be from a properly accredited school, with courses that include classroom theory and practicum teaching hours. Online courses are generally frowned upon.
• A clean police record. Southeast Asia has its fair share of foreign pedophiles and criminals on the run, so most reputable schools will want to see a certified police background check.
• Experience teaching. While some schools will hire first-time teachers, the better schools prefer to hire teachers who have some sort of experience working with children or teaching in some capacity.
These requirements apply for most ESL/EFL schools. International schools are a different story, as many of these institutions require teachers to have a Bachelor of Education and teaching certification from their home country, province or state.
For more information about teaching English in specific countries in Southeast Asia, read our Country Guide to Teaching English in Southeast Asia.