How To Find a Job: The Basics

Through the school where you do your course

Many if not most schools offering tefl courses are also language schools, and who better to hire than people you train yourself. Some schools that normally require a year or two of experience for teachers they hire will waive this requirement if the teacher trained there. Even schools that don’t officially have job placement services may be able to help you find a list of local schools and have an educated guess about which are reputable.


Two big sites with job listings are Dave’s ESL Cafe and

Many schools will want to meet you in person, see a demo lesson, or at the least do a phone interview, but these sites or others like them are one way of putting you in contact with schools. Google is also a wonderful tool where you can search for a city and something like “English school” or the local language equivalent.

Through personal contacts

If you can, find people who are already teaching in your desired destination, buy them coffee and pick their brains.

One British Council I approached kept a list of native speaker teachers who gave private lessons and gave out contact information to locals looking for lessons. I added my name to the list and also asked nicely if they would be willing to give me the email addresses of the other teachers so I could network. They agreed and I met both teachers. In another case, the school I was working at needed a Director of Studies, so I put the school director in contact with someone from another school I’d worked at and sure enough, they found someone. Putting the word out that you are looking for work, especially for more freelance type work like one-to-one lessons is often quite effective.