TEFL In International Schools
If you’re tiring of the language school grind and willing to get an additional qualification, working at an international school might be just the ticket for you.
International schools exist in, well, a variety of countries as the name implies, and they generally provide elementary through high school education to children of expats in a language other than the one spoken in the host country. Local families who would like their children to be educated in that language – often but not exclusively English – may use the schools as well, provided they are willing and able to pay the international rate tuition. So, for example, the children of US diplomats in China might attend an international school in Shanghai, or Korean families living in Slovakia might find it more realistic for their children to learn in English than in Slovak.
The result of all these different first languages means that there is often a need for English language teachers…but generally any international school teachers are required to be certified teachers in their own respective countries. And as excellent as the CELTA and other recognized TEFL certificate courses are, they are not the same as certification in one’s own country. Read about the process for that here and find some additional resources for international schools also at Transitions Abroad.
All that said, there are a number of advantage of working at an international school to a private language school. In the blog post cited at the beginning of this post, the author considers the advantages to be the higher pay, the ability to work a normal schedule, the fact that language school teachers aren’t paid for prep time, the existence of regular paid holiday, and finally, the potential for professional development. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s also a lot of work, of course, potentially with more responsibility than language school work, but if it’s the right job, all that will be okay.
Stay tuned to the TEFL Logue where I hope to be able to provide more information on working in international schools shortly.