Travel & Teach - United Kingdom (UK)
As a TESOL destination, the UK offers a range of diverse opportunities. On the one hand, coastal resorts and the big cities are alive with foreign learners during the peak summer months. Schools appear as if from nowhere during this time to capitalise on this influx. However, finding TESOL work the rest of the year with a private language school is much more difficult; as you will have to compete with the wealth of experienced and well qualified teachers who have returned from travelling around the world and now wish to teach closer to home. To find TESOL work with private language schools in the UK, you will almost certainly need a degree, a TESOL certificate and be a native English speaker. Be aware that while many GE graduates have gone onto teach in the UK, there is a general preference for the Cambridge CELTA/Trinity TESOL certificate over distance certificates amongst private language schools in the UK.
Students tend to come to private language schools in the UK for 1 or 2 week study holidays and so the summer school atmosphere is generally more relaxed with an emphasis on both fun and learning. While many adults do visit during the summer, typically classes contain a mixture of nationalities with ages between 10-16 years old. The teaching pattern is often 3 hours of classes in the morning with day trips in the afternoon. Teachers may be asked to accompany students on these trips, at a reduced hourly rate.
Increasingly, schools are offering more bespoke options to tempt visitors year-round, such as English with golf packages and even English with cream teas, which can make for a more varied student base. Business learners also often visit year-round.
There are also a range of different options for UK based teachers outside of the private language school market. See ‘teaching there’ below for a list of such options.
Global English students are working all over the world with their accredited TESOL certificates. Find out
how TESOL training from Global English has made a difference to their lives:
I secured a position teaching English as a Second Language at Aberdeen College in Scotland.
In my first lesson I had to introduce the course and the test they are going to sit at the end - the TOEIC test, and then I used Louisa's 'getting to know you' exercise from the Global English CD-ROM and it went down a storm. The ice was broken. It was brilliant…As it's a short course and is 75% online learning, I devised the exercises and text for the online course, too.’ ‘They seem keen already to run a second course in April, and more in the summer and I've been asked to do those too.
I finished my undergraduate degree and decided that teaching TEFL/TESOL was something I was really interested in, however I had enrolled on a MA course in International Journalism at Cardiff Uni, so decided to do a correspondence course. My dad completed his level 2 from Global English over 10 years ago and he recommended them to me.
It took me a long time to complete because I was studying for my masters, but my tutor was really understanding and supportive. I found the course challenging but excellent and I felt really confident after I had finished it in February which was amazing! I then enrolled on a Level 3 course with City and guilds which I wouldn't have been able to do unless I had my level 2. I am currently teaching in The Parade (a local ESOL service centre) and am also teaching in various other places. I have applied for several jobs abroad in Singapore and Thailand and am about to have interviews for them. They seem really pleased with my level 2 cert and it’s recognised in every place I have spoken to/applied for. The plan is to get a teaching job abroad, ASAP! :)
Well The Parade is an ESOL service centre in Cardiff, I think it services just Cardiff, but even then they don’t have enough classes. As part of my city and guilds course, I need to clock 16 hrs of teaching, so I was placed in The Parade, and have now taken over the class from the tutor and am doing 2hrs a week. It’s not paid as its part of my course, and if I wanted a job there I would have to enrol onto a "preparing to teach" course, and with my ESOL qualification I could then become a tutor.
I recently got another teaching job, 4hrs a week, at a women’s charity teaching E1, I start today so am quite nervous!
I completed the GE level 2 certificate and found 2 summer jobs teaching English in Eastbourne
I taught a class of 16 Austrian students aged 14-17 at the college. The course lasted about a week. Everything was provided include tea and coffee. The manager knew I was new to the industry and gave me advice and arranged everything - host families, teachers, excursions, course work and classrooms.
I have also been teaching 15 French students per week. 3 teachers making a class of 5 students per class. As teachers we very much run our own show with regard to lessons (3 hours per morning) with activities in the afternoon and evening. Classes are held in the local Kings Church. I've really enjoyed myself (I don't know about the Students!). They also gave me a thank you card - the only teacher to be so highly rewarded.
A week after I joined the Global English course and started my studies for TESOL certification my friend rang me and asked if I am interested in teaching English one of his friends. We arranged the date and agreed to meet twice a week for couple of hours.
In his first lesson, I was trying to assess how much he knows, how extensive his vocabulary is and how confident he is in speaking. I started the lesson with basic questions, obviously all in English, although the guy I teach is Czech and I can understand him as my native language is Slovak. I spoke slowly and asked him easy questions about his background, work, interests. He did well with his replies but I noticed he lacks some grammar and can’t use the tenses properly.
I asked him why learning English is important for him so I know what to concentrate on during the future lessons. We agreed he needs to work more on his vocabulary and spend some time learning new words in his own time and I will do my best to teach him the grammar and pronunciation.
I found the website called English banana (http://www.englishbanana.com/) very good for different tests, excercises. I am also trying to create different tests for him which are based and connected to his workplace which he founds very helpful.
So far we have had 4 lessons and I can already see the progress. I really enjoy teaching on one-to-one basis as I can spend valuable time with the person and focus on this individual. I believe teaching one-to-one is more rewarding as you can see the progress quicker due to time spent with the person.
Definitely would recommend giving it a go…
Having completed Level 2, the course to teach Young Learners and Business English with Global English I started the hunt for students. Running a bed and breakfast meant I was tied in my search and hoped my students would come to me.
A Polish friend suggested I contact the Polish Society which luckily for me was across the road from the bed and breakfast we were managing.
We were fortunate enough to be situated in the middle of town so I also put up posters on the windows of our bed and breakfast. My first student was a Polish lady and after a few weeks I was teaching her two sons and her husband and before I knew it I was teaching up to 20 students per week in groups of 6 and on a 1-2-1 basis and don’t regret one second of it and thank Louisa and William from Global English for all their support and I wholly recommend their courses.
Two years ago we decided to move to a warmer climate and have set up home in Portugal. On leaving my students gave me presents showing their appreciation but the wonderful words written in the cards and the tears will be with me forever.
However, the best present and motivation for me was seeing the progress they made in the time they were with me.
Travel and Teach
Although TESOL positions in UK private language schools still appear in the UK Guardian on Tuesdays, the Times Educational Supplement on Fridays and the EL Gazette, top TESOL websites now advertise the latest positions from February onwards. The best of these is www.tefl.com.
Alternatively, try your local phone directory, but be aware that some summer schools with head offices elsewhere will not be listed locally. Summer schools operating in your area may rent classrooms in local colleges and schools so try these, too. Major employers which open summer schools around the country who have employed Global English graduates include Plus, OISE and SUL. The south coast is dominated by such schools and we know some of our graduates have secured work by knocking on doors before Easter, gaining an immediate interview with the Director of Studies!
In addition to your Global English TESOL certificate you will often need a degree and any teaching practice or teaching experience you have should be highlighted on your CV. When you apply for a job, ensure you highlight any commercial (business) experience or any contact with children.
You might find the guide to writing your CV on our site quite helpful here.
As previously mentioned, there are an increasing number of different ways to teach in the UK, other than in private language schools and for the creative 'TESOLers', there are some alternatives:
- Find your own source of foreign students (by hosting them for a local language school, say) and creating a local network of learners to offer freelance teaching.
- Teach English in your own home. There are a variety of agencies offering this facility; In-tuition is just one. Why not register with Xilfe for free and attract your own home-stay students direct? You will need a nice, welcoming home and a TESOL qualification.
- Offer English over the Internet/phone. Our sister organisation, Phone English is just one such school.
- Teaching English to immigrants. Due to the influx of non-English speakers into the UK, a number of Global English graduates have found work in this sector. Although not technically TESOL, (because English to immigrants is technically English as a second language; ESL) there is obviously some cross-over between these similar sectors. You will need to contact your local council as a first step to find out requirements and whether it is paid because demand, pay and conditions vary between counties. See our Comments section for more info.