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.
Post-covid, it will be interesting to see how the market picks up. Many teachers have left the profession and many language schools have closed their doors.
Already in the spring of 2022 we are beginning to see things opening back up and the expectation is that the industry will be back to it's flourishing best by 2023, with new schools opening their doors to serve a market that sees the UK as a popular destination again.
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 two-four week study holidays and so the summer school atmosphere is generally more relaxed, with an emphasis on both fun and learning. Typically classes contain a mixture of nationalities with ages between 10-17 years old. The teaching pattern is often three hours of classes in the morning with day trips in the afternoon. Teachers may be asked to accompany students on these trips, sometimes paid, sometimes included within the 'teaching package'. Watch how much time you are being asked to commit, because teaching can be intensive, although lots of fun at the same time.
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. Many adults visit during the summer for classes, while 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.
Tips for teaching English in the UK:
* choose the TESOL Professional 250 hour course for the Middle East
* consider adding a 30-hour Business TESOL for Saudi Arabia as this specialism is very much in demand
* dress for business and present a professional CV/resume