best bet: Dave’s ESL Cafe
As a teacher, I would consider it a big success if, at least partly because of this course, you spent a couple years of your life teaching English in a foreign country. In realistic terms, I’d be happy if you would at least give it a hard look. I can make a good argument that you owe it to yourself to honestly, if only internally, understand why you won’t pursue this career option. If you can’t convince yourself that you shouldn’t consider it, then perhaps you should consider it.
If at the end of two years’ teaching English in a foreign country you apply for a teaching job in the U.S., you are going to be so much more employable than you will be when you graduate from Medaille. You will be especially attractive to school districts with students or companies with employees for whom English is not their native language and who don’t speak English at home.
For example, Buffalo schools have more than 5,000 ELL (English language learners), up from 1,500 in 2007.
Does it matter that you can’t speak the language of the country where you will be living? No.
- Many people in every country already speak English. You will not necessarily be teaching beginners.
- You can begin to learn the local language.
- If you’re teaching in a certain place, there will almost certainly be other ex-pats there and English will almost certainly be the common language.
The best list of relevant links I found is the Center for International Education’s opportunities for teaching abroad.
Council on International Educational Exchange’s CIEE Teach Abroad – teach English abroad in Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, Spain, or Thailand with CIEE.
Teach Abroad’s K-12 and University Jobs
Teaching Abroad’s Advanced Strategy for Landing the Perfect Teaching Job
by Xiyun Yang
NY Times, November 3, 2010
China had captivated the imagination of Paul Cabo (photo on right) for as long as he could remember. Maybe it started with the documentaries he saw as a child about the Great Wall. Or his desire to understand his recently immigrated Chinese classmates at Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island. Or maybe it was kung fu movies.
Whatever the cause, four years ago it finally propelled Mr. Cabo, now 35, from a job as a Starbucks manager to a position as an English teacher in Beijing.
There Is Hope
by Ashlea Browning (Medaille ’11)
Ashlea in Asia (blog), September 2012
I have a few girls in each class who are impressively smart and do fairly well with their English. But it’s not like in the US where that smart kid might either be labeled a nerd by others, or might have an air about them where they think they’re better than everyone else. But not here. Here, they are humble and sweet. They pay attention and do their work. They ask questions and really try to understand. And they help the other girls who are struggling. But they don’t just help them by letting the other girls copy their answers. No, they actually try to explain it to them and help them understand as well. It’s really quite impressive. I have a lot of girls who don’t get it as much but they also try to listen and pay attention and ask questions. These girls are sometimes loud and are easily distracted, but when I get them on track, they do alright.
Where was she teaching? Rayong St. Joseph School
Ashlea’s Facebook page
Stuart began teaching in Thailand in spring 2013, a year after making that video. In September 2013, I asked him how it was going. He replied:
The state of my consciousness here is much healthier than it was back in the States. I feel as if I was meant to be living in this slow paced lifestyle. I live right in the middle of the most beautiful islands in the world and in the middle of all of SE Asia so all the countries are a $50 flight away if I want to explore.
Nothing really to complain about because every time I think of something bad about Thailand I compare it to a negative quality from back home and I feel just fine with my decision to live here.
The web site that both Ashlea and Stuart used is Dave’s ESL Cafe.
Stuart’s Facebook page – if the link doesn’t work, search Facebook for his name: Stuart Ziegler
Jade Church, who teaches with Stuart, made this video in early 2015 about their town and school: A Day in the Life.