How to Teach English in Thailand

How to Teach English in Thailand

Coming to Thailand to teach English is a popular decision; from everyone wondering what to do in their gap year from university, to someone who is fed up with their current job and anyone in between. The first question often asked though is “what’s the best way to learn how to teach English in Thailand?”.
How to teach English in Thailand isn’t as hard as many people think. There are a number of ways to be able to teach English successfully in Thailand if you are an ESL starter teacher. By this , I mean, someone who has no background in teaching English, but is a native or near-native speaker of English. The first thing you will need to do is get qualified. Most schools in Thailand are looking for teachers that have a bachelor degree in any subject, a TEFL certificate and a clear criminal record check. The bachelor degree is a necessity for many schools, but these days doing TEFL without a degree is possible as there is a higher demand for teachers than there is a supply. The criminal background check should be applied for when you are in your home country as it is expensive and time-consuming to do while in Thailand. Getting your TEFL certificate online can be done before you head out to Thailand. This is preferable as you’ll need the time when you arrive to sort out all the things needed to be arranged when moving to a new country. Not to mention looking for a job.  Here’s more information on how to move to Thailand.
 Bay Thailand
When looking for a job, it is important to be “on the ground”, so to speak. Because of the language barrier, emails and phone calls don’t work as well as being physically present at the school.. The schools will want to see you and maybe see a demo lesson before they will consider hiring you. Appearance plays a big factor in Thai society, so make sure you are dressed appropriately for a job interview and even when you go to the school to drop off your resume/ CV. Appearance can go as far as being more important than knowing how to teach English in Thailand, which is a shame. You should try to steer clear of any schools that seem to follow this approach.
Now don’t forget, there are usually two types of TEFL jobs, short term TEFL jobs and year long contract jobs. Short term TEFL jobs are usually found in language centres and extra tuitional schools. They will offer you work on an hour-by-hour or a course-by-course basis. Then, there are the government or private schools which offer one-year contracts. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Language schools offer you more flexibility, but a less stable salary and private and government schools offer the opposite.
So, to sum up, bring your degree if you have one, but it’s not always necessary. Get your criminal check done at home at your local police station or with the FBI if you are in the States. Do your online TEFL course while you’re doing all of that. Finally, buy a flight ticket and arrive in Bangkok and see where the winds take you. The salaries are higher in Bangkok, but so is the cost of living. Chiang Mai and Phuket are also popular, though many people like to teach out in the provinces for a real rural Thai experience. Whatever you choose it will be one of the best decisions you will make in your life.
Happy “Teejing”
June 9, 2015

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