Before teaching abroad prospective ESL/EFL teachers do a lot of research on the topic. What they find is: teaching ESL is easy and fun, you make a lot of money, you travel around the world etc. Although it might be true for some people, for many people who start teaching abroad, unfortunately will be a great disappointment. So, here are my top 3 things a new ESL/EFL teacher should be aware of.
Many teachers of English as a Second Language, particularly new teachers, think that teaching English abroad is easy as pie. Of course it is very easy to think that since you speak English very well and your students struggle to make a simple sentence in English.
Teachers have to plan the lesson before teaching the lesson which might take one hour or more according to the complexity of the lesson and the teacher`s experience in planning ESL lessons.
New ESL teachers usually have big problems when it comes to classroom management. Theory can`t really teach you anything about this important part of teaching and having problems in this area can transform your teaching English abroad experience into a nightmare.
Other areas where new ESL teachers struggle are: time management in classroom, and explaining and comparing grammar rules (so they make sense for learners).
This is not 100% true but I will say 90% true. Of course, students have different reasons for studying English and if you think they study English because they love English then you are wrong.
Motivating your students is the key here and this is another thing new ESL teachers have to learn. Giving positive feedback (every time there is a reason for that), giving encouragement, and provide them with some real life experiences where they can practice English are few of the things an ESL teacher can do to motivate the learners.
If students are not motivated then they start behaving badly and your class transforms in a big mess in no time!
If students perform poorly then it is just 10% their fault, 90% is your fault (at least this is what the school would say).
Teachers are not rich people! Everybody says that teaching English abroad gives you a western salary with an eastern cost of living. That is true but only partially. One thing I can tell you for sure. You can either save money or live up but not both. More than that, Vietnam is not that cheap anymore!
These are my top 3 things a new ESL/EFL teacher should be aware of. If you don`t believe (I know you don`t) then come here and convince yourself.