Less Traveled TESOL Destinations
Admin - Jun 14 2016
Teaching English to speakers of other languages can bring practitioners to less expected locations where the local demand for English teachers also offers interesting opportunities.
Everyone in the ESL and EFL sector is aware of the thriving English education market in many key cities of Asia such as Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and Bangkok as well as European destinations such as the metropolitan centers of Barcelona, Athens, Istanbul and Hamburg. Just about everyone planning to teach English as a second or foreign language abroad craves to live and work in one of these fascinating and financially-rewarding population centers. That is because these destinations truly offer great career opportunities for English language teachers given the sustained and increasing use of English as the main language for global discourse, a fact especially prominent in highly urbanized areas in the world.
However, alternative places that are relatively more laid back and less densely populated may offer surprisingly attractive career packages. These less-beaten career paths can be very diverse, ranging from a rustic fishing village in Japan to a sparsely populated highland town in Malaysia. Obviously, practicing a language teaching profession in these places greatly differs from teaching and living in cosmopolitan areas.
Succeeding in these teaching environments requires a different type of ESL or EFL educator. For one thing, less populated locations will likely offer scarce fare when it comes to urban comforts and entertainment facilities such as restaurants and discos and shopping malls. However, what they lack in this area is — almost always — compensated by what they offer in others. Most, for example, showcase the local culture or the natural backdrop that lends a sense of uniqueness or allure to the place. For many such locations, community festivals and celebrations may also represent the highlights in an English teacher’s stint in the place.
In these locations, nights can be really quiet, allowing educators to really focus on honing up lesson plans, designing new teaching strategies, or even taking up a new hobby or pursuit such as yoga or ikebana. For ESL and EFL educators new to this lifestyle, the shift can be rewarding and enriching in the long run. While initial frustration is possible and likely to occur, most English teachers will eventually get adjusted to the place.
This alternative, however, may not work for everyone, especially professionals who greatly depend on the conveniences and comfort that can be found only in urban centers. If you are unsure whether your personality matches this career option, you may want to first practice your trade in outlying areas — those that are reasonably near cosmopolitan centers — before diving head first to really far-flung destinations. But if you have a feel for exotic and offbeat locations, teaching English is a platform you can use to make your dreams come true.
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