Talk:Teaching English

Active discussions

Planning the pageEdit

Getting startedEdit

Well, there have been some links pointing to this page that doesn't exist yet. It has even been hinted that I should approach this subject. Where to begin? Rather than just throwing a few thoughts to the wind, I thought I'd get started with a list of questions:

  • What sections do we need?
  • How can this be a "travel" page and not turn into something else? Wikivoyage isn't meant to be a career planning site.
  • Who else should I approach for help on this?

So, I started talking to myself on my Talk page with some some preliminary ideas which Hypatia suggested I bring right over here to the talk page. Thanks, Hypatia! (WT-en) Ted 20:37, 3 Dec 2004 (EST)


  • Understand
Alphabet soup- Jargon and acronyms
  • Get Ready
Plunge ahead- how to get started before you travel
Reading list?- websites and books
Training- describe training options and/or actually list programs
  • Finding a job
  • Professional Organizations
  • Working Conditions

Keeping it TravelEdit

Is listing companies just asking for spam? Focus on short-term and ignore career track? Pros and cons...

Teaching while traveling will probably be short-term, but some people turn to EFL teaching as a career which encourages/allows travel. Cover both ends?

Who can help?Edit

Note to self: I'll have to ask a friend, Charles Q, to get involved with wikivoyage and help with the language school side of things.

Approach JET / JETAA Need people in the profession in Eastern Europe, SE Asia, and South America. Local conditions vary widely (I think).

Anybody else interested in helping to work this up into something reasonable?

Maj, you may want to see if you can contact this guy (WT-en) Ted. He doesn't have an email contact on Wikivoyage, but if your able to get a hold of him it could be worth it. (WT-en) Sapphire 21:00, 19 April 2006 (EDT)


  • Berlitz employment page [1]
According to an email correspondence (With a Berlitz employee in Cincinnati) I had while bumbling around in Euroland Berlitz doesn't require any certificate. Instead they will train you and employ you too.
  • Lonely Planet's The Gap Year Book
  • Wikipedia's article on different creds [2]

vfd discussionEdit

Copied from Project:Votes for deletion:

  • Delete. Doesn't seem to really fit in as an article, not even as a travel topic. -- (WT-en) Ilkirk 12:51, 1 April 2006 (EST)
  • for Maj 12:52, 1 April 2006 (EST) keep if she wants to refresh it...
  • Delete. -- (WT-en) Jonboy 08:08, 3 April 2006 (EDT)
  • Undecided. How about filling this out as a travel topic and using it as a sup article for Gap year travel? Something like where a person can teach English, any degrees or certifications needed to teach English in a weird place like the Czech Republic, then the various teaching certificated like TEFL and TOEFL that way the article at the very least has some reason for existence. Or if we do delete this would this be an appropriate sub article for Gap year travel? It could be found here Gap year travel/Teaching English. (WT-en) Sapphire 03:44, 4 April 2006 (EDT)
  • Delete - Maj updated the content, so keep. Anyone with lots of time and creativity who feels like putting together guidelines for topics in Project:What is an article?, we could use it. -- (WT-en) Ryan 06:32, 12 April 2006 (EDT)
  • Keep, but instead of calling it "Teaching English" how about "Language immersion travel" or something of the like and also have information for people traveling to study and people traveling to teach various languages? If this seems to be a long shot change my vote to delete. (WT-en) Sapphire 00:31, 19 April 2006 (EDT)
    • Just to point it out, the content of this article is currently "How to teach English to kids is to get a book and read to them." I don't disagree that a sufficiently motivated person might create a good article on this subject, but since the title isn't clearly something that would become a valid article, and since the content is clearly invalid, why keep this? I won't delete this (for now) to allow further comment, but other admins may feel differently and delete the article in accordance with the policy that articles without consensus to keep be deleted. -- (WT-en) Ryan 18:52, 19 April 2006 (EDT)
      • I still say it's a super-valid article... it could include information on where the best places to visit, how long usual contracts are, etc. I just walked my sister through this process (she's in South Korea now!). I'll try to take it under my (very crowded) wing and make something of it. (WT-en) Majnoona 19:54, 19 April 2006 (EDT)
        • Sorry, I didn't mean to say it's not potentially a valid topic, but there are probably a million or so topics that are potentially valid, and we don't really have any criteria for what stays or goes. In this case the article was created by a known vandal and had no useful content, so it seemed contrary to the goal of having useful guides to keep it around. Now that you've added more info to the article I'd be in favor of keeping it, but it's a bit of a slippery slope to not have guidelines for travel topics and to then say that any topic that may possibly be useful to travelers is going to be kept irrespective of what the article content is. -- (WT-en) Ryan 20:12, 19 April 2006 (EDT)
  • Keep. Tons of travellers use teaching English to pay their way overseas. This is a good travel topic. --(WT-en) Evan 20:09, 19 April 2006 (EDT)

Teaching other languages?Edit

This article mentions the British Council. Various other govt's sponsor organisations that play a similar role for their nations' languages, and offer jobs for speakers of those languages.

  • French: Alliance Francais [3]
  • German: Goethe Institute [4]
  • Spanish: Cervantes Institute [5]
  • Chinese: Confucius Institute [6]

Are there others?

I chose to put this here, not in the main English teaching page. Was I right or should it be where Wikivoyagers who read English but speak other languages can find it? (WT-en) Pashley 01:03, 26 April 2006 (EDT)

Since it now has links, it seemed worth copying to the main page. (WT-en) Pashley 23:50, 5 October 2006 (EDT)

The US Peace Corps'presence in China is limited to English Teaching only so it would be worth a mention I think. (WT-en) akajoey 7 March 2008

Country-specific sites?Edit

Should links to country-specific English-teaching sites be here (as some are now)? Or should they be moved to the work section of country articles (my preference)? Or deleted altogether because there's a slippery slope here (there are at least a dozen sites for China alone) and we don't want to become a web directory? (WT-en) Pashley

Country-specific sites should be moved to the country articles' Work sections. I think the usefulness outweighs the slipperyslopeness, and there aren't that many of them compared to, say, hotel booking engines. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:10, 29 August 2007 (EDT)

Is the link appropriate, and if so, should it be moved to Taiwan? ~ 01:41, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Being Taiwan-specific, it certainly does not belong here. I'd say move it and let folk editing the Taiwan article decide if it is appropriate there. (WT-en) Pashley 01:55, 25 January 2008 (EST)
Done [7] [8]. ~ 02:07, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Star nominationEdit

I nominated this article for star status and it failed. Discussion: Project:Star_nominations/Slush_pile#Teaching_English

I've been trying to address the main objection by adding a section titled "The work", but that is neither finished nor very good. Anyone else want to pitch in? (WT-en) Pashley 03:10, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

I think you've got some good points in there and you're headed in the right direction with that section. The notes about teacher talk time, beginner reluctance, and grammar curveballs are all important. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 22:41, 11 September 2007 (EDT)
I've gone about as far as I can, adding "The work" section and rewriting "Pay and conditions" fairly extensively. Someone else should take it from there, expand further, or if it looks complete, consider re-nominating it for Star. (WT-en) Pashley

bump Are we there yet? (WT-en) Pashley 06:30, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

New Section Professional OrgsEdit

Hi All,

After a rather lengthy absence, I'm back on Wikivoyage and really happy to see that this ELT page has taken off. I added a bit here and there, especially the new professional organisations section. These groups are maybe the best ways to get a job or prepare to work in a country. There is danger of the list getting out of hand, but I think it has value: one as a spark to lead people to places they might not have considered working; and two, there isn't a particularly good list elsewhere to link out to. I inadvertently logged out, so the edit looks anonymous.

One question: If people agree this list is worthwhile, then and belong there too. But, since I'm an officer for both of those organizations, perhaps I shouldn't be posting that info myself? Thanks. (WT-en) Ted 22:57, 29 February 2008 (EST)

Nice work, good info. I rearranged slightly, moving existing TESOL and IATEFL info into that section and shortening the title. I'd say by all means add JALT and CamTESOL. (WT-en) Pashley 07:17, 1 March 2008 (EST)
Hmmm. We've said country-specific job sites should go in the Work sections of country articles, not here. Should that apply to country-specific professional organisations? I'm mildly inclined to think not, but it seems worth asking. (WT-en) Pashley 10:09, 2 March 2008 (EST)
I can see the logic of country-specific job sites in country articles. On the other hand, I think the professional organisations can stay here for two reasons: they are less likely to proliferate the way job sites do (often one or two per country), and these orgs usually host conferences and publish journals which are of interest to people regardless of what country they are in or may be planning to visit. Also, some organisations are transnational. (WT-en) Ted 21:34, 8 March 2008 (EST)

Re section Resources for English teachersEdit

This section has the potential to grow out of control if every TEFL site decides to add itself there. One solution is just to remove that section, but there should be some less draconian steps. Seems some guidelines are in order: non-profit sites, sites from academic sources? No adding yourself to the list (Links added from accounts and some explanation on the talk page?) Just thinking out loud at this point. Anyone have a view on this? (WT-en) Ted 21:11, 29 June 2008 (EDT)

I agree, it's a problem. Not sure of the solution. Perhaps move the Wikis to their own section, delete the rest? Dave's and a few other job-hunting sites already have links in the "Looking for work" section. (WT-en) Pashley 21:44, 29 June 2008 (EDT)

Two obvious restrictions. No country or region-specific sites; those go in country articles. No schools or recruiters, only job ad sites. I'm not sure that's enough, but a start. (WT-en) Pashley 09:04, 7 December 2008 (EST)
I took a crack at fixing this, changing the title and adding a comment warning editors off adding various things. Reactions? (WT-en) Pashley 06:00, 20 December 2008 (EST)


The section Teaching other languages lists organisations that teach most of the other major world languages, but not one for Russian. A web search in English gave confusing results. Can someone, perhaps a Russian speaker, do better? (WT-en) Pashley 20:55, 18 March 2011 (EDT)

I don't know of any. Aside from the sort of organizations that teach lots of languages (e.g., Berlitz). --Peter Talk 23:02, 29 November 2012 (UTC)[]
There is a Russian governmental program to foster the spread of Russian in the world: Russiy Mir. This is probably the link you need though I’m not sure what exactly they do.
Thanks. I have added that one to the article. Pashley (talk) 20:02, 15 October 2013 (UTC)[]
Beside that, in (almost) every capital where Russia has an embassy there is a primary/secondary Russian school (called заграншкола in Russian) run by the ministry of Foreign Affairs. They might be looking for Russian-speaking schoolteachers. Here is an incomplete list of these schools. -- GMM (talk) 17:51, 15 October 2013 (UTC)[]
Thanks for that too, but I do not think it belongs in this article. Perhaps on Russian WV in an article parallel to this one or to Working abroad. Pashley (talk) 20:02, 15 October 2013 (UTC)[]


I added a section on recruiters, warning people off them. Wording is deliberately milder than my personal opinion, but still rather definite. Any comment from others? Pashley, 13 January 2013

This definitely needs a second opinion. Pashley (talk) 12:49, 22 June 2013 (UTC)[]
My advice should be taken with a grain of salt, as I have no experience or understanding about the topic at all, but I think it could be clearer why one should not use a recruiter. It sounds like they're similar to the stereotype around used car salesmen, but saying outright why travellers should avoid them would make it more useful. Is it because they send travellers to disorganised/bad schools? Expensive with no additional gain? Illegal? A scam? All of the above? etc. Otherwise, I see no overall bias that is not warranted :) James Atalk 13:09, 22 June 2013 (UTC)[]

Current text includes:

Some recruiters want an up-front payment from teachers, a "membership fee", "placement fee" or whatever. In nearly all cases, these should be rejected out-of-hand. Honest recruiters make their money by getting commissions from schools; any who ask for payment from teachers are quite likely scammers.

I wrote that and it matches my experience, but I've only worked in Asia. Browsing Dave's for jobs in Latin America, I am finding that many recruiters want such a fee. Does the advice above hold there, or does our text need change? Pashley (talk) 18:10, 11 June 2014 (UTC)[]

Job hunt listingsEdit

The list of job-hunt sites at Teaching_English#Looking_for_work is getting long and providing a web directory is explicitly not a goal of the project. How do we handle this slippery slope?

Personally, I'd delete any recruiter (contact details for the site or agency rather than the employer are given) on that list, add a comment asking editors not to add such sites, and say "good riddance". What do others think? Pashley (talk) 14:02, 13 January 2013 (UTC)[]

I have removed the recruiter links and inserted a comment to discourage people adding more. Pashley (talk) 20:27, 25 May 2013 (UTC)[]
Just asking the question, the section around recruiters appears very negative. Is this advice correct for all countries in the world? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:51, 12 June 2014 (UTC)[]
I think so, but see the #Recruiters section above. Pashley (talk) 00:54, 12 June 2014 (UTC)[]
OK.. I never worked as a teacher myself, so I assume that is correct. I can't really think of the IT industry working under this basis (although there are some dodgy recruiters there as well).Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:38, 12 June 2014 (UTC)[]

public schools, colleges, universities?Edit

This article pretty much assumes that all ESL is taught in small, private vocational schools which just churn out ESL lessons and nothing else. What about large mainstream community colleges, or institutions where ESL is just one of multiple subjects being taught? Are the positions too difficult to get (in which we should say so, and explain why) or was their omission merely an oversight? K7L (talk) 15:03, 10 August 2014 (UTC)[]

They may not have the right amount of emphasis, but they certainly are not omitted.
The destinations section has "In any of the areas mentioned above, there are both ESL programs in public schools and universities and quite a few private schools."
Pay & conditions has "University or public school jobs often have quite long holidays."
Teaching_English#Governments_of_destination_countries lists several programs that recruit mainly for high schools; I just clarified that.
One of the pictures is at Chiang Mai University & the caption says so.
Oddities like the oil rig jobs and "accent coaches" in Indian call centers are also mentioned.
I think adding a section on the various types of schools involved and advantages/disadvantages of each for teachers might be a good idea, but I do not think it is urgent. Pashley (talk) 17:09, 10 August 2014 (UTC)[]

New courseEdit

US Dep't of State & U of Oregon are involved in this online course. Probably worth adding. Pashley (talk) 16:01, 29 December 2014 (UTC)[]

Misleading because enormously broadEdit

There are some significant problems with this article such that while yes, it is long, and yes there seems to be information here. 1) This is far afield from travel and does not focus on the travel aspect of Teaching English (while traveling) such as slow travel, travel on weekends then moving to another part of the country/another country, etc. 2) Statements like the characterization of teaching English in Hong Kong is mere speculation. Are there jobs? What are the qualifications? The answer is few and high so why even include this here in a travel encyclopedia?

Because of this, my initial reaction is to restructure around a more focused Travel concept (the top of the page it says that this article is a travel topic). First, what does teaching English have to do with travel (several things, actually). Secondly, eject completely sections such as the work' which can be found much better in other places, such as wikipedia articles. Third, qualify heavily or simply remove all generalities. Some of these things (such as expected hours of teaching) simply don't hit the majority of jobs or teaching while traveling opportunities.

And so, some initial thoughts at restructuring:

- What does teaching English have to do with traveling? Or teaching any language? - Why teach a foreign language in a foreign country? Advantages, disadvantages (bridging the language gap) - In non-native English speaking countries, this is a way to either make money, or to gain closer contact with local people (volunteering). - Short term vs. long term (note that some countries have short term, others' don't. More wealthy countries generally have English embedded in primary, secondary and tertiary education; poorer countries could be more open to a few weeks of volunteer teaching) - Popular places for short term and long term travel teaching, e.g., where can it easily be done and some amount of income saved while doing it?

more... --Jeffmcneill (talk) 11:28, 1 November 2015 (UTC)[]

I do think the article could be improved by moving in the general direction you suggest, but lets not overdo it. We should definitely cover the longer-term (typically one-year contract) jobs for qualified teachers or new uni grads, not just the short-term stuff for tourists, though the latter could use improvement.
The section on "the work", like most of the article, is only an overview. Of course there are more thorough treatments elsewhere, not just WP but lots of ESL sites & a whole section in any decent university library, but I think the overview is worth having here.
I have removed Hong Kong from the list of major Asian destinations; the other mentions of Hong Kong are accurate. The stuff about hours is correct for most full-time jobs in the field. Pashley (talk) 12:31, 1 November 2015 (UTC)[]
Perhaps add a section on types of job? Language mill vs. public institution (school or uni) vs. short-term jobs for tourists vs. oil rigs etc. All quite different. Pashley (talk) 13:09, 1 November 2015 (UTC)[]

Host government programsEdit

Teaching_English#Governments_of_destination_countries lists several. Are there others? Taiwan? Vietnam? Eastern Europe? Latin America? Pashley (talk) 03:40, 17 March 2016 (UTC)[]

Best countries?Edit

On another travel site 5 countries to teach ESL in that give you the best bang-for-your-buck. Pashley (talk) 00:06, 8 May 2018 (UTC)[]

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