Tips for Teaching English in Thailand
The amazing Asian country of Thailand is a pot-belly of varied culture, customs, and traditions. The diverse landscapes, friendly locals, and the mesmerizing flora and fauna make it a vibrant place to live and work in. This is the reason why people find it very difficult to leave Thailand.
Traveling and volunteering or teaching abroad has become a new way of exploring distant lands and a mode of seeking varied experiences. This allows the traveler to stay in one place for a long time. With tourism being Thailand’s top industry the need for fluency in the global language has become a mandatory criterion and hence there is a subsequent increase in the need for individuals who can teach English.
So, for individuals wishing to pursue a career as a teacher in Thailand, here are some invaluable tips.
1. Mandatory TEFL/TESOL certificate-
Thailand follows strict guidelines when hiring teachers to teach English. An individual requires being a native speaker and also having a degree from a four-year university. Along with that a TESOL/TEFL certificate is also needed. While many schools give weightage to previous experience, there are some that do not.
A Master’s degree, ideally in education is compulsory if one wishes to teach at the university level. Teaching English in Thailand without having a degree is not really possible. However, you can also complete a teacher training course in Thailand to become eligible to teach.
2. Speaking the local language-
The schools in Thailand surprisingly prefer it if their native-speaking teachers avoid speaking Thai. The aim of the schools is to make the students immerse in a classroom atmosphere where everyone speaks the English language.
Thus, for individuals who are coming from abroad have an added advantage. If the English language teachers do not know the native tongue, then the students will have no option but to communicate in English.
3. Know where and when to look for jobs-
It is often far easier to search for a position from home rather than coming to Thailand and then going around the city looking for jobs. It saves you a lot of hassle. The school year starts in May and gets over in March, with breaks in October and April, and also several local holidays. Hiring is primarily done in the months before each term starts, but it takes place the whole year round.
Most schools and agencies will only allow teachers to opt for a six-month contract. Thus, if a short-term positions appeals to you, then Thailand might be an ideal place to start from.
4. Private or Government Schools-
If you opt for government schools, then they offer a Monday-Friday teaching schedule along with far less obligations on nights or on weekends. They also provide the chance of celebrating all local and public holidays.
Language institutes offer a high salary, but the work is more with the obligation to put in long hours over the weekends or on nights because the majority of students are mainly business professionals or students taking classes after school.
Moreover, there are higher probability of private schools being operated by a native English speaker and will also have a number of other expatriates on staff unlike a government school where you will be required to work under a director who speaks little or no English.
5. Salary and cost of living-
Teaching English in Thailand offers around 30,000 Thai Baht per month initially which is a comfortable salary and it is enough to live with the modern amenities. Moreover it is double than what the local teachers earn. The cost of living being relatively low compared to other countries, individuals can save up enough to plan for adventures or trips to neighboring areas.