Teaching English During the Summer: A Guide

teaching english during summer

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  • Do you want to do something meaningful with your summer that could earn you a decent wage and offer you a great new life experience?

    Whether or not you’re interested in teaching English in the long term, a summer job imparting your native wisdom will look good on your CV as well as offering you a new adventure.

    Read more about the different types of summer jobs on offer for TESOL teachers and see if it’s for you.

    Why Teach TESOL in the Summer?

    TESOL positions aren’t just offered as year-long contracts; whether you’re looking for full-time seasonal work or something part-time to earn a little extra, TESOL could tick the box. If you think you might have a talent for teaching English to foreign students, getting a summer job teaching English could be for you. There are numerous reasons why you might want to consider doing a short TESOL stint this summer, here are our top ones:

    • Travel on the cheap:

      If you want an extended summer holiday but are a bit short on funds, getting a TESOL job can be a great way of seeing a new place without breaking the bank. Summer jobs can be intense, with more than your average Monday to Friday workloads, but they can also be fun environments without too much pressure.

      Often working six days a week, you might only have one full day off, but many positions operate in shifts so that each working day you’ll have either the morning, afternoon or evening away from the students.

      It’s not enough time to get a really good holiday in on the weekends, but if your summer break is 8 weeks long, a 4- or 6-week stint of TESOL could help you put by enough to enjoy the last weeks of your holiday abroad.

    • Gain teaching experience:

      If you fancy yourself as a teacher in the future, whether in the TESOL industry or in mainstream teaching, getting experience will be a bonus when it comes to job interviews or applying for teaching courses.

      Each teaching job will be different, but the intense nature of summer school positions will be enough to put you off if teaching isn’t really for you. As well as vital experience, you’ll also have a chance to network with other teachers and learn about their TESOL journeys, maybe even grabbing a great contact for the future when you’re looking for further work.

    • Save money:

      TESOL summer jobs aren’t just handy for helping you to afford a summer holiday. Whatever you’re saving up for, a summer job is a great way to boost your earnings. Summer camps usually provide accommodation and meals as part of the deal, and although your wages might not be particularly high, you won’t have much chance to spend them, either.

      Holiday positions keep you so busy that you can save up most of what you earn, putting away a tidy packet by the end of the summer. If you opt for teaching English online, this work can easily fit in around another summer job and involve as many hours as you’re game for, making it easy to increase your wages with a job you can do from home.

    • Gain work experience:

      Teaching TESOL over the summer isn’t just for those who aspire to be teachers. Those leaving school or university with little or no practical work experience can find it hard to get a job, especially in certain climates.

      If this sounds familiar, doing a short TESOL spell this summer could boost your employment chances. It doesn’t matter what field you’re going into, having any sort of work experience boosts your chances, especially if it comes with a glowing reference at the end.

    • Make lifelong friends:

      TESOL summer schools or summer camps tend to attract a certain sort of teacher – those at the beginning of their TESOL career, recent graduates, or perhaps more seasoned teachers on a contract break. As such, when you sign up to teach over the summer, you’ll likely be meeting a whole host of like-minded people who you’ll get on with really well.

      Equally, don’t be put off if you don’t fall into that twenty-something-graduate-TESOL-newbie bracket, as certain types of jobs attract certain types of teacher.

      For example, if you’re applying to a more academic summer school (British Council accredited) in the UK, the twenty-something TESOL teachers will be in short supply, and instead you’ll be surrounded by middle-aged or retired teachers with decades of experience under their belt.

      The Director of Studies will be able to give you a feel for what sort of place it is when you interview, and you’ll get a feel from brochure photos, too.

    What Qualifications do You Need?

    For the most part, TESOL summer jobs will require the following:

    • TESOL qualified, with at least a 120-hour certificate
    • Postgraduate age, with a degree in any subject
    • A native speaker
    • A bit of experience (whether formal or voluntary work)
    • A friendly, bubbly, enthusiastic candidate

    However, don’t despair if you don’t tick all these boxes. The nature of summer schools means that they’re great places for newbie teachers to get experience, and job requirements vary greatly.

    While British Council accredited schools won’t take anyone with less than a CELTA, there are other positions that require no TESOL, no experience, and will hire anyone above 18 years of age.

    What’s required depends on where the school is, what the age and ability of the students is, how expensive or academic the courses are, and a whole host of other factors. Wherever you are on your TESOL journey, there’s bound to be something you can apply for.

    Teaching TESOL Abroad in the Summer

    Teaching abroad is what leaps to mind when you think of summer TESOL positions, and if you’re embarking on a season of teaching as an opportunity to travel, this will be the route for you. If you have a country in mind that you’d really like to visit, start your job search by looking for positions in that country.

    Bear in mind that some countries will be easier to get work in than others. This will depend on a number of things, from the visa required to work there for the season, to the usual standards required for TESOL teachers.

    For example, getting a summer job in Denmark or Belgium (where TESOL teachers need to be experienced, highly qualified, and often bilingual) could be tricky, but rules are sometimes different for summer camp positions.

    If you want to teach TESOL abroad in the summer, start looking in plenty of time. Visa applications can take a while to come through, and although last-minute positions are always available, many schools start hiring for the summer in January, or even the year before.

    Good schools have returning teachers who do the summer school year after year, and new positions might be limited, but there’s always something out there. Bear in mind that not all positions will sponsor your work visa or reimburse you for flights, so make sure you read the small print before you apply.

    Teaching English at Home in the Summer

    Don’t fancy the sweltering summer temperatures in Spain or the super-long plane flight to China? No problem! Provided you don’t live in some tiny village, you’ll probably be able to find summer TESOL positions nearby, or at least in the same country.

    On the whole, it’s much easier to find work in and around cities than in backwater destinations, but there are some TESOL companies that specialize in touring the picturesque countryside locations of a country, too.

    First, take a look in your local area. Are there any adult education centers that offer night school classes over the summer? You might find an established TESOL course on offer or be able to pitch your own (if you’re experienced).

    English-speaking countries are flooded with international students over the summer who come to learn the language in an immersive environment. Many of these summer schools will hire out the premises of boarding schools to accommodate students (particularly younger learners, although trips for kids aged younger than 8 are rare), but there are also schools operating in cities that teach students already living locally.

    UK based summer camps usually offer fun, interactive programs that combine language lessons with other activities – from sports and trips to local attractions, to art, drama, and other skills. Teachers might be asked to participate in pastoral duties and running these other activities, or they might just be teaching English lessons – it depends on the school.

    The TESOL Org lists UK summer positions as well as summer camps abroad, so take a look at the Job Centre if you want to teach TESOL in the UK this summer.

    other valuable tips:

    Teaching English Online in the Summer

    Don’t fancy packing a suitcase this summer? No problem – finding TESOL work online over the summer is just as easy as at other times of year. While some online schools wind down business over the summer (because they’re supporting international students with trips and camps abroad) other schools ramp up services to cater to students who aren’t able to travel.

    The summer vacation is long whichever country you’re from, and many students fill their free time with lessons in a foreign language. Find a good school to work for or build your own online profile in good time so that you’ll be up and running by the summer months.

    Image Credit: by envato.com

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