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How To Teach English Overseas

Posted in: Product Reviews, Working Abroad

Okay, so I’ve never taught English overseas. It is something we talked about, even something we planned on doing when we first arrived in Ecuador. But it just never happened.

So why feature this book? Well, it’s still an awesome idea. If you are planning on moving abroad, but not quite sure how to fund your move and your life then you should consider teaching English. And it’s a great option to fund your round-the-world travels too!

Teaching English abroad is a great way for people without a lot of money to head overseas, learn a new culture, experience personal growth, and make good money that can be put towards paying off student loans, or (even better) more traveling.

But how to go about doing it? A Google search brings up millions of website results that are most often junk sites, filled with Google ads, spam, outdated information, and sponsored ads for placement agencies that charge you to get a job.

Here are some of the things you’ll want to learn about:

  • Information on what a TEFL degree is and if you need it.
  • Information on other degrees like CELTA and TESOL.
  • The types of teaching jobs you will find.
  • The requirements for being an ESL teacher.
  • Salary and benefit information.
  • What to look for in your contract.
  • Online job Resources.

Ready to get started? The ESL / ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide: Ready-to-Use Strategies, Tools, and Activities for Teaching English Language Learners of All Levels today! This 336 page book will get you up and running.

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

18 comments… add one
  • Judith May 15, 2015, 1:01 pm

    Hi, I’ve been an ESL/EFL instructor for 25 years and have worked abroad. First, most tertiary positions require a relevant M.A. Second, most public schools (especially private) require teaching license. As for Ecuador, like most countries in South America, Central America and Mexico, the same credentials apply but pay is quite low. You can get up-to-date info on particular countries by visiting Dave’s click on Stuff for Teachers and then select International Job Forum where countries are arranged by region in alpha order. Posters there are often teachers either on the ground there or had prior experience. Also, you should know to find a job in S.A., one must apply in person. There is no website with employment link. Finally, because the TESL market is flooded with candidates with relevant Master’s (in Applied Linguistics and/or a terminal TESOL), gone are the days of hiring backpackers who happen to be native speakers of English. One must possess the credentials. You can probably earn as much pet sitting for ex-pats. Check out eslcafe. You can join and post inquiries. You’ll find current and accurate information. Hope this helps.

  • Robyn Aug 23, 2014, 11:53 am

    Hi Brian,
    Thanks for all the information in your travel blog.
    I’ve been wanting to move out of the US for quite some time, but am not near retirement.
    I’m planning a trip to Ecuador in February because it looks like a place that I would Love to live!
    I was wondering if there are English teaching opportunities that don’t require a degree, perhaps privately?
    I have experience homeschooling my children and grandchildren,teaching them to read, etc.
    I was also a preschool teacher for a few years.
    I’d appreciate any info you could share with me.

    • Bryan Haines Aug 23, 2014, 1:35 pm

      I expect so – likely in an informal setting. There are some expats teaching at university level but I don’t know their qualifications. I know the Ecuador education system highly values credentials so I expect they must have training. Maybe you can tutor / give private lessons? The book has specific resources and how-to advice.

    • Brenda Aug 27, 2016, 10:47 am

      Hi Robyn,
      I’ve been retired from teaching for three years now. Before I retired, I spent my summers traveling the world in search of a place to move after retirement. I can tell you, the place I keep going back to is Ecuador. There’s just something about the people, the culture, the food, and the climate that I love.
      Having said that, let me just offer a little advice. If you can handle it, stick in with the teaching until you can retire. That way, you can pick and choose where you live oversease without having the constraints of money. Teaching positions in Ecuador pay about $6.00 an hour, at the most, $10.00 with no benefits. Once you make the choice to retire in America, you can spend your time planning, saving money, and learning Spanish if you don’t speak it yet. Just having a plan helped me tolerate my last few years of teaching. Haha. I’m soooo glad I have that retirement check every month now. Hang in there. You’ll be so glad you did.

  • Franklin Nunez Mar 26, 2013, 1:19 am

    I want to buy this book. But I dont want to use credit card i can make it by western union or deposit in an account.

    • Bryan Haines Mar 26, 2013, 7:35 am

      This isn’t our book, but from his site it looks like you can only pay via Paypal or credit card.

  • maribethzielinski Mar 10, 2013, 2:20 pm

    Please send me infofmation

    • Bryan Haines Mar 12, 2013, 1:26 pm

      I’m not sure which information you are referring to. If you want to purchase the ebook on teaching English can you visit the publishers site.

      You can get free information by subscribing to our newsletter.

  • Pulpeddoes Sep 26, 2012, 10:12 pm

    Are there opp’ties for teaching privately, such as a few students, for a few hours a week? I plan to complete one of the courses recommended in Matt’s book, but I don’t want to be in a formal school setting, with set hours. Reminds me too much of 9-5, and I turned that switch off for good.

    Thanks for your input.

    • Bryan Haines Sep 27, 2012, 11:27 am

      For sure – there are a number of expats that teach private lessons.

  • Kathy Jul 26, 2012, 8:25 am

    Is a degree generally required to teach English?

    • Brenda Aug 27, 2016, 10:51 am

      It depends on where you teach. Any place you would want to teach would require a degree.

  • Noah Jun 29, 2012, 12:33 am

    Hi Bryan,

    I love your site. I am from the US and I’m interested in teaching English as a foreign language in Ecuador, but I noticed that Matthew’s book did not include Ecuador in the chapter on country information. Is this because it is less common in Ecuador? Have you come across anybody in Ecuador that does this? Do you know how I can find out more information specific to teaching English in Ecuador? Thank you for your time.


    • Bryan Haines Jun 29, 2012, 8:24 am

      I don’t think it is less common. I know of number of people who are teaching here, both in schools and universities. English is taught as a second language both in elementary and high school (and university, of course). You might check out – they are located here in Cuenca and the site has information about teaching and living here, and a job application too.


      • Willy Jan 2, 2013, 1:13 pm

        Hi Bryan,
        I currently teach English in a California HS and have all the clear credentialing including a masters in ED as well as the requisite Highly Qualified Teacher certificate for teaching ESL students. My question(s) pertains to the CEDEI program. is this a private school in Cuenca that specializes in teaching English, are there other settings enabling applicants to request employment and if so how would one access that information?
        Best regards,

        • Bryan Haines Jan 4, 2013, 6:12 pm

          Hey Willy – I really don’t know. I believe the most money is being made with one-on-one tutoring. You might want to check out Open English – they pay a solid wage (more than you’ll get here in Cuenca) and it is all online.

          To find schools here that teach English, I would recommend searching in Spanish.


      • Brenda Aug 27, 2016, 10:54 am

        Hi Bryan,
        I’ve been reading your blogs for years now and thoroughly enjoy them. I spent three months in Cuenca and loved it. While there, I visited CEDEI and met some of the teachers, They all seemed to love their jobs even though the pay is low.

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