By Chingakham Dina
Thailand is good destination for tourists and taking up English teaching job on the go. The demand of English teacher grew over the past decade in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, China and other Asian countries. Do our English speaking youths fit for this job? Let us find out.
There are two groups of English teachers. Native English Speaking Teacher (NEST) and Non-Native English Speaking Teacher (NNEST). Teachers from the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are considered as Native English Speaking Teacher (NEST). Teachers from other countries are considered as Non-Native English Speaking Teacher (NNEST). There is endless discussions and arguments about who is better teachers- Native English Speaking Teacher, or Non-Native English Speaking Teacher (NNEST). There are strengths and weaknesses for both groups. From research, discussion, and feedback, it is shown that Native English Speakers are preferred for teaching speaking and listening, and Non Native teachers are better in teaching grammar. It is general, and I don’t speak exceptional cases. If you want to teach abroad as English teacher, you are expected to teach English focusing on speaking and listening.
The notion of Native English teacher is too strong in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong. In these countries they employ only Native English Speaking teacher. This is in general, there might one or two exceptional cases. But in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos there is place for you if you are qualified. In these countries too, there is more demand for Native speaker. So Schools incline more towards native English speaker. However there are thousands of Filipino teachers, so there is chance for you too if you prepare yourself for the job.
What makes Native English teachers are preferable? The answer is simple. It is because of the way how they speak, it is because pronunciation and their accent. We learn reading and writing. We don’t learn speaking and listening. We speak the way we have been taught, far from English and American accent. This is what we suffer from in spite of many English speaking graduates are produced, we cannot serve the need of the market demand particularly for this profession. Again, this is general, I don’t count the exceptional cases out there. In an interview, your chance to be selected depends very much on how you speak.
We produce large number of graduates. Our fresh graduates need proper training to be ready for this skill in the market. With my personal experience of nearly 15 years teaching career, my suggestion to job seekers of English teaching is to polish your accent before you serve your skills in the job market. I am talking the realistic situation.
How to prepare?
- It seems no one cares your accent inside India, but it certainly does matter abroad especially for teaching English. You are expected to be good at reading, writing, speaking and listening but you will not teach grammar in most cases. You will be teaching Speaking and Listening. Grammar will be taught by local teachers. Train yourself to avoid heavy accent.
What do you need?
- You need to have at least Bachelor’s degree in any subject.
- You must have B.ed or degree related to education for your work permit.
- You must have English proficiency test score such as TOEIC, TOEFL or IELTS.
Writer’s profile: Currently teaching in Thailand / Email: chingakham(at)yahoo(dot)com