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The demand for TEFL jobs in the USA is on the rise, with the emphasis being on English as a Second Language (ESL). Most of the colleges and universities in America offer an English language program, as do a great many charitable and governmental agencies. In addition to this, a very great many cities have private language schools, particularly in California and southern states.
Most TEFL job openings require that you be a US citizen or have a green card or some other work visa. Immigration and work policies are quite strict, and you will have a hard time finding legal work if you can not meet them.
A large proportion of the TEFL positions available is part time and may require that you have a teaching degree or a lot of experience in this area. Job openings also often require that you be bilingual, usually in Spanish and English. Jobs teaching English are generally paid on a per hour basis, and the wage is also often not very high.
Because of the stringent requirements for ESL teaching positions in the US, there are a great many available. Combined with this, the numbers of students wanting to learn the language continues to rise. In response to this situation, many volunteer programs have sprung up in order to try and fill the need for teachers. The requirements for an unpaid position are lower, especially with regard to official permission to work in the country. This makes teaching jobs easier to fill. Having one of these positions can give you a great sense of satisfaction from providing a service that can have a deep and positive effect on someone’s life, giving them the chance to find better paid work in the US. It will also provide you with valuable work experience, which will make it easier for you to find paid work in the future.
Keep in mind that because English is the primary language in the states, there are vast quantities of teaching resources available to you. This can result in better prepared lessons, but may also increase your preparation time and require more attention to weed through material in order to find something appropriate. Living in the US and being surrounded by the language and culture everyday will help you to better understand your students’ needs and desires with respect to learning English.
A TEFL job search can begin on the internet. Many positions are advertised on TEFL related web sites. Thoroughly research your work and immigration status before going to the states, so that you are clear what kinds of jobs you can apply for. Before accepting a position, make sure that you ask questions regarding pay, population being served, class sizes, benefits, what kind of assistance the employer can provide with immigration and work visa issues, etc. Also ensure that any contract you sign accurately reflects these details.
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