Characteristics That Make The Grade When Teaching English Abroad

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    Dec 09, 2013
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Characteristics That Make The Grade When Teaching English Abroad Photo by Rhyan O'sullivan

Are you outgoing? Do you have the ability to work with a diverse group of people? Would you like to travel outside of the United Kingdom? If you answered yes to these questions then you may want to consider teaching English abroad. Teaching English as a second language isn’t for everyone, but if you possess a specific skill set it can be a very lucrative and rewarding career. Here are a few characteristics that will help you make the grade.

Strong Interpersonal Skills

Obviously, teachers need to be outgoing individuals and dynamic pubic speaking skills. But the best teachers also know when to listen. Sometimes listening is about more than just the words a student is saying. It is also noticing changes in body language or other nuances that indicate when a student is having a hard time comprehending the subject material. It is important to know when to offer encouragement, especially when you are working with people from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures.

Ability to Work Without Supervision

Before you even begin teaching English abroad, you will need to become accredited. Many programs allow you to complete a substantial amount of your coursework online. This is a good test of your time management skills and your ability to work without supervision. These skills will become even more important once you are hired to teach in a foreign country. You can’t treat the entire experience as a vacation. Lesson plans and learning activities need to be prepared well in advance, students may need extra help after class, etc. You may even need to change your lesson plans to accommodate different learning styles in different cultures. With strong organizational skills and a regular routine, you will be able to make the most out of both your time on and off the clock.


Last, but certainly not least, the best teachers are passionate about what they teach. Not only do they know the subject material, but they are always looking for new ways to present the material and new technologies that can help them teach. They have enthusiasm and a desire to share their knowledge with others, acting as a positive role model. Enthusiasm is contagious and is one of the best ways to motivate students to learn more and study harder.

Anyone can be a teacher, but those who possess these innate characteristics will be the most successful teachers. You will be able to make a difference in the lives of others—both inside and outside the classroom—by teaching English abroad.

Author's Profile

Robin Smith is offering intensive Teaching English Abroad is an accrediting body of TEFL/TESOL courses and course.

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