G’day! Teaching Down Under by Christopher Lotinga
When I came back to Australia with my Oxford House Trinity Cert TESOL back in 2004 I had a plan. I was confident, eager and ready to teach somewhere, anywhere, out in the big wide world and I did at first, scoring a job with EF (Education First) in Indonesia. At the end of my contract I came home to sunny Brisbane, Queensland, to take a quick breather before setting off for another exotic destination. I was in the process of searching for my next overseas job when I noticed that an EF school had opened in my suburb. I popped in to see them, showed them my Trinity Cert TESOL and started work soon after.
Australia really is a wonderful place to work; the weather is amazing and it has some of the most stunning destinations in the world. It also has one of the best regulated TESOL industries in the world, divided into separate Private and State sectors. The Private (ELICOS) sector is dominated by almost 200 language schools. Also many Australian universities have their own ELICOS departments. Add to this the climate and laid-back lifestyle – and you have a very appealing combination.
The schools are well organized and the people are really helpful. Teaching contracts can be 1 year, you can get p/t contracts for a couple of months at a time or be employed on a casual basis – you have to ask each individual school. To get a good job, however, you need a decent qualification. I found my Trinity Cert TESOL invaluable in helping me to get a job with EF, as it is highly regarded here. CELTA and TESOL qualifications are the most recognized qualifications in the Private ELICOS sector, while TESOL degrees and diplomas (from an Australian university) are particularly relevant in the State sector.
Class sizes vary with each school, but we mainly teach Asian students from Japan, South Korea and China during the winter months and summer sees an influx of Europeans and South Americans. In fact Australia and New Zealand has become the main destination for Asian students willing to learn English.
So what are you waiting for? Slip on some sunscreen, slap on a hat and chuck another prawn on the barbie!