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Teaching English in Asia

By I - Posted on 28 December 2006

Teaching English abroad is a great way to experience living in a different culture, learn a foreign language, and even pay back your college loans. The international language of business is English and it has become the most widely taught foreign language in the world.

In public schools, private academies, companies, universities, community centers, government offices, and online, English is taught and studied every day of the week in all corners of the globe. The world is obsessed with learning English and in no place is this more true than Asia.

There is a great demand in Asia for native speakers of English. In some places, the only requirement is a good command of the English language, and citizenship, education, experience, etc are irrelevant for finding a job. In more developed countries, where the salaries and benefits are higher, you may need to be a citizen of an English speaking country and hold a degree from a 4-year university or college. Very rarely, you may be required to have a TEFL certificate and teaching experience. In general, the more requirements for getting a job the higher the salary and vice versa.

Traveling abroad to teach English in a foreign country can be quite intimidating, especially when going to Asia where the culture are very different from back home. Also, because of the great demand for English teachers there and the high potential for profit, there are some private English schools in Asia that are simply there the make a buck, with little care to the well-being of their foreign teachers in a foreign land. Also, there are plenty of native English teachers in Asia who have come to make a quick buck, with little care for their job or relationships with their employers.

Although no TEFL job is going to be without problems, government-sponsored programs are generally better about making sure you get paid if something goes wrong. Furthermore, it is usually the case that the longer a program has been around, the more smoothly it runs. This is not to say that all private English schools are bad, or even that they are worse than government-sponsored programs. In fact, many established private English schools provide as much or more support than government programs, and can be wonderful places to work. does not recommend any program or school over another, and the following list of government-sponsored programs that bring native English teachers to Asia should only be a first step in looking for a job. All programs should be researched carefully.

Japan: JET Program

South Korea: EPIK Program

Hong Kong: PNET and NET


For further information about teaching English in Asia, check out our sections on:

Looking for a job in a specific country? There are over a thousand jobs listed in our Asia TEFL jobs sections:

Anonymous's picture

I agree with the statement that there is a huge demand for English teachers in Asia. I know for a fact that there is a good demand for English teachers, specially native English speakers, in Sri Lanka. If you are a native English speaker with good teaching experience and qualifications, then there is a good chance that you can find a job in one of the leading international schools with a very good salary. I am working for an internatioal school and we do have few vacancies for English teachers.

Lisa's picture

I have 14 years experience teaching ESL. I have an MA in Linguistics and TESL Certification. Some of these job are "come-ons" so I would like to hear only from actual jobs - not the kind where if one has a Bachelor's degree that person teaches for free in exchange for room and board or whatever. I am a highly qualified ESL Teacher


As mentioned above, I am Theophilus Tanjong in the South West Region of Cameroon (English Speaking Region ) Republic of Cameroon. I am a holder of both GCE advanced Levels and o/l and had two years of university experience.
Please, i can i have the way to apply directly to schools in need of English teachers?
Will hesitate not to wait for you response at your convenient.

phuong's picture

i join in this page for the first time. I would like to know more about the job teacher. could you please tell me more these abbreviations? they are: GCE/ DELTA/ TESOL/ TESL. thanks you very much!

Rajiv Omar's picture

Teaching english abroad is challenging, a great opportunity to share your knowledge and learn from others as well.

delly's picture

I am already convinced that teaching English in Asia is a great challenge and experience, I am just sorry I am not qualified for that yet, I am still having private esl tutoring, there's room for improvement on my English but I'll keep hoping that someday I'll be able to go for this challenge.