Wednesday, July 22, 2009
"Does it matter that I am 65 years old?"
An English Language Teaching Age Limit?
Is there an “age limit” to teaching English as a foreign language?
"Does it matter that I am 65 years old?"
When a reader wrote to me with that question, here’s what I responded in part:
“Since I'm no spring chicken now either, I can say with some authority that it will depend on where and who you want to teach. Sad but true, many countries, like China, do have age restrictions. You can't get a visa there after age 60. That means neither of us will be going there to teach. Other countries however, are willing to accept teachers over age 50 which seems to be the age where most problems begin to occur. In many other countries, like Colombia, teachers over 40 can have employment difficulties. It may not be “fair”, but that’s often the way it is.
If you're going abroad use a site like www.TEFL.com to present your resume to a large number of schools and institutes abroad. Also you can query schools directly and apply for openings quickly and easily from this site. You're likely to have far more luck if you can meet these five important "conditions", which are:
1. CELTA or TEFL certification
2. Teaching experience
3. Willingness to work with younger learners
4. General good health
5. Positive, enthusiastic attitude
In addition, you'll likely have much better luck if you're willing to teach in "less popular", "less touristy" places like the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Get certified in an intensive CELTA or TEFL course, get some practical English language teaching experience - as a volunteer at first if need be, at a local school, literacy center, government-sponsored program or language institute, then start job hunting in earnest online, by telephone and through mailings. (The whole process can be completed in three to six months if you keep at it) If you keep trying, keep applying and don't give up, I'm certain you'll get multiple offers of employment abroad, most likely in less than a year from your starting point. You just won't have as many options as some other teachers might.”
Retired in a Foreign Country?
More than a few retirees who either live or frequent a foreign country ask about the option of teaching English as a foreign language. Actually, it’s one way to travel or live for free abroad. Remember, you do have some distinct advantages working in your favor, such as:
• You are a native English speaker (we are in short supply worldwide)
• You have an extensive, detailed knowledge of your English-speaking culture
• You have experienced holidays, history and been educated in English through first-hand total immersion
• You “think” in English so will make far, far fewer mistakes in the language than virtually anyone else around you whose first language is NOT English
• You are considered to be an expert in English not matter what your personal background might be
Regardless of your age, anywhere you go abroad, people will seek you out and strike up conversations with you to hear “correct” English and to have their failings in the English language addressed by someone “who knows” English
A great deal of detailed information is contained in my free e-book which you'll find on offer below. E-mail me at email@example.com with “free e-book” in the subject box and I’ll send you a copy by return e-mail. I hope that this helps for those of you who are “older and wiser”.
Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: firstname.lastname@example.org Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.