Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Best Countries to Teach English In - Part 1

< style="font-weight:bold;">The Best Countries to Live In/>

Earlier this week the UN Development Program released its annual index of the best countries to live in of 182 surveyed countries as part of its Human Development report. This would indicate countries which have a high combined index in the areas of school enrollment, gross domestic product per capita, and the country’s literacy rate according to a release by the AP available online at “And the Best Country to Live In Is …

Quality of Life: Who’s on First?

Just in case you’re interested, some countries that made the list and their respective positions are:

Norway – number one
Australia – number two
Iceland – number three
Niger – dead last

The following countries rose by three positions or more from previous standings:

• Colombia
• France
• Peru
• Venezuela

These countries however dropped by two or more positions:

• Jamaica
• Lebanon
• Luxembourg
• Ecuador

Malta and
Tonga (Tonga? Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either)

Iran and Nepal also improved the respective positions on the list. For the first time, Afghanistan was added to the UN list although it was ranked at the bottom of the pack along with Sierra Leone. So how does this impact a prospective English as a foreign language teacher to one of these countries? Well, opportunities may in fact be greater in countries which are “lower” on the list although the humanitarian and social rewards will likely far outweigh the financial ones.

Teach English as a Foreign Language Where?

Then where should you plan on teaching English as a second or foreign language? Most strongly, I recommend that EFL teachers strive to live and work in a country where they have intense or vested interest in the language, culture, food, history, lifestyle and other integral aspects of the country. This will, of course, mean many different things to many different EFL teachers. If you don’t want to get embroiled in the complexities of Asian tongues like Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese or Chinese, then for goodness’ sake don’t even consider a teaching job in that region of the world. I don’t care how much money it pays. Ultimately, you’ll be sorry. Just ask my friend Richard R. about his two-year, ultra-highly-paid stint in a part of the world which went against the grain for him, leaving him a broken, emotional wreck at the end of it.

Opt instead for Europe, Africa, Latin America or the USA where you’ll focus on English as a Second Language instead. Trust me, you’re going to have more than enough problems in avoiding (or minimizing) culture shock and adjusting to the idiosynchrasies of a foreign locale as it is without also burdening yourself with inherent prejudices or malfeasants you might already unwittingly harbor.

We'll continue with more on this topic in the next post. See you again then.

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: 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.


Chris@Celtic said...

I'd like to recommend Italy. I had a fantastic time there, there is so much to see in the country, the food is an obvious plus and generally Italians are extremely friendly and welcoming.

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