You respond almost as fast as my parents, and you're certainly more tuned into the newsstream. I hope you had a chance to look at the interview Jed recommended me for. I had nothing but good words for LanguageCorps... I still consider you guys the Massachusetts equivalent of my family, and am proud to be reporting to you about the situation.
Below are quick answers to some frequently asked questions. If your question isn't included on our list, send us an email and we'll get you an answer!
For TESOL Plus Program participants, accommodations are included. For TESOL Certification Program participants, accommodations can be arranged for an additional charge which varies by country. During your training and certification program, you'll live in a private room, hotel room, multiple-bedroom apartment or with a host family near the Training Center (accommodations vary by country). Our accommodations meet the upper standard of what is available in the host countries, including western-style bathrooms.
Once you complete your training and certification and leave the Training Center to begin your paid teaching assignment, you'll live in an accommodation provided by the hiring school, or in an apartment that you've rented for yourself. Generally, these accommodations are furnished apartments, with the amenities you'd expect. Often, these apartments are air-conditioned, and Internet connections can sometimes be arranged. In some cases, you may share an apartment with one or more roommates; but typically, you'll have a private bedroom and bath. Accommodations that are provided by the hiring schools tend to be located at, or very nearby, the schools. Obviously, an apartment that you rent for yourself will be located wherever you choose.
The local food in your destination will be - well, local. If you have an adventurous palate, then you'll certainly have ample opportunities to try new foods, and sample new tastes. At the same time, since all of our Training Centers and most schools are located in or near major cities, there tends to be a wide variety of restaurants, food shops and grocers that cater not only to local cuisine, but to western tastes as well. Be assured you usually won't have to look too far to find pizza, pasta, vegetarian cuisine, or an American-style barbeque!
With all of our in-country programs, the local staff is very helpful in making your transition to living and working in a new culture go smoothly. In general, they want you to feel comfortable adjusting to your new location, and will assist as much as possible with your job search, and other logistics of living abroad.
Our Online Program participants will have access to our dedicated Student Services staff, who will provide them with assistance throughout the process.
E-mail access is available through the Training Centers and usually at schools, and there are many inexpensive internet cafes throughout all countries. Teachers usually use Skype, Whatsapp and similar programs and apps to stay connected.
For participants in all of the Asia programs, you will be given a personal international cellular telephone and some "starter" minutes. Your Corps Advocate's phone number will even be set up on speed dial for you!
Note that dialing international phone calls can be relatively expensive, while receiving calls initiated by the other party is quite inexpensive (sometimes free). Be sure to tell your family and friends back home!
LanguageCorps teachers work and live under the conditions of the localities in which they've accepted their teaching assignments. Generally, international EFL teachers are paid far better than similarly employed local workers, though salaries may sometimes seem small compared to potential earnings in the U.S. or Great Britain.
Our teachers are generally paid the equivalent of US$500-$1,500 per month, depending on the country, and the details and conditions of each specific teaching assignment (see Locations for more details - click the "Job Prospects & Pay" link for each country). Often, when compensation is at the lower end of the country range, free accommodations, insurance or other services are provided by the hiring schools. Some schools offer additional compensation for specific added teaching services you provide (tutoring, for example). Other schools may offer a reimbursement for some portion of your airfare costs, based on your completing a given period of work (six months to a year, typically).
In all locations, you should be able to earn enough to live comfortably, although in Europe, the Middle East, and most Latin American countries, you may not be able to save much. In Asia, you should earn enough to live comfortably, and save several hundred dollars per month.
Ultimately, the decision about which teaching assignment to accept will be yours to make. But it's important to keep in mind that there will often be differences between "best available" opportunities and the "perfect scenario" you may have envisioned - a little flexibility and open-mindedness can lead to a wonderful, if not expected, overseas teaching adventure!
LanguageCorps considers any form of direct pay, allowances or reimbursements you receive as compensation to you; we do not collect a portion of your salary as a fee, as many recruiters or placement agencies do.
LanguageCorps is particular about the applicants we accept. We require excellent English speaking skills and college degrees (no particular major is required and some locations do not require degrees). We look for true "global citizens" who can adapt to, and thrive in new surroundings. And we look for those with genuine interest in living and working in a different culture. Then, we put our teacher-trainees through intensive classroom training and hours of practice teaching, before awarding a TESOL Certificate. As a result, hiring schools view our teachers as among the highest quality and best credentialed available, and continually contact our training centers looking for teachers. In addition, unlike some companies, LanguageCorps does not take a percentage of your salary as a referral fee or subsidy. 100% of your salary goes to you!
Living costs depend on a number of factors including the country you are working in, the region, and personal spending habits. In general, our teachers are able to earn enough to live comfortably. In Asia, most teachers are also able to recoup the program fee, and still add to their savings. However, the LanguageCorps program is not for people who are strictly interested in "making money", but rather for those who are excited about the opportunity to live and work in another culture. Check Locations (click the "Job Prospects & Pay" link for each country) to see how different countries compare.
Our in-country TESOL training and certification programs last 4 weeks, and require your full-time commitment to attend classes, and participate in all other training and community activities. The online course must be completed within a 12-week period. Teaching contracts tend to be quite flexible and vary by location. Some schools want a six month or longer commitment, but others either do not require a contract, or will do a month-to-month contract.
One option is to earn your certification in your desired location and after the 4-week program ends you can travel a bit and return home. We also offer short-term Volunteer packages in selected locations. As to paid teaching jobs - while many teachers prefer to stay 6 months or longer, occasionally shorter term assignments are available. Ask us for details!
LanguageCorps programs start at various times throughout the year, so the best time to start is based on personal preference. The deadline for acceptance and receipt of deposit is 45 days prior to the start date (click the "Enrollment & Schedule" link for each country for program start dates). To ensure placement in the program you desire, we advise applying two to six months prior to your intended start date. Late placements are often possible, so if you are applying less than two months before your desired start date, please contact us immediately.
A teacher's work schedule typically encompasses 4-6 hours per workday, five days per week. There are sometimes requirements for weekend or evening class sessions.
Depending upon the local practice, there may be multiple holidays and vacation periods during a longer-term teaching assignment. Many of our teachers have ample time to take excursions or tourist trips based on the class schedules of their assigned schools. But, you must be clear on this central point: You will be working in a paid job as an EFL teacher. Your hiring school - and LanguageCorps - will expect you to abide by your commitments as an employee and professional.
Visa requirements vary widely by location. In many countries, participants enter on a tourist visa and the hiring school will help sponsor a work visa after being hired. In Ecuador, a Cultural Exchange visa is typically obtained, which is unique to that country. The training center or your hiring school will assist with that process. In Asian countries, work visas are commonly obtained. In Costa Rica, most schools do not want to go through the bureaucratic, lengthy process to obtain a work visa, so the common practice is for teachers to do a "border run", or leave the country for 72 hours every 90 days in order to stay there legally. Most people there look forward to their border runs as a travel opportunity!
Many schools in the Czech Republic and Russia will sponsor their teachers for a work visa. However, it is difficult for non EU citizens to obtain work visas elsewhere in Europe. Most schools do not want to go to the trouble to obtain them, as it is a lengthy process, and in fact, if a school sponsors you for a work visa, you would typically need to fly back to the U.S. and go to a consulate here to get the visa, and then return to Europe. Most people do not want to go through the hassle and expense of doing that. The common practice is for schools to hire non EU citizens for "cash-in-hand" positions, and most people just overstay their 90 day tourist visas. Many non EU citizens are in Europe teaching, and being a native English speaker along with a TESOL certificate (after you complete the four week course), makes you quite marketable.
Vacation time depends on the kind of assignment you're in, and the practices of each school. For a yearlong assignment, most teachers enjoy about 3 weeks of time off, as well as local holidays
Sure! But when planning for visiting guests, keep in mind that you are responsible to keep your regular work schedule at your paid teaching assignment. Your guests must make their own arrangements for travel, visas, accommodations, etc. While our staff will be happy to offer you informal advice, we cannot accept any obligation for service to or support of any persons who are not LanguageCorps teachers. It will be your responsibility to check the rules and restrictions of your particular accommodations, to determine whether it is approved for you to have guests stay with you.
We expect all LanguageCorps teachers to honor any contracts or verbal commitments they have made with a hiring school. However, we understand that occasionally unforeseen circumstances arise. Most hiring schools will be understandable of extenuating circumstances, as long as you approach it in a professional manner.
If an assigned LanguageCorps teacher simply decides to quit his/her paid teaching assignment and return home with no regard to an emergency or other serious issue, that action would create significant problems for the school and its students, and for other LanguageCorps teachers and staff. In such a circumstance, all tuition and fees paid to LanguageCorps would be non-refundable, and your employer would almost certainly cancel any bonuses or incentives they had offered.
Most of our teachers like to use holidays and vacation time to travel and explore the new part of the world in which they're now living - it's a great opportunity to experience a new corner of the globe!
Subject to the requirements of your teaching commitments and schedules, it's certainly possible that you'll have enough time to organize a brief visit home. However, we caution you that it can be a somewhat complicated and expensive undertaking. In some of our destinations, you may encounter work visa or re-entry issues caused by an interim trip home. And of course, you'll have to bear all the costs for traveling home and back.
Experience has taught us that our LanguageCorps teachers are best prepared when they are trained in, or nearby, the local area in which they will teach. General TESOL methodologies can be adapted in small ways to become even more effective in a particular locale - for example, it's easier to appreciate students' different responses to such things as humor and pop culture.
Some programs also include local language training and informal acculturation training, so that you arrive at your teaching assignment with some sense of local practices and customs, and some limited skill in the local language to help you get around, go shopping, order food, and so on.
All of our Training Centers, most employing schools, and teachers' living accommodations are located in primary or secondary cities in the countries we serve. Good medical facilities are generally available nearby. In fact, many medical facilities in our destination locations are university-affiliated, or staffed by US or European trained medical staff. We also offer the opportunity to enroll in one of our two optional insurance plans (a basic travel plan and a comprehensive medical option) for either a 6 month or one year period. If you choose to stay abroad for longer, you will be able to extend the coverage at current rates. The insurance covers accidents and illnesses while abroad, but pre-existing conditions and well visits are not included. We also provide evacuation service, in the event that your illness or injury is serious enough to require that. Finally, keep in mind that if you get ill or injured or encounter any problem, the training center staff is nearby, and will be available to help.
Some of our host countries do require immunizations or vaccinations prior to entry, but these health requirements frequently change. Please check with your primary care physician or local travel clinic for the most current information about the country you plan on teaching in. You can also visit the Center for Disease Control's website at www.cdc.gov/travel for current recommendations.
Like any responsible service organization, LanguageCorps has no intent to put our teachers or staff in harm's way; we abide fully by the recommendations from leading healthcare authorities including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Neither of these, nor any other major international health organization, has issued any advisory or caution against traveling to, or living and working in, any LanguageCorps assignment country.
We are relieved that SARS no longer poses a significant threat. In fact, there are new reports that US and Asian researchers are now close to perfecting a vaccination to guard against contracting or spreading the SARS virus.
Bird Flu has not been a recent concern, and early reports of rapid spread to humans and fears of an immediate epidemic have been discounted by health experts. We are encouraged by recent reports of several new Bird Flu vaccines, but do suggest awareness of potential pandemics worldwide (i.e. at home as much as abroad).
We share the confidence of medical professionals and healthcare authorities that our teachers and staff now living and working in our Asian destinations are safe.
All of our Training Centers, most schools, and teacher accommodations are located in or near primary and secondary cities in our assignment countries. We take care to place our Centers in fun, attractive, safe areas, and work only with select schools that operate in similarly attractive, secure locations.
It's only prudent to be vigilant in avoiding petty theft, and to watch out for vehicular traffic which doesn't follow the same patterns we are used to in the US. Presuming that our teachers exercise appropriate good judgment and caution, we believe that the levels of personal safety and well-being they enjoy are as high as in most US cities.
LanguageCorps enforces a strict requirement that our teachers not indulge in illicit drugs of any sort, not only out of concern for your safety and well-being, but because we know that the local penalties for illegal drug possession and use can be quite harsh. Laws governing alcohol consumption in our assignment countries tend to be similar to those with which you're already familiar at home. While we do not enforce any specific rules regarding drinking after class hours, we do expect our LanguageCorps teachers to act as responsible, professional adults, and behave in a manner that will reflect well upon them, their employing schools, and upon our organization. We depend upon an informal honor system to govern the good behavior of our LanguageCorps teachers and staff.
It's a big decision to live and work overseas for a period of time - and you want to be sure you're "up" for it before you find yourself far away from home, and unhappy to be there! Successful teachers include those who've already spent some time in a country and culture other than their own - and are anxious to do it again! Other strong candidates are those who are genuinely interested in seeing and experiencing new things, interacting with new people, and living in and learning about new cultures.
Are you flexible? Able to adapt easily to a new environment? Are you independent-minded? Are you excited by the idea of leading a classroom of eager students who want to - but don't yet - speak your language? Are you comfortable being the center of attention? If so, then you're a LanguageCorps teacher! To get a better perspective, go to our Reality Check page to read about experiences and adventures of some of our LanguageCorps teachers.
LanguageCorps offers a variety of programs for talented people who are interested in living and teaching English abroad. All LanguageCorps programs include an intensive, four- week TESOL training and certification program, pre-departure support, and job search assistance. Some programs include local language and cultural training, pre-departure job assistance, accommodations, excursions, and other support services (programs vary by country - see individual country Program pages for specifics).
LanguageCorps' MISSION is to offer participants a rewarding experience living in, working in, and learning about a new culture; affording them a unique opportunity to learn and apply new skills and challenging them to develop a wider, first-person perspective about the diversity of cultures and populations around the world. 2
LanguageCorps' GOALS are to:
LanguageCorps offers a TESOL Certification Program with program fees that range from approximately US$1,395-$2,295. We offer our TESOL Certification Programs in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The program is an intensive and thorough 4-week course of classroom training and practice teaching, leading to a TESOL Certificate which is internationally recognized. As part of all TESOL Certification Programs, you will receive job search assistance, and in all locations, most people who are persistent and flexible are successful in finding teaching positions.
In Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Ecuador and Mexico, we also offer the TESOL Plus Program. This combines the 4-week TESOL certification course and job search assistance, with a more comprehensive set of support services including accommodations and one or two meals daily depending on location. The TESOL Plus program fee is US$2,125-$2,995 depending on location.
The fee for our Short-term Volunteer/Volunteer Plus Program (available in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam) is US$2,595-$2,895 for eight weeks. These programs include abbreviated TESOL training (Volunteer) or full TESOL certification (Volunteer Plus), accommodations, placement in a volunteer (unpaid) teaching position, cell phone, medical insurance, visa assistance, excursions, and local support while in country.
Our Online TEFL (TESOL) Certification Program includes a full 150 hour certification course. This program is designed to be flexible enough for full time students or working professionals, while still ensuring a rigorous training. The program fee for our Online TEFL Certification Program is US$997. We recommend adding a 40 hour Guided Practice Teaching module including 10 hours of teaching practicum for an additional $295.
For all Programs we require a deposit of US$500 ($300 for the Online TEFL Certification Program) to reserve your scheduled start date. This deposit is deducted from the total program fee. Due to enrollment constraints, deposits received within 60 days of a program start date are non-refundable. Deposits received within 61-90 days of a program start date are refundable for 3 business days after receipt (minus a $25 processing fee), after which they are non-refundable. Deposits received 91 or more days before a program start date are refundable for 10 business days after receipt (minus a $25 processing fee) after which they are non-refundable. The balance of the program fee is payable four to six weeks prior to your scheduled start date.
To ensure placement in the program you desire, we advise applying four to six months prior to your intended start date (four to six weeks for the Online TEFL Certification Program). Late placements are sometimes possible, so if you are applying less than two months (30 days for the Online TEFL Certification Program) before your desired start date, please contact us immediately. There is no financial commitment to submitting an application so you need not wait until you are absolutely sure about your plans – in fact, discussing your options with our admissions staff may help clarify your thinking. Keep in mind that popular courses may fill several months in advance, and that once accepted, you must submit a deposit before we can guarantee a spot in a particular program.
LanguageCorps offers several different programs for adventurous people interested in living and working in a different culture. The programs offered vary by location.
Our TESOL Certification Programs are a four-week, intensive TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification course, conducted in many different countries. During the program, you will learn the skills and methodology needed to be comfortable and competent teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language) abroad. You will also receive job search assistance, and teachers have been very successful in all locations finding paid teaching positions. Accommodations can be arranged in all locations for an additional fee. In addition, up to 30 hours of local language and cultural training is included in the TESOL Certification Programs in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The TESOL Plus Program is offered in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Ecuador and Mexico. This combines the 4-week TESOL certification course, local language training, and job search assistance, with a more comprehensive set of support services including accommodations and airport pick-up.
For the TESOL Certification and TESOL Plus Programs, travel and medical insurance is available in all locations. Excursions and additional support services vary by location.
And for those who only have a limited time to spend overseas, we offer a short-term Volunteer Program in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. These programs include abbreviated TESOL training or (with the Volunteer Plus Program) full TESOL certification, accommodations, placement in a volunteer (unpaid) teaching position, cell phone, medical insurance, excursions, and local support while in country.
Our Online TEFL (TESOL) Certification Program is designed to be flexible enough for full time students or working professionals, while still ensuring a rigorous training. The program includes a full 150 hour certification course, including job search assistance. We recommend that teachers add on a 40 hour Guided Practice Teaching Module for a fee of $295. This module includes 8-10 hours of practice teaching.
The good news is that full year commitments are only required for our Teach Programs. All other Programs / Locations have no minimum commitment! That being said, shorter time frames may limit your employment opportunities (many hiring schools ask for at least a 6 month commitment, which means you would be abroad for 7-8 months, including training time). If you only have 2-3 months available, one of our Volunteer Programs (available in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam) may better suit you. Or you could spend a month abroad completing one of the TESOL Certification Programs and earn your TESOL certification. We encourage longer stays, in order to allow full immersion into the culture of your host country!
We do have a limited job placement service available in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam), however the majority of our Programs include an intensive 4-week TESOL training and certification course, and job placement assistance and support services in those locations are only available to our program participants. The quality of other TESOL/TEFL certification programs varies, and we have had many people who previously received certification participate in one of our programs. In many cases, our programs are more thorough than previously experienced, and many find it worthwhile as a refresher and update in TESOL methodology. And, of course, the job placement assistance and support while adjusting to a new culture is worthwhile!
You must provide for your own travel from your home to your arrival point and for your own travel back home at the end of your teaching assignment. (NOTE: Some hiring schools may offer partial or full reimbursement of airfare costs as part of your overall compensation.)
In some teaching assignments, you may have accommodations, and/or free access to dining facilities, as part of your compensation. But more commonly, you will have to pay for your own food and rent. In addition, an apartment you select may require additional "up-front" payments such as security deposits and fist-month's rent. As in all walks of life, be sure to have enough funds to get through to your first monthly paycheck!
You will need to pay for your food during the program, although in some countries a home stay is an option, which typically includes two meals per day. Of course, you will have to pay for any personal items and services (cleaning, laundry, etc.) you may want, and for your own entertainment, vacation or leisure travel, gifts or other personal shopping.
In all locations, accommodations are either included, or can be arranged for an additional charge. For Teach and TESOL Plus Program participants, accommodations are included during training. For TESOL Certification Program participants, accommodations can be arranged during the 4-week training and certification course for an additional cost which varies by location (please see the country program pages for specifics).
After training, some hiring schools may provide free accommodation as part of your compensation. Otherwise, you must pay for your own rent in a local apartment or rooming house. Some housing situations may require a refundable security deposit from you. (Note that in some cases where housing is not provided, your direct pay may be somewhat higher, or the hiring school may offer a separate housing allowance).
During your in-country training program, staff will begin working with you to develop a CV and contact schools. For TESOL Certification and TESOL Plus Program participants, you will be given job search assistance and the names of schools to contact. In all locations, job placements for those who are serious and flexible have been very successful.
For Online course participants, centralized placement support can assist you in determining the overseas location that best meets your goals and qualifications, and you will have access to our world-wide directory of more than 8,000 ESL schools.
Given the high caliber reputation of our LanguageCorps teachers, our staff's knowledge of and experience with local EFL teaching opportunities and our focus on job placement, we are confident that by the time you complete your certification / orientation or soon thereafter you will have received at least one, and usually more than one, offer(s) for a paid EFL teaching assignment. Our staff can also assist with the oftentimes complicated contract negotiations, to ensure our teachers receive the maximum benefits and pay they are qualified for.
Sometimes a teacher will work in two or more part-time positions instead of one full-time position, or may elect to supplement their primary job with side work such as tutoring.
LanguageCorps does not offer guaranteed job placement, however, our participants have been very successful with job placement in all locations.
No. Schools hiring EFL teachers do not expect that they will speak the local language. They are more concerned that their teachers are native or native-level English speakers, and that they have been thoroughly trained in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages methodology. They (and LanguageCorps) prefer an immersion approach to teaching EFL, in which only English is spoken in the classroom. Schools can be concerned that if an EFL teacher is also fluent in the local language and uses that common language to communicate during class, students may not feel the same incentive to really learn English. If you do know the local language, that is fine, but be sensitive to a school's request that you speak English with your students.
Some Programs include local acculturation and language training, both as a learning exercise for you, and to help you acclimate yourself to the local area. Also keep in mind that our training center staff is always nearby to help you.
Many schools offer additional free or low-cost local language training, and a popular option is to trade private ESL tutoring for local language lessons.
No! LanguageCorps is a full service provider of TESOL training and certification, and as part of our programs, we also provide job placement assistance, and local support for EFL teachers, who are our clients. While recruiting new teachers is certainly a part of what we do, paid recruiting of teachers is not a part of our business model. Recruiters, or recruiting companies, get paid by a school (their true client) only when a teacher (like you) accepts a job there. The recruiter's primary incentive is to serve its client school - and to convince you to accept whatever job is available from the school that pays the highest recruiting fee, whether or not that job meets your preferences. Our objective is to help our teachers have a rewarding international experience by providing thorough training, support, and assistance finding a job that best meets personal preferences.
We'd be delighted to put you in touch with some of our past teachers. However, out of respect for our teacher's time, we prefer to give out contact information after your application has been accepted. You can read about some of the experiences and adventures LanguageCorps Teachers have had by visiting our reality check page.
LanguageCorps does not have scholarships available. Your options might include borrowing from a relative, personal loan from your bank, credit card, or personal fundraising. If you would like more information about fundraising, we can provide some tips on how to go about it.
English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is widely accepted terminology connoting the array of instructional practices, tools, and certifications by which persons who are not native English speakers gain and validate a proficiency in speaking, reading, writing and comprehending the English language. EFL proficiency can also imply an ability to function in a culturally appropriate manner in English-speaking locales.
EFL classes tend to be culturally unified, allowing teachers to gear instruction specifically to the needs and learning styles of their local-market students. EFL Instructors must therefore be well versed in the educational and cultural expectations of their students. Typically, EFL teachers take on the responsibility of being their students' primary source of English exposure.
English as a Second Language (ESL) differs from EFL, in that ESL implies the teaching and learning of English in an English-speaking region (e.g., the US), while EFL more commonly applies in non-English speaking regions. EFL and ESL involve different challenges and strategies for teachers and learners alike.
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) are often used as interchangeable terms. While they differ slightly from one another, both are established, internationally recognized standards for methodology and practice to teach English language skills to non-native-English speakers. TESOL certification is widely regarded as a rigorous standard for teachers, and requires prescribed curriculum, and a minimum six hours of supervised practice teaching in an actual student-classroom environment. A TESOL certificate is widely recognized by EFL teaching schools and programs as the mark of a well trained, highly qualified EFL teacher.
On the student side, the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a widely recognized test of proficiency in the English language. At most US and U.K. colleges and universities, a verifiable passing mark on the TOEFL exam is a requirement to matriculate for all students from non-English-speaking countries.