TESOL Teaching Abroad Can Put You on the Road Less Traveled
Oct 8, 2009 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (T 4942 Views
When considering TESOL teaching abroad, many people automatically think of teaching in large and densely populated cities such as Seoul, Istanbul, or Rio de Janeiro. Of course, it is true that a great many TESOL opportunities can be found in big urban centers, but there are also a great number of opportunities to teach English as a second language in out of the way places that are off the beaten path.
This can mean teaching in places that are as diverse as small coastal villages, sparsely populated mountainous regions, and rural farming communities among others. The experience of teaching English as a second language in such a place is likely to be vastly different than that of teaching in a large, crowded city.
For example, the experience of teaching English in a major city almost always means that you will have access to a lively and active nightlife that includes numerous restaurants, clubs, and entertainment options. On the other hand, smaller rural areas are not at all likely to offer this kind of variety.
Instead, you will find that nights can be much more quiet and peaceful. You may also find that the members of smaller communities participate in events together such as festivals and celebrations. This can foster a sense of community that is easily missed in a larger urban setting. Teaching ESL in smaller rural towns and villages may offer a chance for someone who normally prefers busy cities to experience a different kind of life. For these people, adjusting to the quieter and slower paced life may take time, but it can be a deeply fulfilling experience that is both challenging and richly rewarding.
It is important to know and understand the differences when you are trying to decide between, for example, a teaching position in Tokyo and one in a small Japanese fishing village. It is also important to realize that the quiet and slow pace of ESL teaching in a rural town or village may become lonely for teachers who are accustomed to being around a large number of people or who prefer the energy of a big city.
Ultimately, deciding which sort of situation will be best for you is a matter of knowing yourself and being aware of the kind of environment that will allow you to thrive and will give you a chance to completely enjoy every aspect of TESOL teaching abroad.