It’s an Upside-Down World for ESL Teachers
If you are thinking about teaching English abroad, Thailand is one of the most popular countries for English teachers. At English tutor Bangkok.
Kindergartens and English schools in Bangkok are becoming ever more popular with English-speaking parents, but it’s an expensive market to get into. Most English speakers are employed by English language academies where applicants need to have a University degree plus TESOL or TEFL certification.
It was once rare for families to hire English tutors to work in their homes, but this is changing too.
Thai people welcome anyone who can speak English well because they love learning foreign languages themselves, so it’s easy enough to find jobs on your own without being tied into one school or another. It just depends on the English level of your students and how confident you are at self-promotion.
It might sound daunting, but English is so widespread now in Thailand that many people speak English very well, particularly those who live in Bangkok where English has been taught from an early age. The AEON English language company says “Since 2003 when English education became mandatory for primary school students until 2015, English proficiency among Thai youth has skyrocketed.” And here’s another great quote from ieltsboost.com: “38% of all adults were fluent or competent speakers. This was an increase of nearly 3% compared with results from the previous survey (35%). Results showed that more than half of all Bangkok residents had a high level of English proficiency (57%), while English language learners in the country had a high level of English proficiency overall, with 67% of students being at least competent speakers.”
In fact, English is so widely used now for business here that many businesses don’t bother to put their official company name on their signage. In many cases, there’s no need to translate it into Thai. A great example is AirAsia which just goes by this sign
Many English teachers have been around long enough to see how things have changed. Pat T was one such teacher and she told me “The amount of young people who can speak English fluently has increased a lot since I first came here [in 1993].