Teaching English abroad is a rewarding career option because of the transformation you witness as your students improve their English skills. I am very passionate about teaching ESL students because I love the English language!
If you are planning to teach abroad, I would definitely recommend teaching English in Hong Kong. Foreigners may think that life in Hong Kong is expensive but there are always cheap bargains on clothing and food. With careful planning, you can enjoy Hong Kong life and still have some money left over at the end of each month.
Hong Kong is a very diverse place with many cultures living together. It is a city known as “ Where The East meets the West”, so anyone who loves experiencing a variety of cultures would Hong Kong.
Overcoming the Challenges of Working and Living Overseas
Hong Kong is a place of diversity, however, in local schools, the teachers teach in a traditional way. So in a way, these sorts of teaching methods obstruct the creativity of students. There is quite a bit of pressure on students, so it becomes ever more important for teachers here to uphold and maintain a certain standard and quality of teaching.
Additionally, the level of English amongst students is very low, so at times it can be challenging to communicate with them. Teachers need to continuously use simple language, speak slowly, and maintain patience in conversation with students, as you will often be teaching complex topics that are sometimes difficult for students to understand.
One of my concerns was, how will I find the right school for me? What would the working conditions be like? How much will I get paid? Will I have the time to have a social life? These are all things I had in mind before beginning to work. However, these were all resolved once I talked to people and found the right school for me. In the end, I have discovered that it is very easy for ESL teachers to balance life and work as you will find schools value your wellbeing just as much as they value your time and effort as a teacher!
English Teaching Jobs in Hong Kong
If you’re looking to begin a TESOL career in Asia, Hong Kong is arguably one of the easiest places to do so. Whether you’d like to join an organization or begin a career independently, there is never a shortage of English-teaching jobs in this bustling metropolitan hub.
Language Institutes Jobs
A job at a language institute is the most common route to take. Learning centers employ teachers to work long hours, including Saturdays (This is the busiest day for learning centers, though you will have a day off during the week as compensation).
Some teachers prefer teaching at learning institutes because the classes are small and personal.. You will be teaching a class of around four to six students on your own, as opposed to teaching 33 students as you would in a Hong Kong school classroom. The monthly salary at a learning center can range from around 15,000HKD to 22,000HKD, with some institutes providing housing as well.
Native English Teachers (NETs) Jobs
The majority of schools in Hong Kong employ NETs. Native English Teachers. There are two kinds of NETs in Hong Kong, school-hire NETs and Education Bureau NETs. The former consists of teachers who are hired directly by the school, the school principal decides the salary, duties, and benefits (The salary is typically between 20,000HKD and 25,000HKD per month). The latter consists of teachers who are hired by the Education Bureau of Hong Kong. There is a strict criterion for teachers who apply to the government NET scheme.
Applicants are highly considered if they possess a teaching certification, an English degree, and a TESOL certificate, or two of these three (Though a TESOL certification is required to begin the job). An EDB NET contract lasts for two years and includes extensive benefits. A salary of at least 23,000HKD per month (In accordance with your qualifications and experience), a housing allowance of approximately 17,000HKD per month, health insurance, and flight reimbursement for flights to your home country. While the EDB NET job is typically considered the best ESL job in terms of payment and job stability, it is important for you to explore your options and choose the path that is most suitable for you.
How OnTESOL’s Course Shaped My Teaching
OnTESOL’s course has shaped my teaching because I learned that teaching English is very easy, we simply need to use the appropriate teaching methods that match the needs of the students. In my current reading classes, the school has a set of “Levelled Readers” books for each level, from 4-14. For the phonics lessons, I prepare my own lessons and create my own lessons since there is no textbook.
I learned that the use of Smartboards and iPads is important as they increase the efficiency of learning as they make the lessons interesting, engaging, and interactive, and students learn more than just rote English. In fact, they are able to increase their communication, teamwork, and motor skills.