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Do you love the English language and have a passion for teaching? If you are, a career as an English teacher is for you!


Specialised degrees in English teaching are commonly abbreviated as TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). TESL is the most popular programme of the three as most citizens converse in their mother tongue and view English as a second language. Those who aspire to teach English overseas usually have qualifications in TESOL or TEFL.
Getting a TESL Degree
TESL should not be confused with an English degree where students study and analyse the history, development and elements of the language. A TESL degree will impart fundamental knowledge on teaching skills, lesson planning and student psychology. Some of the subjects students can expect to study are Pedagogy, Education Technology, Language Policy and Planning, Psychology for Language Teachers and Language Curriculum Design. Students will also learn how to teach elements of the English language such as grammar, vocabulary, literature, reading and writing. A TESL degree typically takes three to four years to complete and requires students to fulfil several months of practicum or school placement so that they can apply their skills in a real school environment.
Career Prospects
Individuals who possess a degree in TESL are qualified to teach English as a second language in Malaysia. They can hold teaching positions at government schools, international schools and language centres. For those who want to work in government schools, it is necessary to obtain a TESL degree from recognised higher education institutions. The Ministry of Education (MOE) regulates the admission and placement of teachers at primary and secondary levels.
On the other hand, those who seek employment elsewhere need to comply with the requirements set by the institution they want to work at. After a few years of teaching experience, individuals can provide private tutoring or open their own language centre. Alternatively, they can pursue postgraduate studies in education if they desire to become lecturers in colleges and universities. Those who hold a TESL degree are not limited to teaching careers alone. They can also find work as copywriters, editors and translators.
Daily Tasks of an English Teacher
The responsibilities of an English teacher are similar to that of any other educator. They have to plan, prepare and deliver lessons throughout the school year. English teachers also have to prepare teaching materials, homework, assignments and tests which they have to check and mark accordingly. Also, they are responsible for meeting learning and development goals for their students and they record their progress. In addition, English teachers have to motivate pupils and find ways to make learning English interesting and fun. Besides that, teachers are obliged to take part in school activities and complete a list of administrative tasks.
Skills Needed
English teachers need to have an excellent command of the English language in terms of writing, reading, listening and speaking. They need to be able to communicate with their students loudly and clearly as well. In addition, English teachers need to be confident in their teaching skills and be able to multitask. Furthermore, English teachers need to be patient, understanding and emphatic when teaching students with different levels of proficiency.
English teachers will always be in demand as the language continues to grow in importance in academia, the workplace and the digital age of the Internet.

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