TEFL graduates: Have you considered part-time teaching in Ireland?

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Many people take a TEFL course to teach English abroad. However, there are also plenty of full and part-time teaching opportunities right here in Ireland.

Figures release in 2017 showed that 119,000 students learned English in Ireland in 2016. This demand is reflected in the fact that English language schools are fixtures in most towns across Ireland. All these need qualified staff. As a result, part-time teaching positions are available.

The pros of part-time teaching

Qualified TEFL  teachers can be well paid. Some schools paying an hourly rate almost commensurate with qualified primary and secondary school teachers. However, the biggest draw for many people is part-time or flexible hours.

Part-time teaching is especially suitable anyone with young children, on a career break, semi-retired or doing a postgraduate course.

There are different specialisations and classes on offer. Most English language schools teach a range of courses. These include classes for people who do not speak any English, to those preparing for English language proficiency exams. Other programmes prepare students to enter the Irish education system. Some schools offer specialised advanced classes in subjects such as Business English, Medical English or Legal English.

What to consider

The work conditions for English language teachers and delivery methods of English language classes can vary. Most will teach a class of around 20 students, with a set curriculum and assessment in a standard programme. Others might go on site to a business or organisation and teach students there. One-to-one teaching is also an option. Furthermore, other  teachers might assist students taking a distance learning course, either correcting coursework or going online to a chat room and answering students questions.

Because of this variety, teachers should choose a school carefully. It is a good idea to work for an institution recognised by the Irish government. English language schools in Ireland are overseen by the Advisory Council for English Language Schools (ACELS). This is the official body charged with maintaining standards at English language schools in Ireland. It inspects language schools to ensure that instruction, course curricula and facilities meet the required standards.

In order for a school to gain regulation by the Irish government, all English language teachers must fulfil two criteria. They must have a third-level undergraduate degree, and they must have a recognised TEFL qualification which includes the set number of teaching hours prior to qualification.

There are also other possibilities for employment within English language schools here in Ireland. Experienced teachers may well be given extra responsibility and move into administration within the school. The teaching of English to international students is now a booming business in Ireland, and the sector is growing quickly

Frank Bolger

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