Importance of English as a global language
A global language is one which is widely spoken around the world. It is measured by the number of countries where it is spoken as well as the number of people that speak the language. English is widely spoken both as a native as well as a second or third language in many countries around the globe. English serves as the mode of communication that connects people worldwide and is commonly spoken or understood on international grounds. Learning English is, therefore, an important tool for people to grow and expand their horizons.
Importance of English in Mexico
Mexico is known for its beautiful beaches, landscapes, and culture; which is why it can be an amazing location if you are looking to work abroad. Even though the main language in Mexico is Spanish, however, English holds a significant place due to its geographical placement and close ties with the United States of America.
Many educated people in Mexico can speak English. A lot of native Mexicans, who left the country and returned later are also quite fluent in the English language. Another reason for the increasing popularity of the English language in the country is its rising tourism industry. Although the level of fluency might vary from person to person, there is no denying that more and more people in Mexico are becoming interested in learning English.
English is being taught in all Mexican schools now. It is compulsory to learn English language starting from grade 7th to grade 9th and many schools start teaching it right from the beginning. Hence, it can be easily said that Mexico has great scope for English language teachers.
Reasons that make Mexico a great place for English teachers
- A great job market – As mentioned earlier, the English language has become quite important in Mexico due to a number of reasons. As a result of this increasing popularity, the job market for English teachers in the country is certainly one of the largest in the world. The Mexican market has grown so much that TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language is one of the most favorable job markets for Americans in the country. The English teaching jobs are available throughout the year and offer different benefits and decent salary packages.
- You do not require a bachelor’s degree – Mexico may be one of the very few countries that do not require you to have a bachelor’s degree to get a job. This is a great thing for those who have a great command over the English language but have not been able to complete a degree or are still studying for it. Even though it is not mandatory but having a degree may give you an edge over others and help you secure better-paid job opportunities.
- No teaching experience needed – Mexico is a great place to teach for those who want to start their career as an English teacher and have no experience. Even though experience in the field may help you get better jobs but having no experience is definitely not a problem.
- It is easy to get a work visa – Unlike many European countries where the TEFL job market is good but getting a work visa is almost impossible, Mexico has a relatively more lenient work visa policy. Once you get an employment offer the process of getting a work visa can be put into motion. The work visa will not only allow you to teach English (or get other jobs) but it will also give you access to other benefits such as health care plans offered by the government.
- Affordable living – The five-star resorts may be quite expensive but general living in Mexico is quite affordable. Not only can you find good and relatively cheaper accommodation and affordable restaurants you can also travel the country without spending too much money. This will allow you to save quite a lot and still maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
- A great opportunity to explore North America – Travelling from Mexico to the neighboring countries is quite easy and affordable. During your time as an English teacher, you can plan weekends and vacations to the neighboring countries or plan to explore Mexico.
How to become an English language teacher in Mexico?
Requirements to become an English teacher in Mexico are quite easy as compared to some other countries with good ESL job markets.
Here are a few things you will have to do before you can become an English teacher in Mexico:
- Applying for a visa – In order to become an English language teacher in Mexico, you need to get the visa. Although you can teach in Mexico with just a visit or tourist visa, you can also get a work visa easily. As mentioned before, getting a work visa after securing a job not only lets you work in the country legally but also allows you to gain access to the country’s various national benefits, like health care.
- Securing a work visa
- Here are the necessary steps you need to take to secure a Mexican work visa:
- To teach English in Mexico you will need the work visa type FM3.
- Even though you do not need any degree to teach English in Mexico but you will need a TEFL certificate to apply for FM3 visa.
- You will also need your employment letter, which means you must have a proper job before you can apply for the FM3 visa.
- You then have to fill out an application form, which is available on the official immigration website.
- The immigration office may take around 5 to 15 days to send you the confirmation.
- Once you submit all the paperwork and get your visa, you will have 30 days to land in Mexico or your visa will expire.
- The visa is usually valid for 12 months and on expiration can be renewed easily.
Many English teachers use their tourist visa to teach in Mexico, which is not legal. A tourist visa does not give you access to benefits such as health care and does not allow you to open your bank accounts. Moreover, you will have to make regular border runs every time your tourist visa expires. Remember, teaching on a tourist visa can get you into trouble with Mexican authorities.
- TEFL certification – Even though you do not need a bachelor’s degree or teaching experience to teach English in Mexico but you will need TEFL to not only teach but also apply for a work visa. Your certification must be obtained from a recognized accredited TEFL program.
What is TEFL OR TESOL?
TEFL means Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and TESOL means Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. TEFL and TESOL are courses that you must undertake if you are planning to teach English in countries where English is not the native language.
Both TEFL and TESOL are almost similar in nature with slight differences. Choose the certification based on the country where you are planning to teach. As far as Mexico is concerned, both these courses are in demand. If you have a certification in either one of them, you will qualify to become a teacher in Mexico. A TEFL or TESOL along with a university degree would open up a lot of teaching opportunities for you in Mexico.
Things to consider before taking up a teaching job in Mexico
Prior to moving to Mexico for work, you must take the following things into consideration:
- Accommodation – There are several options available for people who are looking for a place to live in Mexico. Finding the right kind of accommodation can be a tiring process. It is, therefore, advisable for expats to get themselves familiarized with the country’s real estate market in order to find a place that would meet all their requirements. Urban living is a bit more expensive than living in the rural parts of the country. You can buy, rent or share a place; depending on how you want to live. If you are moving to Mexico for work, it is best to find accommodation close to your workplace as it will prove to be more convenient and will save you a lot of time.
- Transportation – After accommodation, the next thing that you should look into before moving to Mexico is transportation. The public transportation in Mexico is quite efficient and cheap. There are various options like trains, metro, buses, and taxis. While trains are not available everywhere; buses and taxis are both efficient as well as affordable. Not owning a car will not be much of a trouble for any expat. However, if you choose to buy a car, getting yourself familiarized with the traffic rules and insurance policy is recommended. Getting car insurance is not expensive in Mexico. Also, you are allowed to use the license from your own country. However, it is recommended to get an international license and get that translated into Spanish.
- Medical – Medical in Mexico is not too expensive. Over the counter medicines are quite affordable and easily available in all pharmacies. For more severe medical needs, Mexico has public as well as private hospitals. Private hospitals are more like small clinics equipped with modern machines required for surgeries or other complex medical procedures. Public hospitals are more efficient and offer better medical assistance; however, they are a bit more expensive than private hospitals. Mexico offers a national health program for its citizen called IMSS. As soon as you get a job in Mexico, you can also apply for IMSS and start paying for it. However, until your IMSS gets approved, you should get travel insurance to take care of your medical needs.
- Food and Grocery – When moving to a new country one thing that is essential to look into is the cost of food and groceries. Groceries in Mexico are not expensive. You will not have to spend an arm and leg to eat in Mexico. Even the restaurants are quite affordable.
- Language – Although English is gaining popularity in Mexico gradually, however, it is still not as widely spoken as you would like. People in larger cities are able to communicate in English but the most common language in Mexico is still Spanish. If you are moving to Mexico and plan on living there for a while, make sure that you are living in an area where English is understood. You can also try to learn some basic Spanish to make things easier for yourself.
Job opportunities for English language teachers
As an English language teacher, you can look into the following work opportunities:
- International Schools – International schools in Mexico are one of the best options to apply for work as the pay is good and these schools are always looking for native English language teachers. International schools start teaching English in preschool and continue teaching it all the way through high school. Most international schools are located in Mexico City and Guadalajara. However, other cities like Cancun, which have a lot of tourist activity, have International Schools as well. In order to become a teacher at International Schools, you need to have a teaching license as this school system only hires licensed teachers. Having a few years of experience is an added essence if you want to secure a job at International Schools. International schools not only pay well but also offer medical benefits as well as paid vacations. You can learn a minimum of $500 per month to as much as $1500 per month while teaching in International Schools. Most international schools will require you to have a bachelor’s degree as well.
- Private language centers/schools – Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language has a lot of scope for ESL teachers throughout Mexico. There are many language centers that hire ESL teachers on a regular basis. People from various age groups come to these centers to learn English because their professions require them to do so. Language centers offer less salary than International Schools or Universities. You can expect to make between $500 to $1,500 per month as a private language school teacher.
- Company Classes – If you don’t mind being on the move then you should look into company classes. Company classes provide the most competitive hourly rates for English language teachers. You need to be willing to go to places to give on-site classes. Business English Teachers can earn anywhere between $15 to $25 per hour. Although the rates may sound good, however, you need to be strategic about which company class to accept and which one to decline. If the commute is long, then taking up a class might not be worth it. Company classes are rarely fulltime but you can still earn handsomely because of the high paying rates. The monthly salary could be anywhere between $210 and $635
- Universities – Teaching English in Universities can be a great opportunity for English language teachers. Universities hire teachers who are native English speakers and have a Master’s degree as well as a TEFL or TESOL diploma. Universities offer competitive salaries to their English teachers, depending on their experience. You can earn anywhere between $635 to $1,050 per month.
- Private Tuition – Many families hire English language teachers as private tutors for their kids. You don’t need to have any formal qualification to become a private tutor. If you are fluent in English, chances are that you will get hired. Families pay the tutors on an hourly basis. Although the pay is not that good since tutoring is a part-time job, you can always take it up alongside your full-time work. You can earn around $5 to $21 per hour as a private tutor.
How to become an English teacher if you cannot travel?
Many English teachers want to start their teaching career but they do not have the means to travel or do not want to leave their native country. But fortunately, there is still a way to achieve your dream of becoming an EFL teacher, you can teach online. However, the thing about online teaching is that you need to find the right platform that offers good wages and teaching opportunities. And one of the best online places is VIPKID.
- What is VIPKID?
VIPKID is the largest online language school and has more than 500,000 Chinese students who want to learn the English language. the platform has 60,000 teachers who are earning a decent salary. In order to get hired by VIPKID, you need to have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of one year’s experience of working with children.
- Why VIPKID? Following are some of the reasons why VIPKID is a great option for English teachers:
- You get international experience – You can teach online through VIPKID without traveling to any other country but still get valuable international experience. It saves you the trouble of planning your traveling budget or taking care of the extensive paperwork and visa documentation.
- VIPKID provides you with the teaching material – One of the toughest and most time-consuming thing for EFL or ESL teachers is to find the right and authentic teaching material. The research can take hours of your time. But VIPKID takes care of this problem because it provides the teachers with its own teaching material. You don’t need to get the syllabus or books. The company provides you with all the material you need. All you have to do is prepare your lessons and deliver them to your online students.
- You get paid immediately – VIPKID has the policy of paying the teachers right after the class is done. You get paid through VIPKID’s online payment method as soon as you’re done with the lesson. This means you do not have to wait until the end of the month to get your money.
- You have flexible working hours – While working through VIPKID, you are not bound by a fixed schedule. You can choose your own hours based on your convenience and availability. This works great for people who have a full-time job and wants to pursue teaching English on the side.
- It pays well – VIPKID is a great way to earn some extra money and pile up your savings. The rate ranges from $7 to $22 per hour, which is the best possible rate online. If you have a day job, then VIPKID can become the ideal source of your secondary income.
If you are an English language teacher who is looking for international teaching experience, then Mexico is a great place to look into. The country has a great market for English language teachers as more and more people are leaning towards learning English. Although there are many job opportunities for English teachers in Mexico, however, you should weigh all your options thoroughly before moving. Check out the salaries different jobs offer and then choose what works best for you. Moving to Mexico as an English language teacher will not only help you gain teaching experience but will also enable you to earn and save some money. However, if you are looking for some extra money without actually moving to Mexico then VIPKID is your best option. The teaching experience you can get through VIPKID and the money you earn can help you one day travel abroad as well.