The Challenges of Teaching English as a Second Language

The Challenges of Teaching English as a Second Language

Teaching English as a second language is one of the most rewarding careers you could have. It’s an opportunity to exercise your teaching skills, immerse yourself in an exciting culture, meet new people from all over the world, and travel to countries you’ve never visited. As with any teaching job, teaching English as a second language is not without its challenges.

Here are a few you can expect:

Lack of Resources

In your classroom back home, you may be used to teaching with fancy projectors, whiteboards, laptops, and programs through the Internet. Depending on where you teach abroad, you may end up in a classroom with little to no supplies. This may come as a shock. It’s up to you as the teacher to get creative. Instead of buying store-bought supplies, you might have to create your own using recyclable materials.

Limited Support

Teaching a room full of strangers a new and foreign language can be difficult. Your family and friends might be miles away, and the majority of the staff might speak a different first language. It’s important when teaching abroad not to let distance or lack of support get you down. If you find you are not getting enough help from the principal or head of your division, it’s important to voice your concerns early on.


Moving to a new city can be daunting, especially if you’re alone. Settling into a new city takes time, and can often cause emotional stress. The great part about teaching English as a second language is that there is lots of opportunity to meet other adventurous individuals doing the same thing.

Language Barrier

Moving abroad to teach might require you to learn a new language. In the beginning, you might find it difficult to communicate with people during your day-to-day. Ordering food at a restaurant, renting a car, or trying to pay for your phone bill can easily turn into a frustrating conversation. It’s important to remember that your students feel the same frustration when trying to learn English.

Not Enough Time

Teaching students a new language is a delicate and time-consuming process. When teaching English as a second language, you’re always working against the clock. To avoid running out of time, and to provide your students with an in-depth education, it’s imperative to carefully plan out each teaching sessions beforehand.

Teaching English as a second language is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new culture, and meet new people. At International Teachers Plus, we are committed to pairing talented teachers with top-quality schools and universities across the globe. To learn more about our teaching positions, contact us today!