What does an ESL Teacher do?

English as a second language (ESL) teachers give English language lessons to non-native speakers, often working in schools and other educational settings and teaching skills to children or adults. They prepare course materials and design lessons that cover all aspects of the English language, both written and verbal, and keep track of all student progress. They customize individualized plans for students with special requirements and create a positive classroom environment while encouraging them to reach their learning goals.

ESL teachers organize coursework and learning materials, assess student progress, write reports, and follow relevant teaching policies. They work with their students to improve their vocabulary, reading, comprehension, and writing and build their confidence in navigating the language. They also foster spontaneous and intentional conversations with students to help them understand conversational speech. ESL teachers need a bachelor's degree in teaching English as a second language or certification.

What responsibilities are common for ESL Teacher jobs?
  • Maintain a positive, accepting attitude in working with students.
  • Ensure safety and security requirements are met in the classroom.
  • Administer the classroom to create an environment conducive to learning.
  • Participate in special activities and programs provided for students and parents.
  • Keep accurate records of student information: compile, maintain, and file all reports, records, and other required documents.
  • Cooperate with school personnel in providing for student welfare.
  • Work with teams to benefit from evaluation by using strengths and improving areas of needs.
  • Assist in making arrangements for speakers to come into the classroom.
  • Maintain knowledge of current trends and developments in the field by attending staff development training, workshops, seminars and conferences.
  • Develop and implement lesson plans that fulfill requirements of the curriculum program and show written evidence of preparation as required.
  • Continually evaluate and record various aspects of students' progress and report as needed and required.
  • Participate cooperatively to develop the system by which evaluations are in conformance with uniform guidelines for evaluation and assessment.
  • Make teaching materials available as needed.
  • Assist students during learning and planned activity time as new materials are introduced.
  • Assist in supervising field trips, walking tours and bus trips.
What are the typical qualifications for ESL Teacher jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in teaching english as a second language and teaching experience.
  • Demonstrated multilingual and bicultural skills.
  • Able to take on the workload with professionalism and a sense of humor.
  • Will lead classes with an eye on problem analysis and solving.
  • Demonstrated critical thinking and computing skills.
  • Is confident and has a sound work ethic.
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.1 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

ESL Teacher Salaries near Canada

Average Base Pay

$51,237 /yr
Not including cash compensation
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

ESL Teacher Career Path

Learn how to become an ESL Teacher, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

ESL Teacher

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

ESL Teacher Insights

Read what ESL Teacher professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Ateliers de Conversation AnglaiseAteliers de Conversation Anglaise
Online ESL Teacher
Mar 26, 2023

“Paid training was nice to have as you don't get it in this industry very often.”

Online ESL Teacher
May 15, 2022

“Contract employee means no benefits and you have to make sure to pay your quarterly estimated taxes.”

English ProEnglish Pro
Online ESL Teacher
Sept 24, 2023

“You will receive your payout weekly Extensive training which is good for newbies Accepts college students”

Online ESL Teacher
Feb 23, 2022

“It was great for fresh grads as a first career to be an online ESL teacher.”

ESL Teacher
Jul 6, 2022

“VIPKID is an excellent platform that allowed me to work from home around my own schedule.”

Online ESL Teacher
Nov 1, 2021

“It was a great way to be immersed in a different culture while teaching English.”

Online ESL Teacher
Nov 21, 2021

“Your salary will be base upon your rank till you get the highest which is 74 per 25 min class.”

Online ESL Teacher
Oct 17, 2021

“Not good compensation and not well managed”

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ESL Teacher Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of an ESL Teacher

The most similar professions to ESL Teacher are:
  • Substitute Teacher
  • English Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Teacher

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Substitute Teacher
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English Teacher
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Elementary School Teacher
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ESL Teacher jobs