Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Marketability of TESL Grads

Today I was on the phone, calling up English teachers I knew (and didn't know!) to help out during an international event in my city. It wasn't a difficult task for the teachers...all they had to do was become tour guides to Kota Kinabalu. Qualification? Ability to speak English well, cheerful personality and proactive mindset.

It wasn't the first time I've been asked to get English teachers together to do something not related to English teaching. English teachers tend to have a reputation for being willing to do all sorts of stuff (er...can I read that as being creative?) and bundling in lots of loud laughter in the process of doing the job.

I've noticed that TESL grads are extremely marketable in my part of the world. Quite a number of my TESL buddies have 'abandoned' the MOE in search of greener pastures elsewhere. One even found an employer willing to pay off her substantial bond to the government! A corporate friend of mine told me that these grads were sought after because they were proficient in English (lingua franca of the world!) and an education degree normally meant such grads were able to speak in public, prepare materials, conduct training and organize events. Most definitely a strategic asset to any organization.

Of course it's not fair to say that other optionists aren't as 'good'... but most would agree with me when I say that TESL people normally stand out in any school. It's so easy to pick them out...they're either a bunch creating havoc in a room somewhere, people dressed in unusual clothing ;) or those with a sharp dress sense.

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