Guest Contributor

The Qualities That Employers Look For In An ESL Teacher

By | Angelo Castelda | Freelance writer

Being aware of what an employer is looking for in a candidate is vital for landing a job. Being the applicant means you have to meet their qualifications, and you have to understand what they are to do that. Fully understanding their criteria is the key to pitching yourself accordingly, which will help you get closer to the door.

Applying to be an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher entails the same thing. If you think that it’s easier to land this job just because it’s on the rise and you’re proficient in communication in English, then you’re mistaken. There’s more to being an ESL teacher than just being fluent in English.

Learning English has become more accessible with the use of technology, which resulted in a change in the requirements for recruiting ESL educators. That happened because the way of teaching had to be modified to adapt to the current trend. Now that you’re aware of it, here are the qualities that employers look for in an ESL teacher.

Engaging personality

One thing that has remained the same in teaching is that you’ve got to capture your students’ attention. Employers look for teachers that can get their students to interact. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially in a digital setup.

This is where using your interpersonal communication skills comes in handy. If you can engage your students well during your lectures, you can help them learn English properly. Having an engaging personality is what employers who cater to non-native speakers’ needs.

You’ll need to use your communication skills and move around to explain things clearly to non-native speakers, especially those who belong to the younger demographic. You have to put enthusiasm into your lectures to empower your students. Many non-native speakers who want to teach the language to the same people qualify to get an ESL teacher job in the Philippines because of it.


Another defining trait of an ESL teacher is their ability to be flexible. You need to have a flexible mindset during class because not everything will always go according to plan. Also, you’ll most likely be teaching non-native speakers, so you must adapt to their way of thinking.

Different people have different paces and philosophies in learning. But in an ESL class setting, students have to participate and speak because that’s the most effective way of assessing how much they’ve learned from you. You have to adjust when a student doesn’t feel comfortable doing that and think on the fly to motivate or encourage them.

Passion for teaching

As an ESL teacher, you’ll either be doing remote work or travel abroad to teach in another country. Both may be different in many ways, but one thing’s for sure: you need to be passionate to do them. It’s not an easy task to motivate your students if you can’t even motivate yourself.

Recruiters will most likely ask you questions that are in the same context. “Are you sure this is what you want to do?” Not every job is suitable for everyone and vice versa, so you need to be sure, and you need to know how to push yourself when things are not going your way.

Wrapping up

Do you have it in you to be an ESL teacher? Ask yourself that question after reading this to know for sure that you can do this job. Employers will be looking for these traits, so you have to find it in yourself first.

Author Bio:

Angelo Castelda is a freelance writer from Asia. Besides writing, he also spends his time traveling and learning about diverse cultures, which opened his heart more to learning and imparting knowledge about ESL.

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