This was one of the few audiobooks available through Audible.com about teaching English as a foreign language, and I was excited about the topic. Since the book is just one hour, I knew it wouldn’t go into depth on any topics, and that it would be narrowly focused on getting started with teaching English as a foreign language overseas. That’s all fine, and the content that’s included in the book is reasonably good. Nevertheless, there were glaring omissions that made this feel like way too little even given the above. At the end it felt like I’d read a blog post that mostly just covered the author’s own experiences.
What is covered:
- Top four recommended online-only certifications to get started.
- A few countries in Asia that are good for finding English teaching jobs (South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam).
- A few things to expect when living and teaching overseas.
- Some thoughts about the excitement of traveling and teaching English to pay for it.
There was no mention of certifications that require in-person training (e.g., CELTA), effective teaching approaches, information on how to get started teaching English independently (outside of an existing classroom — e.g., I would have appreciated some recommendations of good course books and exercises to help with teaching), and it said absolutely nothing about countries that are not South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam—not even why they weren’t included.
Overall, if you were already interested in this book, it may be okay as a starting point since the included content is helpful for someone who’s totally new to the topic. But it will most likely leave you wanting to find another book or more information on the same topic.
If you disagree with my take or you’ve read other good books on teaching English overseas, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Want better books about teaching English? Check out my list of the best English teaching books. If you’re planning to take a CELTA course, you might also find my CELTA Pass A example assignments and lesson plans useful.