Forget Korea: Where the Good, High-Paying ESL Jobs are Hiding

ESL in Vietnam is still on the rise, but it is getting more competitive than before. Now, teachers need at least a 4-year degree, years of experience, and a TESOL certificate in order to get a work permit.


Less than a decade ago, aspiring English teachers eager to spend a few years living abroad and saving money faced little indecision when it came to choosing a destination.  Those with professional teaching credentials headed to the lucrative Arabian Gulf, while new graduates headed for the developed economies of East Asia–Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.  English speakers willing to teach their native language were in constant demand, salaries were generous, and employers would go out of their way to accommodate foreign employees.

No longer.

As the global economy has tightened in recent years, so has the market for EFL teachers–at least, in the countries that were touted as choice destinations only a few years ago.  In Korea, teaching jobs that once required only a minimal workload now demand 40-hour workweeks, and the poor performance of the Won has not been met with any corresponding increase in teacher salaries.  Taiwan’s once-flourishing EFL…

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About Jonathan Lankford

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Jonathan has provided education and training services to organizations and individuals in Vietnam since 2007.
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