ICAL TEFL Courses & Resources

Teaching English in Kuwait‏‎

TESOL or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is usually used to talk about teaching English to people who do not already speak English. It's more commonly used by American teachers.

For more, see TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

A TEFL Certificate is the basic qualification to teach English to non-native speakers. Good ones are usually 120hrs and cover teaching methodology, classroom management, lesson preparation and so on.

For more, see TEFL Certificates.

Students learning English are often described as Beginners, Intermediate or Advanced. Roughly speaking this is their level, i.e. how much English they know, how well they can speak and understand and so on.

For more, see Learner Levels‏ in TEFL.

An International School is a school based in one country but which use a curriculum and teaching methods from another country. Most countries around the world, for example, have one or two international schools teaching British exams, in English, with British staff. American, German, Italian and French schools are also common.

For more, see International Schools.

EFL is an acronym we use to talk about English as a Foreign Language. EFL students usually live in non English speaking countries and want to learn English mainly to use it on their travels or business trips abroad and to communicate with English speaking visitors to their country, etc.

For more, see EFL‏‎ - English as a Foreign Language.

Business English is English as it is used in the business workplace. It focuses on business phrases and typical workplace vocabulary often used for negotiations, telephone conversations, interviews, presentations, meetings, etc.

For more, see Business English.

The British Council is an organization set up to promote British culture around the world. They often have schools teaching English as well in most countries.

For more, see The British Council.

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Simply put, this is usually used to talk about teaching English to people who live in a non-English speaking country and who want to learn English for business or to take an exam, etc.

It is pretty much equivalent to TESOL and TESL.

For more, see TEFL‏‎ - Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

© <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/yousefmalallah/' target='_blank'>Yousef Malallah</a>TEFL/TESOL in Kuwait‏‎

Kuwait is a small but very cosmopolitan country with workers and expatriates from many different countries living there. There is a thriving EFL market for the right kind of teacher.

Living Conditions

Kuwait is not necessarily the most interesting country to teach in when it comes to nightlife, going out, cultural experiences and so on. It does have a couple of museums and sights but it is essentially a city in the desert containing a lot of businesses and workers. Several teachers have mentioned that there is not a great deal to do in their time off – shopping, being the great exception.

Alcohol is prohibited although one can find it, especially amongst the expat population. Bringing alcohol into the country usually leads to its confiscation and nothing more however it is not recommended as it sometimes leads to stronger punishment. Some people create their own wine with sugar and grape juice which is popular in the supermarkets.

Censorship is rife, especially any film or print item related to sex, politics or religion.


Kuwait requires that English is taught at state school although most of the teachers are not native speakers. There is also a thriving private market teaching English to the locals in the service industries as well as expats hoping to improve their business English‏‎.

Because the students in these private schools are often working, classes are sometimes held at unsociable hours, either early in the morning or late at night.

Jobs here and at state schools and universities are advertised in local and national newspapers. Qualifications for other schools are a degree and a TEFL Certificate such as the ICAL TEFL Certificate. ICAL have a number of graduates working in Kuwait on the basis of our certificate. Experience is a good help but not essential.

Typically there will be 6 weeks holiday per year with health benefits, airfare and accommodation provided.

The other major area of teaching are private TEFL lessons (again advertised in local papers, clubs and through word of mouth). These will cover both business people as well as students, especially in the run up to their English exams.

The British Council‏‎ also has a center in Kuwait and recruits highly qualified teachers for placement here and there are some jobs at University level although higher qualifications are required (typically an MA, Diploma and experience). In addition, there are also a number of international schools mainly for expat children.

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