ICAL TEFL Courses & Resources

Summer Jobs for TEFL/TESOL Teachers

To read about working here, see Teaching English in Mexico.

To read about working here, see Teaching English in the USA.

To read about working here, see Teaching English in the United Kingdom.

To read about working here, see Teaching English in Italy.

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.

A Private Lesson or One-to-One or 1-to-1 lesson outside the normal school. It is usually 1 teacher and 1 student (but sometimes 2 or 3 students).

For more, see Private English Lessons.

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.

Teacher grading work on the beach.How do you fancy teaching English in the sunshine? A few weeks over in Italy or Mexico or somewhere else nice and hot, teaching in the morning then changing into your swimwear to grade homework while you lie on the beach?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the idyll of a summer job teaching English is unlikely, if not impossible. And this article explains why.

Usual Term Times

Most TEFL teaching contracts‏‎ are for 10 months. More often than not they run from the beginning of the academic year‏‎ (often around September) to the end of the year (around June).

Then the school usually closes down. The doors are shut and everyone goes on holiday.

Although there are no firm statistics around, one estimate suggests about 90% of regular English language schools around the world close down for summer which means no jobs for the summer.

Summer Schools

But all is not lost. Some schools do decide to run summer courses. These are short courses where students spend a few weeks learning English. Often these are not just English but also combined with recreational activities. The students may well be away from home camping out or living in hostel type accommodation while they learn.

There are jobs teaching here and places like Italy have regular summer camps where English is used and taught.

However, whilst it is possible to find work in places like these, it’s often very difficult.

Simply put, when the regular English schools close down for summer the English native teachers there will either go on holiday or – as is often the case – hang around waiting for the new term to start in September. They will often do private lessons during this down time but of course many are also available to work in local summer schools.

A school running a summer course will first look for local teachers to work there (for obvious reasons) and only when they can’t find any they will advertise abroad in the USA or UK, etc, for teachers.

This means that if you are in the USA or UK and looking for a short summer break to teach English it is very unlikely that you will see the jobs advertised and if you do there will be a lot of competition to get them, especially because the school will, of course, still be looking for qualified teachers so the usual rules apply: a degree and a good TEFL Certificate such as the ICAL TEFL Certificate.


If you are looking for a couple of months in the sun teaching English then you may be lucky, but bear in mind that it won’t be easy finding work.

Far more likely you will be able to find a full time job for a year beginning in September and lasting through to the following summer. Then you might have the chance of working in a summer school or, more likely, going on holiday for a couple of months.

Image © Ed Yourdon
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