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Teaching English in Africa

TEFL/TESOL in AfricaA school in Zambia with happy, smiling children.

To read about teaching English in specific countries in Africa, see below.

Generally speaking Africa can be divided into several distinct areas when it comes to English teaching.

There are a great number of schools across North Africa from Morocco‏‎ in the west across to Egypt‏‎ in the east. (And then on to the Middle East after that.) Although there are a few universities in this belt most jobs are in smaller private schools. Often, though not exclusively, male teachers are preferred.

Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa‏‎. but including Sudan‏‎) tends, generally speaking, to be much less involved in teaching English. Although efforts are being made by many countries in this region, the schools here tend to be poor and rarely employ foreign teachers. Part of the problem is internet penetration which means that few jobs are advertised online where teachers can find them. Volunteer positions are available but care needs to be taken in choosing reliable positions.

South Africa has a thriving English language teaching business. For foreign teachers finding work here tends to be quite difficult as positions are filled by local teachers, many of whom are well qualified and have experience teaching abroad.

English Teaching in Africa

Due to the colonial past, many countries in Africa have English as a national language. However, this is often used for administrative purposes only and works alongside many local native languages. Thus there is a demand for English teachers in every country, regardless of its past.

In general the requirements are a degree and a TEFL certificate such as the ICAL TEFL certificate although this does vary and often you can find work without a degree where the demand is high. Due to limited internet penetration, jobs are sometimes difficult to find online. Local newspapers, voluntary organizations (including religious ones) and being there in person is often the best way to find work.

English Schools in Africa

Most capital cities have international schools which teach in English; there are also often good quality universities and larger schools where English is taught.

However, in sub-Saharan Africa outside the main urban areas schools can be extremely small, poorly funded and very basic. Whilst these types of schools often have volunteer‏‎ opportunities you should make sure the agency you work with is genuine and there is a real demand for volunteers (i.e. that it is not just a money making opportunity for the volunteer agency).

Country-Specific Pages on Africa

Click on the country name to read more specific information about teaching English there.

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Republic of Congo
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco‏‎
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Reunion
  • Rwanda‏‎
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa‏‎
  • South Sudan‏‎
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania‏‎
  • Togo
  • Tunisia‏‎
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
Image © jurvetson

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