Category Archives: employment

Looking for work in ELT in Australasia?

This is a collection of advice and links from the AusELT community, as of October 2019.

  • Note we do our best to provide accurate and up-to-date information, but can’t check everything, so please let the volunteer admin of the month know what needs updating or what needs adding.
  •  Note also that so far this information is primarily about working in Australia. Any information about working in New Zealand will be warmly welcomed.


In general:

Use every strategy you have ever learned about, for example, having an up-to-date and brief CV, and providing evidence of your experience eg via a portfolio. If you have limited experience, think about how you can showcase what you’ve learned and what you’re interested in exploring further, and how you’re doing this.

Be prepared to fit in, and show you are open to opportunities to expand your repertoire and take on new challenges , rather than presenting your personal requirements.

Consider also updating your record of PD / professional development (aka CPD as in Continuing ~). English Australia has a tool for teachers to record their PD activities and reflections.


Via online links, and direct contact

  • Note it is a good strategy to check out the websites of potential employers, as well as to go and check out their premises. Introduce yourself to the admins / receptionists, and bear in mind they will form an immediate impression of you which they will no doubt pass on.
  • Have a copy of your CV to pass on. Remember that they will be aware if the DoS / principal is looking for teachers right then, so be ready for a possible interview. That said, don’t be surprised if that person is not free to come and talk to you right now.

Your best strategy may be to send an initial email introducing yourself and attaching your CV.

  • Note the DoS / principal may be fielding multiple contacts made by people forced to provide evidence of having applied for work, regardless of how suitable they are for the field. Don’t be expecting a personal response every time. If you do feel the need to send a follow-up email, be mindful how you express your continued interest and why you are interested in working with this institution.

Use drop-down menus of member organisations to find contacts eg


Via AusELT on Facebook posts

People do sometimes post in the AusELT Facebook group when they have positions available, so scroll down through recent posts in case.

  • Note this does not conflict with AusELT guidelines, as this activity is clearly of benefit to people looking for work, as opposed to links which promote your own profit-making business.

You can also search the group using relevant terms, eg for a post about Qs you might be asked at interview on 3 March 2019.

There may also be other Facebook groups which post ads eg ESL Teachers – Brisbane. Use the Facebook search field.


Via generic job sites

While some organisations do not advertise, as they receive CVs by email or through their websites, you can also check sites such as and, using search terms such as ‘TESOL’ and similar.


Via ‘relief’ work

Register with agencies who connect teachers and institutions for ‘relief’ work aka cover teaching via eg


NB Check requirements

See also the ELICOS Standards – scroll to Standard P6.4

  • Working for an RTO (Registered Training Organisation) such as TAFE and AMEP providers delivering VET courses…/meeting-trainer-and-assessor-requ…

    • Note that the Cert IV TAE is no longer required if you have a diploma or higher level qualification in adult education. However, if your employer specifies having a TAE, the latest version of the Cert IV in TAE is 40116
    • NB For the definitive answer on the above note re requirements for having a current Cert IV in Training and Assessment, the jury is still out, with conflicting advice. This may be because there are fine differences when it comes down to the individual organisation, depending on the range of courses they offer. Scroll back to numerous conversations about this eg 15 Sept 2019, 13 Aug 2019, 16 Jan 2019, …
  • For employees and also volunteers working with children (defined as someone under the age of 18), check your state or territory in Australia re the WWCC (Working With Children Check) – which is valid for 5 years for date of issue – here…/pre-employment-scree…/part-b-state-and

Their FAQs is useful, too.…/working-with-chil…/faq

EG for NSW, go to

  • NB if you work in a primary or secondary school setting, a Working with Children Check is not enough. You need to register in your state. Checking with AITSL or the local body in your State/Territory (e.g. Victorian Institute of Teaching for Victoria) is strongly recommended.

It may ALSO be worth getting a ‘police check‘

From their FAQs, this involves comparing an individual’s details (such as name and date of birth) against a central index of names using a name matching algorithm to determine if the name and date of birth combination of that individual matches any others who have police history information. The name will then be vetted by police personnel to determine what information may be disclosed, subject to relevant spent conviction legislation and/or information release policies.

Note if you’re planning to work overseas, it’s better to do this before you leave the country.

Otherwise, check other info in the AusELT blog as well where you can find links for ELT associations, information about knowing your rights, and links

And last but not last, go along to local PD events and make connections, eg MeetELT in Sydney or Melbourne.

In the meantime, consider doing some volunteer work.

Supporting Teachers New to the ELT Profession – #AusELT Twitter chat, 4th March 2018

This chat has now taken place. Click here to read the transcript.

Blindfolded teacher with one hand behind back image

A new teacher can feel like they’re starting out blindfolded with one hand tied behind their back.

The focus of the chat will be on supporting teachers that are new to the ELT profession and we are looking forward to hearing your stories whether you are new to the industry or not. We would like to extend a welcome to all new and experienced teachers and hope that this will be an opportunity to get a few tips together that novice teachers can follow.

We will structure that chat around the following questions:

  • What has helped you as a new teacher?
  • How can new teachers support each other?
  • How can experienced teachers support new teachers?
  • How can new teachers grow in their careers?
3 teachers with a #loveteaching sign

Share your love of teaching!

This chat has now taken place. Click here to read the transcript.


[Photos taken from by @CliveSir & Daniela Krajnakova, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license,

This post created by @heimuoshutaiwan & @cioccas

Future-proofing your career in TESOL – #AusELT Twitter chat, 4th June 2017

This chat took place on Sunday 4th June. Click here to read the transcript.


Photo credit: Chrysa Papalazarou on @eltpics

In the upcoming Twitter chat we will take a look at job security and becoming more aware of ourselves as workers as well as teachers. We all want and need to stay employed but is the onus on our employers or on us to make sure that we are employable in a sector that is always changing?

Or could it be that we are looking at things completely the wrong way –  do we really need to ‘proof’ ourselves or should we be less reactive and plan ways to develop a more sustainable relationship with our future in TESOL?

A little light pre-reading to get you thinking about the topic in this SMH article.

Not sure about Twitter?

Why not have a go? We can help you out. Get in touch with any of the AusELT admin team on Facebook or Twitter (eg @Penultimate_K or @cioccas, or by leaving a comment below. Here are some posts that should also help you get started:


This post by @Penultimate_K

Native speakerism in ELT in Australasia – #AusELT Twitter chat 1st May 2016




In this post, Agi Bodis outlines some of the issues around native-speakerism in preparation for our upcoming chat. This chat has now taken place. Click here to read the summary.



Some of you may remember that an ad for a pronunciation course recently created an interesting discussion on our Facebook page. The course claims to help ‘overseas-born professionals’ fine-tune their pronunciation to improve employment opportunities. It is interesting to note that the word ‘native’ is not mentioned anywhere, but it prompted us to discuss the role of the ‘native speaker’ in ELT.

The ad addresses – or perpetuates – the so called ‘accent ceiling’ (Piller, 2011, p. 144), a boundary many L2 speakers of English experience at the workplace or when attempting to find employment in an English-speaking country. A few of us have questioned the concept of ‘native’ or ‘native-like’ accent as it appears to be a vague term, but it is still something that many students aim to achieve in order to advance professionally or avoid being judged.

So what is ‘native speakerism’? It is an ideology, a commonly held belief, which considers the native speaker as the ideal model for language use, and in ELT, ‘the expert’ when it comes to language teaching methodology as well (Holliday, 2006). The phenomenon thus has implications not only for what is taught and how it’s taught, but also who is entitled to teach the language itself.

In her recent plenary at IATEFL 2016, Silvana Richardson spoke passionately about the discrimination non-native speaker ESL teachers face and the negative impact this has on their professional identity even though the vast majority of English language teachers in the world are non-native speakers (over 80%, according to Richardson).

She questioned the legitimacy of the term ‘non-native speaker’ as it defines people by what they are not, and emphasised the need to shift from a native-speaker competence to a multilingual competence. She proposed that teacher trainers review their programs to make sure these issues are addressed. She also urged teachers to show their support at work and beyond, and join advocacy groups. One such group she mentioned was TEFL Equity Advocates, whose founder, Marek Kiczkowiak (@MarekKiczkowiak), will be joining us in our Twitter chat.

Another related issue that has come up on our Facebook page is the effect of the market: “students want native speakers” or a certain variety of English. Richardson addressed this issue too pointing out that from research it seems that students value professional qualities more than nativeness.

Join us to discuss any of the following points related to native speakerism on Twitter on Sunday 1 May 8:30-9:30 pm AEST (This chat has now taken place. Click here to read the summary.)

  • The role of ‘the native speaker’ in teaching materials and/or language testing
  • The market: student expectations regarding learning a certain variety of English (including accent); expectations regarding native speaker teachers
  • NESB ESL teachers: any experience being employed as a NESB teacher; any experience with NESB teachers
  • Teacher training and the native speaker teacher

Looking forward to our discussion!


Silvana Richardson’s plenary at IATEFL 2016:

Interview with Burcu Akyol and Marek Kiczkowiak on the issue of non-native speakers in ELT – at IATEFL 2016:

TEFL Equity Advocates:

Lexicallab on CELTA and the NS bias:


Holliday, A. (2006). Native-speakerism. ELT Journal: English Language Teaching Journal, 60(4), 385-387. doi:10.1093/elt/ccl030

Piller, I. (2011). Intercultural communication : A critical introduction Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

This post by Agi Bodis, @AgsBod on Twitter