Jobs You Didn’t know Existed 

As an Italian saying goes, ‘the world is beautiful because it’s varied.’ In nature, there are a plethora of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures – none of these are either right or wrong, beautiful or unsightly. They are all, in fact, unique and perfect, just the way they are.

This is true for all of the 195 countries in today’s world, each with its own unique customs, traditions, and landscape.  However, it is also true that some countries might share similar historical, cultural, and/or geographical features, depending on their heritage and location on the map.

For example, you’d expect Italy, France, and Spain to share some similarities, given their proximity to one another and their historical background.

But what about Germany, Taiwan, India, Finland, and Japan? They’re so far apart – what could they possibly have in common? They share not one, but two very distinct features:

  1. They are all sought-after destinations for teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL)
  2. They are among the top 10 producers of whisky.

If you are a whiskey lover with a thirst for a new life abroad, read on.

Why teach English abroad?

The hum-drum of familiarity might not be your cup of tea, but teaching English abroad could be your dram of whisky.

Since the end of the 19th century, English has emerged as a global lingua franca, connecting people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. As its importance in international communication grows, the demand for proficient English teachers increases worldwide.

With regard to Germany, Taiwan, India, Finland, and Japan, each country has distinct cultural, historical, and socio-economic factors that influence language education. Understanding these differences is essential for aspiring English teachers to adapt their methodologies effectively. Nevertheless, they are all fertile grounds for teachers of English, new and experienced alike.

Teaching English in Germany: A Bilingual Landscape

Germany, known for its rich cultural heritage and economic prowess, has a unique approach to language education. English is taught from an early age, making it one of the most widely spoken second languages in the country. In addition to formal education, exposure to English through media, music, and travel enhances linguistic competence.

English teachers in Germany benefit from a well-established education system that values language proficiency. The demand for qualified English instructors is high, especially in private language schools, universities, and corporations. However, competition can be intense, and candidates with teaching certifications and experience are preferred.

What to be aware of:

  1. Due to the prevalence of English as a second language, teachers are expected to have a high standard of language proficiency
  2. You are likely to teach professionals with a range of English proficiency within the same group. Keep this in mind when you plan your lessons.
For the love of whisky:

The whisky production in Germany started only three decades ago. A total of 23 whisky distilleries dotted around the country offer a selection of single malts, blends, and bourbon.

Teaching English in Taiwan: The Thriving Learning Hub

With the Bilingual 2030 Policy promoting English proficiency launched by the Taiwanese government in 2018, Taiwan has set itself up to be a hub for English education in East Asia. English teaching positions are abundant, attracting both experienced and newly qualified teachers looking for opportunities to explore a different culture.

English teachers in Taiwan may find themselves in various settings, such as cram (goal-oriented) schools , public schools, and language centers. The culture of respect for educators and students’ discipline enhances the overall teaching experience. English teachers are highly regarded and play a significant role in shaping students’ future prospects.

What to be aware of:

  1. Generally speaking, schools in Taiwan prefer teachers with an American English accent
  2. Some schools can be strict about following the curriculum and sticking to the course materials. The communicative language learning approach might not be very widespread.
For the love of whisky:

Taiwan’s only whisky distillery – called Kavalan – has the capacity to produce 9 million bottles per year. Located at Yuanshan Township, Yilan County, Taiwan, this distillery is owned by the King Car Group.

Teaching English in India: The Diverse Language Mosaic

With over 22 recognized languages and numerous dialects, India’s linguistic diversity is unmatched. English serves as a crucial link language, uniting this vast and fascinating nation. English-medium schools are popular among parents who view English proficiency as a gateway to global opportunities.

The demand for English language teaching is high, both in private institutions and as a supplementary skill for competitive exams and employment.

What to be aware of:

  1. Bridging the gap between English and students’ everyday language can be challenging
  2. The socio-economic disparity that affects access to quality English education can be overwhelming.
For the love of whisky:

India is quickly establishing itself as the fastest growing whisky producer worldwide, selling over 120 million cases. In 2018, this country produced just over 3,468 million liters of whisky.

Teaching English in Finland: Emphasis on Holistic Education

Celebrated for its progressive education system, which focuses on holistic learning rather than standardized testing, Finland is said to have one of the best education systems in the world. English is taught as a mandatory subject in schools, and Finnish students often rank high in English proficiency globally.

English teachers in Finland experience a unique teaching environment where creativity and individuality are encouraged. Class sizes are relatively small, allowing for personalized attention to each student. Finnish schools prioritize language immersion and cultural exchange programs, providing opportunities for English teachers to foster cross-cultural understanding.

What to be aware of:

  1. Navigating the unique Finnish educational approach while ensuring students meet international language standards
  2. Making your teaching style truly inclusive to accommodate the diverse needs of all students.
For the love of whisky:

The production of Finnish whisky started in 1981, by Koskenkorva alcohol distillery in Ilmajoki, Finland. This distillery is run by the state-owned alcohol monopoly Alko. Currently, there are four operational distilleries in this country.

Teaching English in Japan: Embracing English for Globalization

As Japan continues to embrace globalization, proficiency in English has become a vital skill in the business world. English language education in this country is prevalent both within the formal education system and through private language schools.

In the Japanese education system, there is a strong emphasis on grammar and written English. However, communicative language teaching is gaining importance, alongside the practice of listening and speaking skills.

Many English teachers are attracted to Japan for its unique blend of tradition and modernity, making it a popular destination for teaching English abroad. Another reason why this country is very appealing to TEFL professionals is the salaries it offers. To find out more, check out The TEFL Org’s guide to teaching English online salary.

What to be aware of:

  1. Overcoming cultural barriers and encouraging students to engage in open communication.
  2. Balancing traditional teaching approaches with innovative methods to foster language fluency.
For the love of whisky:

Japan, known as the world’s fourth-largest whiskey producer, manufactures approximately 94.5 million liters of whiskey annually. The key features of the Japanese distillation process are a double distillation using copper pot stills and the influence of oak in the maturation of the spirit.

At the bottom of the (whisky) barrel

It’s remarkable how our diverse world can surprise us with unexpected connections. From the rich array of nature’s beauty to the unique customs and traditions of 195 countries, there’s always something new to discover. Even when it comes to teaching English as a foreign language or enjoying a good whiskey, we find unlikely similarities between far-flung lands like Germany, Taiwan, India, Finland, and Japan.

So, whether you’re dreaming of embarking on a TEFL adventure or seeking to explore the whisky wonders of these nations, remember that the world has a way of uniting us through shared passions and experiences. Embrace the variety, seize the opportunities, and let the spirit of adventure guide you to exciting horizons.

Cheers to the splendid diversity of our world! Salute! Kampai! Prost! Skål! Here’s to a life full of thrilling journeys and the joy of discovering the unexpected. So, whiskey lovers, raise your glasses and toast to the exciting possibilities that await you on these fascinating foreign shores. Sláinte!

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