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How To Apply For a Summer School TEFL Job: The Facts!

Danny is one of our TEFL experts. He has taught in Italy, Japan, Poland and at a summer school in the UK. It’s safe to say he knows his stuff! Many summer schools will be recruiting over the next few weeks, so he’s put together a quick Q & A to provide you with all the information you need to know!

When is the best time to look for summer school TEFL jobs?

“Many summer schools start recruiting in mid-January, and most of the positions are filled by the end of February. There will also be a few last minute places available due to teachers dropping out.”

Danny teaching english in summer schools

Where do I find positions to apply for?

“Our Jobs Board and other well known ones like tefljobs.com, Dave’s esl café and tefl.com are good places to start. You can also type ‘summer school tefl jobs’ into an internet search engine and find many positions that way.”

Where are summer schools located?

“They very often take up University campuses and use the facilities there. There are lots of schools in the UK and many in western Europe too.”

What are the qualifications needed to get these jobs?

“The vast majority of summer schools, especially in the UK, are British Council affiliated. This means you need an EDI CertTEFL or another level 5 qualification like a CELTA to work there. There are also some schools you can work for with a 120- or 140-hour TEFL course.”

What sort of students attend summer schools?

“This depends on where the organisation has its links. Many draw students from western Europe and richer Asian countries like Japan, China and in the Middle East, but they can come from anywhere.”

What kind of lessons would I be teaching?

“Many schools focus on conversation classes and a small minority runs oral exams for students to work towards a qualification. Lots of schools have a focus on the language needed for the trips or activities they run, and encourage games and fun rather than focusing on the academic side of teaching. You will often encounter mixed ability and nationality classes, and jigsaw teaching is quite common.”

What about accommodation?

“Summer schools offer residential and non residential positions. With residential contracts they provide free accommodation to their TEFL teachers, in many cases standard student accommodation as they use university facilities a lot. Non-residential teachers are usually given a little extra pay, but in many cases this only amounts to an extra £30 or £40 per week”

I’ve heard they provide food too, is that true?

“Yes, in the vast majority of cases, teachers eat free in the canteen with their students. The food will be of variable quality, but as this is a major complaint of the students in many cases, summer schools have begun to concentrate on this area.”

How much can I expect to be paid?

“Anywhere between £320 and £380 per week in the UK is quite normal. Anything more and it is a very good deal for a standard residential teaching position. It will vary by country outside the UK, but should be along broadly similar lines.”

Will I be expected to lead excursions?

“Some summer schools expect teachers to help with activities and excursions, although they will employ activity leaders and coordinators to lead these. Other summer schools allow teachers to focus exclusively on teaching.”

What will be my normal duties?

“You will be expected to prepare lessons, often with little notice, and teach up to 30 classes a week. You might also be asked to help mark tests and go on excursions or activities.”

When do summer schools run?

“For the most part, summer schools run around the same time as the UK school holidays, although depending on where their students are from can start a little earlier and finish a little later.”

What about Senior Teacher jobs?

“If you have experience of working as a TEFL teacher, particularly in a summer school, you can often find positions as a senior teacher. Duties will vary between employers, but you can often expect around £50 – £100 extra per week, and for that to help the other teachers prepare better lessons and assist the Director.”

I’ve seen some attractive positions as a Director of Studies or Centre Manager, what can you tell me about those?

“These positions will often require a DELTA or MA in TESOL, and several years’ experience, including in summer schools. These positions involve long hours and lots of responsibility for the successful running of the summer school. They are quite stressful, but are very well paid, with centre managers earning anything between £700 and £1500 per week, and a director of studies expecting around double the wages of their teachers.”

How can I get a TEFL qualification so I can find a summer school job?

“Call me on 01132054630 or email daniel.pugsley@i-to-i.com to find out more and get started with a course. Once that’s finished, you will be in a position to take advantage of the amazing and rewarding opportunity summer schools offer. I hope to hear from you soon.”

Thanks Danny!

To find out more about what it’s like to teach at a summer camp have a read of Annie’s story!


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  • Maureen Tucker

    Hi, 
    Thanks for the information. It’s really helpful. 
    I was just wondering which summer camp specifically in the UK did you work for? Or which one would you recommend? I’ve read about quite a few on Dave’s ESL cafe and it seems some are a lot better than others. 
    I was just wondering in which direction I should be looking. 
    Cheers. 

  • itoitefl

    Hi Maureen – Thanks for your comment :) Danny worked for ATC International at the Nottingham University Campus (http://www.atcinternationallanguages.com) so you might want to look into that one! 

    Hope the job search is going well – just remember to do all your research before applying. We have a few summer school jobs on our Jobs Board too: http://bit.ly/WuLsat 

    Best of luck! Helen

  • Maureen Tucker

    That’s great thank you!

  • isujuu

    Great article! I’ve noticed that most of the programs offered on Jobs Board say a year or more on the duration of the job. Could we sign up for just the summer or do we have to be dedicated to a program for at least a year?