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Teaching English as a foreign language in Ireland

Teaching English in Ireland

Why teach English in Ireland?

Ireland is a famously friendly country, with a welcoming social culture that newcomers often love. Many people come to Ireland because they have family connections there. They also come for the beautiful scenery, whether that's cliffs, hills, islands or rolling green fields. Others come for the famous pub culture or for the literary history. What many people don't know about Ireland is that it has a thriving English language teaching industry, with many English language schools running year round.

Irish cliffs

What's teaching in Dublin like?

Dublin, known to some as Europe's Silicon Valley, is Ireland's capital and biggest city and a very large proportion of the English language schools in the country are based there. Most English language schools in Dublin are filled with full-time students i.e. students who are studying at least 15 hours a week and teachers will normally be employed to teach either 15 or 30 hours a week. Some schools run a morning timetable and an afternoon one. Some will even run an evening timetable too, with three shifts of students all studying for 15 hours. Students come to Dublin from all over the world. There are, of course, large groups of Europeans, especially in the summer, with students from Spain, Italy, France and Switzerland in many schools. Most European students come for relatively short courses of two or three weeks. There are also large cohorts of students from beyond Europe, whether from Saudi Arabia, South Korea or Brazil. These students will often be longer term and will be studying English for six months or more. Many of these students often have student visas that allow them to work, so they may be juggling their studies with jobs.

I taught English in three different schools in Dublin over a period of ten years and I loved it. Mixed nationality groups are the norm and this means that you get to learn so much about different countries. Brazilian students would invite me out for feijoada, Korean students for karaoke and Italians for pasta. Kazakh students would bring me handmade gifts and Germans would teach me things about Ireland I didn't know myself! As well as teaching, jobs in these schools often involve social and cultural programmes where you can get to see museums, shows and cultural attractions for free as you accompany students around the city and the country. I loved my time teaching English in Dublin!

Connor O'Donoghue - Director DC Teacher Training

Are there jobs teaching English outside Dublin?

Every city in Ireland has an English-teaching sector, but a smaller one than Dublin. Cork and Galway are both cities that are very attractive to foreign students with their easy access to scenic coastal areas and strong traditions of Irish music and dance. There are small towns across Ireland, such as the fishing village Schull in the south west, that have a long tradition of welcoming foreign language students. Most English teaching jobs in Ireland are in Dublin, but you're not restricted to Dublin!

Is there much demand for English teachers in Ireland?

Yes! Ireland's English language teaching industry is booming for a number of reasons. After Brexit, some Europeans are choosing to travel to Ireland rather than the UK. As well as this, Irish student visas allow work, which most British students visas don't. This makes Ireland doubly attractive for some students when compared to the UK. Ireland has over seventy recognised English language schools. All of these schools will expect their teachers to have a CELTA or equivalent qualification. English language schools in Ireland advertise for teaching jobs all year round and the sector quadruples in size every summer, meaning that many teachers will get their first break in July and after a successful summer of work, may be offered more longterm work afterwards.

How much do English teachers earn in Ireland?

Salaries for teaching English in Ireland vary, but in general, you could expect to earn between €14 and €24 an hour. Most teachers will teach somewhere between 15 and 30 hours a week. There may also be extra work available supervising younger students or leading tours and social activities. In general, a job in English teaching can support you, but you should research housing costs before committing to jobs as accommodation in Ireland can be expensive.

Teaching English in Ireland is a rewarding and enjoyable option in a fun and friendly country.

Dr Connor O'Donoghue hails from Ireland and he started teaching English as a foreign language in Poland in 2003 and he became a CELTA trainer in 2008. He has taught and trained in Ireland, the UK, France, Italy, Slovenia, Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan and Vietnam. Connor also holds a Masters and a PhD in Education from Trinity College in Dublin. He has previously managed large teacher training centres in Vietnam and in London before founding DC Teacher Training.

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