If you're considering teaching in Germany, a good starting point is to get TEFL certified in Germany. Especially in major cities, lots of opportunities to conduct a CELTA or TEFL course at a local language school. Even better, your practice teaching will involve local students and give you a good impression on what it's like to teach in Germany.
English teachers who plan to train and prepare for the classroom will find that German students are eager and hard-working, an ideal crowd for a beginner teacher. Though, regardless of your experience, you will find that receiving your TEFL certificate in Germany will be an enlightening experience, as its numerous cities and towns will both charm and surprise you as a teacher and a traveler.
Not the most popular teach abroad destination on the map, Germany certainly has options for the few (in numbers) teachers out there seeking professional training. Whether you plan to stay permanently, or are simply in transition to another teaching spot in Europe, there are comprehensive courses to choose from.
120-Hour TEFL Courses:
The standard length for a TEFL course, the 120-hour option is typically a full-time, 4-week course. While these courses are very time-intensive, teacher trainees will find that the materials covered are essential and practical for everyday use in the classroom. In addition to written assignments, you will plan mock lessons for a classroom full of ESL learners. These courses will provide a strong foundation for ESL teachers who wish to teach in Germany or nearby European countries.
TEFL + Advanced Certificate:
For teachers who are planning to stay in Germany for longer than the length of their TEFL course, they may consider receiving an advanced certificate there as well. Focusing on a specified group of students, such as young learners or business professionals, these advanced certificate courses provide teacher trainees with even more hands-on experience and instruction. Those individuals who are short on time will find that the TEFL + advanced certificate option is a fast, but thorough, option.
Planning Your Trip
When and Where to Look:
With a number of large cities, there are TEFL courses scattered throughout Germany. However, the two most popular cities for TEFL trainees are Frankfurt and Berlin. Generally, TEFL courses are offered year-round, with start dates at the beginning of every month (or every other month).
To qualify for a TEFL course, you must be over the age of 18 or 20 typically and have completed a level of education that allows you to enter higher education in your home country. This may be a high school degree or some years at the university-level.
After you’ve received a TEFL course, and have decided on a location, it will be time to apply for teaching positions! Primarily, teachers in Germany work at a private language school or “freelance” for large businesses (often in their corporate offices). Language schools are the most common place of employment for foreign teachers; many of these schools will offer free training, to familiarize their teachers with some German phrases and other useful tools in the classroom.
Another option is to teach classes for corporate employees, specializing in business English that is practical in both the boardroom and in conversation. In other words, you will likely be the on-call English teacher for the company in a given location, possibly working at different offices in one city. This job offers a bit of flexibility in scheduling and a chance to explore your new home.
Cost of Living:
A typical salary for an English teacher in Germany will greatly vary, depending on where you work and your employer. Your monthly salary will likely be between $1,200 to $2,900 USD per month. Generally the cost of living will range between $1,100 to $1,700 USD per month; there is the chance to save a small portion of your earnings. However, note that income taxes are quite high in Germany (applicable to those permanent residents).