How to Teach English in Thailand

Choosing to be an English teacher in Thailand was like most of the other decisions that I’ve made in my life: spontaneous.

Teaching English in Thailand was never on the list. Actually, visiting Thailand AND teaching were both never on my list.

Teaching English in Thailand was my first teaching abroad experience, and it was by far worth it.

Thailand is well-known around the world for its picture-worthy views and tourist destinations. The country is as beautiful as they say.

If you are looking to teach English in Thailand, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some questions that I was either asked by family/friends before heading out to Thailand and even when I got back to the US.

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english teacher in thailand
Wat Pho, Bangkok

What Language Do They Speak in Thailand?

Either that question or “Do they speak English in Thailand?”

MOST tourist areas such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket will have English speakers. I wouldn’t say that English is widely spoken throughout Thailand so it is best to download a translator before you head there.

The official language of Thailand is Thai. So before you go, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few basic Thai phrases. You should really learn basic phrases in any country you plan to visit.

Yes, the Thai language is difficult; it is considered a tonal language. For example, one word could be said with four different tones and those four different tones will change the meaning of that one word.

If you at least try to speak Thai, then that will account for something.

Is Thailand Safe?

To be honest, I never felt unsafe in Thailand. I’d walk home at night and I felt fine. The misconception of Thailand being dangerous is one that was debunked within the first few days of my being there.

Of course, anything can happen wherever you go so you always have to be cautious, especially if you are traveling alone. However, mostly all of the Thai people that I met were so nice and they would usually go out of their way to help.

How Can You Teach English if You Don’t Speak the Native Language?

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me this question, I would be rich.

But seriously…

It can be tough teaching English when your students don’t understand what you’re saying.

Here’s what you can do: use PowerPoint, realia, props, music, and demonstrations. TPR (total physical response) is extremely useful, especially if you are teaching young kids.

You will learn all of these hacks and more in your TEFL class.

Why You Should Teach English in Thailand

Thailand’s low cost of living is one of the many perks. They are also extremely laid back AND you can book a cheap flight to one of the tropical islands if you’d like. So be prepared if you show up for school one day and class gets canceled at the last minute.

You can also see some of Thailand’s famous temples: Wat Pho, Wat Arun, the Grand Palace, and Wat Phra Kaew.

And of course, Thai food. Eat all of the Thai food that you want.

Pad Thai Gung (shrimp)

How to Teach English in Thailand

In order to teach English in Thailand, you can either be a native English speaker or prove your English fluency and also have a bachelor’s degree.

The English-speaking countries include:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • the UK
  • the US

In order to teach the English language abroad, you must acquire a TEFL.

I got mine through International TEFL Academy (ITA) and I must say that ITA is an incredible and also credible program. They have lifetime assistance and even country charts to make your life easier!

I recommend you get a 120-hour TEFL, CELTA, or TESOL.

You can sign up to get your TEFL in Thailand, in another country, or get it online.

Here is my referral link for ITA.

Read about How to Get Your TEFL here.

Where Can You Teach English in Thailand?

There are countless options for teaching English in Thailand. You can teach at primary schools, language schools, and universities. There are always job postings and openings all throughout Thailand.

How Can You Find a Job to Teach in Thailand?

Type it in Google and you will find loads of resources. If you get your TEFL with ITA, they will also give you a ton of help with your job search.

However, there are some great websites that I have looked at in the past that I find to be extremely useful:

How to Choose Which Program is Right for You

Before/if you choose a program to go with, make sure you do some research to see if it is fit for you. This can mean just simply looking up reviews of different programs, speaking to others who have taught before, or you can simply just watch YouTube videos. You can also find help from Facebook groups and even Reddit.

Either way, you will never fully be prepared; but that is OKAY! That is one of the greatest things about taking risks.

I looked into different programs after completing my TEFL through ITA. I came across Greenheart Travel. I signed up, had an interview, submitted my payment, and I was off. Once I landed in Thailand, Greenheart handed me off to Xplore Asia. From Xplore Asia, I went to Media Kids.

I left at the beginning of June 2019 for my 6-week program. Those 6 weeks turned into 10 months.

I loved Greenheart because they handled all of the big worries that are difficult to deal with, especially being a first-time solo traveler.

The program also helped me meet like-minded people all while introducing me to a new possible career: being an English teacher.

What Visa Do You Need to Teach in Thailand?

To teach English in Thailand, you will need to get a Non-Immigrant B Visa to teach in Thailand. Usually, your program will help you out with all of the paperwork. If you go through a school, they will assist you as well.

You can get these started early if you know you will be going to teach in Thailand:

  • Passport photos (4-6)
  • State-wide or country background check

You should have at least 6 months of validity in your passport after you leave Thailand. You can get passport photos at CVS/Walgreens and if you are an AAA member, they are even cheaper!

Your degree and sealed transcripts are also necessary for your visa.

It is important to get a visa and to do it correctly or you could face some legal problems that won’t be too fun.

How Much Do English Teachers Earn in Thailand?

This answer varies. It really depends on which company you end up working for and which location you are in.

Usually, teachers can make between THB 25,000 to 40,000 (USD 720 – 1152). At the second school that I worked at through Sine Education, I made 40,000 per month. I also got health insurance. About halfway through my time with Sine, I was provided training in Bangkok.

If you choose to teach in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, you will be paid more. However, the cost of living also goes up.

If you are going to teach English in Thailand, make sure you do some research beforehand!

Is Teaching English in Thailand Worth it?

The short answer is YES. The long answer is also YES.

Teaching English in Thailand is difficult, stressful, and sometimes frustrating. Regardless, teaching English is also enjoyable and lively. You might not even want to leave!

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  1. So nice to be able to follow your journey and be a part of it. Very interesting education on Thailand. So happy for you and your adventures your experiencing. Love it!

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