Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country surrounded by water. The country is famous for its coastal landscapes. Not as many as the neighbouring country, the Republic of Philippines, but Malaysia also has many islands; Langkawi is the most famous island among the 99 islands. Malaysia is well known for its tropical climate, amazing food, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, wonders of nature, and fun festivals. Although there might not be as many job opportunities as other top ESL destinations like Japan or Korea, depending on your preference, teaching English in Malaysia can be a great idea!
ESL teachers often choose to teach abroad to work in a relaxed environment while traveling. If that’s also what you want, you should teach English in Malaysia. It is in the best location to travel to other Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Teaching English in Malaysia
It is a great idea to teach English in Malaysia because the salary is decent and the cost of living is low. However, Malaysia’s comfortable life is highly in demand by many English teachers. Therefore, there is quite a competition in the job market. Furthermore, just like in the Philippines, a lot of Malaysians are fluent English speakers. It is common for local people to teach ESL. However, the recent trend is showing, due to the government’s scheme, the country is in demand of English teachers who can also teach math or science.
Requirements for Teaching English in Malaysia
Below are the minimum requirements that you want to make sure that you have in order to find an ESL teaching job in Malaysia.
- A bachelor’s degree
- TEFL/TESOL certificate
- 2+ years of teaching experience
Because most English teaching jobs in Malaysia require minimum teaching experience, it might not be the best option for ESL instructors who are just beginning their careers. However, if you are an experienced teacher looking for a relaxing teach abroad experience in a beautiful country, teaching in Malaysia would be a great option. If you don’t have a university degree, consider teaching online.
English Teaching Jobs in Malaysia
Check out the different English teaching job opportunities in Malaysia.
Private Language Schools
Language schools are often the institutions that local people who are seeking business English classes and English exam classes choose. However, there are also international students who come to Malaysia to study abroad that learn English in private language schools. If you teach English at a private language school, you will mostly teach adults than kids. The International House and British Council Malaysia are examples of private language centres in Malaysia.
Many ESL teachers decide to teach English at International schools as they pay the best. There are many international schools in Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur, that follow either the British, Australian, or American curriculum. Some of the examples of international schools in Malaysia are Oasis International School Kuala Lumpur, the British International School of Kuala Lumpur (BSKL), and the Australian International School Malaysia (AISM).
Public Colleges or Universities
Colleges and universities are definitely an option, but not the best option. They tend to pay the least, give the fewest work hours, and hardest to find. Most of the government school in Malaysia have short working hours. Also, teachers will have to deal with the weak curriculum design.
Although English lessons are compulsory in primary and secondary schools in Malaysia, it is still common for students to take private lessons. The hourly salary may not be as high as language schools, but it is still a good way to supplement your income.
Salary for ESL Jobs in Malaysia
In Malaysia, teacher salary is usually around $1000 – $2300 USD per month. Although the salary is relevantly low, you will still be able to live comfortably as the cost of living is also significantly low in Malaysia.
Things to Consider When Teaching in Malaysia
It is hard to get a job in Malaysia unless you are already in the country. Employers prefer interviewing teachers face-to-face. Also, not a lot of schools upload job posting online. It is better to make a list of schools you want to apply to and individually contact the person in charge. Usually, it takes about a month for teachers to secure a teaching job in Malaysia. Furthermore, it is the first job that is tough to get. Once you start working and get to know the people, your network will help you find a different job or an extra gig, like students who are looking for a private tutor.
FAQ About Teaching English in Malaysia
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about teaching English in Malaysia. Check out the answers!
Are English teachers in demand in Malaysia?
Compared to other popular ESL destinations, Malaysia has a moderate demand for English teachers. Because English education is compulsory, a huge portion of the Malaysian population is fluent in English. However, there are still English teaching jobs available for qualified ESL instructors.
How can I become an English teacher in Malaysia?
In order to become an English teacher in Malaysia, you will need the following list of things: a university degree, TEFL or TESOL certificate, and a minimum of 2 years of teaching experience.
Can you teach English in Malaysia without a degree?
If you don’t have a university or college degree, the only place you might be able to find a job is private language schools, where they often only require TEFL certificates. Also, teaching online is a good option for ESL instructors who do not have a degree.
Should I Teach ESL in Malaysia?
Deciding whether or not to teach English in Malaysia depends on various factors and personal preferences. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:
Interest in Teaching
Are you passionate about teaching English? Enjoying the teaching process and interacting with students is crucial for a successful teaching experience.
Malaysia is a diverse country with a rich blend of cultures, languages, and traditions. If you have an interest in immersing yourself in a multicultural environment, teaching in Malaysia can provide a unique cultural experience.
Assess your proficiency in English and consider whether you possess the necessary skills to teach it effectively. Fluency in English is generally expected for English teachers, but additional qualifications like a teaching certification or relevant experience can be beneficial.
Teaching in a foreign country requires adaptability and openness to new experiences. Consider whether you are comfortable with potential cultural differences, adapting to a different education system, and being away from your familiar environment.
Research the availability of English teaching positions in Malaysia and the demand for English teachers. Determine if there are adequate opportunities that align with your goals and requirements.
Cost of Living
Evaluate the cost of living in Malaysia, including accommodation, transportation, food, and other expenses. Make sure the salary or income you anticipate will allow you to live comfortably and meet your financial needs.
Work Visa Requirements
Investigate the visa requirements for teaching in Malaysia. Understand the application process, necessary documentation, and any restrictions that may apply to foreign teachers.
Consider how teaching English in Malaysia fits into your long-term career goals. Will it provide valuable teaching experience or help you gain specific skills? Evaluate the potential for growth and advancement within the field.
Teach English in Malaysia: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on teaching English in Malaysia? Is it the right place for you, or are you considering teaching ESL in another part of the world like Central America? Let us know what you think in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.