Language schools in Australia have traditionally taught students from China, South Korea, Japan and other Pacific Rim countries who visit Australia for a few weeks or more to learn English and see the country.
In the early 2000s the slowdown in the Asian economy meant a reduction in the number of students visiting Australia. By 2010 figures showed a decrease of over 20% in the number of students coming to Australia taking short-term English courses. However, with the economic crisis biting harder in Europe, numbers have picked up more recently.
Australia is now the 4th most popular destination for students wanting to learn English abroad after the USA, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Qualifications and Requirements
Most teaching positions require a minimum of a degree and a TEFL Certificate, depending on the school this can range from a reputable online course such as the IWeb TEFL Certificate to a CELTA.
In order to work in Australia, many teachers are also required to have a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAA) which can be taken accredited Australian state colleges. Many schools will not hire teachers without this.
One major requirement is a passport and visa allowing you to live and work in Australia if you are not an Australian citizen. This means it is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens but if you are from elsewhere you must apply for a work visa in order to live and work in the country. Since there are many qualified Australian teachers available it is sometimes difficult for a non-Australasian passport holders to find legal work unless they have special skills to bring to the country, e.g. higher qualifications or a specialization in some particular field of ELT.
Most language schools are located in the major cities around the Australian coastline and often work can include not only traditional teaching but also excursions, looking after students new to the country and other more general activities.
The academic year runs from February-December, however since many schools are involved in teaching short-stay visitors who come over to learn English, they remain open all year round.