Like in most Middle Eastern countries, English is generally considered part of the national curriculum and is taught across all levels in school and/or universities in Kuwait. However, native English-speakers are rarely found in the state education system, mainly due to cultural differences.
Nevertheless, there is a significant demand for English teachers coming from other places such as Egypt, Syria, Jordan, as well as the Philippines among others. The demand for English teachers come from the need to train and support locals in dealing with staff in hotels, airports, hospitals and other service businesses, where English is primarily used.
Guide for Those Who Want to Teach English in Kuwait
For those interested to take on jobs in the teaching profession, you may refer to academic publications and national newspaper supplements. Qualified English teachers can earn anywhere between KWD 785 and KWD 1,200 every month, without having to pay taxes and other salary deductions – so it’s a well-paying job, especially for the hardworking ones – here’s why:
Most of the job positions offered in the country would fall in any of the following categories or institutions:
- Private Schools:
There’s a number of private schools in the country, catering primarily for the needs of the expats and their families. For this reason, English is generally the language used for all lessons. There are also some French schools, which hold lessons in that language, but these usually also offer English lessons.
- Private Tuition:
Taking private English lessons is also an option among many of the locals as well as expat families in Kuwait, and because of this, private instruction has become a significant source of employment in the country. Many teachers that offer these lessons are ‘moonlighting’ from their full-time jobs in schools and colleges, as this can be a lucrative way to supplement their income.
However, the demand for private English lessons is to some extent seasonal, as more people usually want them in the run-up to the examination period. In line with this, another peak of demand for such lessons happens again when exam results are published, from those who have failed and need to improve their skills for exam retakes.
Tip: Look for study advertisements for tutors in local newspapers, the yellow pages and on notice boards in clubs and sporting institutions, or you may post advertisements (online via expat community threads or forums) yourself.
- Language Schools:
Aside from being popular with Kuwait nationals, private language schools are also sometimes used by expat workers of various nationalities to help improve their English. However, if you choose to work for one, remember that you will most likely be working long hours because these schools are teaching pupils who can only attend after their working day.
Tip: Foreign international language schools such as Berlitz and Linguarama, have branches in Kuwait. However, part of their on-the-job training requires their teachers to attend their own teacher training courses to learn and adopt the particular teaching methods of that language school.
- Translators and Interpreters
Those who have skills in both English and Arabic can find work as translators and/or as interpreters. Translation services are particularly required for legal and contractual documentation as well as academic or technical papers. Meanwhile, interpreters can find a niche for clients holding seminars, as well as those providing management training courses. Both types of jobs, however, are typically offered on a part-time or short-term basis.
- The British Council
For those who have undergone formal training and received certification such an RSA diploma or PGCE in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), backed with a minimum of two years’ teaching experience, may be directly recruited by the British Council for placement in its centers or you may send in your CV along with your credentials by visiting their official website.
Note: Most senior jobs and those with managerial responsibilities require postgraduate qualifications and a minimum of five years’ experience in this field.
Teaching English in any kind of set-up is one of the most convenient and rewarding ways to make good use of your time. And if you’re working here in Kuwait, you earn more without necessarily having to spend more on taxes and other state-imposed requisites. If you’re qualified and are up for the task, go for it!