English is generally part of the national curriculum followed by schools in the Kingdom. Despite this, it’s quite rare to find native English-speakers in the state education system, cultural differences accounting for this.
Because of this, there is a significant number of openings 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 predominantly used.
Guide for English Teachers in Bahrain
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 BHD 100 and BHD 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 would fall in any of the following categories or institutions:
- Private Schools:
There’s a large number of private schools in the Kingdom, catering primarily for the needs of the expatriate population. As such, 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 teach English.
- Language Schools:
Aside from being popular with Bahrain nationals, private language schools are also sometimes used by expat workers from various countries to help improve their English. However, if you choose to work for one, bear in mind 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 Bahrain. As part of their on-the-job training, they often require that their teachers attend their own teacher training courses to learn the particular teaching methods of that language school.
- Private Tuition:
Private English lessons are also a viable option for many of the locals, and because of this, it has become a significant source of employment in the Kingdom. 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 season. 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 –expat community threads or forums) yourself.
- The British Council
For those who have undergone formal training and received certification such as an RSA diploma or PGCE in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), along with a minimum of two years’ teaching experience, they may be directly recruited by the British Council for placement in its centers.
Note: Most senior jobs and those with managerial responsibilities require postgraduate qualifications and a minimum of five years’ experience in this field.
- 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 and technical papers. Meanwhile, interpreters typically are needed at seminars, as well as in management training courses. Both types of jobs, however, are typically offered on a part-time or short-term basis.
Working as an English teacher is a fulfilling job, and it’s important to know that finding work in this field is not as difficult in Bahrain as it is in other countries (mainly Western). Just be sure to have the necessary requirements or in some cases certifications, as well. Of course, having experience is always an advantage in any kind of work. Good luck!