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The English language is spoken and written as the second language of Malaysia. It is very important as a language for trading with other countries and various industries, with 80% of business dealings in the country conducted in English. English is also widely used in social circles and used in conversations between family members and friends.

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is a term that is usually used for teaching English or the certification of an English teacher from a North American perspective. It can refer to the teaching and the learning of English on the local level as well as abroad. TESOL is a broad term that includes TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) as well as a broad range of other English language teaching qualifications.


Essentially, as a student of TESL or TESOL, you can pursue your postgraduate (Masters & PhD) studies in areas like:

  • Education
  • Counselling
  • Curriculum and Development
  • Educational Psychology
  • Planning, Administration, Measurement and Evaluation in Education
  • Other areas
Subject Focus

As student of TESL & TESOL, you will be exposed to the following areas of education:

  • General linguistics
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Ethics in Education
  • Sociology of Education
  • English Language Structure
  • Teaching Skills
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Physical Education
  • English Phonetics and Phonology

Entry Requirements:

After finishing your SPM, you are required to enroll in a a pre-university course, foundation studies, STPM or relevant qualifications

Personality Type

Becoming a teacher requires passion, dedication and ability to deal with difficult situations when handling school children. You will not be acting as a teacher, you will be an educator and act as a parent, friend, and a mentor for your students.

Some of the features teachers have are as follows:

  • Empathy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Creativity
  • Dedication
  • Discipline

Find your Myers-Briggs personality type here.

Holland Vocational Code: ESR (Enterprising, Social, Realistic)

Find where you belong in the RIASEC model here.

Career Info

TESL/TESOL holders can pursue a career in the following in both private sector in Malaysia and government schools. They can be education entrepreneurs and will be able to enjoy a relatively more stable careers.

Some job titles in Malaysia:

  • Teachers
  • Senior Teachers
  • Counselor
  • Content Writer (non teaching position)
  • Copy Writer
  • Other titles

The starting salary of an English teacher is somewhere between RM2,300 – RM3,200.

If you are a government school teacher, you might be posted in remote locations and the allowance allocated can be relatively high.

Based on the experience and skills, salary of a professional teacher and a specialist higher positions can be between RM8,500 – RM10,500.

Job Demand

In Malaysia: the demand for teachers in Malaysia is fairly consistent. There are a total of 238,073 teachers on primary level and 181,747 on secondary level in government schools. Lets not forget about the private and international schools.

Global demand: there are many factors to consider when seeking a job outside of Malaysia. Malaysian schools in other countries would be an obvious choice. For other countries, you need to consider your skills, abilities, experience, and many other factors that could be of a certain advantage to finding a job elsewhere.

Becoming Professional

In Malaysia, there are many comprehensive programs for teachers’ professional development. It is mandatory for all teachers in Malaysia to complete a certain number of development courses per year. This will contribute to teachers’ careers and salary upgrades.

Useful links
TESL Malaysia
Teach Away
Ministry of Education Malaysia (MEM)
TESOL Malaysia
Global TESOL

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