Teach English in Malaysia: A Guide to Teaching Opportunities

Teach English in Malaysia: A Guide to Teaching Opportunities

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Can you teach English in Malaysia or are you looking for a new adventure abroad? Malaysia is a captivating country that offers a wealth of teaching opportunities for English educators. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various avenues to teach English in Malaysia, including language centers, international schools, and universities. From the qualifications required to the benefits of teaching in this multicultural nation, we will provide you with all the information you need to embark on your journey to Teach English in Malaysia.

Opportunities To Teach English in Malaysia

Malaysia presents a diverse range of teaching opportunities for those seeking to impart their English language skills. Language centers, international schools, and universities are the primary institutions where English teachers are in demand.

Language Centers

Language centers are widely available across Malaysia, offering English language courses to students of all ages and proficiency levels. These centers serve as a hub for English language education and are an excellent starting point for those interested in teaching English in Malaysia.

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Teaching English at language centers provides a dynamic and interactive classroom environment. The students are typically highly motivated and eager to improve their language skills. Language centers often offer flexible working hours and attractive remuneration packages.

To secure a teaching position at a language center, it is essential to possess a bachelor’s degree and a recognized Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification. Furthermore, relevant teaching experience can greatly enhance your chances of securing a position.

Teach English in Malaysia: A Guide to Teaching Opportunities

International Schools

Malaysia is home to several international schools that provide quality education following international curricula such as the British, American, or International Baccalaureate (IB) systems. These schools cater mainly to expatriate families and offer a diverse and multicultural environment.

Teaching English at an international school in Malaysia can be a rewarding experience. The curriculum is often rigorous, and teachers have the opportunity to work with students from different cultural backgrounds. International schools typically require teachers to possess a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field, along with relevant teaching experience and teaching certification such as TEFL or TESOL.


For those looking for a more challenging and rewarding teaching experience, Malaysian universities offer opportunities to teach English at the tertiary level. Universities provide a platform to engage with students pursuing higher education and contribute to their academic and language development.

To teach English at a university in Malaysia, a postgraduate degree in TESOL or a related field is often preferred. Additionally, prior teaching experience and research interests can further enhance your prospects. University positions may offer opportunities for academic research, professional development, and career progression.

Qualifications and Requirements

To Teach English in Malaysia, certain qualifications and requirements must be met. These requirements ensure that educators are equipped with the necessary skills to provide quality education to students.

The minimum requirement for teaching English in Malaysia is a bachelor’s degree in any field. However, having an educational background in fields such as English, linguistics, or TESOL can be advantageous. A recognized TEFL or TESOL certification is also essential. This certification equips teachers with pedagogical skills specifically tailored for teaching English as a foreign language.

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Relevant teaching experience is highly valued by employers in Malaysia. It demonstrates practical knowledge of classroom management, lesson planning, and student assessment. Many institutions prefer candidates with at least one year of teaching experience.

Additionally, teachers must possess strong communication skills, cultural sensitivity, adaptability, and a genuine passion for teaching.

Finding Teaching Positions

Once you have obtained the necessary qualifications, the next step is to find teaching positions in Malaysia. Here are some strategies that can help you secure a teaching job:

Online Job Boards

Online job boards are an excellent resource for finding teaching positions in Malaysia. Websites such as Teachaway, Dave’s ESL Cafe, and ESL Jobs World regularly post job vacancies for English teachers in various institutions across the country.

Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies specializing in education can also assist in finding teaching positions. These agencies have established connections with schools and institutions in Malaysia and can match qualified teachers with suitable job opportunities.


Networking within the education community can open doors to teaching positions. Attend job fairs, conferences, and workshops related to education to connect with potential employers and fellow educators. Engaging with online communities and forums dedicated to teaching abroad can also provide valuable insights and job leads.

Teach English in Malaysia: A Guide to Teaching Opportunities

Cost of Living and Salary Expectations

Understanding the cost of living in Malaysia is essential when considering teaching opportunities in the country. While the cost of living varies depending on the location, it generally remains affordable compared to many Western countries.

Accommodation expenses vary based on the type of housing chosen. Renting an apartment or sharing accommodation with fellow teachers can be cost-effective options. Utilities such as electricity, water, and internet services are reasonably priced.

Transportation costs are relatively low, with public transportation systems being efficient and affordable. Food expenses also tend to be reasonable, especially if one explores local eateries rather than dining at upscale restaurants regularly.

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In terms of salary expectations for English teachers in Malaysia, it varies depending on the institution, qualifications, and experience. On average, language centers offer around RM 4,000 to RM 6,000 per month (approximately $950 to $1,400 USD), while international schools and universities provide higher salaries ranging from RM 6,000 to RM 12,000 per month (approximately $1,400 to $2,800 USD).

Cultural Experience

Teaching English in Malaysia offers not only professional growth but also a rich cultural experience. Malaysia is known for its diverse population comprising Malays, Chinese, Indians, and various indigenous groups. This multicultural society provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in different traditions, languages, festivals, and cuisines.

During your time off from teaching, explore the vibrant city life of Kuala Lumpur or venture into the stunning nature reserves and tropical rainforests that Malaysia has to offer. Participate in cultural festivals like Hari Raya Aidilfitri or immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Malaysian cuisine.

Benefits of Teaching in Malaysia

Teaching English in Malaysia comes with numerous benefits that make it an attractive career choice:

Competitive Salaries

English teachers in Malaysia are offered competitive salaries that allow for comfortable living standards while still having opportunities for savings and exploration of the country during weekends and holidays.

Professional Development

Teaching in Malaysia provides ample opportunities for professional development. Many institutions offer workshops, seminars, and training programs to enhance teachers’ pedagogical skills and keep them updated with the latest teaching methodologies.

Multicultural Society

The multicultural society in Malaysia allows teachers to engage with students from diverse backgrounds. This exposure contributes to personal growth by fostering understanding, tolerance, and appreciation for different cultures.

Travel Opportunities

Malaysia’s strategic location in Southeast Asia provides excellent travel opportunities during holidays or breaks from teaching. With its well-connected airports and affordable airfares, you can easily explore neighboring countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, or Vietnam.

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Embarking on a journey to “Teach English in Malaysia” opens doors to exciting teaching opportunities in language centers, international schools, and universities. By obtaining the necessary qualifications and exploring various job search strategies, you can secure a fulfilling position that aligns with your career goals.

The benefits of teaching in Malaysia extend beyond financial remuneration; they include personal growth through cultural immersion, professional development opportunities, competitive salaries, and travel experiences throughout Southeast Asia. While challenges may arise along the way, embracing cultural diversity and continuously improving your pedagogical skills will contribute to success as an English teacher in this vibrant nation.

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