If you’ve considered teaching English abroad, you’ve almost certainly visited the website known as Dave’s ESL Cafe, Dave’s Cafe, or ESL Cafe, the oldest and most popular job website for people who want to teach English overseas. Creator Dave Sperling started Dave’s ESL Cafe back in 1995 after teaching overseas for 10 years and getting his master’s degree in linguistics.

Dave is really a fascinating guy. He got his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine in 1983 and worked for a while with mentally handicapped patients. His love for travel and entrepreneurial personality led him to move to Japan where he taught English and then started his own English training school. Later he moved to the beautiful city of Chaing Mai, Thailand where he met his wife. Then, after 10 years overseas, Dave and his family moved to California.


A screenshot of Dave’s ESL Cafe in December 1996

Dave was teaching ESL at a university California when a fellow-professor suggested that he learn how to create web pages. Dave used his new skills to create web pages with his ESL student’s writing, discussion groups, tips for teachers on how to teach Engish, and listings of Engish teacher job openings worldwide.


Dave’s ESL Cafe job center has many jobs from all over the world with separate pages for jobs in China, Korea, and the rest of the world. For the first four years, Dave let schools post job ads for free but when his site became so popular that his web hosting company started charging him for extra traffic, Dave wisely began charging $75 per with discounts for schools and recruiters placing multiple ads looking for people to teach English in China like EnglishTeacherChina.com.

Besides the job ads, ESL Cafe has lots of discussion forums. This is a helpful resource but keep in mind that there are two sides to every story so research multiple sources to get an accurate view on different topics. For example, ask people how to find a Free TEFL Certification program.

Teachers of ESL (English as a Second Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) can get tons of ideas from the ESL Cookbook section of the site. It’s divided into sections for classroom management, teaching business English, using music to motivate students. Having trouble teaching grammar, you can get step-by-step directions on teaching difficult concepts. There are also complete lesson plans.

Lastly, keep in mind that the site isn’t just for teachers. English language learners (ELLs) can ask questions, study grammar lessons, take quizzes, and meet other students.

If you haven’t visited there yet, go visit ESLCafe.com. You’ll be glad you did.