Teaching English in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Overview

Sri Lanka is a fascinating place to live and work although, despite growing demand, there are still limited opportunities for English teachers. The vast majority of paid positions are in the lively capital city of Colombo. Understandably, teaching resources may be somewhat lacking when compared to more common TEFL destinations in the region. Alongside the handful of opportunities at language centres, there are many opportunities to teach as a volunteer in more rural locations. Experienced teachers are encouraged to get involved in training local teachers.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres 500 – 1,000 (DOS) Various but often 6 days a week 2 weeks plus national holidays
British Council 1,700 – 2,500 Various – generally including evening and weekend work 8 weeks plus national holidays
International schools 2,000 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs


Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.

The University of Toronto TEFL Online - Internationally Recognized


1. Experienced teachers are advised to see if there are any vacancies at the British Council.

2. Speak with as many local schools as possible because there will probably be opportunities to mentor local Sri Lankan teachers.

3. SLELTA (Sri Lanka English Language Teachers’ Association), is a great place for to find out more about English language tuition in the country.

Red tape

Unless you have been offered a position with the British Council or an International School, chances are you will have to enter the country on a tourist visa before starting the arduous process of obtaining all the necessary paperwork.

Cost of living

The cost of accommodation, transport and food in Sri Lanka is very low. Western food imported from abroad is generally expensive.

Tax and salary information

Salary is paid on a monthly basis. Tax is usually paid by employers.


The demand for English tuition in Sri Lanka is growing steadily Only a small number of paid teach positions available
You can make a huge, positive difference to the lives of your students The levels of poverty and pollution may be highly challenging and upsetting to the inexperienced
Lots of worthwhile voluntary opportunities Obtaining the necessary work visas can prove rather difficult

Directory of Recommended Schools, Language Centres and Recruitment Agencies

Would you like your school, language centre or recruitment agency to be listed here? Please contact us.

Qualified English teachers please register with World of TEFL and we will contact you with relevant vacancies as they come in. This is a free service for teachers.


  1. Russ Reardon says:

    I am looking for a teaching position – teaching ESL English or taking a primary school class in Sri Lanka.

    Thank you.


    Russ Reardon

  2. Charles says:

    Good day..
    I’m new here and I need a job, to teach English language
    I’m a graduate and very fluent

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