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Thinking of spending time teaching in Poland!


Guest  
26 Feb 2006 /  #1
Hello!
I am 22 years old and from London. Im thinking of spending some time teaching in Poland (hopefully Krakow as i just recently visited there and thought it was an amazing place) but i have no experience in this field and i dont speak Polish (Well very minimal). Has anyone done this before or does anyone have any tips on what the course or work is like?

Thank you
Andy
Martas  
27 Feb 2006 /  #2
Hi Andy,
I would suggest to ask your fellow teachers or students - what they think is effective in teaching others? Or contact Polish translators... Maybe you don't think so now, but your "advantage" is that you don't speak Polish -- and your students will be forced to communicate with you in English only - and they will learn it at the same time.

Marta
bossie 1 | 123  
14 Jun 2006 /  #3
Andy,

if you're thinking of teaching seriously, take a course before coming to Poland. Perhaps ten or twenty years ago being a native speaker was enough to get a job, but now the employers are more picky (they have more choice, too, as more and more foreigners come over) so be careful.

Good luck anyway!

b
chromium - | 15  
10 Sep 2007 /  #4
to get a teaching job in Poland with a private language school, you will almost certainly have to get the Trinity TESOL or the CELTA first. There are enough qualified teachers here that almost no school is going to hire someone with no experience and no qualifications in teaching.

PM me if you have any specific questions
Michal - | 1,865  
16 Sep 2007 /  #5
When I was in Poland the shortage of English Language teacher was so great that Polish state school were even hiring Ukrainian girls to fill the places-mind you, that was a few years ago now and it was in the fairly small town of Krasnik where being off the beaten track may not attract higher qualified staff but as a rule a TESOL qualification is not required as there is no formal qualification to teach one's mother language in existence.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
16 Sep 2007 /  #6
What's wrong with Ukrainians teachers of English? Provided they have a good professional education/preparation, they can speak English not worse than the Poles, I guess.

And as you mentioned it was in the Eastern Poland, so close to Ukraine, besides there are many people with Polish nationality or at least Polish origins in the Western Ukraine, so our governments are trying (from time to time) to support them by offering them work here (permament or temporary).
johan123 1 | 228  
16 Sep 2007 /  #7
Many Ukrainians are very well prepared to teach English. They are often after several years of university study and have a strong command of English grammer.
Michal - | 1,865  
16 Sep 2007 /  #8
I was only at one school for a short visit but I did indeed go there and I met the English teacher. She was quite nice as a person and her English seemed to be reasonable. Whilst there though she had written a piece of an English text and she asked me what I thought of it. It went a bit like this.

I went by a train to a London and visited a Queen in the Buckingham Palace which is very near to a number 10 The Downing Street where a Prime Minister, the John Major lives. To see the London is unbelievable with a Kennsingon Gardens and I walked through The Regents Park. I tried to help and explain but she got agitated so I proceeded no further. What's the point?
ukpolska  
19 Sep 2007 /  #9
to get a teaching job in Poland with a private language school, you will almost certainly have to get the Trinity TESOL or the CELTA first. There are enough qualified teachers here that almost no school is going to hire someone with no experience and no qualifications in teaching.

PM me if you have any specific questions

Rubbish,
I have been here for seven years now and have met and known many teachers who have no qualifications. They work in private schools and are a lot better with experience than someone who has a qualification and comes here raw with his TESOL or the CELTA and stands there like a piece of wood. Chromium you seem to be an expert on English teachers in Poland by the looks of your posts and giving advice all over the place be a little bit careful and try to remain objective in your posts. By the way, if you’re asking because I know you will, I gained a degree in Education in the UK.
katjusha 2 | 8  
19 Sep 2007 /  #10
I've been reading the comments on teaching in Poland and have to say I'm a bit puzzled. Please tell me I'm wrong when I get the message that just about anyone from the streets will be able to teach kids in international schools if she/he only speaks fluent english and has taken a four week tesol (or alike) course!!!!! I think that every person who works with children should really be much better educated! It's not the qualification on paper that's relevant, but in order to be able to support the child's development in every possible way a teacher must have some basic knowledge on childrens' education.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
19 Sep 2007 /  #11
Please tell me I'm wrong

You are wrong.

This is about teaching English in private language schools.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387  
19 Sep 2007 /  #12
Katjusha,

First of all, most students in the scools we are talking about are usually aged about sixteen and over. Many of these students are adult.

You don't need any certificates to teach. Competition is such that these schools sometimes take whoever they can get.

Schools teaching ordinary pupils are quite different. If you are worried about sending your kids to regular school, international or otherwise, you will have no problems.
ukpolska  
19 Sep 2007 /  #13
I think that every person who works with children should really be much better educated! It's not the qualification on paper that's relevant, but in order to be able to support the child's development in every possible way a teacher must have some basic knowledge on childrens' education.

Totally 100% agree with you where state children education is concerned, but as to language teaching in a private school a native English teacher plays more of a supportive role to the Polish teachers until maybe he/she has enough experience to build lesson plans and such like. Sorry its short I will explain more when I have more time :O)
johan123 1 | 228  
19 Sep 2007 /  #14
First of all, most students in the scools we are talking about are usually aged about sixteen and over. Many of these students are adult.
You don't need any certificates to teach. Competition is such that these schools sometimes take whoever they can get.

Schools teaching ordinary pupils are quite different. If you are worried about sending your kids to regular school, international or otherwise, you will have no problems.

Most native speakers are not really responsible for teaching programmes. In some ways they function as an added attraction for the students. They give them a chance to use English naturally and improve listening ,reading and speaking skills. There are, of course, native speakers that have more experience but they are few and far between in Poland.
ukpolska  
20 Sep 2007 /  #15
Schools teaching ordinary pupils are quite different. If you are worried about sending your kids to regular school, international or otherwise, you will have no problems.

Totally agree with you accept many state Polish English teachers that I know only have the basic English qualification, which is FCE (First Certificate of English) and this I find incredible that they are allowed to teach English to children when they only have the very basic knowledge themselves. Those of us who teach in private schools will recognise mistakes that state teachers make with children and question the pupil and get the response, “well my English teacher told me this”.

I once spent all weekend with my sister-in-law helping her with her English project, not doing it for her but teaching her; and when she went to present it to her English teacher, she accused her of cheating, because she had not taught her that grammar construction yet and was marked with a fail. What a load of crap!! You should always question the pupil and see if they understand what they are talking about and reward self-learning not put them off; but I found out the reason why. When it was my sister-in-law’s school open day I asked to come along, and we went from class to class and I kept my mouth shut; when we arrived at her English teaches class I introduced myself in English and you could have picked her jaw up from the ground she was so shocked. I went on to question her (smiling at the same time) and found her English was no better than my four-year-old daughter was at the time, and she had never been to the UK or any other English speaking country.

I am not saying that every state English teacher is the same, far from it, some of them are great, and I have had the privilege to meet many very good ones, but don’t assume things, always check out the teacher or school yourself. They will have nothing to hide if they are a good school!!
johan123 1 | 228  
20 Sep 2007 /  #16
Totally 100% agree with you where state children education is concerned, but as to language teaching in a private school a native English teacher plays more of a supportive role to the Polish teachers until maybe he/she has enough experience to build lesson plans and such like. Sorry its short I will explain more when I have more time :O)

Native speakers can also motivate and encourage students to learn and don't have to be experts in English grammar to do so. Many, with little or no formal training, go on to become excellent teachers. It's even the case that those with more formal education sometimes find it more difficult to communicate with the students.
katjusha 2 | 8  
21 Sep 2007 /  #17
Thanks guys for your comments!

I guess I got confused as most of the international schools are usually private as well. Anyway, it's good to know that childrens'education is well monitored. I'm a teacher myself, too, (up here in Finland) and that's why I'm also interested in these issues. The main point, however, is that we have been considering wheter to put our kids in a state or international school if / when we move to Poland. We would probably stay only two years, so an international one might be better. But I'm sure we'll check out the schools beforehand. I know that private does not always mean better. I have worked here both in public and private sector and, in my case, the public system worked much better. The owners of the private school were just conserned about making big money. Of course this is not always the case. There are great private schools, too.

And yes, a good paper doesn't make you an excellent teacher. It's the personality and social skills that matter in the end. Although it does'nt do any harm if you do know the grammar ;) But I'm sure a native, with or without the knowledge of the grammar, is a great help! We Finns, for sure, need a lot of encouragement (a bottle of vodka will do) before we dare to open our mouth even if we'd learned the foreign language for years ;)

I didn't mean to mock the tefl teachers, just thought that the the kids that are still growing up need a lot more and many kind of support.

Keep up the good work folks!
Kris 3 | 9  
22 Sep 2007 /  #18
I'm a native English speaker and plan on moving to Krakov in a few months to teach English. I agree with ukpolska. Many Poles 'well educated' in English who have come here to Dublin still have much to learn, which can only be done with the help of a native speaker.

I'm starting a course in Polish next week in preparation for my move to Poland.
nauczyciel  
22 Sep 2007 /  #19
i was hired in my school here in PL to teach the students the correct formation of the tongue and mouth to form the words:

think, there, they, their, thing, they're, than, theatre, that, thank you, them, three, these, they'll, basically any word that starts with "TH" they get lazy and form fossilization and use the "EF" sound to pass off as "TH"

I'm not even going to get started with "both, with, thingk, " etc.

I'm hard on them, but it's for their own benefit and I have explained it to them many times.

please take this wiF a grain of salt. :P
james123  
22 Sep 2007 /  #20
I hope that's not all you teach them
Michal - | 1,865  
29 Sep 2007 /  #21
Totally agree with you accept many state Polish English teachers that I know only have the basic English qualification, which is FCE (First Certificate of English) and this I find incredible that they are allowed to teach English to children when they only

I think that I have already said somewhere on this forum that I went to Krasnik and stayed a few nights. The lady I knew there worked as a librarian in a local state school so went along to see the school for myself. I could not see a lesson in action as it was the Summer holiday has already started but I did meet the teacher, she was a young Ukrainian woman who, as far as I know, had never been to England at all. Her English was fair but sometimes I did have to ask her again and repeat my questions a second time in Russian for her to understand me! However, in England, how often do you find an English student who speak a second language well after lessons in a secondary school? I did G.C.S.E French some years ago and I have recently completed the French certificate with the Open University. In France, earlier this year, I found my knowledge was minimal to say the least and at times I was really struggling. In small rural places in Poland why should the Polish do better than English do in state schools in the U.K.? You say that you have been in Poland for seven years yet still use your wife as an interpretor to help you get a driving license.
ukpolska  
29 Sep 2007 /  #22
You say that you have been in Poland for seven years yet still use your wife as an interpretor to help you get a driving license.

And your point is?

In small rural places in Poland why should the Polish do better than English do in state schools in the U.K.?

Because unlike us who are very fortunate to know a language that almost one third of the world knows as a second language, people expect a certain standard. I am afraid it is a necessity in a modern world where people want to succeed; anyone will tell you in Poland that in some cases in Business when you attend an interview, it is partly conducted in English. In addition if you have someone who can barely construct grammatical sentences that what on earth is that of use to anyone!!!

As said above, "I am not saying that every state English teacher is the same, far from it, some of them are great, and I have had the privilege to meet many very good ones, but don’t assume things, always check out the teacher or school yourself. They will have nothing to hide if they are a good school!!"

And I see that you have been searching through my posts, if you see anything else that you cannot understand please feel free to ask, and I will try to explain it in simply terms so that you will understand.
johan123 1 | 228  
29 Sep 2007 /  #23
In addition if you have someone who can barely construct grammatical sentences that what on earth is that of use to anyone!!!

Hardly any native speakers manage to learn Polish well! It could be the fact that their walking conversational classes for other nationalities
ukpolska  
29 Sep 2007 /  #24
Nice to see ya back johan123, so how is our baby lol
johan123 1 | 228  
29 Sep 2007 /  #25
Handsome, intelligent and well read! Just like his dad !
Michal - | 1,865  
29 Sep 2007 /  #26
d I will try to explain it in simply terms so that you will understand.

With respect you are being a little condescending are you not? I was a student in eastern Europe during the Communist era when you were still a baby! The point I was making was that learning a second language formally is not at all important. My wife leard German at school and remembers almost nothing. To tell you the truth I too studied to G.C.S.E and passed and then with much work I managed to scrape a pass again at N.V.Q. 3 in German but to tell you the truth, I doubt if I could hardly understand a single word if I had to make a telephone call to someone or had to explain why my car has broken down and where I am. Most people in England teach themselves to speak English without spending thousands of pounds on silly TESOL and DELTA and CELTA certificates, Business English, First Certificate, Second Certificate Third Certificate-what a load of rubbish at the end of the day. The whole profession is just a money spin. At the end of the day non of you would cope with four years of Russian translation at university anyway. Is my explanation simple enough for you now?

Hardly any native speakers manage to learn Polish well! It co

That is your fault and nobody els's. How can you stand in a classroom teaching English if you can not explain everything from first principles in English? I simply can not understand it at all.
johan123 1 | 228  
29 Sep 2007 /  #27
That is your fault and nobody els's. How can you stand in a classroom teaching English if you can not explain everything from first principles in English? I simply can not understand it at all.

I am Polish! What would I need to learn my own language for?

My English teacher never spoke Polish in the classroom!
Michal - | 1,865  
29 Sep 2007 /  #28
I am Polish! What would I need to learn my own language for?

I am sorry but I assumed that you were English and that you meant that seldom do native speakers, meaning the British in Poland, bother to learn Polish.

My English teacher never spoke Polish in the classroom!

So what? Dlacaego to jest wazne czy on mowi po polsku czy nie, w koncu, wszystko jedno!
johan123 1 | 228  
29 Sep 2007 /  #29
How can you stand in a classroom teaching English if you can not explain everything from first principles in English?

I understood from your post that native speakers would need to have knowledge of Polish in order to teach English.
Michal - | 1,865  
29 Sep 2007 /  #30
I would have thought so. I have never been a teacher but how can you explain grammar and vocabulary otherwise?

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