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Private English Lessons by Experienced Professional Teacher in Poland (Warsaw)


ProfTeacher 1 | 14
7 Aug 2015 #1
Hi. I am a professional English teacher with a master degree equivalent in English Language Instruction from Kiev Linguistic University.

I have been living in Warsaw for 6 years, teaching English, Russian, and Ukrainian privately and full time at a prominent foreign language school in Warsaw.

I am top rated by my students and clients.

If you or your company can use a private tutor for intensive language training -- I am your woman, perhaps you manage a large department of Polish speaking professionals and you would like one or more of them to improve their English skills, I can help you get great quickly and cost-effectlively.

I also can teach Russian and Ukranian.

Extensive references available upon request.

Rate: zl 60/hour.
Lyzko 30 | 7,754
7 Aug 2015 #2
I noticed several usage errors, e.g. I am top rated vs. I am rated tops, or I can get them great vs. I can help them to improve in leaps and bounds etc...
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
7 Aug 2015 #3
I have never heard anyone say 'I am rated tops' L., ever.
Roger5 1 | 1,457
7 Aug 2015 #4
Top-rated is fine, Lyzko. ...by leaps and bounds sounds very old fashioned.
There are several errors in the op's post, but it shows what she can offer. And she's cheap.
OP ProfTeacher 1 | 14
7 Aug 2015 #5
Guys...such drama, and so quick to judge.

For what it's worth, I may be a great English teacher, but I am not a computer wizard...there is really nothing wrong in my post, but I did notice that a couple of commas there were meant to be periods (due to the keyboard I was using), as I had originally planned on saying "I can help you get great 'results' quickly" but the word 'results' was accidentally omitted. I tried to edit my post to make these corrections, but haven't been able to find an edit button within this thread/forum...so, c'est la vie: my post stands and I'm sure anyone that's relevant and real "gets it."

As for the goober-nerd who seems eager to belittle others with a debate over "top rated" vs. "rated tops," either phrasing could work, but top rated is more common and more natural in English. Otherwise, that guys also could use a grammar lesson or two, because it is incorrect to say "I can help them improve in leaps and bounds" -- the correct grammar there is "by leaps and bounds."

Just to be clear, for those who doubt my credentials as it relates to "top rated," after approximately 15 years at a prominent secondary school in Kiev, I was formally ranked with the highest qualifications (top salary for my position, highest ranking possible within their formal grading system, etc.).

Here in Warsaw, I have taught more than 500 students. Every student submits a formal review of their teacher following their course. The feedback from my employer is that I am among the top ranked teachers in the entire school...so that is statistically significant, and this is a large, leading, well-established, and highly regarded language school in Poland.

Anyway, if anyone here is genuinely looking for serious private language instruction, and not participating as sport for socially challenged adults, I look forward to working together.
Lyzko 30 | 7,754
7 Aug 2015 #6
Agreed that "by leaps and bounds" might sound somewhat old-fashioned to the new fangled out there among us in cyberland for whom even the 90's is ancient history:-) Other than that, "rated tops" as in for example "rated tops in one's field", is perfectly good, natural and idiomatic English.

It seems our Professional English Teacher knows the full outline of English grammar, it's the subtleties of the language which elude her slightly. Furthermore, it's no sin not to know something, it is however, either to gloss over the fact, or worse, pretend it's unimportant in the bigger picture.

Just a last point; big bloopers are only little pittling stuff that kept growing:-)
Wulkan - | 3,243
7 Aug 2015 #7
Guys...such drama, and so quick to judge.

Yep, this place is infested by the English teachers with very low self-esteem.

I think, your native Russian and Ukrainian is the key to success in teaching, especially in Poland these days.
Lyzko 30 | 7,754
7 Aug 2015 #8
Don't think I was trying to belittle your training in any way. I've merely had years of experience as a university-trained English lecturer myself and have frequently encountered other foreign-born/trained instructors who showed little modesty about their second-language English skills, that's all. I also teach German at the college level and have only been met with continued surprise that I, a non-native German speaker (despite bilingual abilities!) can even think to teach a language not my mother tongue. The difference therefore between your teaching English as a professional teacher and graduate of Kiev University and I a Columbia graduate, is all a question of perception;the average American still has a reputation for being under- or plain uneducated compared with the average European. The stereotype cuts both ways, incidentally

I trust some of those errors in your post were merely typos, as by same token, was my "in" instead of the correct "by" leaps and bounds:-)
Smileitout
8 Aug 2015 #9
I think you are all missing the point of 'language' which is to be able to communicate, not be an object of perfection!

I am Australian, I worked in the corporate/business world for 8 years in Australia and also studied teaching at university (which in Australia requires a very high level of proper English knowledge and use). I taught general and business English in Poland for four years. So as a person who ought to know, I am telling you all that your English is great! Any native English speaker encountering a conversation or business dealings with you would have zero problems understanding you. And isn't that the point? What's more, most of the mistakes you have all made are not grammar related but are rather, 'just not how it's said when native' - there are no 'rules' one must know or learn for this, it's just a matter of lots of experience dealing with native speakers. Having said that, both non-native and native English speakers would be impressed by you all!

From my experience Polish people are very nervous and quite stressed when having to speak in English - most told me this is because they are afraid of saying something incorrectly. Isn't it any wonder the way you treat each other. You are too harsh on each other! The people in a position to judge - native speakers, would never feel less of a non-native speaker making errors and most non-native speakers would probably make the same mistakes as you all.

Even when dealing with the most corporate business' of very high standards, most native speakers would forgive errors both oral and written. Actually I've never met a business person who wouldn't. So why beat each other and yourselves up about reaching perfection? Just relax, practice and you will improve over time - you don't have to be perfect NOW, not even as an English teacher. We all know that any chance to speak a language helps and as a non-native English teacher you are giving your students the opportunity to do this. I worked along side Polish English teachers very harmoniously and respected what they did even if they were not perfect.

NOT KNOWING THE NUANCES IS NOT IMPORTANT - native speakers do not expect this from you, business people or otherwise. We do not expect this from Polish English teachers, Polish business people or anyone else.

Your biggest critics are your fellow Polish people...how sad. You drum up business for native speakers taking this business away from yourselves as you instill a mistrust in the people of Polish English teachers by judging them so harshly. Polish people see this and think it must be true. You are your own worst enemies.

ProfTeacher, your ability to convey 'confidence' in English is very important to your potential business clients. Business is not often 'modest'. Do you think a Polish salesman or saleslady would want to learn to speak 'modestly' about his or her offerings? I think not! I taught many salesmen and women in Poland and they wanted to learn how to speak with confidence about their company and products. Don't be put off posting/selling yourself in this manner, it shows what you can offer!

Just a few things I noticed:

Top-rated generally refers to an object/product, not a service or person.

Never say 'by leaps and bounds', it is 'in leaps and bounds'. This is not old fashioned! It says a lot to an English person in only a few words and is very commonly used.

'Masters' degree, not 'master' degree.

'perhaps' should always be followed by an 'if so', or 'then' - 'perhaps you are hungry? If so, I can help.'

'I can also' never 'I also can'.

'Infested by', not 'infested with'

'a language other than my mother tongue'.

Feel free to critique my post, it is good practice for you all. I won't be offended in the least!
InPolska 11 | 1,821
8 Aug 2015 #10
@Prof: Hi! Please realize that there are tons of native speakers of English (including many who are well qualified and experienced) in Warsaw and in most cities and towns in Poland and when the choice, Poles always choose native speakers and it's normal. If I wanted to learn Swedish for instance, I would not hire a Greek or a Malaysian instructor. People want to learn the REAL language, with the right pronounciation, with the idioms.

Since you are a native of Russian, do look in that area. I'm not sure there is a lot of work in Ukrainian but most probably no problem to find teaching work in Russian.

If you mean to teach English, try to find Russians/Ukrainians who would prefer to learn English with someone speaking their language.

PS: what about translating?
Roger5 1 | 1,457
8 Aug 2015 #11
critique my post

OK

Never say 'by leaps and bounds'

not 'infested with'

Masters' degree,

Wrong, wrong and wrong.
Smileitout
8 Aug 2015 #12
Yes Roger - it is 'infested with'...not 'infested by' I wrote that the wrong way around :)
OP ProfTeacher 1 | 14
8 Aug 2015 #13
Never knew so many people would have so much time to do nothing...

I've reviewed my post with multiple native English speakers and they all think it's fine, even great...

I am quite comfortable in my ability and capabilities: as I said, I have more than 20 years experience teaching English and indeed have been top rated (as in #1) by the organization(s) for which I have worked...and also, I have received extensive superior reviews from my clients (which likely goes into driving the positive ratings from my employers). I have effectively taught English students of all types: businessmen/women, spouses, children, etc.

What makes good language teachers is not their extensive knowledge of every little subtlety of the language, but their ability to connect with their students, inspire them, understand them (understand the way they learn, their frustrations, stresses, sensitivities, etc.) -- perhaps, as much as anything, to help students feel as comfortable as possible so that they can relax and learn best (it's true, many Polish students feel stressed about making mistakes and the ability to help them relax goes a long way to helping them learn and succeed). I am sure my personal and professional demeanor helps a lot in this regard.

Thanks to those who have offered encouragement and support, but I suspect these forums have few potential English students, although there could be some ex-pats who manage departments within large Polish companies which could benefit from English instruction for some if their members. Best to all. SG
Lyzko 30 | 7,754
8 Aug 2015 #14
@Professional,

Once more, it was far from my intention to appear condescending. I was merely pointing out the double standard often found these days in the ESL field. While I can already see that your English is more than adequate to teach foreigners English, as is my German more than adequate to teach German to native Anglophones, in both of our respective cases, it is in no way perfect enough to teach our respective second languages to NATIVE speakers of either English or German!

To be sure, standards throughout the English-speaking world have changed dramatically over the past decades, since about the early '80's. Before that, the most someone such as yourself could have hoped for in the pedagogic area would have been as an instructor/professor of Russian and/or Ukrainian at one of the better colleges here in the States, e.g. Middlebury, which still has a fine foreign language program:-) Hire you as a freshman English instructor at any of these institutions with a tenure track prior to 1970?? Keep dreamin' kid!

The most you might expect is, for example as a professor of world literature, where frankly, knowledge of the finer points of written English style isn't paramount. Tough though for most non-native speakers to judge the subtelty and or nuance of Chaucerian and Shakespearean vs. Spencerian verse etc. Probably only an authentically bilingual native English speaker could do that effectively.
Englishman 2 | 278
8 Aug 2015 #15
As a person who is 100% British, born to British parents, always had the UK as my main home, I agree with Smileitout (with the possible exception, as someone else pointed out, that 'infested with' is more commonplace than 'infested by', which he or she subsequently corrected). Despite hailing from a country to which we sent our convicts, Smileitout is a native English speaker and his/her observations are correct.

As InPolska pointed out, while the OP's English is very good, it isn't quite at the level of an idiomatically correct native speaker, plenty of whom live in Poland's main cities and provide English language lessons. So it may be that the OP would achieve more success teaching and translating to and from Russian, that being his or her own tongue.
Vincent 9 | 863 Moderator
8 Aug 2015 #16
As InPolska pointed out, while the OP's English is very good, it isn't quite at the level of an idiomatically correct native speaker, plenty of whom live in Poland's main cities and provide English language lessons. So it may be that the OP would achieve more success teaching and translating to and from Russian, that being his or her own tongue.

The OP said

I have been living in Warsaw for 6 years, teaching English, Russian, and Ukrainian privately and full time at a prominent foreign language school in Warsaw.

I am top rated by my students and clients.

and

I am quite comfortable in my ability and capabilities: as I said, I have more than 20 years experience teaching English and indeed have been top rated (as in #1) by the organization(s) for which I have worked.

also

Here in Warsaw, I have taught more than 500 students.

The OP must be doing something right, and I'm sure she doesn't need advice from you, or anyone else who thinks they can do better than her. It's her classified and she is not asking any of you for advise on her teaching skills. Come back when you have the same trap record as the OP, and we can discuss your skills some more.
InAmerica
8 Aug 2015 #17
while the OP's English is very good, it isn't quite at the level of an idiomatically correct native speaker

(lol, consider the source that stated that)
It is much better then yours by far as well as most the Brits that post on this forum.
Plus ProfTeacher is in the upper 1% of the educated people that post on this forum without a doubt.
Hope you guys don't run ProfTeacher out of here with your insults.

As for the goober-nerd who seems eager to belittle others with a debate

Ignore them ProfTeacher, that is their style. They all suffer from very low self esteem.
You are a major threat to them when it comes to comparing your experience in teaching, your education, your
professional demeanor, your intelligence and your maturity.
These self proclaimed English teachers are junior varsity compared to you.
I can just imagine the reviews of their students.
Is there a doubt who would get the job if a major company was hiring a professional English teacher......You or one of them.....It would be you hands down.

As a person who is 100% British, born to British parents, always had the UK as my main home,

We feel your pain. Hopefully you will be able to escape your suffering when you get older.
Englishman 2 | 278
8 Aug 2015 #18
@ Vincent, the difference is that I'm not marketing myself as a teacher of English to Poles or other foreign nationals. I'm just supporting others in pointing out that while her English is easily understood, it isn't idiomatically perfect. That may not matter to most potential clients, but some might be concerned by it.

@ InAmerica, are you seriously suggesting that ProfTeacher's English is better than mine? Or that yours is? I'm a native speaker, from the mother country rather than a former colony.
Vincent 9 | 863 Moderator
8 Aug 2015 #19
Vincent, the difference is that I'm not marketing myself as a teacher of English to Poles or other foreign nationals

True, which makes me think (although you might speak and write good English) you might not have teaching skills, and your advise to the OP is irreverent.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
9 Aug 2015 #20
You'll, do realize that oral skills are crucial in case of a language teacher. Students expect the right pronounciation and a correct accent from their teachers and that's the reason why a (qualified and experienced) native shall always have priority over a non native. In Warsaw, there are tons of native teachers of English, including a lot who are qualified and experienced. Even backpackers which no qualifications get hired with no problem and most clients shall prefer a native teacher over a Russian teacher.

I have met tons of NON natives teaching languages (not only English...) in Poland and I daresay that let's say 99% of them did not know the language very well (not to mention bad pronounciation, thick foreign accent..).

The OP is Russian so her best bet would be to work in Russian (including translating). Her chances of teaching English in Warsaw are rather slim since too many English speakers, who always shall have priority (normal!). The proof that her chances are limited since she needs to advertize in PF. After 20 years of successful teaching, including years in Warsaw, I don't understand why she has no network to rely on.

PS: has the OP lived in English speaking countries and if so, where and most important how long? Personally I would not trust a language teacher who have never lived where target language is spoken (I have met such teachers in Wasaw ;)).
Vincent 9 | 863 Moderator
9 Aug 2015 #21
I take it you mean pronunciation.

What about Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English teachers, don't they have accents? What about every county in England and most cities within these counties, don't they have accents? Farther more how many foreign people have you met, who speak good English, but have a foreign accent? I have met people from all over Europe and was amazed by their standard of English, but they all had one thing in common, each had a foreign accent. My point is, if you can communicate with someone speaking their language it doesn't matter if you have an accent. It must be a shock for Polish people when they have completed a language course with one of your 'native speakers', then meet someone speaking English who is a native from Wolverhampton, Glasgow, Newcastle Liverpool etc, etc..
InPolska 11 | 1,821
9 Aug 2015 #22
@Vincent: of course, they are a lot of varieties of English accents but they are all NATIVES contrary to the OP who is not. Has she ever lived in any English speaking country and if so, how long? Whether you like it or not, qualified and experienced natives (not only of English but of all languages) shall always have priorities and you cannot deny it. When no native available (which I doubt as regards to English), Polish clients shall request POLISH instructors. Why taking someone from Russia when Poles can do similar work? She could teach English to Russians who'd prefer to deal with someone knowing their language and therefore able to know what problems they'll encounter.

Besides native pronounciation and accent, a native teacher shall know idioms and about everyday's culture and lifestyle.

Also, if the OP claims to have taught 500 students, has been working for "top schools" in Warsaw, I don't understand why she does not have a network and why she needs to advertize in PF. All (good) teachers after one or two years have great network through which they find a lot of work and very often have to refuse work because too much (or too far...).

To summarize, since competition with native speakers of English too fierce in Warsaw (other big cities in Poland too) and the OP is a Russian native, what's wrong with teaching Russian? She could also translate and even consider working in an international company using her Russian skills (I know 2 Russians who do in American companies and they are very happy). There are a lot of opportunities for the OP in Warsaw thanks to her (not only language, but also cultural) Russian skills.
Vincent 9 | 863 Moderator
9 Aug 2015 #23
Besides native pronounciation and accent

Are you still under the impression that there is only one pronunciation and accent in the UK? If so, you'll be in for a shock should you ever venture to these islands.

Also, if the OP claims to have taught 500 students, has been working for "top schools" in Warsaw, I don't understand why she does not have a network and why she needs to advertize in PF. All (good) teachers after one or two years have great network through which they find a lot of work and very often have to refuse work because too much (or too far...).

Perhaps money is the factor, you can't blame someone wanting to earn a bit more cash, especially if schools are closed for the summer. Anyway the OP didn't ask for advice, it was merely an advert in the classifieds, and not really our business.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
9 Aug 2015 #24
@Vincent: when OP says that she has taught 500 students, she does NOT say English (but Russian, Ukrainian, and 3rd place English). English is therefore NOT her no.1 subject and completely normal that in a place like Warsaw with several hundred (including qualified and experienced) native speakers of English she cannot find much teaching work in English.

Sorry but from her initial message, I understand that she seems desperate for work (since she's not new in Warsaw).

@Vincent: language schools don't close in summer. A lot of clients continue their lessons and (few) summer courses are assigned to teachers that are good and already working for the school for some time. All teachers do know that summer is a slow period and therefore they organize money for the summer. Good teachers work all the time and therefore can save enough for the 3 summer months, July, August and September.

Obviously you don't 1. live in Warsaw (or Poland) and 2. know about language teaching in Poland. Believe me, someone who's been teaching full time in Warsaw for years and who is considered a great teacher, always has work (and often more than what they can handle).
Polsyr 6 | 769
9 Aug 2015 #25
someone who's been teaching full time in Warsaw for years and who is considered a great teacher, always has work (and often more than what they can handle).

I agree with this statement. The best language teachers seem to be in high demand all the time.

But I disagree with the generalization that you have to be a "native speaker" of a language to teach it properly. For example, the best Arabic language teacher I met in Warsaw is a Pole, not an Arab. She was born and raised in Warsaw and learned Arabic as an adult (in several Arabic-speaking countries from native speakers). I don't know how familiar you are with Arabic, but it is significantly harder than English to learn as a second language. It takes talent, patience and instinct to be a good teacher - not just proper pronunciation. This teacher could comfortably teach a student not less than 9 Arabic regional dialects in addition to formal Arabic.
OP ProfTeacher 1 | 14
9 Aug 2015 #26
The OP has a life and also has to get in some zzz's every once in a while.

No, I'm not looking for advice on how to teach English (or languages)...my experience and track record speak volumes on that front. For those that seem to have a hard time reading and paying attention: my degree is in English Instruction, not Russian, Polish, Chinese, or even Ukrainian. While I am qualified to teach Russian and Ukrainian, the vast majoring of my teaching has been in English. Over the past 6 years, the vast majority of my students have been Polish, although I've had a spattering of students from all over, including the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and even the Far East.

As I have already said, the key to being an effective teacher is less about the nuances and subtleties of the language (not that my English has any relevant flaws) and more about the nuances and dynamics of the student(s): how to bring out the best in a student is more an art than a science, but also takes experience.

As for why I am advertising on these boards, and/or looking for additional work, it's surprising that's something I would have to defend...I'd think most of the enterprising foreigners on these boards would understand and respect someone looking for opportunities to generate supplement income in their profession. My contract with my school allows me to pursue and undertake private instruction independent of my employer. For those that are clueless: independent private instruction pays more than teaching classes arranged by my school. That should come as no surprise. And no, such opportunities are not necessarily easily or readily obtainable...I may be a terrific teacher; I suspect I'm not much of a marketer. Frankly, I'm just starting to make more of an effort on that front, hence my posts here, although this seems like a waste of time, given the blathering nincompoops that seem to populate these forums...although I do appreciate the few earnest and sincere stalwarts that have offered support and encouragement. Thank you.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
9 Aug 2015 #27
@Polsyr: for sure, good teachers after let's say 1 year have plenty (usually too much during academic year) work and thanks to their network, they don't need to look for work as schools and individual clients contact them through other people etc... Therefore, I'm "shocked" that OP after 6 years of successful teaching in Warsaw has no network to rely on.

As to your Pole teaching Arabic may have great methods but I'm sure that his/her language skills were not at the same level of a native Arabic speaker. To be a good teacher, both are needed: a native level of language knowledge + good (not only methodology but also personal) skills. I too have met Poles with good methods but nevertheless they were weak in the language(s) they taught.

Trust me, in Warsaw, there is no shortage of native English teachers, including a lot who are well qualified and experienced and they have most and the best jobs. This is so for all languages; most students want (qualified) natives even if natives are more expensive (sometimes twice as much).

I'm not saying that the OP cannot not find work to teach English but since fierce competition with native speakers (+ Poles who have the same skills as she does), it is not obvious and therefore she should concentrate on Russian (what I would do, great opportunities here for Russian).

Has she ever lived in an English speaking country and if so, how long?

@ProfTeacher: why don't you apply to university and to government institutions dealing with international affairs? Your background could be useful there.
OP ProfTeacher 1 | 14
9 Aug 2015 #28
I think the money is in private enterprise/large corporations. Those employers will also respond best to my abilities and capabilities. I think you guys have convinced me I should go up on my private rate to ZL 100.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
9 Aug 2015 #29
Yes but as a NON native, you'll come always after qualified natives.
As to private lessons, I don't think you can charge 100 ZL for an hour. An American friend of mine, who is qualified and has a lot of experience charges 80 ZL for 60 minutes and she has tons of students).

@ProfTea: why don't you prepare a list of all people who have dealt with at work and who could help you and contact them? You just tell them that you are looking for work and they'll let people around them know about you. This would be work better and faster than posting in some random forum.

I meant "YOU have dealt with" ;).
Englishman 2 | 278
9 Aug 2015 #30
True, which makes me think (although you might speak and write good English) you might not have teaching skills, and your advise to the OP is irreverent.

I don't claim to have any teaching skills; but then, I'm not marketing myself as a teacher. My point was simply that the OP, though she may be a fantastic teacher, is a good rather than great English speaker, since I and others can tell from what she writes that she is not using the language to a native standard.

BTW I think you mean 'irrelevant' rather than 'irreverent' :-)


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