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Native Speakers increasingly desperate? Polish and African teacher forcing down wages..


Peter&Paul
14 Oct 2011 #1
A friend in a large Poznań language school told me of a Native Speaker being fired for listing the school's corporate clients in his CV as his own...

According to her, Natives are having a tough time with quality Polish teachers of English and Africans forcing down wages...

So what's going on ?? Are they all desperate?
hythorn 3 | 580
14 Oct 2011 #2
So what's going on ?? Are they all desperate?

I do not know but you are trolling, you little rascal

go and play in the road
PWEI 3 | 612
14 Oct 2011 #3
a Native Speaker being fired for listing the school's corporate clients in his CV as his own

Fairly stupid to do that. Just writing "Clients I have taught include" gets exactly the same info across.

From what I see (I've been pretty much away from the coalface for a couple of years), those teachers are exactly what is driving top-end wages up: people are noticing that with lessons one can pay almost any amount but people are learning that one tends to very get what one pays for. And the smarter teachers are adjusting their rates accordingly.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
14 Oct 2011 #4
I do not know but you are trolling, you little rascal

Actually...he might not be.

I'm hearing from several different people that things are very, very difficult this year in Poznan.

A friend in a large Poznań language school told me of a Native Speaker being fired for listing the school's corporate clients in his CV as his own...

What the truth is that he was probably being paid too much money - and they wanted to cut costs.

According to her, Natives are having a tough time with quality Polish teachers of English and Africans forcing down wages...

Indeed, more and more decent Polish teachers (who can also explain things in the students native language), an oversupply of Brits and Americans and Africans willing to work in small schools for crap money (I know someone who has a highly educated Nigerian with a not bad accent working for 20zl an hour!) - all combines to a problem.

The problem isn't helped by all the "konwersacje" jokers who will work for 25zl an hour because their girlfriend demands that they live here.

What's surprising (and I've never had this before) was that this year, I've been asked by several people to help them find work. That's not normal at all - though - one thing is clear - females are still massively in demand. You can find a British guy easily, but it's still very hard to find a British female with a clear accent. I know two of them - and I'm not sure that there's any others.
hythorn 3 | 580
14 Oct 2011 #5
Actually...he might not be.

perhaps not but I my spidey senses always tingle when them there anonymous posters start threads
Lyzko
14 Oct 2011 #6
What's sometimes embarrassing is when the Polish native speaker teaching English, is unsure themselves and must then ask a student who may not know the correct answer either LOL

What's a poor Polish English learner to do?
PWEI 3 | 612
14 Oct 2011 #7
What's a poor Polish English learner to do?

Pay for a better teacher. That is why decent teachers love terrible teachers.

More like girls in the UK would never go for a Polish guy.

That might explain why expat women usually don't stay long here.
sdgsadgsa
14 Oct 2011 #8
More like girls in the UK would never go for a Polish guy.

I guess that has more to do with the pattern that is observed virtually in every culture: women do not hook up with men whom they consider financially inferior.

Pay for a better teacher. That is why decent teachers love terrible teachers.

Myself I had great Polish teachers of English. A level of proficiency in English is not something very difficult to achieve. And let's be honest - like 99% of students never reach the level where they would pay for a professional native speaker. Even when they do achieve this level - they are simply better off watching English TV, movies, reading books, newspapers, socializing on forums, or just going to work there.

Not to mention that Polish natives are able to explain some confusing issues better.
So I think you are just trying to advertise something here, something for which there will never be much demand.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
14 Oct 2011 #9
Polish natives are able to explain some confusing issues better.

Only if they have a deep and correct understanding of how English works.

A level of proficiency in English is not something very difficult to achieve.

99% of learners would disagree.

fired for listing the school's corporate clients in his CV as his own...

Fair enough.

Are they all desperate?

No.
PWEI 3 | 612
14 Oct 2011 #10
So I think you are just trying to advertise something here, something for which there will never be much demand.

The demand for what I do far outstrips the supply of people who can do the work. Clients come to me.
Lyzko
14 Oct 2011 #11
I'll grant you that often times a non-native speaker is able to explain things far better than a native when teaching beginners, for example. On the other hand, when it comes to the fluent, above all, culturallly fluent code-switching of idiomatic flavor in the targe language, I must put in for the sanctity of the native, for whom his/her native language is "natural"!!

Undoubtedly, one can always find an exception to the rule-::)
RevokeNice 15 | 1,859
14 Oct 2011 #12
Nigerian with a not bad accent working for 20zl an hour!

How did he get into the EU?
sdgsadgsa
14 Oct 2011 #13
The demand for what I do far outstrips the supply of people who can do the work. Clients come to me.

You mean private English lessons? Do you have special teaching qualifications? British or American English? Which part of Poland, size of the city etc. :)
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
14 Oct 2011 #14
Indeed, more and more decent Polish teachers (who can also explain things in the students native language),

i suspect part of the problem is more and more native speakers who can't explain grammar in any language. hence 'conversation', which carries little value.
Lyzko
14 Oct 2011 #15
Correct. This then compounds the problem of how to maintain good English in Poland. It seems a self-repeating cycle of never-ending mediocrity.
PWEI 3 | 612
14 Oct 2011 #16
You mean private English lessons?

No.

Do you have special teaching qualifications?

Yes: that is why I was invited to train Polish teachers in Poland.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
14 Oct 2011 #17
How did he get into the EU?

Usual route - bullshit private "university" followed by "deep love" with an ugly Polish girl.

i suspect part of the problem is more and more native speakers who can't explain grammar in any language. hence 'conversation', which carries little value.

That too. You only need to look at half the jokers on here to see that they haven't got a clue of what English grammar is - even that one clown who said "grammer" :/
scottie1113 7 | 898
14 Oct 2011 #18
My grammer is dead. Sorry. Bad joke.

i suspect part of the problem is more and more native speakers who can't explain grammar in any language.

If you want a native speaker (American) who can explain grammar, sit in on my classes.

perhaps not but I my spidey senses always tingle when them there anonymous posters start threads

Mine too. I don't think anyone should be able to start a thread until they've registered, but admin doesn't agree with, so usually I ignore their threads, but I couldn't pass on this one.
mafketis 29 | 10,009
14 Oct 2011 #19
I don't have direct experience (since I stay out of the private school/lesson field) but what's probably happening is a simple reversal of supply and demand.

When there weren't many native speakers around at all there was no problem in finding work. A native speaker with good Polish skills almost had to beat customers off with a stick.

There's a _lot_ less demand for what a native speaker with no special training can offer and an increasing supply of "native speakers" with no special training since "english teaching" is about the only field a native speaker with weak or no Polsh skills can find work in.

Also by now, the working assumption of most Polish people is that a native speaker of English who can't speak Polish (or who isn't even learning) has no special training or is of less value than a Polish teacher with a diploma or two.

Also since Poland is (unusually) doing relatively well economically in comparison with a lot of Europe Polish people feel more culturally confident and deferring to native speakers just for being native speakers is less tempting and the pressure for resident anglophones to learn functional (or better) Polish will continue and increase.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
14 Oct 2011 #20
If you want a native speaker (American) who can explain grammar, sit in on my classes.

I actually wonder if people like you won't become massively in demand sooner rather than later - while everyone can get a 20-something native speaker who is only here because of some girly (and who has no commitment to staying in the place) - not everyone can get someone who actually knows his stuff and who has lived life, so to speak.

A native speaker with good Polish skills almost had to beat customers off with a stick.

Still the case, I think. So few of them can actually speak Polish to a decent standard that it's likely that the ones that can explain English in Polish can still name their price.

Also by now, the working assumption of most Polish people is that a native speaker of English who can't speak Polish (or who isn't even learning) has no special training or is of less value than a Polish teacher with a diploma or two.

I had this discussion yesterday with a very experienced Polish teacher (who has the diplomas to back it up) - and we came to the conclusion that there's just no point in hiring a native these days, unless you actually want to go from "great" to "perfect".

The only thing I've found as being a "difference-maker" in over 3 years was that I could teach a class on things like business and law without needing to do much preparation - whereas a Polish teacher would have to sit down and learn the specific terminology. Most Polish teachers do tend to be quite poor in terms of specialist vocabulary.

(just thankful that I've chosen to specialise in teaching kids and get papers in that direction....)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Oct 2011 #21
African teacher? Which one? Driving down wages? I think sb is having a laugh here.
hythorn 3 | 580
15 Oct 2011 #22
Someone told me that there are quite a few black people in Poznan
it is because of them coming to the university and then settling down with local partners

Harlem it ain't :-)

but there are quite a few there it appears

Poznan is also reputed to be Poland's gay capital so it is one of the more tolerant Polish cities
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Oct 2011 #23
Still, who in their right mind would pay for an African teacher who is not from SA? That's just lunacy!
pawian 179 | 16,382
15 Oct 2011 #24
Polish teachers have another major advantage. Most of them teach in Polish schools, so they know how to prepare a pupil/student to various exams. It is crucial in case of high school final exam.

2012 new matura exam
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Oct 2011 #25
Very good point, pawian. They know what it's all about.
hythorn 3 | 580
15 Oct 2011 #26
i have a good friend who is Nigerian who is teaching in Warsaw at the moment
his English is great but lordy his accent is strong
Trevek 26 | 1,702
15 Oct 2011 #27
It's not so much the Polish teachers are driving the wages down, more a case that there are a lot of teachers, less students and schools can force the wages down.

The school I work for refuses to drop wages, but it has also had to lay off a few teachers or give less hours all round.

i suspect part of the problem is more and more native speakers who can't explain grammar in any language. hence 'conversation', which carries little value.

I think there was also a change in the way language teachers were trained, a couple of years ago. As I understand it, anyone taking teacher training as a language teacher also had to undergo at least a year or two at university level (Might have just been a local thing), so the days of a history teacher with a FCE being an EL teacher are fading.


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