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Advice on Teaching English in Poland


passerby
14 Jan 2015 #661
He was talking about Poland, you're talking about Oman.......
DominicB - | 2,709
14 Jan 2015 #662
Indeed. If there are still any oases left for English teachers, they are outside of Europe.
Harry
14 Jan 2015 #663
28 years old, Portuguese

You need to ask yourself why a school here would want to hire a non-native speaker of English who doesn't speak fluent Polish.

but due to a multicultural education and social circle since childhood, it's safe to say that my english level is pretty much on par with a native's.

Er, um, how to put this kindly? It very much depends what kind of native you are speaking about.

Last month, I've sent my CV to several Language schools in the area

Present perfect simple with a defined point in the past?

I'm thinking of only considering a salary of at least 2500zl\3000zl net, for 20h\25h schedule. Is this unrealistic from my part? Am I selling myself short and should ask for more?

If you're talking about net salary, that's very much at the upper end of what a non-Polish non-native speaker with no professional qualifications or experience who is new in that city would be making.
jestemsexgoddes
14 Jan 2015 #664
ummmm no it really would not be safe to say that. Any native speaker would say 'Last month, I sent...'

also a native speaker would not say 'on par' they would say 'on a par'.
Just saying.
passerby
14 Jan 2015 #665
^incorrect
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
15 Jan 2015 #667
^incorrect

guess what it is impossible for me as a native speaker to be incorrect. LOL.
Thebert - | 4
21 Mar 2015 #668
Hi guys,

I've recently relocated to Krakow temporarily with the hope of participating in some volunteer work. I was more focused on directing my effort into teaching English. I am a recent Australian graduate in Civil Engineering, however I have no TEFL or CELTA. From research I am aware that the chances are extremely slim for someone like myself who has no teaching qualifications or experience to secure a paid job. However, I don't want to invest my time and money into completing a CELTA course if the job prospects are still going to be bleak at best.

Would my services be desirable for a grammar school to take me on?
Roger5 1 | 1,458
21 Mar 2015 #669
Could you clarify whether you are looking for a job or offering your services free of charge.
Lyzko 29 | 7,107
21 Mar 2015 #670
Advice on Teaching English in Poland

...slower, pleaseLOL

Seriously folks, anyone interested in teaching English in Europe should AVOID language schools and aim straight for the university track, both in terms of sheer standard as well as pay scale!!

I think that should already be a given, frankly.
Thebert - | 4
21 Mar 2015 #671
Roger5,

I am looking to volunteer. So I would be expecting to offer my services free of charge. Would this be something that a grammar school would be interested in? Or would they simply not bother seeing as I still have no qualifications or experience?
Roger5 1 | 1,458
21 Mar 2015 #672
I guess you could be used as a native model, in other words as a teaching assistant. Whether a school would or could make things formal is another thing altogether. You'd have to do the running around contacting schools and teachers, and offering to work with them. There's another live thread about volunteering to teach. Check out what jon has to say.
Lyzko 29 | 7,107
21 Mar 2015 #673
For my two cents worth, Europeans as a whole are really growing tired of native English speakers with zero target language skills or real (certified) qualifications trying to make quick money by teaching English under the umbrella of "I'm a native English speaker!"

I don't wish to sound nasty or anything, but when I was studying in Germany, the so-called English instructors at local language schools often entered the field solely to meet, flirt, and eventually bed down with German girls!
Thebert - | 4
21 Mar 2015 #674
Lyzko,

That does make perfect sense, especially in a place such as Poland where the girls are definitely nice on the eyes. However, being a volunteer I was hoping that I would be viewed as a person just genuinely trying to help out. If volunteering as an English teacher wasn't a possibility then I will have to explore other volunteer positions that may be available in the Krakow region.

Thanks for the help lads.
DominicB - | 2,709
21 Mar 2015 #675
Volunteering is not part of Polish culture, at least nowhere to the extent as it is in English speaking countries.

Your best bet would be to try the Jesuit junior high school in Kraków:

KOSTKA Publiczne Gimnazjum Jezuitów
im. Św. Stanisława Kostki w Krakowie
ul. Spółdzielców 5
30-682 Kraków
tel +48 12 655 09 24

Academic director:
Józef Rostworowski
nadzor@kostka.edu.pl
Lyzko 29 | 7,107
23 Mar 2015 #676
There you are! Better a regular highschool, college and the like instead of a bloody language school:-)
Thebert - | 4
23 Mar 2015 #677
Thanks guys, legends.

Did you guys happen to know of any other schools that I could try?
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
23 Mar 2015 #678
google is your friend my friend: eslbase.com/schools/poland
Lyzko 29 | 7,107
23 Mar 2015 #679
Again, target ESL- programs at grade schools aka elementary through junior high and/or college or university!!
AVOID the Berlitz or local-type language schools. Believe me, they're a royal rip off, most of 'em.

You presumably want a serious, rewarding experience teaching English in Poland ( as I had in Germany). Admittedly, times were different, but for me, I headed straight for the established schools also offering English classes:-)
Capetonian
18 May 2015 #680
Hey,

I am looking to spend 10-12 months teaching english in Poland. I have read a lot of this thread, and I understand that it is difficult to find work as an English teacher in Poland (especially major cities).

This is my background.

- I am from the UK and am currently living in Cape Town, South Africa.
- I have a 4 year undergrad in Finance and have job opportunities lined up, so I don't want to make this a career or live permanently in Poland.

- I am really passionate about teaching and have experience. I have spent the last four years teaching english privately with over 100 hours volunteering as a weekend teacher in a local highschool, and 300+ hours offering private tutoring lessons. I have also led professional communication courses.

- I have friends and connections in Poland, so should be able to find reasonable accommodation quite easily.
- I am not looking to make much money, just breakeven.
- I have a lot of experience advertising, networking and promoting private lessons.

Questions

- I get that CELTA is the way to go, but is it really worth the expense considering my situation? Is it worth paying $1400 when i could to a TEFL course for $600-$800 (i-to-i tefl)

- What is the reputation of i-to-i in Europe, I have friends who have found jobs easily enough with this certificate in Asia.
- Is it as difficult as this thread makes it out to be? I currently have a friend who is teaching english in Krakow without a bachelor degree, tefl certificate or any teaching experience other than being a native speaker...

Thanks!!
jon357 66 | 16,187
18 May 2015 #681
i to i doesn't have a reputation in Europe. As far as getting work with it is concerned you may as well print up a certificate on your computer and call it the BingBangBong teacher training institute. It will however give some people some insights into how to do the job, though they could probably get those from a 1 week taster course or just reading a good book. Same with TEFL International - might help in China (though they'll take anyone really) but not in Europe. They are not widely known in Poland. The price of the i-i course seems steep at the price compared to the CELTA - the price difference is far less than the difference in quality.

If you just want to be in Poland for a while, you could work in a method school (Google Callan and Berlitz). They take people without CELTA etc. your friend in Kraków perhaps works for one of those places - that or he's either very lucky or just muddling through at somewhere unpleasant to work, spooling out textbooks without actually teaching them much.

You mention that you have teaching experience. I would suggest that i-i wouldn't be much help to you. A CELTA would be better and is a good course to do. Cheaper in Kraków too.... Look into a College of Teachers online diploma (or the more advanced into that i-i do.

Be aware that they're getting very keen on work permits - you mention connections in PL - do you have citizenship of Poland or another EU country?

Looking again at the amount of experience you have, an i-i course would give you very little, except for making some things slot into place - the CELTA would do this far better and is reasonably priced in Kraków and Prague. Either that or as I said, look at a more advanced online course. Perhaps another adult training qualification. I did one (the C&G 7307) years ago and it has helped me much and often since.

That or just turn up - if you actually do know how to teach language you're in a better position that a lot of young people 'teaching' in Kraków (beware, the market is saturated there, Warsaw is better) and once you start doing some work, if the feedback shows that you are good, more work will follow.
Harry
18 May 2015 #682
I am from the UK and am currently living in Cape Town, South Africa.

Do you have a UK or other EU passport?

I get that CELTA is the way to go, but is it really worth the expense considering my situation?

Yes, very much so. Almost all of the better schools (i.e. the ones which pay at least the average and where there is at least a chance the owner won't try to rip you off) insist on CELTA or equivalent as minimum qualification.

i could to a TEFL course for $600-$800 (i-to-i tefl)

Don't waste your money: any school that will employ you on the basis you have an i-to-i tefl qualification will also employ you without that qualification.
mynameisbob 3 | 3
19 May 2015 #683
My advice here is to look at the big picture, as in your future career in teaching.

I would always recommend doing a CELTA because in ESL world it's trusted currency. Arguments aside on its real world validity and the ability to teach, a CELTA will always open many ESL employment doors. I even used it this year to secure online teaching jobs.

In other words a CELTA is not necessarily about you, but more about what employers want you to have.
DominicB - | 2,709
19 May 2015 #684
I am looking to spend 10-12 months teaching english in Poland.

You'll work about 8 1/2 months, and get paid for 30 weeks. The school year starts in the first or second week of October, and ends sometime in June. You will not be paid for the Christmas and two-week winter break, nor for holidays. Summer work is very difficult to get, and often paid at half the normal rate.

I am not looking to make much money, just breakeven.

That is the best you can expect.

I have a lot of experience advertising, networking and promoting private lessons.

For the amount of time you will be staying, building up a clientele of private students would probably be more trouble than it's worth, especially if you do not speak Polish.

I get that CELTA is the way to go, but is it really worth the expense considering my situation? Is it worth paying $1400 when i could to a TEFL course for $600-$800 (i-to-i tefl)

The Celta will reduce your monthly cash in hand by 600 PLN. That might mean that you will be in the red at the end of the school year.

You will need a CELTA to teach in a good school in the attractive cities for sure, like Warsaw, Kraków and Wrocław. Competition is fierce in Kraków and Wrocław, so avoid these cities.

Without a CELTA, it is unlikely that you will get hired by a good school in a desirable city. You might land a job in a Callan, Avalon, Direct Method or Berlitz school, but these are generally lousy schools with lousy conditions that pay peanuts, and sometimes not at all, so avoid these schools like the plague.

Without a CELTA, you might find a job off the beaten track somewhere in some small or mid-sized town like £omża, Augustów, Piła or Kielce. Finding openings there is a challenge. The advantages are that schools are desperate for teachers, that wages are about the same as in the bigger cities, and that the cost of living is considerably lower. The disadvantages are that if you are not satisfied with your school, there's often nowhere else to go, and that village life is not for everyone.

I have a 4 year undergrad in Finance and have job opportunities lined up, so I don't want to make this a career or live permanently in Poland.

Then why would you want to teach in Poland? It hardly seems like a logical choice. Either accept a job and start working, or spend your time beefing up your qualifications so that you can find a better job. At best, teaching in Poland would be an extended vacation after which you have nothing to show for it. At worst, you could end up in the red. You certainly have more attractive options for spending a gap year than teaching in Poland. Explore those.
Paladine 3 | 29
23 May 2015 #685
I am interested in teaching English in Lodz. I am a native English speaker who has been living in Poland in for 3 years (sadly I don't speak Polish as the environment I live in is English speaking). I have a degree in Applied Social Science and Information Services and have teaching experience (UK University) and onsite training experience (UK oil industry) but all that is in technology based courses. I would ideally be looking for something part time (maybe 20-25 hours per week) and already have PESEL and residency status.

If anyone knows anywhere in Lodz that might be interested please either send me a pm or reply to this post.
JollyRomek 7 | 481
23 May 2015 #686
Berlitz in Lodz are always looking for "teachers". That said, you may want to wait until July or August before applying. The season is about the finish.
Paladine 3 | 29
23 May 2015 #687
Thanks Jolly, I sent them an email. Do you know how much they pay and whether they hire you or you have to be self-employed?
jestesidiotka
23 May 2015 #688
paladine, why don't you just google 'English language schools in Lodz' ?
scottie1113 7 | 898
23 May 2015 #689
DominicB, why did you tell Capetonian that it would be hard to build up a clientele of private students without being able to speak Polish? While I agree with you that it would be hard to do in his/her first year here, I don't see that speaking or not speaking Polish would make any difference. I don't speak Polish with my prospective students. They come to me for English lessons, not conversations in Polish. Just curious.
DominicB - | 2,709
24 May 2015 #690
DominicB, why did you tell Capetonian that it would be hard to build up a clientele of private students without being able to speak Polish?

Your basic mistake is that you assume that you will communicating only with the students. You also have to communicate with their employers or their parents, who don't speak English. Not being able to speak Polish is a major handicap as far as marketing to high-quality students is concerned.


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