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Advice on Teaching English in Poland


scottie1113 7 | 898
24 May 2015 #691
My basic mistake? ? Not at all. In eight years here, I have only communicated with students or their parents who speak English. Handicap? Not at all. I have or have had many "high-quality" students. My Polish is good enough to communicate with any prospective students or their parents, but since I don't/won't teach children, that's a moot point. They come to me-I don't advertise-because they want to improve their English, not speak Polish. I don't have enough free time in my schedule to accommodate all the requests I have, and they have all come in English.

You're just wrong to maintain this position, even for the OP, who isn't going to get any private students in his first year.
DominicB - | 2,709
25 May 2015 #692
I stand by what I said. If you disagree, fine by me.
jon357 66 | 16,187
25 May 2015 #693
Not being able to speak Polish is a major handicap as far as marketing to high-quality students is concerned.

No no no.

Many have a portfolio of private and corporate students without speaking Polish. I do speak the language but when I was in EFL in Poland, I never needed to. Not to people in-company (the ones you deal with don't tend to have employers as in some foul cow from HR who needs to approve costs - they have their own budget) or the delightful lady from HR wants to speak English to you herself (and you're maybe teaching her anyway). Same with the parent thing - I chose never to do minors except as the odd favour to someone I knew (who I was probably teaching anyway).

When it came to sales negotiations - during that period I didn't teach and in any case employed a salesman. The billing etc was simple and any discussions were almost invariably in english.

I can think of plenty of people who make a good living as freelance trainers here in Poland with little or no English.
Kosm - | 2
25 May 2015 #694
From personal experience, I can second that. Although speaking Polish is an advantage, it is by no means a necessity.

Where it is useful is
1) some students appreciate it when you can translate a Polish word on the spot,
2) writing an ad, but you can get a Polish friend to do this, and
3) for more sophisticated corporate engagements - whereby as Jon357 said, you could hire an associate

Can't for the life of me think of another reason you would need Polish to build up clientele. Most have been to school and can speak English pretty well and will contact you to brush up on their speaking skills.
Lyzko 29 | 7,107
24 Jun 2015 #695
Still, I only wonder how someone can ever truly get what Poles, for that matter any foreigner, are honestly saying in a language not their mother tongue. When I tried it in Germany, where I taught English for a while by the way, I became so frustrated I had to switch back to German. Despite vociferous protests from my interlocutors, I simply found that too much was lost in poor, makeshift translation.

In Poland, I always gave my Polish partner the benefit of the doubt. Usually though, I'd end up being polite, nodding acquiescently and then walking away shaking my head. And these guys were the ones considered "above-average" fluent:-)
Hellboy15 1 | 11
30 Jul 2015 #696
Throbbing thread this one ! Very concerned about the references to I to I tefl. I did a level 5 which was very thorough and the awarding body is Pearson who work with most major colleges.It is less well known at the moment but it is a properly qua'd qualification due to the teaching experience aspect contained within.Anyway , Krakow or Lublin ? I teach construction, plastering and tiling, but also have the aforesaid teaching English qual.

I like the country life but I also like to make enough money to cover the bills. Calm advice please, I know about Google and am going to do some recon personally on the ground . I don't speak Polish but am willing to learn.
Lyzko 29 | 7,107
30 Jul 2015 #697
You darn well better, or your stay in Poland may be pleasant, but limited!
True, the "universal language" of sex knows no cultural barriers, we trust you're interested in other stuff apart from simply screwing around, as the phrase goes:-)
jon357 66 | 16,187
30 Jul 2015 #698
Pearson LCCI is a very respectable qualification, however yes, it's unfortunately not well known in Poland. You should print off a qualifications equivalent table and attach it to your CV. You should also think about the British Council because frankly with the level 5 you are better qualified in TEFL than some of their Poland staff. Also, no need to mention I-I on your CV; just LCCI (use the full name as well as the initials) Pearson and Mention the QCF connection. You could also stress that it's the equivalent to a Polish licencjat.

As for the Kraków/Lublin thing, Kraków is in my opinion overrated and touristy but a much bigger city. Lublin is friendlier and there is less competition for teaching jobs however it isn't for the easily bored.

What about Warsaw?
Liz713 - | 2
28 Oct 2016 #699
I'm currently interviewing for jobs in Poland. Does anyone have any up to date information on SJO LANG English Study Centre and/or York School of English? Are they reputable and worth moving for?
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
28 Oct 2016 #700
one thing Liz, if they are recruiting now, that probably means that a teacher started in September and has already left. you need to wonder why that is.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
28 Oct 2016 #701
oh and there is also the 'TEFL blacklist' which you can find by googling, it is very useful.
Liz713 - | 2
29 Oct 2016 #702
Thanks, I will check out the TEFL blacklist. Is it really so unusual for schools in Poland to hire outside of the start of the academic year - as in, should I be very concerned about the fact that they are hiring 'off-peak'? I'm currently teaching in Ukraine and my contract finishes in January.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
29 Oct 2016 #703
i dont really know Liz, just something to think about is all.
mafketis 24 | 8,889
29 Oct 2016 #704
Is it really so unusual for schools in Poland to hire outside of the start of the academic year

It can happen to anyone, what you want to look out for is schools where this happens a lot (hard to verify outside the country).

I'm currently teaching in Ukraine and my contract finishes in January.

How long have you been in Ukraine? Where? I would imagine that if you can manage to navigate things there then Poland won't be able to surprise you...

One potential problem with a blacklist depends on whether it names schools or people.... (the really shady operators are always opening "new" schools and/or putting them in relatives names).
TommyTomTom - | 3
13 Dec 2016 #705
Hello,
I'll be moving to Poland next year with my girlfriend while she does her Erasmus program in Poznan. I've been working in Spain the last two years as an English teacher, with a residency card that entitles me to travel freely throughout the Schengen zone. The plan is to continue teaching English in Poznan, either in an academy (if I can get a work visa) or as a private tutor (if I can't!). Can anyone advise me if it is a realistic plan to obtain a work visa in Poland -- perhaps being easier since I am already a resident of a European country -- or if I should abandon the hope and just plan on teaching private classes? Thanks, Tom
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
13 Dec 2016 #706
You don't say what your nationality is Tom...
TommyTomTom - | 3
13 Dec 2016 #707
Sorry -- I'm from the United States, but I have a Spanish residency card.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
13 Dec 2016 #708
Oh OK...well the person who could best advise you is DominicB although he will also be quite negative and tell you to forget teaching English and study STEM subjects blah blah...however he is also an American...:)

Honestly Tom I think you would be best off getting advice from google or the Polish embassy in Madrid...
mafketis 24 | 8,889
13 Dec 2016 #709
The only interpretation that matters is the foreigners office in the city he's going to. He should contact them.... anonymously he doesn't necessarily want to become a name they're on the lookout for before he arrives....


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