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Advice on Teaching English in Poland

Lonman 4 | 109
25 May 2009 #181
So I actually feel better now. Sounds like control is part of the battle and being prepared for questions the students put forward. Even though I am an American I never spent a great amount of time learning structure. If it sounded right and looked right on paper then I figured I was good to go.

As to sticky I would vote that this topic could be a sticky.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
25 May 2009 #182
Jamie, when was he around? A broad repertoire helps. If there's one thing that Callan did right, it was to shortcut the grammatical explanations. You simply don't have the luxury of fully teasing out all the strains of it. A few letters, a couple of teaching signs, and away I went.

For example, teaching transitive and intransitive. I used S V O and S V. Teaching passive voice, S V O in the active voice and the object becomes the subject in the passive voice, so, inversional arrows. Also, keep it visual when doing this, e.g I kicked the chair, label the parts, and then say the chair was kicked by me and show the switching. Show that the action passes from the subject, through the verb, to the object. Very easy.
frd 7 | 1,399
25 May 2009 #183
Jamie, when was he around?

It was 3 to 4 years ago, I'm not exactly sure, do you know him? I don't think he was teaching Callan, there was lots of grammar from time to time..
Seanus 15 | 19,674
25 May 2009 #184
I've been here for 4.5 years but I've never heard of him.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
25 May 2009 #185
i remember Jaimie he worked in Kato for a spell but then had enough of Profi and jetted to a different school-students loved him. Tall, thin, brown hair and i think one or two teeth out of place, is that him (don't think he ever did callan though, seemed the type to be dead set against that kind of thing)?
frd 7 | 1,399
25 May 2009 #186
Yeah, that's exactly him, he was mainly teaching in Kato from what I know, but I attended classes in Gliwice. From what I remember he moved to Spain or somewhere.. do you have any contact with him?
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
28 May 2009 #187
When he left he really did it like a pro, changed his number and flat and just plain vanished. I tend not to try to make friends with many expats here as they all just seem to leave in half a year anyhow.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
29 May 2009 #188
Most of them, For4, most of them :)
moonlight 6 | 103
18 Jun 2009 #189
Ok Im sure this has been asked many times before but OMG there is so much info on this site and I'm being a bit lazy :)

Just wondering what the general view is about ESL Bell...good, bad, avoid like the plague?
Seanus 15 | 19,674
20 Jun 2009 #190
Bell, a little pricey. Best avoided!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,163
21 Jun 2009 #191
Just wondering what the general view is about ESL Bell...good, bad, avoid like the plague?

Money is pathetic, as far as I know...
amit_m - | 29
2 Jul 2009 #192
I have been looking to enrol for a CELTA course in Sydney. I have a bachelors and a master’s degree in Business with 9 years of sales and marketing experience. Although I have studied English for 17 yrs ….I am not a native speaker…in terms of acquiring

local ascent (Even though I have lived in this country over 10 yrs). I called a couple of English schools in Eastern Europe especially Poland. The feed back was very disappointing even though I have a good command over this language and have studied this language for so many year (Grammar for 8-10 years in school, 5 yrs of creative writing).I have a strong feeling that I might be discriminated of not being a native speaker as I am looking for an employment opportunity towards eastern Europe. Your feedback will be deeply appreciated, as this shall help me to make my decision towards doing this course or not.

2 Jul 2009 #193
You will be discriminated against.

Your feedback will be deeply appreciated, as this shall help me to make my decision towards doing this course or not.

Save your money: the few places which will give a non-Polish non-native speaker will also hire completely unqualified teachers.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
3 Jul 2009 #194
Harry is right, many native speakers want to leave Britain and other places and they will be first in line.
3 Jul 2009 #195
they will be first in line.

And right behind them are the Polish teachers of English (who are properly qualified and no hassle to employ because they don't need work permits and can easily set up their own companies). And behind them will be properly qualified English teachers from countries like Ukraine (who find it much easier to get residency permits (at least for six months) and work permits).
Seanus 15 | 19,674
3 Jul 2009 #196
It's not that hard to set up your own company but it is easier for Poles. Properly qualified, LOL. You don't need 'proper' qualifications to do much of the teaching I've seen here. It's the hardest for American teachers due to the complicated document requirements.
3 Jul 2009 #197
It's the hardest for American teachers due to the complicated document requirements.

Canadians would disagree with you, what which them having to set up limited partnerships instead of the one-person companies which Yanks can set up

Properly qualified, LOL. You don't need 'proper' qualifications to do much of the teaching I've seen here.

Yes, but the point is that a qualified non-native speaker will get the job over a non-qualified non-native speaker.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
3 Jul 2009 #198
Maybe true, I've only known Polish-Canadians :)

Well, that's for sure :)
moonlight 6 | 103
10 Jul 2009 #199
I have been reading some other forums (oops) and I am begining to wonder if I have been foolish and naive. I was happy enough with the pay I was offered as I am an inexperienced teacher. I want to develop and gain experience so I also considered this when I was making my decision. Judging by the comments I have read (elsewhere, not on this forum) I am considered to be driving down prices by accepting this pay. I have to admit that pay is not a hugh worry for me as I will have income from another source also but this does not mean I want to or am willing to work for less that is appropriate.

As an inexperienced teacher what sort of wage is acceptable?
10 Jul 2009 #200
As an inexperienced teacher what sort of wage is acceptable?

Where? Here in Warsaw you should be asking at least 45zl per 45 minute lesson.
moonlight 6 | 103
10 Jul 2009 #201
The school is in Bydgoszcz. Oh good, that seems to be ok. Thanks. Sometimes I think it's a bad idea to read too much.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
19 Jul 2009 #203
50 is a little high in times of crises (or perceived at any rate). Lower it to 40 and you will get more custom and it works out better for them and for you.
20 Jul 2009 #204
No matter what you charge half the students will cancel with a few hours notice regularly because they are "sick" or had a sudden "holiday" crop up. Not a lot of personal responsibility here and if you institute measures like "pay in advance-no refunds" etc you will just lose clients. You are kind of at the mercy of their wishy-washiness if you want to keep a full list.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
20 Jul 2009 #205
That's very true. This kind of shi*e like, 'we'll be in touch', is annoying. They are a bonus if you can get them regularly but life isn't ideal. Also, the Poles have been suckered in by the so-called crisis. My friend, who relied on private lessons, had to head home because his well dried up.
20 Jul 2009 #206
Funny the ZL is strong again lately and they still all seem to have the same amount of overpriced jeans and the latest phones....but oh god "the crisis the crisis!"...they all buy it on credit anyway.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
20 Jul 2009 #207
I usually get my clothes from Lumpeks. I make a point of not buying expensive things but that isn't the general way with the people you are referring to. You just have to carve out your own way and not let people fob you off with this crisis BS.

I had an old Nokia mobile for over 3 years until it eventually packed in. I don't need anything flash. Teaching English here would allow me to but I'm practical. A phone allows me to call/message and a car gets me from A to B, no need for luxury items. The phone sits in my pocket when I teach and the car would sit in the car park so what's the point?

I haven't put anything on credit in my life. My J-phone (super cool, had to get one) was paid for by credit card but I didn't have to ask like it was a mortgage.
SeanBM 35 | 5,806
20 Jul 2009 #208
Seanus, every time I read your posts, they seem to contradict themselves.
That post above is a perfect example, everything you say is coherent up until the last two lines, which completely contradict what you have just said.

Maybe I am not reading you properly but this happens to me often when reading your posts.
mafketis 37 | 10,851
20 Jul 2009 #209
What I did (when I still did private lessons):

First, I always framed the interaction so that I wasn't attempting to obtain their business, they were attempting to obtain, and keep, my services.

Second, I told them my cancelation policy. (This was before the days of cellphones): Let me know X number of hours ahead of time or you're liable the money and further lessons will depend on being paid for the cancelled lesson. There was no negotiation here, just me setting out the conditions which they were free to accept or reject.

Third, I was a little .... lax in enforcement, which is expected here culturally. If a good customer, and good student, uncharacteristically cancelled I didn't dun them for money and might even turn down offers to pay "this time". If a flake who wasn't a good learner cancelled at the last minute, then I just didn't contact them again, _they_ had to contact _me_ which put things on a whole different ground.

A couple of extras:

Being able to speak Polish helps in finding and keeping private students; no matter what they say Polish students are reassured by a teacher who speaks Polish and tend to trust them more (in my case - native English speaker with no Polish family - it also served as proof that I knew something about language learning).

Also switching from Polish to English was a clear signal that the lesson had begun and switching back to Polish was a clear signal that the lesson was over. I wasn't a clock watcher in private lessons and was generous with time when I was there but when I was done, I was done.

Not caring about whether you gain or lose any particular student helps maintain a professional attitude. Learners are not reassured by a teacher who seems desperate for their business.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
20 Jul 2009 #210
It was a forced arrangement, Seanny. I had no option, I had to use a credit card as that's what my teaching company expressly stipulated. It was a different method of payment. Japan, being the country of VISA, operates with credit cards. I as good as had to get a mobile because we didn't have landlines in our NOVA flats and we might have had to cover for another teacher. They needed to be able to reach us somehow.

I was just saying that they were super cool as a btw statement :)

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