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The demand for English language learning in Poland is at an all time low


welshguyinpola 23 | 463
24 Sep 2011 #1
A number of my colleaguers who are teachers are having trouble finding teaching jobs this year. They say the demand for English language learning is at an all time low. I have been out of the teaching game for a while now so can anyone confirm this? They say it is a result of the end of EU funding and alot of schools were reliant on EU projects.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
24 Sep 2011 #2
They say the demand for English language learning is at an all time low.

More likely that there are too many schools chasing the same students. There are also a lot of Polish teachers now working in the private sector due to demographic changes which have seen fewer children entering the school system.

They say it is a result of the end of EU funding

Alleluya. That project really messed up the market.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
24 Sep 2011 #3
There's still plenty of work out there, but actual full-time jobs are becoming rarer and rarer. But to be fair - this is actually better for the native teacher, as it means less bullshit and less bureaucratic tedium. It also means that they can demand set times for classes - rather than being mucked around.

But for someone who isn't driven enough to put together their own timetable, it's a problem.

They say the demand for English language learning is at an all time low.

This isn't true, but students are now demanding more than "a teacher, a board, tables and chairs". There's also now more and more schools opening up in small areas - there's no need to go to "big name" schools to learn. Why go to Empik or Profi Lingua when you can go to SUPER QUICK ANGLO ENGLISH that's ten minutes walk from your flat? But of course - these schools can never offer full time work.

More likely that there are too many schools chasing the same students.

That's what I think, too. Look how much former State teachers are now running small language schools - and you've got your answer.

I also suspect that it's a lot to do with schools not needing to hire 'just anyone'.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
24 Sep 2011 #4
Look how much former State teachers are now running small language schools

Those same teachers who spend hours before lessons looking up words in a dictionary.

Problem is that the market is saturated with just about anyone who claims to be able to "speak English". In Krk you can find lots of Chileans, Spanish and Italians teaching English and yet put them to the test they will fall apart. It will be the students who will have the final say and vote with their feet (and their money).
OP welshguyinpola 23 | 463
24 Sep 2011 #5
The schools my colleauges work in is also the same school I worked in when I first came here. At its peak there were 300 students, and they didnt really rely on projects. Then the EU started offering money for the unemployed and police etc to learn Eng so the school started focusing on that. It was easy money and noone cared if ppl passed or failed, attendance was usually by biored housewives whose husbands were so rich they didnt need to work so instead they had free eng lessons.

Now 3 other schools in Gdansk who relied on projects are facing closure. I'm glad I got out of it a few years ago.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
24 Sep 2011 #6
To be honest, part of the blame should be laid at teachers who were content to sit in such a system, taking the easy cash - rather than developing themselves.
scottie1113 7 | 898
24 Sep 2011 #7
Now 3 other schools in Gdansk who relied on projects are facing closure.

Which schools?
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
24 Sep 2011 #8
To be honest, part of the blame should be laid at teachers who were content to sit in such a system, taking the easy cash - rather than developing themselves.

Not really, teachers also need to make a living at the end of the day.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
24 Sep 2011 #9
Right. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. I have a very well-paid, regular 35 hours/month with a large multi-national. I do a couple of days a week and it pays a lot of bills, but I know from experience that that can change overnight. My missus occasionally gives me a hard time about taking on other work because things are going ok at the moment, but I know that accountants run the world, and any time my sweet gig can vanish instantly. As I say: eggs, basket, one, no.
pawian 173 | 12,567
24 Sep 2011 #10
=welshguyinpola]At its peak there were 300 students,

Polish demographic indexes have been going down for years. This year is probably the first one when a number of state school teachers (other subjects than English) have been made redundant due to low intake in their schools. Some state schools in the countryside near Krakow have been closed.

The trend will continue.
AngelNC 2 | 85
24 Sep 2011 #11
There are also a lot of Polish teachers now

yeah and they work for less money.
pawian 173 | 12,567
24 Sep 2011 #12
Everybody works for less money than before but it isn`t Polish teachers` fault.
Lyzko
1 Oct 2011 #13
I've been following this thread so far with considerable interest. Why, here in NYC the situation is almost the exact opposite; rather than language schools and whatnot going begging for students, ESLers are actually being TURNED AWAY from some places!!

Perhaps the reason for this dearth of English learners in Poland at present has more to do with the global economy than anything else. Admittedly, Polish schools teach English horribly (compared of course with the 'cultured' languages such as Russian, French or German), nonetheless, this never stopped anybody before from studying English, right? No, what's at issue is the fact that folks simply no longer can afford English lessons:-(((
milky 13 | 1,657
1 Oct 2011 #14
Perhaps the reason for this dearth of English learners in Poland at present has more to do with the global economy than anything else

The situation with mortgages taken out in Swiss franc has a big part to play in schools having less students,according to school owners I have talked to.
AngelNC 2 | 85
1 Oct 2011 #16
[quote=pawian Everybody works for less money than before but it isn`t Polish teachers` fault.[/quote]

of course it isn't. Everyone is trying to survive, that's all.
milky 13 | 1,657
1 Oct 2011 #17
fewer

Whoops,thank you.
woodgey - | 28
1 Oct 2011 #18
They say the demand for English language learning is at an all time low

Well, not the demand. There'll always be an interest in learning English - even more since Poland joined the EU - but the problem is the supply. The profession has been degraded for years now and anyone who speaks a bit of English and has a textbook can be a teacher. The situation isn't helped by the universities spamming the market with thousands of newly qualified 'teachers' every year...

EU funding has nothing to do with it. It was a sweet number for a year or two and now it's business as usual.
pawian 173 | 12,567
1 Oct 2011 #19
However, I can imagine how natives comment on the situation to each other: Remember golden harvest times? They are gone.... thanks to those friggin Polish teachers who steal our students.......
sascha 1 | 826
1 Oct 2011 #21
there are also other practical and interesting languages than english, like spanish, russian, chinese, german, french.

no big deal if the interest in engl drops. why bother?
hythorn 3 | 580
1 Oct 2011 #22
Remember golden harvest times? They are gone.... thanks to those friggin Polish teachers who steal our students.......

Well said. I do not teach English however it is logical that for every Polish student who learns English, they can set up in business and set up in competition one day

There are some utterly awful native speaker English teachers out there
just check out the tube in the other post who has set up an English language school in Poznan.

I worked with a few awful teachers in the past, however they would have been useless in just about any field

English teaching has attracted a certain class of itinerant, drifters who are bone idle and who have gravitated into teaching
then again at least they have had the ambition to chance it rather than just sign on and draw the dole
KingAthelstan 9 | 142
1 Oct 2011 #23
The standard of a fresh of the boat, Polish plumber's English in the UK is rather poor.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
1 Oct 2011 #24
Not neccessarily.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
1 Oct 2011 #25
off the boat

necessarily

I can see now why the demand would be low ;) ;)
woodgey - | 28
2 Oct 2011 #26
You're describing teaching in general. Very few people go into the job willingly, especially in Poland where there is no career progresssion or satisfaction. Polish teachers tend to be women who spend the whole year waiting for the next holiday and hoping for promotion to a teaching position where they do less work. If they are really hard up they go to work at a language school or even use some of hubby's money to open their own. It's not just native speakers who are bringing the profession into disrepute.

Being in the 'profession' used to elevate you in society. This is probably before everyone who could lift a pen could get a teaching degree.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
2 Oct 2011 #27
especially in Poland where there is no career progresssion or satisfaction.

Oh, there can be - but it also requires effort to progress. For instance, there's always university jobs, or you can work part time in a public school and go on the "work path" if you want. But most native speakers aren't interested in progression, they're just interested in the money.

But one thing that I keep seeing - Polish students simply aren't willing to pay for someone who speaks with a heavy accent and who doesn't know a thing about teaching.
woodgey - | 28
2 Oct 2011 #28
University is a career move? Sure if you produce articles and do a PhD you can have a career as an academic, but if you go the teaching route you'l be doing the same thing and earning the same money in 20 years. When the director retires or dies, a successor is appointed. Trust me there is no career path in FL teaching (in Poland)

Although admittedly, if you work for EF / Bell / IH or whatever, you can become a DoS or a school assessor or an academic director or suchlike but these positions went in Poland a long time ago. You can have a career but you need to be willing to move to another country.
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
2 Oct 2011 #29
Polish students simply aren't willing to pay for someone who speaks with a heavy accent and who doesn't know a thing about teaching.

Go figure, why doesn't that surprise me?
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
2 Oct 2011 #30
Funny thing is, it seems quite a few foreigners come here and then get surprised that people aren't falling at their feet for private lessons.

For instance - I know two well-educated female native speakers in Poznan with very nice accents - why the hell would anyone bother to hire some Scottish guy from just outside Glasgow who can't even write properly?


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