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Can an English person work in Poland without speaking the language?


Jenz454
15 Sep 2012 #1
Hi there

I'm an English girl living in England but am thinking of moving to Poland to work. My mother is polish and she is living here in England but I have relatives in Poznan who I can live with. Any ideas what types of jobs I can do without being able to speak polish?

Thanks
delphiandomine 83 | 17,913
15 Sep 2012 #2
If you can spell, read and write properly, you can easily teach English. There's a lack of female native speakers here :)
OP Jenz454
15 Sep 2012 #3
I have considered that but I have no qualifications and am not sure how easy they are to get, any ideas?
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
15 Sep 2012 #4
When I was interviewed by one English school here they told me I had two distinct disadvantages - not having CELTA and not being able to speak Polish so that I could explain English to students.

Prior to that, I'd thought not speaking Polish was not a bar.

It certainly reduces opportunities - I assume with beginners. But surely beginners get taught by Poles, just as when I was at school I was taught German by an Australian and Brit, and French by a Brit and a Frenchwoman.

Yet schools here who probably didn't like the look of me or wanted to bargain the salary down pointed out my lacking Polish would be a drawback and showed me out.

Curiously, one school told me they weren't interested in certificates as that meant little - they were more interested in experience. To that end, they wanted me to give loads of hours free to prove myself. I didn't feel that was something I wanted to do - 1 hour I'd do, but not 10.

Native speakers seem to be 10 a penny here in Wroc at the moment - check any bus shelter and the classifieds. 30zl an hour for one to one in an ad seen here at Hallera Street.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,913
15 Sep 2012 #5
I have considered that but I have no qualifications and am not sure how easy they are to get, any ideas?

If you want to do things "by the book", you need the CELTA (4 week course, about 1000 pounds) and a degree - any degree.

But Poznan, if you have a place to stay, you can pick up work quite easily. There is a huge demand for English teachers of children, and it's fashionable to have a native speaker - but they frequently don't trust men to do the job. I know one girl in Krakow who absolutely cleans up moneywise - parents bring the children to her flat, she charges between 50-100PLN an hour depending on the time - all because she's female and not threatening. There's far less female natives here than in Krakow, too!

Best thing to do is to come over and see for yourself - I can show you the city, explain how it works and so on - and you can go from there.
donlou31 1 | 30
20 Sep 2012 #6
Yes, I'm English and live and work in Poland.
It depends what you've been doing in the UK, previous jobs and experience.
I work as a Nanny here, I have experience from the UK as I was a child minder for a few years but not recently. I registered with an agency in Warsaw, they interviewed me, checked my references and began sending me for interviews with families. Very quick and straightforward as well as quite good wages.

You'd be very surprised how many international families require English speakers to care for their children. I work for a Polish family but only speak English to the child (as instructed by parents) unless I have to translate something for her.

I also had the opportunity to work for an international Bank in Warsaw. They do business in English language however, the majority of the office were Polish, so being able to speak basic Polish would be beneficial to you but not compulsory.

The positions were customer service advisor and another for Administrator, again I had experience of both roles from the UK.

Feel free to PM me if you want any more info.
Harry
20 Sep 2012 #7
Any ideas what types of jobs I can do without being able to speak polish?

You're probably best off teaching English to kids and seeing what connections you make while doing that.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
21 Sep 2012 #8
If you want to do things "by the book", you need the CELTA (4 week course, about 1000 pounds) and a degree - any degree.

Warning - before coughing up £1000 on a CELTA course, check out the competition. Currently natives are offering to teach in big city (ie expensive) Wroclaw for 30 an hour and now tonight someone's slashed it to 20 zł an hour for one to one tuition. You have to be very sure the CELTA will lead to a teaching job in a decent school or one to one before unloading that sort of cash into the sweaty palms of the colleges who may paint a more rosy picture of things than the reality. £1000 on a course means you have to earn about 5000 zeds to break even. If teachers are now happy to do it for 20 zeds an hour - well, you do the math.

Not saying it's impossible to make a go of it - but it's not as easy as it used to be. Add to that the talk of the Polish economy deteriorating/slowing down for Q4 2012 and possibly beyond, and a proper business plan needs to be in place before committing big bucks to CELTA or anything else IMHO. On the positive side, some posters on other threads or a small number who have in recent months PM'd me here on PF maintain they are doing very nicely and have more students than they can handle even sans CELTA. Whether that's word of mouth or the luck factor I cannot say. (None of them are in Wroclaw, however.)

You can also draw your own conclusions from the fact that an ad for a native speaker at a school right out on the edge of Wroclaw has drawn over 60 visits/hits in a couple of days. It's a quite hard to reach place, no salary is stated.
Lyzko
21 Sep 2012 #9
Gee, I guess you could, Jen. Anything's possible, but then, why would you even bother??
cms 9 | 1,271
21 Sep 2012 #10
1000 on a course means you have to earn about 5000 zeds to break even. If teachers are now happy to do it for 20 zeds an hour - well, you do the math.

250 hours of teaching to repay your investment does not seem too onerous - thats less than two months work for an average Polish labourer. After that everything is profit apart from your bus tickets and your shirt. Yes I'm aware that there is travel time and holiday time but deal with it - put some extra in at weekends or evenings.
Harry
21 Sep 2012 #11
Currently natives are offering to teach in big city (ie expensive) Wroclaw for 30 an hour and now tonight someone's slashed it to 20 zł an hour for one to one tuition.

There have always been cheap teachers out there: they are cheap for a reason.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
21 Sep 2012 #12
250 hours of teaching to repay your investment does not seem too onerous - thats less than two months work for an average Polish labourer. After that everything is profit apart from your bus tickets and your shirt. Yes I'm aware that there is travel time and holiday time but deal with it - put some extra in at weekends or evenings.

Yeah yeah - I'll be really interested to see which posters who follow the advice to chuck a grand at a CELTA course come back here and post a progress report 12 months after finishing the course - I wonder what tiny percentage wil be able to say they even earned back 1/10th of the outlay. Mug's game at the moment IMO. Open your eyes.
mannu
14 Jun 2013 #13
but this is very difficult to find a job here without polish language.you should know the polish but i will say you can try.


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