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I'm interested in teaching in Poland and I need some help.


JasonL 1 | 3
30 Jul 2009 #1
Hello, all. I hold a bachelor's degree in english and an associate's degree in art. Will those degrees enable me to teach english in Poland or will I have to get certification?

Also, I would be more than appreciative if someone could point me to a reliable site that has job listings or ads for english teachers. It would be one more year before I could teach, but I'm trying prepare/educate myself on the process beforehand. Many thanks in advance. I may have further questions in the not-so distant future but this will do for now. Thanks again.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
30 Jul 2009 #2
You have a Bachelor's degree in English and you have doubts about teaching in Poland? Dude, that'll get you into most places here. It's better to target schools directly.
OP JasonL 1 | 3
30 Jul 2009 #3
I'm not exactly clear on where I should go to get that information. That's my problem. Is there a site that has a list of schools? I noticed that this forum has a classified section, but I was wondering if there was a web site with maybe a comprehensive list of quality, dependable schools. Thanks for your reply.
esek 2 | 228
31 Jul 2009 #4
there is more than 100 english schools in every city... first decide where you want to live and then we can talk ;> just keep in mind that now is summer break and most of courses in English schools starts in the beginning of the October ...

This is one of the most popular databases: ang.pl
OP JasonL 1 | 3
31 Jul 2009 #5
Thanks for the information. I'd like to teach in a larger city (perhaps something like Lodz), but I'll think about it a bit.
dcchris 8 | 432
31 Jul 2009 #6
I wouldn't consider Lodz a "larger" city. Not much happening there outside of one street and a mall. I had trouble finding a cup of coffee anywhere near the train station
Harry
31 Jul 2009 #7
Will those degrees enable me to teach english in Poland or will I have to get certification?

Have you got any experience teaching? While you probably know what a verb and a noun are (and so have a headstart on most native speakers), do you know the difference between the first & second conditionals? Between the present perfect simple and the past continuous? And, more importantly, can you teach those things?

You have a Bachelor's degree in English and you have doubts about teaching in Poland? Dude, that'll get you into most places here.

No it won't. The better places (and in Warsaw at least, almost all the bigger schools) are either members of PASE (an organisation which insists on 95% of the lessons taught being taught by somebody with some kind of teaching qualification) or are approved by the Polish Ministry of Education (which insists that all teachers have a degree and some kind of teaching qualification, and approval by this body is becoming more important now that the exemption from work permit regulations is tied to Min Ed approval) or members of EAQUALS (which insists that all teachers have some kind of teaching qualification). As the OP is talking about associate's degrees, it's a fairly safe bet that he's not from the EU and so will either need to get a work permit or work for an exempt school.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Jul 2009 #8
Yes it will. Just ignore Harry. He is into all the formalities but I can tell him that it doesn't work that way here.

An English degree is good enough for almost anywhere here and don't let him tell you otherwise.
mw78 3 | 29
31 Jul 2009 #9
Do you have any Polish friends who can help you on your way. I'm in a similar position although I'm now in Poland and looking for work.

My girlfriends Polish and having her and her family able to help me with housing, phones etc... I'm sure has made everything much easier for me.

Although I know some employers apparently sort accommodation etc... out for you prior to leaving the UK.
Harry
31 Jul 2009 #10
Yes it will. Just ignore Harry. He is into all the formalities but I can tell him that it doesn't work that way here.

An English degree is good enough for almost anywhere here and don't let him tell you otherwise.

Perhaps you can post some links to sites which confirm your belief that "an English degree is good enough almost anywhere"?

Here's a list of some of the schools which are PASE members and so must insist on at least 90% (sorry for posting 95%, according the people I know at PASE that is next year's minimum of teachers having some kind of teaching qualification: ACT Advanced Corporate Training Warszawa, Akademos Centrum Oświatowe Warszawa, Angloschool Warszawa, Archibald Centrum Języka Angielskiego Warszawa, Bell Bydgoszcz Bydgoszcz, Bell Gdańsk Gdańsk, Bell Gdynia, Gdynia Bell Kraków Kraków, Bell Sopot Sopot, Bell Szczecin Szczecin, Bell Warszawa Warszawa, Black Horse Wieluń, British School Otwock, British School (Bemowo)Warszawa, Brytania School of English Dębica, Brytania School of English Tarnów, City College Radom, Denis' School Warszawa, English Perfect Olsztyn, Equals English & Business Services Warszawa, Germanica Szkoła Języków Wrocław, Global Village Szkoła Języka Angielskiego Kielce, Homeschool Białystok, House of English Ropczyce, InterCollege Kielecka Szkoła Języków Obcych Kielce, International House Integra w Katowicach Katowice, International House Integra w Opolu Opole, L'Atelier de Français Warszawa, Lang LTC Warszawa, Metropolitan College Warszawa, Multischool Warszawa, Nova Centrum Ostrzeszów, Nova Centrum Syców, Nova Centrum Kępno, Oxford Centre £ódz, Polanglo Szkoła Języków Obcych Warszawa, Poliglota Szkoła Języków Obcych Warszawa, Program Bell Konin, Program Bell Poznań, Pygmalion Warszawa, Sokrates Towarzystwo Edukacyjne Warszawa, VOILA Centrum Języka Francuskiego Warszawa, Warsaw Study Centre Warszawa, Worldwide School Warszawa, York School of English Bochnia, York School of English Brzesko, York School of English Kraków.

Information about the criteria is here: pase.pl/content/view/56/53/ "· Czy minimum 90% zajęć w szkole w przypadku języka głównego i 70% godzin lekcyjnych łącznie w przypadku pozostałych języków jest prowadzonych przez wykwalifikowanych nauczycieli?"

"nauczyciele obcojęzyczni: dyplom wyższej uczelni oraz ukończony kurs metodyczny z zakresu nauczanego języka - min. 80 godzin kursu, w tym min. 6 godzin obserwowanych praktyk nauczycielskich."

Here is a link to the EAQUALS charter: clients.squareeye.com/uploads/eaquals/E_charter_A4okPREVIEW.pdf. Pay particularly close attention to the part which says "Staff members have appropriate training, qualifications and experience according to national norms for the work in question. Teaching staff should have received initial training as language teachers comprising no less than 100 hours of course time and including supervised teaching practice."

Can you also please link to information about work permit exemption and the criteria which the Ministry of Education use when assessing schools. If they do permit teachers to have no teaching qualification, I'd very much like to know about that because my friend's school is currently being inspected and she's been told by the inspectors that all teachers must have a teaching qualification to go with their degree (unless the degree is in teaching or is a BEd, BAQTS etc). Given that the OP is probably not from an EU nation, working for a Min Ed approved school is very much in his interests.

Although I know some employers apparently sort accommodation etc... out for you prior to leaving the UK.

Never sign a contract which gives accommodation as part of the deal. The first reason is because everybody wants different things from a flat: what somebody else thinks is ideal for you might well be your definition of hell. The second is that if things go wrong, you can find yourself looking for a new job and a new flat all on the same day. The third is that you may well not get the market price: almost everybody I know who has been in company accommodation was paying more to the school for the flat than the school was paying to the owner. Always keep accommodation and employment very seperate.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Jul 2009 #11
Harry, you are missing the point. You can quote me all the rules you like but it doesn't work that way in practice.

You are a man of rules I see. Well, lawmakers would be proud of you my son. Others in the know will just laugh at you.
mw78 3 | 29
31 Jul 2009 #12
Harry

Always keep accommodation and employment very seperate.

Good point
Harry
31 Jul 2009 #13
You can quote me all the rules you like but it doesn't work that way in practice.

Tell that to Lowfunk99, the poster from this very site who has just been deported: he didn't have a work permit, thought that he didn't need one, unfortunately his school is not Min Ed approved, now he's not here any more. Tell that to the friend of mine who nearly lost his job (as DoS) when the school he was running lost its PASE accreditation because too many lessons were given by teachers who had no teaching qualifications (he pointed out that the rule was supposed to apply over the whole year and one of the unqualified teachers had only been employed a couple of weeks before the inspection, so the shool passed its inspection and he didn't lose his job). Tell that to the friend of mine who'd been working at a school for three years but was then given the choice between getting fired and of doing a CELTA because his school wanted to get Min Ed approval (he took the CELTA and immediately got promoted).

You are a man of rules I see. Well, lawmakers would be proud of you my son. Others in the know will just laugh at you.

Son, I've been teaching English in Poland for 15 years (admittedly for the last couple only part time but my best friend still runs a major language school, so I'm still in the game). You really don't need to tell me about what people 'in the know' know.

Have fun posting your bullsh*t opinions here. I'll stick to posting verifiable facts.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Jul 2009 #14
Well, I'm sorry but if the screening procedures were more thorough and candidates vetted then we wouldn't find so many illegalities as exist at present. I know what schools write as requirements and what teachers have as credentials. A mismatch!

So, we are both right. We just have different forms of truth.

I know schools under the patronage of the curatorium that are operating illegally.
Harry
31 Jul 2009 #15
I know what schools write as requirements and what teachers have as credentials. A mismatch!

That's why organisations such as PASE and EAQUALS inspect schools and why they insist on seeing originals of qualifications (and will very happily call Cambridge/Trinity/whoever to check whether anybody who can only produce a photocopy certificate actually ever did gain a CELTA/Cert TESOL/whatever).

I know schools under the patronage of the curatorium that are operating illegally.

That's pretty stupid. Curatorium inspections are much more detailed than either PASE or EAQUALS and anybody caught trying to be 'clever' gets nailed to the wall as a warning to others.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Jul 2009 #16
Well, all I can say is that fabrications are commonplace as I know the truth of what many teachers have, diddly squat.

I had to produce my originals but others seemingly pulled a fast one.

I agree with you here but some teachers have obviously educated themselves on how the criminals do it. The curatorium clearly haven't conducted a broad enough sweep, the PiP also.

I know the rules, Harry, they are just waivered and it gets my goat.
Harry
31 Jul 2009 #17
I agree with you here but some teachers have obviously educated themselves on how the criminals do it.

The only way to properly fake a CELTA is to hack the Cambridge uni database and insert your name in the list of graduates. And if you can do that, you probably aren't going to bother with teaching English in Poland!

As to the Curatorium, drop them an email (or better yet a letter) telling them about the fake credentials scam and informing them how to check on people's qualifications. A simple email to the records office of a university is enough (unless somebody has been clever enough to change their name to the same exact name as a graduate of that uni who has the same birthday as them).
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Jul 2009 #18
Thanks, Harry. I might yet use that option. Not the hacking one as I have my CELTA, lol.
OP JasonL 1 | 3
2 Aug 2009 #19
Harry

Those standards are absurd. I'm willing to bet you a vast majority of high school English teachers in the United States do not know what those terms are or how to teach them. Programs like JET and EPIK (Japan and Korea) only demand that you are a degree holding native English speaker (and they won't come out and say it, but they really do want white people). I don't have any teaching experience, but if I have to be a master of the English language then perhaps this job isn't for me anyway.
MrBubbles 10 | 614
2 Aug 2009 #20
I had trouble finding a cup of coffee anywhere near the train station

This is the kind of guy you're competing with to get a place in a language school. Don't worry you'll be ok.

There's a big list of contact details for private schools here: ang.pl/szkoly_jezykowe.php

Otherwise, sticking to the bigger chains will usually guarantee more professionalism. Bell and IH always pay on time and they at least make an attempt at teacher training and care.
lateStarter 2 | 45
2 Aug 2009 #21
From my own experience in the Warsaw area (4 years now) it doesn't hurt to have CELTA but it is not entirely necessary. Having said that though, I wish that I had it! Most of the school Directors that I have spoken with have told me that it would open up more possibilities - specifically with regard to In-Company Training. Generally, they will throw you a few individual students and if they are desparate, ask you to do some groups.

If you are good though (not in your own mind, but get lots of positive feedback) the schools will put you to work. Even if 90% of the teachers must be certified, if you are in the top 10% of the Native language speakers in the area, you will be in demand.

To be fair, I would not call myself a teacher of the English language. I now realize that there is a lot more to teaching than meets the eye (especially a foreign language). I have actually learned more about English in the past few years here in Poland than in my prior 40+ years in the US of A. Harry's remark about conditionals brought a smile to my face.

I make it clear from the start of my lessons that I am there for conversational practice and that I will help them out where I can with grammar, pronunciation, etc... I mention that if they have any specific grammar point that they want to review, I will be glad to help them out. One of my students mentioned that he always had a probelm with conditionals and would appreciate a brief review. I told him that as soon as I knew what he was talking about, I'd get back to him! We had a good laugh. After I found out what they were, (oh, so thats what these are called!) I told him that quite honestly, most motivated Polish students had a better command of English grammar than 99% of the American population.

Most of my students are Advanced level, so your mileage may vary. I would find it very difficult to teach anything below Intermediate level, even if I did speak fluent Polish. I just don't have the training/skills required. I'm sure the kind of training you would pick up with an intensive short-term CELTA course would be invaluable and well worth the time and moeny. Of course, it would also help if you actually liked to do this kind of thing. If you are just looking for a way to pay the bills, but you really dislike it (and there is a lot not to like) you will not do well...

Just my 2 cents - Shawn
dcchris 8 | 432
3 Aug 2009 #22
This is the kind of guy you're competing with to get a place in a language school

what a nice guy you are... keep up the great work
Harry
3 Aug 2009 #23
Those standards are absurd.

What is absurd about expecting teachers to have some idea how to teach?

I'm willing to bet you a vast majority of high school English teachers in the United States do not know what those terms are or how to teach them.

That would depend on whether you are talking about teachers of English literature or teachers of English as a foreign language. If you wanted to claim that teachers of English as a foreign language do not know what the first & second conditionals are or what the present perfect simple and the past continuous are, you'd be completely wrong.

Programs like JET and EPIK (Japan and Korea) only demand that you are a degree holding native English speaker

Which is why JET puts people in schools as teachers' assistants and EPIK only lets people do conversation classes.

I don't have any teaching experience, but if I have to be a master of the English language then perhaps this job isn't for me anyway.

You don't have to be a master of the language, you just need to know it at least as well as your students do and you need to know how to teach it. Having a degree in English lit doesn't by default give you either of those skills.
lowfunk99 10 | 397
3 Aug 2009 #24
Tell that to Lowfunk99, the poster from this very site who has just been deported: he didn't have a work permit, thought that he didn't need one, unfortunately his school is not Min Ed approved, now he's not here any more.

I knew I needed a work permit. My school kept telling me I didn't one.

It might take longer but do it the right way.

I wouldn't have taught with out taking CELTA. I feel it was well worth every penny. Most of the schools on tefl.com (or on student research forums like essayforum.com) ask for CELTA or equivalent. Learning how to lesson plan, the different parts of a lesson and the actual teaching practice were invaluable.
MrBubbles 10 | 614
4 Aug 2009 #25
That's why organisations such as PASE and EAQUALS inspect schools and why they insist on seeing originals of qualifications (and will very happily call Cambridge/Trinity/whoever to check whether anybody who can only produce a photocopy certificate actually ever did gain a CELTA/Cert TESOL/whatever).

It sounds like PASE has changed a lot from when they did the inspection on my old school - it was joked that all that was required was to take the inspectors out for a meal and give them a nice hotel room. They missed the lack of work visas, the poorly coordinated programmes of study and the irregularities with teachers' contracts.

I know the rules, Harry, they are just waivered and it gets my goat

So true

what a nice guy you are... keep up the great work

Thanks! Help yourself to a coffee it's over there by the station
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
4 Aug 2009 #26
Its amazing how many teachers I have seen in the Trojmiasto area write wrong spellings on the board. The 'there, their' mistake is a classic. I have aslo see teachers writing plane instead of plain and recieved instead of received.

Most of the small private schools around here (not talking the chains likle bell and profi lingua) employ native speakers of English who can hardly string a senetence together themselves and the schools charge more for the students to have lessons with these people. In my teaching days, I had to observe a lesson with a new teacher who spent most of the lesson asking the students how their weekends were and checking homework.
scottie1113 7 | 898
5 Aug 2009 #27
welshguyinpola
There mistakes is plane to sea. Whats rong wif dat? But seriously, I know what you mean.
warkawarka
5 Aug 2009 #28
I've been teaching English in Poland for two years with only a bachelors degree. In my experience ,and only in my experience, it depends on the person. If you behave professionally and are friendly with students then you will get requested and get work. If you aren't friendly or helpful, can't interact with students or don't have general intelligent things to say then you aren't going to have so much work.

Plus before you do anything get yourself a good grammar book, Murphy's or something, and teach yourself the English language. Do you really know what you're doing when you speak your own language? If you can explain why you are saying what you are saying and you're a native speaker then you will be golden.

Plus knowing some Polish wouldn't hurt... not to use in class but to know why Polish people are having difficulties with tenses/articles/uncountable nouns etc.
polishmeknob 5 | 155
5 Aug 2009 #29
You don't need ****.

If you can speak English relatively well, you'll be fine.
Turtleonfire 7 | 14
14 Apr 2010 #30
Does anyone know what the criteria for EFL language schools, accreditation by the Ministry of Education is?
I.e. what qualifications EFL Teachers are required to have by the MoE?

Unfortunately, I had to quit my degree years ago due to financial and family problems...so these days although I have my CELTA and a vast amount of experience to offer, it doesn't seem to be enough?

(Seems stupid, as I know people with degrees in English who's grammar is frankly s**t and who can't spell for toffee!)

I would very much like to move to Poland (my partner wants to move back there). I'm just wondering whether I should say I have a degree and hope for the best! I'm actually a bloody good teacher!


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