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What qualifications are required to teach English in Poland? Completed 2 week TEFL course


nickbren 1 | 1
15 Sep 2010 #1
I have completed a 2 week TEFL course in South Africa at a accredited language school, I would like to know if this will be recognized in Poland and if it should be reasonably easy to find work?
z_darius 14 | 3,968
15 Sep 2010 #2
If English is your native language and your pulse is more than 0 beats per minute you got a job. If you eventually master the intricacies of proper spelling, that will earn you a few extra pennies per hour.
polishmeknob 5 | 155
15 Sep 2010 #3
Agreed.
But actually try to pay attention and make sure what you teach is correct. Poles have a pesky habit of pulling out their language textbooks and trying to make you look like a fool.
OP nickbren 1 | 1
15 Sep 2010 #4
Thanks for that encouraging news, I will try to watch my spelling with the eyes of a hawk.
Would there be any schools in the Lublin area you would recommend me trying?
s_a504 - | 1
28 Apr 2017 #5
Merged:

Looking to teach English in Poland - what training is required?



Hi all, I'm looking to move to Poland and start to teach English. What training do you need to have to teach in Poland?
jon357 63 | 15,068
28 Apr 2017 #6
A CELTA or equivalent is the usual expected qualification. People sometimes come with less, however that tends to keep all but the most exceptional at the very lowest end of the job market.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
28 Apr 2017 #7
In certain countries such as France, Italy, even Germany, target language knowledge is a must as well. Not sure about Poland nowadays, and so you'd best make certain prior to signing on:-) Merely a suggestion!

Good luck.
terri 1 | 1,665
29 Apr 2017 #8
Poland does not require that you have knowledge of the target language (Polish), however, as well as a teaching certificate e.g. CELTA, it would greatly help if you have a University degree (some schools will not even speak to you unless you have that). If your degree is in a related field all the better. Some schools require previous experience of teaching, others do not.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
29 Apr 2017 #9
Thanks for the info., terri.
WhirlwindTobias - | 88
30 Apr 2017 #10
I started with zero training and only 2 months of private tuition under my belt.

BUT,, I interview well, I am well-spoken as a result of life-long meticulousness and I have a personality that is able to motivate/keep people engaged. Since then I have been learning through experience (Feedback both from students and your employer help), and developing grammar and language nuances in my own time.

So you can either get a job by being qualified,

or

Having what it takes to teach naturally, demonstrating you're not tainted by the dialect of a Scouse teenager, and putting the time in at home so you can explain grammar beyond "It's just how it is".

Having both is great of course, but be aware that if you are qualified on paper but have no teaching/interpersonal skills a lot of students will come to resent having you and someone like me will end up hearing about it.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,770
30 Apr 2017 #11
In certain countries such as France, Italy, even Germany, target language knowledge is a must

no it isn't, the whole point of TEFL training is that you learn to teach without using the target language.
mafketis 23 | 8,544
30 Apr 2017 #12
"no it isn't, the whole point of TEFL training is that you learn to teach without using the target language."

Is this a new definition of "target language". I've always understood "target language" in a language teaching situation as "the language being learnt".

"In certain countries such as France, Italy, even Germany, target language knowledge is a must as well. Not sure about Poland nowadays, and so you'd best make certain prior to signing on:-) Merely a suggestion!"

I think that France, Italy and Germany are countries where it's not possible to carry on many/most life activities without pretty good knowledge of the local language. Wanting teachers to know the local language is just good sense because if they don't you have to hold their hands and take care of things for them like the little children they are.....
terri 1 | 1,665
30 Apr 2017 #13
Sorry, my fault. What I meant to say is that when you are teaching English to speakers of other language, their own language (e.g. in this case Polish) is not required. In fact most schools want to employ native teachers who have no idea about Polish.

If the target language (e.g. Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese) was required of any teachers of English, then no one would have a job. There are thousands of teachers teaching in Asia and very few have an idea about the local language.
mafketis 23 | 8,544
30 Apr 2017 #14
"most schools want to employ native teachers who have no idea about Polish."

which also means it's easier to take advantage of them because they don't know their rights or how to get things done....

"There are thousands of teachers teaching in Asia and very few have an idea about the local language."

Maybe that's one of the reasons their results are generally so dismal?
Towarzysz
30 Apr 2017 #15
@mafketis
Good points which should not be overlooked.

To the OP: Seriously think about whether you want to live on less than 500 euro a month. If not, then learn another European language and get an IT job or HR job and teach for extra income and you will earn between 780-950 euros a month. That's what I do now and it's what some other people I know do here too. Many schools will try to take advantage of you before you become familiar with Polish labour law, average Polish wages etc.

DO NOT Freelance if you know what's good for you. All you are doing is losing your rights, any basic healthcare rights, and saving your employer time and money but making your own life harder(no sick leave, no holiday rights, bitchy school owners who will treat you like the piece of **** you are if you let them do so etc. etc.).

Basically be prepared to be completely disrespected and looked down on by 70% of ''schools''. I have freelanced for a few schools for a 14 month period of my 18 months here. It's not worth it.

Avoid Berlitz. They are the most well known but the worst of the worse as their net rates show. Do not let anyone pay you under 55 PLN per hour gross. Seriously consider whether it is worth the hassle of doing more than a few hours a week, unless you are a student and are happy with just paying your rent.

I have seen all three sides of this as I have done it for 2 schools full time, freelanced for a few smaller schools, and then freelanced for just one school. I have worked on the Polish labour contract which comes with public insurance and tax contributions of 18-25% on a crap wage, and then later took my chances with a Freelance/contract set up for 9-10 months.

You will be much more secure in a normal job and just teaching for cash in hand. Hardly worth bothering to follow the rules or deal with schools on any basis here(unless it's a really well organised private school and those are rare enough) as you will be shafted on pay, number of hours, tax, ****** public insurance with no real healthcare etc. Just do 6-7 hours part time after work and pocket the money. That's what many language teachers do as Polish business taxes are insane and freelancing is a pain in the hole.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
1 May 2017 #16
@Terri,

Exactly! And in my opinion, had ESL-instructors at least the basics of the local lingo under their belt, they'd doubtless be more valuable in the classroom:-)

Surely nobody expects a teacher to KNOW Lithuanian, Arabic, German, Polish, Albanian, Russian, Chinese etc.... all with equal fluency at the same time, that's patently ridiculous, not to mention sheer unrealistic!!!

However, a smattering of target language knowledge in the respective country where English is being taught, can only help the situation.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,770
1 May 2017 #17
oh lol Maf you are right - I did not mean 'target language' I meant native language of learners.
Certainly it would be better for the schools if the teachers know some survival language. (less hand holding as u say).
But the point of English teaching is that you use......<drum roll> English..
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
1 May 2017 #18
Just do 6-7 hours part time after work and pocket the money.

You can legally declare these without any hassle, just a simple form to the tax office.

Agreed with what you say about language schools though. Most of them are run by paranoid, neurotic wrecks.

I used to have a simple policy with language schools as a freelancer years ago - if you don't pay me on time, you've got 7 days to pay. If you don't pay, I'm going straight to HR and discussing with them when I can expect to receive my payment, while our cooperation is immediately over.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
1 May 2017 #19
I'd think too that any ESL instructor could only benefit from knowing at least something of the native language of the country in which he/she is teaching if only to be able to communicate with their students during a lull or break in the lesson when some type of source-language explanation is needed.

As both a professional and accredited ESL-instructor for adults over many years, I too taught solely in the target language. Occasionally, I did need to try to explain a subtle point of grammar by using any number of the different languages in our group, admittedly, I always switched back immediately to English, and this only at the very beginning level. Anywhere from advanced beginner on, I only used English:-)
DominicB - | 2,704
1 May 2017 #20
I've always found it strange that people would want to learn a language from someone who has never bothered to learn another language themself.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
1 May 2017 #21
AMEN, DOM!!!!

As Terri posted, should the instructor have more than merely broken, phrase-book knowledge of the local language, the results wouldn't be so dismal.
Partially, it has to do both with standards as well as expectations For example in Japan, discussions I've had with former students of mine is that the so-called "Eikaiwa" aka "English Conversations Schools", literally, "English conversation", throughout many of the medium-sized and larger cities in Japan, employ fly-by-night globetrotting young Peace Corps volunteer types, eager to "see the world" (and hopefully have a triste with some young, adorable Japanese student in the processLOL), usually meagerly qualified, and, of course, ready, willing, and able to work for peanuts:-) Most according to my students can barely say the word "sushi" and wouldn't know the difference between "Sayonara!" vs. "Jah ne!" if they tripped and fell over them in broad daylight!!

Combine gullibilty and naive idealism with often mediocre training, this situation multiplied who knows how many times across the globe, only goes to turn the entire profession into a living joke, right up there with psychiatry (much more lucrative, by the way, for doing next to no actual "work").

Teachers of ESL, be they in Poland, Japan, the US, or the UK, should be as thoroughly trained as any other profession bar none!
jon357 63 | 15,068
1 May 2017 #22
phrase-book knowledge of the local language,

Remember that a lot of EFL Trainers aren't teaching groups that have, say Polish, as L1, and sometimes teach multinational groups and others (mostly those at the top of the profession) travel from place doing short skills courses - I sometimes do Italians one week, Malays and Russians the next, then French, then off to Kuwait for a few days' work.

In Poland it certainly helps to speak Polish (though not always necessary or desirable to let the learners know) and speak it or not, everyone training students should have an awareness of any particular issues and challenges they face due to L1.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
1 May 2017 #23
Thanks, jon! You make a solid point there:-) Thanks for your input as well as for the information. "Short skills courses" sounds just about right.

Nonetheless, every professional deserves an upgrade, wouldn't you agree?
jon357 63 | 15,068
1 May 2017 #24
Absolutely. It isn't really enough to do a CELTA snd then nothing else, especially if you choose this work for the long term. Constant professional development is the only way.

Here in Poland, the sts really know the difference between someone who is winging it and someone who knows what they're doing.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
1 May 2017 #25
I can smell a winger a mile off, pal! When burlesque comedy such as with Robin Williams in "Good Morning Vietnam!" overtakes rock solid method, thorough prep and spontaneous activity, you know that class is headed for disasterLOL
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,770
1 May 2017 #26
I've always found it strange that people would want to learn a language from someone who has never bothered to learn another language themself.
@ DominicB

yes I can agree with that.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
1 May 2017 #27
Seems practically a no brainer, doesn't it? I mean, if someone is teaching another person THEIR native tongue, it'd more than stand to reason that the teacher would be more than even a bit curious about how the foreign learner of the teacher's native language processes the new language in their head!!
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,770
1 May 2017 #28
well sure, but if you teach multilingual classes it's a tall order,....:)
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
1 May 2017 #29
Naturally I'm not suggesting, once again, that the poor instructor be expected to know each of the learners' language, however, a basic knowledge of the general structure of the majority languages in the classroom might just help connect the student with the teacher, that's all I'm trying to say:-)

Usually, at least several of the students in the group will have some inkling as to the workings of a second language, Europeans especially, having an Olympian track record in foreign language acquisition compared with the States or even England.

Total immersion, though ideal, does have its limitations, I don't care if the teacher's another Silent Way mega star or even the great Prof. John Rassias himself!!!
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,770
1 May 2017 #30
England.

UK

who is John Rassias then?

Frankly, no, I am not going to get basic knowledge of Arabic, Chinese and Farsi. Too many languages , not enough time.
One of the most useful thing for teaching European language speakers, was learn some Greek. saves you explaining words that people already know the meaning of...:)


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