English Forum Switzerland

English Forum Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/forum.php)
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-   -   Teaching English in Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/business-entrepreneur/92490-teaching-english-switzerland.html)

squidmonkey 28.08.2010 21:13

Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Hi I'm considering moving to Switzerland to be with my partner (Schaffhausen), unfortunately I dont speak very much German.. actually none, and It's looking like it will be difficult to find work in my field, Audiology. Luckily, I do speak French and I will be running a hearing aid clinic in Geneva in March, so between now and then I'll be trying to do something to get by.

I've come up with perhaps independently teaching individuals and small groups English (business and school aged) in Schaffhausen and perhaps around Zurich, it's not a new idea, however it's something I might look into. For those who live in that region or even in Switzerland I you have the time to comment or leave some advice on my plans. Here are some of the things I have to take into account.

The market- In your opinion Is there a market large enough that would sustain such a plan over the next 6 month period?

Advertising - Would you recommend any print or online advertising media that is cost effective and would deliver a good return on investment? I am on a limited budget so a simple classified might be sufficient however free or pay per click internet advertising website might be something that I would try first to gauge a response.


Cost - If I were to put this together how much should I charge English lessons cost for German speakers.

Translation - I'm considering possible proofreading/translation services in your opinion do think think there is much of a market for that?

Are the other obstacles/recommendations that you may contribute.

Thank you for your time in reading your advise would be very much appreciated.

MathNut 28.08.2010 21:26

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Hi squidmonkey, welcome to the forum!

Do you have credentials and experience as an English teacher? If you have those you might stand a chance, otherwise the market is pretty flooded. 20% of the population are foreigners, and an awful lot of those 20% are English-speaking trailing spouses...

Sorry to be a bit of a wet blanket. :o

Guest 28.08.2010 21:30

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
I have to second that, I'm afraid. Maybe some sort of online adaptation of your idea would work, so that you could offer services to people outside of Switzerland. However, you may want to steer clear of proofreading.

olympe 28.08.2010 21:37

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Hi and welcome,

Do you really need to work between the time you arrive and when you start your new job ? If the answer is no, I would really take that opportunity to embark on an intensive course in German instead of wasting my energy in finding something.. It's not so easy here and you are already lucky to have something from March..

Since you speak both French and English, it will not be so hard to pick the language for you. I did an intensive German course and reached level 0 to B1 in 6 months ( with the Goethe certificate in hand)! You should really consider this and take the time to do a course.. when you start working, it will not be so easy..in the long run , it will be a very good thing!

squidmonkey 28.08.2010 23:08

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
thank you very much for your time in replying, it's a shame I was hoping that an opportunity might present it's self however it's not that surprising.

I was actually trying also fund my web shop start as well up by doing this but it looks like back to the drawing board

Moorsholm 28.08.2010 23:34

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Hi - the market is quite tough at the moment, but there is still a demand for good English teachers. In Switzerland much of the market is extremely exam driven and so an ability to prepare student for the Cambridge suite of exams is an advantage. The Business exams (BEC) are popular.

If you really want to teach English - arm yourself with a CELTA, it's a start and will get you through the door before many others.

Then it really depends on what you teach. Teaching conversation and basic vocab building/grammar, is very doable with little experience and a basic qualification. Teaching higher level examination classes is not. For the exam prep courses you need a thorough understanding of the English grammar system including all of the terminology - because many students will ask questions connected with this at a higher level.

You also need to be able to teach what amounts to academic writing skills, especially at the very highest level - summary skills, essay writing, how to organize cohesive and coherent work as well as discourse features of conversation. You also need to be familiar with the standards of the various exams, knowing for example, what constitutes a C grade, A grade or D grade. This is something that takes time and continued training and development, to offer this kind of service to students without such knowledge and training, would be unfair on the student.

Pay rates, again, depend on who you work for, your qualifications and what you teach. At the top end, there are some providers where as an experienced and qualified teacher, preparing clients in-company for exams, you can earn up to 120chf an hour.

At the other end of the scale, some language schools will take people on without qualifications and offer in-house training. Pay rates there can start as low as 28chf an hour!!

A typical hourly rate to a private student would probably be 60chf per hour.

Hope that helps somewhat - feel free to pm if you have any questions

Guest 29.08.2010 09:20

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Beacause you speak English, what makes you think you are an English teacher ?

aphex2000 29.08.2010 17:54

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Charlie R. Soles (Post 924390)
Beacause you speak English, what makes you think you are an English teacher ?

That's how it works in many places around the world (eg Asia) but i agree that the Swiss marketplace is probably tougher and certificated / degrees are highly valued here.

29.08.2010 18:08

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aphex2000 (Post 924682)
That's how it works in many places around the world (eg Asia) but i agree that the Swiss marketplace is probably tougher and certificated / degrees are highly valued here.

Less and less I'm afraid, and certainly nowhere in Europe. You cannot reasonably expect to be paid to teach anything without a raft of qualifications. Did you know the workers in Burger King have to do various qualifications for their jobs including customer service and food hygiene and preparation?

kslausanne 29.08.2010 19:00

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by economisto (Post 924694)
Less and less I'm afraid, and certainly nowhere in Europe. You cannot reasonably expect to be paid to teach anything without a raft of qualifications. Did you know the workers in Burger King have to do various qualifications for their jobs including customer service and food hygiene and preparation?

You definitely need qualifications if you want to get a teaching job with a decent wage here. Even when I was living in Thailand 17 years ago, one needed at least a university degree to work in the country legally as a teacher. Students in Switerland ask for them, and in my experience, many who take private lessons are rather well-armed with their own qualifications and so demand nothing less from their teachers.

That being said, I know of at least one pretty big school in Geneva and Lausanne that employs people whose only qualification is that they are native speakers. I saw the pay scale (interestingly the difference between unqualified and qualified was only around 2 francs per hour :msnmad:), and could only wonder if they charged students accordingly as well.:msnsarcastic:

Guest 29.08.2010 21:35

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kslausanne (Post 924721)
You definitely need qualifications if you want to get a teaching job with a decent wage here. Even when I was living in Thailand 17 years ago, one needed at least a university degree to work in the country legally as a teacher. Students in Switerland ask for them, and in my experience, many who take private lessons are rather well-armed with their own qualifications and so demand nothing less from their teachers.

That being said, I know of at least one pretty big school in Geneva and Lausanne that employs people whose only qualification is that they are native speakers. I saw the pay scale (interestingly the difference between unqualified and qualified was only around 2 francs per hour :msnmad:), and could only wonder if they charged students accordingly as well.:msnsarcastic:

Yeah right, pay peanuts, get monkeys !

runningdeer 30.08.2010 12:56

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
If you are fluent in French and already found something in Geneva, would suggest looking for something in the French speaking area in your field. Perhaps a communte to Neuchatel or Fribourg region. You might be able to live closer to this area, reducing the commute, and your partner commutes to Schauffausen.

Kiwi_audiologist 21.10.2010 07:05

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Hi squidmonkey

I am interested in finding out a bit more about how audiology works in Switzerland - are you able to share your experiences or knowledge about this.
I am a NZ audiologist possibly moving to Switzerland next year, wondering how services are provided etc. I don't know anything much about it at this stage, and think I probably won't be able to work as an audiologist as I'm not sure my qualifications would get my anywhere.

My original post about this is here - http://www.englishforum.ch/employmen...itzerland.html

Thanks

Guest 25.10.2010 22:59

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Migros wanted to pay me CHF 45 per hour. I have a B.Ed Hons from a UK uni and 30+ years experience. Non merci. Would have had to drive there between 10 to 80 km + pay car park and of course spend at least another hour preparing and marking. I charge CHf 60 per hour for private tuition at home (of course have tons of materials, books for all levels, tapes, CDs, worksheets, etc. which are quite expensive to gather.

Guest 25.10.2010 23:03

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Migros wanted to pay me CHF 45 per hour. I have a B.Ed Hons from a UK uni and 30+ years experience. Non merci.
You're only worth what someone is willing to pay you and if Chf 45.-- is what Migros pay,well that's life.

You're obviously far too qualified to teach at the Migros and have far too much experience, but then is that their problem or yours ?

There are a lot of people out there able and possibly qualified to teach Englishand so supply/demand balances creep into the equasion. I am sure thrre are plenty of wanabe teachers who would accept Chf 45.--/hour however for a qualifed teacher it is rather low.

Guest 25.10.2010 23:08

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Definitely NOT a problem for me - I just said no. I'm not complaining - just stating facts.

biff 25.10.2010 23:37

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by economisto (Post 924694)
Less and less I'm afraid, and certainly nowhere in Europe. You cannot reasonably expect to be paid to teach anything without a raft of qualifications. Did you know the workers in Burger King have to do various qualifications for their jobs including customer service and food hygiene and preparation?

A very humbling thought - I am aware that I could never get a job in Burger King in Switzerland. Have you seen how they wear badges that show which languages they speak? Where I come from, those language skills would probably be enough to get them into the Foreign Service.

Squidmonkey, after reading your two posts, I agree with another poster who suggests that you keep away from proof reading. :-)

miniMia 26.10.2010 05:33

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Since when is CHF45/hr NOT a good salary?

vicladyuk 26.10.2010 06:34

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
hi

i know several english teachers with many years experience in schaffhausen and i am sorry to say but their work load had dramatically dried up, so there would be very little need for additional teachers in this current climate. :(

MathNut 26.10.2010 09:16

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miniMia (Post 991243)
Since when is CHF45/hr NOT a good salary?

Well, she said she can get CHF60/hr doing it at home - so compared to that CHF45/hr is not a good salary.

If the alternative was no income, or shelving library books for CHF25/hr, then of course CHF45/hr starts to look pretty good*. It's all relative.

*although not quite as good as it sounds. Like she said, that's per classroom hour - you then have to spend extra time on preparation, marking, etc. which is all unpaid. Factor that in and you might very well be talking less than CHF25/hour of actual work.

Alessia 26.10.2010 09:57

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miniMia (Post 991243)
Since when is CHF45/hr NOT a good salary?

Right, it IS a good salary if you teach at school. Pretty good.
Yes, schools usually take 1/2- 2/3ds of whatever you earn per hour, depending on the level (private lesson price is about 90-100 CHF average)
but on the other hand - you get an official job....

After 6 years of sitting (and teaching/translating) at home, I gladly took an opportunity to teach in one of the best language schools in Bern... Love it! :)

miniMia 26.10.2010 17:58

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MathNut (Post 991326)

*although not quite as good as it sounds. Like she said, that's per classroom hour - you then have to spend extra time on preparation, marking, etc. which is all unpaid. Factor that in and you might very well be talking less than CHF25/hour of actual work.

This is true for just about ANY teaching job, including regular school teachers.

They have to prepare work at home. In fact, with so many years of experience preparing shouldn't take that long. And commuting, well, other people have to also travel to their jobs. If the school is too far way that's not the schools fault. If you don't want to commute don't apply for jobs far way.

If you can get a higher salary some where else, more power to you. If you don't need the job, more power to you. But let's be real 45/hr to teach English at an school is not a bad salary. Many people who teach English work in schools to compliment their private classes & (let's be frank) to pick up more private students. And there are a heck of a lot of people out there who would be happy to make 45/hr.

amaraya 26.10.2010 18:09

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miniMia (Post 992195)
They have to prepare work at home. In fact, with so many years of experience preparing shouldn't take that long

honestly, i'm not sure prep time depends on how good of a teacher you are. in fact i really think if you are a good teacher, you should be prepping the same time regarless of how long you've been teaching- unless you're teaching the same lessons over and over again. i've been teaching for over 10 years. but i've taught different ages/levels/needs. i still take a lot of time each week to prepare my lessons, and being that i teach younger students, i prepare a ton of hands on lessons that require a ton of prep time.

in terms of pay- if you don't want to accept 45 an hour, then don't. sure you can make more with private lessons, but factoring in materials, transport, etc- i found private lessons weren't all that lucrative for me. personally, working in a school is much more enjoyable to me, and the perk is that the salary increases after time. it's not as easy to ask private clients to pay more after time. but in the end, there are so many people with credentials to teach english, that the market here is getting tighter and tighter and (sometimes) you have to be to accept a lower rate if you need to work.:rolleyes:

Guest 11.01.2011 16:50

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miniMia (Post 991243)
Since when is CHF45/hr NOT a good salary?

Sorry I did not reply- been away.

Teaching for 1 hour implies preparation of lesson, sometimes creation of materials and marking. So 1 hour in front of student/s/class can mean a lot more work at home. It's not a bad salary at all- compared to my neighbour who gets CHF30 for cleaning, and a lot more enjoyable. Which is why we swap 1 hour for 1 hour, when I teach her kids and she helps me out with cleaning. But with a good Degree and 30 years experience, considering that I would have to travel and park the car in town centre - I preferred to decline. The fact that un-qualified and inexperienced staff would earn the same, does seem unfair.

nigelr 20.01.2011 14:06

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

The fact that un-qualified and inexperienced staff would earn the same, does seem unfair.
I'm more of the opinion that better teachers should be able to charge more. The fact that somebody has a qualification doesn't make them a better teacher, but logically it is more likely I suppose.

If you have a geniune talent for something but no qualification in my mind you should be able to give it a go. But this is Switzerland and they would prefer that you have both, otherwise will settle for the qualification even if you have no talent.

tigris330 22.01.2011 21:26

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
I do some teaching in Zurich at a little school. When I tried advertising private lesson services, I got lots of emails asking me about price...and once I told them it was 50 CHF per hour, 99 per cent did not contact me again.
Private English tuition is a luxury for most people, unless they have a very good salary or can get their company to sponsor them.

Rach_UK 23.01.2011 00:05

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tigris330 (Post 1078104)
I do some teaching in Zurich at a little school. When I tried advertising private lesson services, I got lots of emails asking me about price...and once I told them it was 50 CHF per hour, 99 per cent did not contact me again.
Private English tuition is a luxury for most people, unless they have a very good salary or can get their company to sponsor them.

Hi, I'm moving to Zurich in August and I'm hoping to get a job teaching English as soon as possible. I'll have a BA (minimum 2:1) and CELTA, as well as a years teaching experience.

Did it take you a long time to get a job teaching English in Zurich? Do you have any tips about how to get a job asap? I've heard that there are a lot of unqualified expat-wives (no disrespect meant here at all!) working as English language teaching so I presume that with both my qualifications and experience I'll be a step ahead!

Do you know of any websites where ELT jobs are advertised? I've heard that EFL jobs tend to only be advertised on the website of the particular language school/institution. Is this correct?

I'm looking to do private tuition as well, but only charging 25CHF to ensure I get some clients!

Sorry for all of the questions! Any general hints/tips would be fab :).

Rachael.

Keith66 23.01.2011 00:28

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rach_UK (Post 1078201)
Hi, I'm moving to Zurich in August and I'm hoping to get a job teaching English as soon as possible. I'll have a BA (minimum 2:1) and CELTA, as well as a years teaching experience.

Did it take you a long time to get a job teaching English in Zurich? Do you have any tips about how to get a job asap? I've heard that there are a lot of unqualified expat-wives (no disrespect meant here at all!) working as English language teaching so I presume that with both my qualifications and experience I'll be a step ahead!

Do you know of any websites where ELT jobs are advertised? I've heard that EFL jobs tend to only be advertised on the website of the particular language school/institution. Is this correct?

I'm looking to do private tuition as well, but only charging 25CHF to ensure I get some clients!

Sorry for all of the questions! Any general hints/tips would be fab :).

Rachael.

25 CHF, thanks for screwing us teachers!!

Leni 23.01.2011 00:40

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
If you work privately in your town, don't expect much more than 50CHF an hour.
Friends/neighbours/acquaintances don't want to pay more than that.........

In a good school, expect on earning between 60 - 90 CHF an hour.

Rach_UK 23.01.2011 00:49

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith66 (Post 1078215)
25 CHF, thanks for screwing us teachers!!

Hey give me a break! I'm moving to Switzerland to move in with boyfriend, won't have a job, will have rent to pay, and will therefore need to earn as much money as I possibly can.

If people want a tutor with 10 years experience then they will have to be prepared to pay for it.

Keith66 23.01.2011 00:54

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rach_UK (Post 1078226)
Hey give me a break! I'm moving to Switzerland to move in with boyfriend, won't have a job, will have rent to pay, and will therefore need to earn as much money as I possibly can.

If people want a tutor with 10 years then they will have to be prepared to pay for it.

25 CHF is to low that all I'm saying!

Guest 23.01.2011 01:07

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rach_UK (Post 1078201)
I'm looking to do private tuition as well, but only charging 25CHF to ensure I get some clients!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith66 (Post 1078215)
25 CHF, thanks for screwing us teachers!!

"Free market economics" and "Switzerland" don't really go together.

As everyone else has commented, the going rate for English lessons is considerably higher than CHF25/hour, and you'll get plenty of business at CHF35-40.

Believe it or not, most Swiss would probably find a low rate unattractive. The assumption here is that low prices equate to low quality.

Rach_UK 23.01.2011 01:14

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Believe it or not, most Swiss would probably find a low rate unattractive. The assumption here is that low prices equate to low quality.
Thanks for that. I did some private tuition in Germany and knocking 5 euros off of my hourly rate got me a lot more clients: I presumed the same would apply in Switzerland, but now I know I can raise my prices I will. It is, of course, better for me financially anyway :).

m_dalloway 23.01.2011 01:42

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Teaching for 1 hour implies preparation of lesson, sometimes creation of materials and marking. So 1 hour in front of student/s/class can mean a lot more work at home. It's not a bad salary at all- compared to my neighbour who gets CHF30 for cleaning, and a lot more enjoyable. Which is why we swap 1 hour for 1 hour, when I teach her kids and she helps me out with cleaning.
OT

I think your neighbour is screwing you...
No way a cleaner earns CHF30 an hour in Switzerland.

Guest 23.01.2011 01:44

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by m_dalloway (Post 1078247)
OT

I think your neighbour is screwing you...
No way a cleaner earns CHF30 an hour in Switzerland.

????

Mine does.

jrspet 23.01.2011 01:46

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by m_dalloway (Post 1078247)
No way a cleaner earns CHF30 an hour in Switzerland.

They most certainly do in these parts - the cleaner for our Jugendarbeit building is paid CHF30 per hour.

m_dalloway 23.01.2011 01:48

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

????

Mine does.
Well that is nice of you.
If she would work for a cleaning company she'd get around CHF13 - 18.
Private cleaning is normally between CHF17 - 20.

Guest 23.01.2011 01:53

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
OT, but the going rate here in Basel (based on three familes that I know of) is CHF 100-105 for 3 hours (includes some ironing).

Apparently in Zürich, too ... even in 2006.

Back to teaching English ...

Oldhand 23.01.2011 07:27

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by m_dalloway (Post 1078251)
Well that is nice of you.
If she would work for a cleaning company she'd get around CHF13 - 18.
Private cleaning is normally between CHF17 - 20.


I don't know anyone who pays less than 30 an hour. 17-20 is a cheek!

meloncollie 23.01.2011 09:27

Re: Teaching English in Switzerland
 
Out here, one needs to pay 35-50 per hour in order to find someone willing to venture this far from civilization.


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