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Old 28.08.2010, 21:13
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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.
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Old 28.08.2010, 21:26
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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.
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Old 28.08.2010, 21:30
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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.
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Old 28.08.2010, 21:37
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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!
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Old 28.08.2010, 23:08
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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
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Old 28.08.2010, 23:34
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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
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Old 29.08.2010, 09:20
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

Beacause you speak English, what makes you think you are an English teacher ?
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Old 29.08.2010, 17:54
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

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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.
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Old 29.08.2010, 18:08
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

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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?
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Old 29.08.2010, 19:00
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

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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 ), and could only wonder if they charged students accordingly as well.
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Old 29.08.2010, 21:35
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

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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 ), and could only wonder if they charged students accordingly as well.
Yeah right, pay peanuts, get monkeys !
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Old 30.08.2010, 12:56
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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.
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Old 21.10.2010, 07:05
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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 - Audiology in Switzerland

Thanks
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Old 25.10.2010, 22:59
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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.

Last edited by Odile; 25.10.2010 at 23:05. Reason: + info
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Old 25.10.2010, 23:03
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

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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.
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Old 25.10.2010, 23:08
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

Definitely NOT a problem for me - I just said no. I'm not complaining - just stating facts.
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Old 25.10.2010, 23:37
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

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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. :-)
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Old 26.10.2010, 05:33
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

Since when is CHF45/hr NOT a good salary?
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Old 26.10.2010, 06:34
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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.
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Old 26.10.2010, 09:16
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Re: Teaching English in Switzerland

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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.
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