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Old 22.03.2011, 21:29
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C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

Hello, fellow English speakers. I am hoping that a few of you will have some insight into to C2 requirement needed in order to teach at a private daycare or private school.
I have been told confusing information from my contact at EDK. She stated that I may work, but that she will not verify my teaching creditials from USA until I send her my C2 Diploma. I have run into many English speakers who do not speak German, yet they work at private schools. So is a C2 required?

Thanks.
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Old 22.03.2011, 21:46
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

It depends on the specific institution that would be hiring you. Public schools, you need C2 in the local language. Private schools have their own requirements, it may be that it is C2 somewhere. Also depends what you want to teach, if it is a foreign language (English probably with you) then you need only B2 in order to teach in public schools.

I am sure your contact also directed you to EDK pages, where they have the entire sets of documments ready for you to read and apply, in pdf (see this one about languages).
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Old 22.03.2011, 21:53
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

In my experience it also depends on the canton, area, age group, licencing, management and individual programme...

I understand in Canton zurich a couple of years ago they waived the language requirement for primary school teachers, working in bilingual schools, native speakers of the language they teach in....so there may be some english-speaking teachers who are actually 'approved' to teach in the bilingual schools, but who would not be allowed to be 'approved' for a government programme.

On the other hand, there are lots of teachers who team-teach or teach under the authority of another, swiss recognised, staff member and that gives some extra possibilities...

However, I have to add that my husband has been in negotiation with EDK for two years to try to get his qualifications approved, and he has a full primary school teaching degree in English, with specialist skills and more than 10 years teaching experience, from Australia, and they have not made it easy to jump through all the hoops...they are very particular, and in no hurry to make it easier, even though there are lots of english and bilingual programmes that need teaching staff...
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:12
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

Thanks for the replies. My situation is this....
I currently work at a daycare in Zurich, but the EDK refuse to view my creditials until a C2 diploma is attached. I want to find a new job, but without an EDK approval, I'm not sure if this is wise. This is a quote from my contact at EDK when I asked her if I can be employed at a private daycare as an English teacher without approval of my creditials, "Yes, the EDK is not saying if you can be employed or not. The EDK ist only responsable to examin the foreign diploma to the recognition with the Swiss diploma."

I'm confused.
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:21
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

I do wish you the best of luck. However wouldn't it be an excellent idea to get your C2- surely it makes sense if you are a teacher. C2 is quite a basic communicative level - so it can be achieved with a little effort.
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:22
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

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Thanks for the replies. My situation is this....
I currently work at a daycare in Zurich, but the EDK refuse to view my creditials until a C2 diploma is attached. I want to find a new job, but without an EDK approval, I'm not sure if this is wise. This is a quote from my contact at EDK when I asked her if I can be employed at a private daycare as an English teacher without approval of my creditials, "Yes, the EDK is not saying if you can be employed or not. The EDK ist only responsable to examin the foreign diploma to the recognition with the Swiss diploma."

I'm confused.
It only means, they are not the ones allowing you to teach or not. They are only looking at your diploma and saying if it transfers or not, and mentioning, with C2 attachment, it will pass as a certain local diploma, as equal. So, if any local teacher is needed for a specific job, his and your diploma will be equal with C2. Does it make sense? They won't make it illegal for you to work without the C2 attachment, you can find an employer who will employ you, but not those who are told by canton to only employ people with the diploma equal to yours with C2. So, to have your diploma recognized for day care, you need to get your language to C2. There are exceptions, as swisspea mentioned, so I would advise you first get a job where you don't need to have that specific Swiss diploma (the one that is equal to yours if you had C2), basically private sector, international schools, language agencies, etc.
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:25
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

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I do wish you the best of luck. However wouldn't it be an excellent idea to get your C2- surely it makes sense if you are a teacher. C2 is quite a basic communicative level - so it can be achieved with a little effort.
C2 is the most difficult, advanced level. It would take a couple of years, if OP isn't exactly too fluent.

I wouldn't stress, though. You can find work elsewhere than public schools, while you are mastering local language, then you up your diploma with that attachment and cruise till retirement.
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:28
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

Apologies for my mistake re C2- thanks MusicChick.
Learning the language has to be a good idea if one is to be a teacher anywhere, public or private though, perhaps.
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:31
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

My understanding is this, for early childhood qualifications to fit the swiss requirement, you need fluency in French, German or Italian (C2 level)

EDK won't look at anything else unless you can prove language proficiency. So, they won't give you an approval. The first time you enter the system, they might give your employer a 'temporary' approval for two years, to give you time to demonstrate your qualifications (ie. apply to EDK and get the approvals organised)...

Otherwise, it's up to an individual employer whether or not they can fit you into their structure.

Either way, you would be *highly employable* with early childhood degree plus C2 fluency, english native speaker, working in Switzerland, but if you can't match EDK's requirements, then the employer will have a licencing issue...

Sometimes individual employers can get approvals (short or long term) or exemptions for specific circumstances, but it's likely that sooner or later they will tighten the requirements, the exemption will expire, or you want to change jobs, and you face the same problem over again!
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:33
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

My intent is to find employment at a private until I master German. Im not interested in public at this time
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:43
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

Private schools will also have Swiss kids, and kids from all over the world, not just Anglo-Saxons - so speaking the local language is still very important surely. Skills expected for a fee paying school could be expected to be higher rather than lower, than public. As said, good luck.
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:45
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

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Skills expected for a fee paying school could be expected to be higher rather than lower, than public.
I wouldn't bank on that...
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Old 22.03.2011, 22:59
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

thank you all
thanks swisspea...then I will apply atthe kindergarten level
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Old 22.03.2011, 23:13
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

Odile I'm afraid it doesn't quite work like that. Public school is publicly funded and as such answerable to the public therefore controlled and quality (therefore qualifications), closely scrutinized.
Private schools are a business and must make money.
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Old 22.03.2011, 23:26
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

Of course. I do not quite understand the logic that Private schools would not expect teachers (unless they teach other languages) to speak the local language. Surely too, this would be just as important at kindergarten level, if not more so. I've always felt that early years teachers need to be in many way more skilled.
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Old 22.03.2011, 23:32
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

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Of course. I do not quite understand the logic that Private schools would not expect teachers (unless they teach other languages) to speak the local language.
If you're teaching in English, the ability to speak another language isn't necessary, even if it is desirable. In many bilingual schools, teachers are specifically instructed that they must not speak any language during lesson time other than the one they are employed to teach.

Of course, sitting through three hour staff meetings in German might be a problem if you don't understand a word of it, but fully qualified, experienced native-English speaking teachers are pretty hard to come by, and it is not unusual to employ people newly arrived from other countries without a word of one of the local languages.

Needs must, and all that.
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Old 22.03.2011, 23:37
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

Absolutely, if they teach English or another language, as said above.
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Old 22.03.2011, 23:54
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

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C2 is the most difficult, advanced level. It would take a couple of years, if OP isn't exactly too fluent.
I only know examiners in Germany, not CH. But I've heard first hand stories about american postgraduate in German who failed the C2. Fluent in C2 means really fluent at academic level. (I would most probably fail English C2 too)
About English natives teaching English: I don't experience a shortage of language teachers in Swiss schools I know of. Administration will always prefer a fully qualified teacher the Swiss way rather than anything else. Shortage of language teacher will always be an exception. That can be a great opportunity for the OP, but that stays an exception in my perception of things.

Just my perceptions, I have not asked every school in the country.
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Last edited by Faltrad; 23.03.2011 at 00:13. Reason: my not C2 English :-)
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Old 23.03.2011, 08:22
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

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Sometimes individual employers can get approvals (short or long term) or exemptions for specific circumstances, but it's likely that sooner or later they will tighten the requirements, the exemption will expire, or you want to change jobs, and you face the same problem over again!
Just to second this... I was in a situation where my employer had got an exemption for me, we ran into problems and ended up in a very nasty mess indeed. Short version: my employer had major business problems and I lost my job.

OP, I've sent you a PM with the details, don't really want to post them on a public forum, but just for other people reading this in the future - I'd say it's better to get everything in place before you start work (i.e. equivalency, language certificate and additional courses you may have to take). But it can take a very long time - my process took over a year (and it still wasn't finished when I lost my job).

Last edited by Vlh22; 23.03.2011 at 08:23. Reason: Fixed formatting - I hope
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Old 23.03.2011, 10:08
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Re: C2 Help!!...Teaching Positions

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I only know examiners in Germany, not CH. But I've heard first hand stories about american postgraduate in German who failed the C2. Fluent in C2 means really fluent at academic level. (I would most probably fail English C2 too)
About English natives teaching English: I don't experience a shortage of language teachers in Swiss schools I know of. Administration will always prefer a fully qualified teacher the Swiss way rather than anything else. Shortage of language teacher will always be an exception. That can be a great opportunity for the OP, but that stays an exception in my perception of things.

Just my perceptions, I have not asked every school in the country.
I've taught English in the public and private sector. Because English is my mother tongue, I've never been asked to complete a C2 diploma. However, I know my Canton does not accept US teaching credentials for jobs on a state level. I believe this also is true vice versa: America does not accept Swiss credentials.

Finding a teaching job in the public sector (state schools) is harder for an American than a Brit because of politics. Being Swiss nationalized will help the situation.

I know for a fact one cannot teach English on a permanent basis in the secondary schools if one does not have Swiss teaching credentials.

Good luck.
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