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Old 20.06.2008, 17:34
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Teaching English

How easy is it to get a job teaching English as a foreign language in Switzerland?

Does anyone do this? What is it like, and what is the pay like?

What is the difference between the courses CELTA, TEFL, DELTA?

Is it possible to get work doing this just during the summer or is
it a year round thing?

Trying to decide what to do with my life, just looking at options.
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Old 20.06.2008, 18:57
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Re: Teaching English

Hello!! Im looking for exactly the same information (as i cant do much else other than speek english!)

I have done a bit of research and for most schools-colleges you need to have qualifications, i think the only way to do it is if you find someone-some people who want to learn english and do it privatly if you have no qualifications, anyway, i know its probably not helpful in the least but hey, good luck!!
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Old 21.06.2008, 00:45
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Re: Teaching English

Looking into doing the CELTA course in Manchester in October, it is £1050, so a lot cheaper than here in Switzerland.

Want a qualification as I don't really know what I am doing, so doing the course would be good for me.

Wouldn't mind teaching in a school or privately, I just want to know the chances of getting or not getting work as I don't want to spend that money and get nothing back.

(I just recently spent 800chf on a raft guide course and qualification and am now skint as we have not got anywhere near as much work as they said we would get)

Also does anyone know of a good website to learn English grammar? There is a short grammar test to get onto the course I am looking at, my English is fluent but I have no idea what a superlative is or the genitive etc

(I should have put this in 'Language' really but I wanted to know the chances of 'Employment')
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  #4  
Old 21.06.2008, 08:43
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Re: Teaching English

I think you are looking at one of the most competitive employment markets in Switzerland - there is no shortage of English speakers who think they can teach. CELTA is the qualification to go for but as a means to get employment it needs backing up with teaching practice - the people running the course may be able to point you in the right direction there but it would mean an extended stay in the UK while you got some practice in so cost could be a factor.
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Old 21.06.2008, 10:05
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Re: Teaching English

Hello! Have a look at this site: www.helendoron.com this could give you another option. The people running Helen Doron in Switzerland are fantastic ..Ollie and Bettina and the courses are great. Enjoy and good luck!
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Old 21.06.2008, 10:30
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Re: Teaching English

Many English teachers use this book as their grammar bible:

Practical English Usage by Michael Swan

Highly recommended!

There are thousands of ESL websites for teachers of English. Use the acronym "ESL" (English as a Second Language) to find resources for teachers or students.

Good websites:
http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/grammar_list/alle.htm
Excellent for German speakers learning English

http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/gramm...hive/be01.html
Excellent grammar site from the British Council
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Old 21.06.2008, 12:33
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Re: Teaching English

If you want to teach English as a second language in a public school, you'd need appropriate qualifications not only in English (language, litterature, ...) but also in pedagogy (teaching) AND be fluent in the local language spoken by your students (german, french or italian).

Before applying for a teacher job in a school, a previous successfull experience in teaching English in Switzerland (eg. recommandation, good certificate) from a private school or group of students would be a good help.

Good luck!
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Old 21.06.2008, 12:52
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Re: Teaching English

A friend of mine teaches English at the migros club school, and also she gives private lessons, she had to go on a course first, but the money she spent on the course was worth it
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Old 21.06.2008, 13:01
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Re: Teaching English

Migros is an excellent place to gain experience. Unfortunately, you can't make a living teaching English at Migros!
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Old 21.06.2008, 13:40
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Re: Teaching English

.........................

Last edited by ElieDeLeuze; 09.07.2009 at 19:00.
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Old 21.06.2008, 15:19
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Re: Teaching English

Okay, so, there are really two options for teaching ESL in Switzerland (or anywhere, for that matter). Option 1 is to teach English to school-age children. This has been covered in posts above, and I'm no expert on teaching to minors (can't stand the little so-and-sos, to be quite honest). Option 2 is to teach to adults, which is what I do here in Switzerland. The following is my advice based on the whole 6 months of experience I've gained so far:

First off, getting a job teaching ESL to adults in Switzerland is difficult, for reasons already explained (although it is by no means impossible). The market is indeed flooded with native English speakers who have exactly the same thought as you do ("I want to work in Switzerland, and I know how to speak English...hey!"), but there is also a rather high turnover for teachers, so there is often an opportunity if you look hard enough. And whoever said that you can't make enough money to live on from teaching at Migros is full of **it, because you can. However, you may have to work at more than one Migros klubschule or other schools. Fortunately, there are a thousand schools to apply to, as well.

The downside, of course, is that you have to have a visa (unless you're a citizen). You can't expect the schools to supply you with a work visa, due to the aforementioned flooded market. It's basically a requirement. Also, the CELTA is pretty much standard. And don't worry about how much grammar you know before you begin the CELTA training--the test is really just to prove that you are willing to put in the tremendous amount of research that is required to successfully pass the course. Do your homework (most of which is readily available in online resources) and work hard, and passing the course is a piece of cake. And it really is a wonderful course. I had never taught before, and was terrified of public speaking, and I left the course feeling confident and ready to teach.

And you asked how much money to expect. As a new teacher, you can expect around CHF 50 per hour. Some schools may have you go through a "training period" wherein they pay you significantly less for a specified period of time, but whether or not it's worth it to you is something only you decide. If you decide to continue teaching for many years, some classes can offer a teacher up to CHF 130 or 150 per hour, but these tend to be very specific classes, like English for Lawyers, Medical English, Financial English, etc., which require highly specialized teaching knowledge. In other words, you can make a fairly decent living as an English teacher in Switzerland if you really work hard at it.

As for finding that dream job, there are a lot of resources. The first one that comes to mind is the ETAS website (www.e-tas.ch), which stands for English Teachers Association of Switzerland, the Migros klubschule website, and of course local Swiss newspapers. You may also find a connection during your CELTA. I actually interviewed for my current job here while finishing my CELTA in the States, due to some fortunate timing. But keep in mind, some schools have a better reputation than others in terms of how they treat teachers. PM me and I can give you the skinny on some of them.

Now, a word about timing...summer is a bad time to come looking for a job here. Most people are away on holiday, and not terribly interested in spending their time in stuffy, un-air-conditioned classrooms during the best time of the year. But if you take the CELTA this summer, which takes a month anyway, you'll be ready to apply in August for the positions that open up in September. As long as you have a work permit and the CELTA, chances are good that you can at least find SOMETHING.

Anyway, feel free to PM me if you want any more advice. I'm still new to the game, and don't know all the ins-and-outs, but I'm happy to share what I know.
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Old 21.06.2008, 15:33
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Re: Teaching English

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And whoever said that you can't make enough money to live on from teaching at Migros is full of **it, because you can. However, you may have to work at more than one Migros klubschule or other schools. Fortunately, there are a thousand schools to apply to, as well.
I take offense at what you said.

That was me who said you can't make a living working at Migros teaching English and I stand behind that. I worked for Migros six years teaching English and knew many other teachers there. They ALL needed to supplement their income with other jobs outside of Migros. There just weren't enough classes at Migros in Zug and Lucerne to sustain a living.

The fact that you call me full of **it and then go on to mention that you'll need to work at various Migros Klubschools or other schools to make a living makes you a hypocrite.

The rest of your post was very good and accurate.

Last edited by olygirl; 21.06.2008 at 15:36. Reason: added a few words to make the context clearer and fixed some grammar.
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Old 21.06.2008, 15:55
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Re: Teaching English

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I take offense at what you said.

That was me who said you can't make a living working at Migros teaching English and I stand behind that. I worked for Migros six years teaching English and knew many other teachers there. They ALL needed to supplement their income with other jobs outside of Migros. There just weren't enough classes at Migros in Zug and Lucerne to sustain a living.

The fact that you call me full of **it and then go on to mention that you'll need to work at various Migros Klubschools or other schools to make a living makes you a hypocrite.

The rest of your post was very good and accurate.
I'm very sorry, olygirl, for offending you. I guess your original post just confused me and seemed more restrictive in terms of advice than I would have given. It sounded to me like you were telling the OP "there's no chance of sustaining a living working as an English teacher at all," and then just using Migros as an example. Again, please accept my apology, as it was merely a misunderstanding.
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Old 21.06.2008, 16:06
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Re: Teaching English

Thanks. Apology accepted.
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Old 21.06.2008, 17:29
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Re: Teaching English

Thanks for your helps guys.

Yeah I wasn't thinking of working in a high school type school, haven't got the qualifications for that.

Hmmm the permit is a problem, I am at the moment going from L-permit to L-permit, so don't see i would get a B any time soon, unless I get a permenant contract with someone.

Deviating from the topic a little, can I work say i am freelance/work for myself and apply for a B permit like that, then work for various schools?

Do you think there is much of a market for teaching private lessons myself, people who want private lessons, kids wanting help with english homework etc, parents who want their kids to learn english away from school???? Quite fancy working for myself at some point.

I check out all the links and come back with anymore questions.

Thanks
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Old 21.06.2008, 17:41
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Re: Teaching English

I know an Australian who teaches English and is managing to bring in a decent income.

He works for a reputable language school 60%, does evening courses in another school (20%) and then does private tutoring (20%). There's a lot of coordination and travel from job to job involved.

Some schools do not like to see their part-time tutors advertising private lessons at home if they both are located in the same area. This is true for the school I work for.

And don't forget, most schools close from July-August and during Christmas. Since you most likely will be paid by the hour, your salary will not cover these holidays.
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Old 21.06.2008, 17:50
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Re: Teaching English

I have been teaching English to adults here in Switzerland for almost 20 years.

- I would not consider even trying, however good your English may be, without taking a TEFL course. Knowing English is not the same as teaching it.

- Starting will be hard - it's a competitive market and you will be offered evenings and holidays at the outset.

- The pay varies wildly. Migros offered me CHF35 for 4 x 3/4 hour lessons a week and expected all new teachers to attend their introductory 2-day course. I turned them down and spent the first 10 years teaching at two private schools, this included 4 evenings a week. The rate was CHF65 - CHF75/ hour.

10 years ago I started specialising with companies in-house going freelance. This is day-time work in office hours and pays in excess of CHF100/ hour. However, it was not achieved overnight and is a result of many years proving that I can cut it i.e.getting students through exams...

Last edited by AbFab; 22.06.2008 at 12:13. Reason: Teacher corrected self
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Old 21.06.2008, 17:57
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Re: Teaching English

AbFab, you say you spent the first 10 years doing evening classes... did you have to speak the learners language for that?

Olygirl, Those closed times aren't really a problem for me. I currently have work Dec-Apr and Jul-Aug, I need to fill May/June/Sept/Oct/Nov. Evenings could be good too, then in the future maybe I would do it full time year round.
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Old 21.06.2008, 18:03
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Re: Teaching English

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Hello! Have a look at this site: www.helendoron.com this could give you another option. The people running Helen Doron in Switzerland are fantastic ..Ollie and Bettina and the courses are great. Enjoy and good luck!
This looks really interesting, I like the idea! Do you know much about it.... couldn't really tell from the website how much they tie you in how much committment you have to make. Also no mention of the course costs etc.
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Old 21.06.2008, 18:34
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Re: Teaching English

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AbFab, you say you spent the first 10 years doing evening classes... did you have to speak the learners language for that?
No. That's what the first lesson was in the TEFL course - we spent half an hour learning Turkish without the teacher using any English.

TEFL teaching in the UK is nearly always to multi-language classes, so speaking anything but English would be useless. A monoglot class does tempt teachers to break into the local language but this should be discouraged, although there are some great advantages knowing the local language as there many short cuts (much and many [uncountables and countables] can be a killer for French speakers, but the rule is exactly the same in High German [though not Swiss German] and so, viel is 'much' and viele is 'many' - also useful when learning German...
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