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Old 14.12.2020, 21:14
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A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

Hello dear friends.
I am Serhat and I am 24 years old. I am an English teacher in a state school in Turkey. I have been teaching English for 2 years. I did Erasmus in Spain and I want to move to Switzerland to be a teacher. I havent learnt German totally yet but I have started. My English level is C2 and I dont know what should I do after I learnt German at least B2 level. Can you tell me and explain me the steps?
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Old 14.12.2020, 23:45
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

You will most likely have to redo any qualifications here in Switzerland. The Swiss love their papers. Plan to go back to university. German B2 should get you into a uni program and by the end of it you’ll have enough German to teach English—plus the all-important Swiss papers. But beware the over saturation of the Swiss market for teachers especially at the adult level but also at obligatory school levels. Pay isn’t too good either comparatively unless you get really lucky with an international school.
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Old 15.12.2020, 00:28
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

Hello and welcome to the forum.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see that the forum automatically recommends other threads which seem to be related. Maybe there's something there for you.

Also, the search function (top right) will give you some results. It seems to work better, though, to google from outside the forum, with "englishforum" as one of the searchwords, and then "teaching" or "teacher". You will see that many people from abroad consider the steps, as you are now doing.

See also:
https://www.englishforum.ch/educatio...itzerland.html
https://www.englishforum.ch/employme...-teachers.html
https://www.englishforum.ch/employme...cher-here.html

Also, here's a sub-forum on Employment:
https://www.englishforum.ch/employment/
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Old 15.12.2020, 00:29
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

From your post your English is better than a lot of the posts from non-native English speaking teachers of English we get on here but it's clearly not great, sorry. Maybe the standards are low here but I don't understand why a school wouldn't just get a native English speaker or at least someone with demonstrable ability. I suppose if they don't have much money... Sounds harsh but that's the way I see it. I suppose the old adage is often true - "those who can...."
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Old 15.12.2020, 08:24
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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Maybe the standards are low here but I don't understand why a school wouldn't just get a native English speaker or at least someone with demonstrable ability.
I dunno, maybe some aren't that easy to handle? Then having official papers, permits, local job market protection, you name it...I think outsourcing from abroad now makes zero sense, no matter of the demonstrable ability, especially these days when the job market wobbles for all sorts of reasons.

OP - liking a place isn't enough sometimes to get settled somewhere, professionally. Erasmus works completely differently.
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Old 15.12.2020, 09:09
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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Hello dear friends.
I am Serhat and I am 24 years old. I am an English teacher in a state school in Turkey. I have been teaching English for 2 years. I did Erasmus in Spain and I want to move to Switzerland to be a teacher. I havent learnt German totally yet but I have started. My English level is C2 and I dont know what should I do after I learnt German at least B2 level. Can you tell me and explain me the steps?
OP, I'm not an English teacher myself but I do know a few non-native speakers of French who teach French and Latin in public schools in the German cantons. As far as I know proficiency level of C1 in German is required to teach in public schools here. Keep in mind competition is very high and apart from that you'll need a work permit, which can be obtained only if your employer can prove they didn't find a suitable candidate in Switzerland or other EU/EFTA countries.
You can try to find something in the private sector (where a B2 level might suffice), but you'd still need a work permit.There are many native English speakers who struggle(d) to find a proper, full time job here so I don't know, I certainly don't want to be a nay-sayer but it really is that tough.
Why precisely Switzerland? You're very young. Expand your horizon a bit and look somewhere else too, if you want an international experience. Then, you can build on it (Erasmus doesn't really count when it comes to that) and see how far you can go. Good luck.
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Old 15.12.2020, 09:19
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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From your post your English is better than a lot of the posts from non-native English speaking teachers of English we get on here but it's clearly not great, sorry. Maybe the standards are low here but I don't understand why a school wouldn't just get a native English speaker or at least someone with demonstrable ability. I suppose if they don't have much money... Sounds harsh but that's the way I see it. I suppose the old adage is often true - "those who can...."
i think they do. no shortage of native english speaking teachers in ticino at least.
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Old 15.12.2020, 09:29
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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no shortage of native english speaking teachers in ticino at least.
My kids never had a native English or French speaker for English or French.

Tom
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Old 15.12.2020, 09:48
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

Ditto my kid English. And some of the things the English teacher says are correct usage leave something to be desired.

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My kids never had a native English or French speaker for English or French.

Tom
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Old 15.12.2020, 10:05
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

Perhaps OP could consider working as just an English teacher at a language school?

However OP, work permits are difficult to obtain in Switzerland and it is even more difficult to find a job once you are allowed to live here without one of the 3 main Swiss languages spoken. The market is flooded with qualified language teachers and citizens or current residents will have the priority. It is also hard to find a steady job as a language teacher to provide sufficient income for residency.

You can forget working at an actual school without local qualifications and local language...perhaps an International School, but those positions are rare and difficult to obtain and English is already the main spoken language.

Apologies for dampening your dream - all the best.

Last edited by Susie-Q; 16.12.2020 at 09:47. Reason: I hadn't had my coffee yet
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Old 15.12.2020, 10:14
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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... As far as I know proficiency level of C1 in German is required to teach in public schools here. Keep in mind competition is very high and apart from that you'll need a work permit, which can be obtained only if your employer can prove they didn't find a suitable candidate in Switzerland or other EU/EFTA countries.
You can try to find something in the private sector (where a B2 level might suffice), but you'd still need a work permit.There are many native English speakers who struggle(d) to find a proper, full time job here so I don't know, I certainly don't want to be a nay-sayer but it really is that tough.
...
That's my understanding too, that language teachers in Canton Zurich need to have level C1 German. Hence, there are not so many English teachers who are actually native speakers.

My son speaks fluent English at home and has been completely bored in his English classes. So I called his English teacher to discuss. We started speaking in English but ultimately switched to German because it was easier for his teacher 🤷

I would also say that there are not a lot of job opportunities for teachers here, let alone English teachers here. Maybe you will have some luck finding a teaching job at a language school?
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Old 15.12.2020, 10:26
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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German B2 should get you into a uni program
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As far as I know proficiency level of C1 in German is required to teach in public schools here.
My daughter is studying to be a primary school teacher at the FHNW. She was required to get a C2 German certificate to start the course. I don't know if secondary have that requirement, but you need a masters in a relevant subject to teach at secondary. This applies to BL, but my understanding that there's quite a bit of harmonisation across a number of cantons (mainly the German speaking ones)
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Old 15.12.2020, 10:27
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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From your post your English is better than a lot of the posts from non-native English speaking teachers of English we get on here but it's clearly not great, sorry. Maybe the standards are low here but I don't understand why a school wouldn't just get a native English speaker or at least someone with demonstrable ability. I suppose if they don't have much money... Sounds harsh but that's the way I see it. I suppose the old adage is often true - "those who can...."
There's one mistake which could easily be a typo.
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Old 15.12.2020, 10:32
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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My daughter is studying to be a primary school teacher at the FHNW. She was required to get a C2 German certificate to start the course. I don't know if secondary have that requirement, but you need a masters in a relevant subject to teach at secondary. This applies to BL, but my understanding that there's quite a bit of harmonisation across a number of cantons (mainly the German speaking ones)
I was referring strictly to language teachers. You surely need a master's degree in a relevant subject, true. But I thought that goes without saying since the OP is qualified to teach English in his home country. You're right though, I shouldn't assume the criteria are similar.
Plus coming from a non-EU state he'll have to go through all that long, complicated process needed in order to have his degree recognised. Totally missed that one. So there.
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Old 15.12.2020, 10:36
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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That's my understanding too, that language teachers in Canton Zurich need to have level C1 German. Hence, there are not so many English teachers who are actually native speakers.

My son speaks fluent English at home and has been completely bored in his English classes. So I called his English teacher to discuss. We started speaking in English but ultimately switched to German because it was easier for his teacher 🤷
Some of these teachers took their C1 tests 5-10 years ago. Without constant immersion of the language, quite often the English fluency decreases over time. Remember, these teachers usually never teach above a B1 level and they need to grade their English language accordingly for their students to understand.

So yes, at one time these teachers had reached the C1 level but please don't expect them to maintain it. It's an unrealistic expectation.
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Old 15.12.2020, 12:07
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

My kid is pretty happy when she can teach something to her teacher. The teacher actually checks with her, too, if she doesn't know...hill/heels being one of those things.

Kids are usually ok with it. It's the parents who don't like their kids being taught by imperfect teachers.
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Old 15.12.2020, 12:41
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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Hello dear friends.
I am Serhat and I am 24 years old. I am an English teacher in a state school in Turkey. I have been teaching English for 2 years. I did Erasmus in Spain and I want to move to Switzerland to be a teacher. I havent learnt German totally yet but I have started. My English level is C2 and I dont know what should I do after I learnt German at least B2 level. Can you tell me and explain me the steps?
Hi Serhat

The work market here is flooded with a lot of highly qualified foreigners who nobody wants to call to interviews and appoint for a job.
The market currently asks for nurses and IT mostly. Other positions are seldom found and occupied by happy expats. this is the exception.
Swiss do not care that you have been through Erasmus.
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Old 15.12.2020, 12:55
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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Maybe the standards are low here but I don't understand why a school wouldn't just get a native English speaker or at least someone with demonstrable ability.
Just another case of looking for native but not too native. I guess parents and school managers want someone with English as first language and at the same time someone not so distant culturally (C1-C2 German). What's the point in getting a native speaker that cannot integrate into the school system? Not so different to an awesome doctor that cannot communicate with patients in German, a waste of skills.

Last edited by Axa; 15.12.2020 at 13:19. Reason: typo
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Old 15.12.2020, 13:18
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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Hi Serhat

The work market here is flooded with a lot of highly qualified foreigners who nobody wants to call to interviews and appoint for a job.
The market currently asks for nurses and IT mostly. .....
That's a good point. Serhat, depending upon your main motivation(s) to be in Switzerland, might you consider getting training as a nurse instead of as a teacher? You'd still definitely need local language skills, but with less stringent requirements to be accurate, less competition in the work market, and more chance of your finding a Swiss employer who might help you with the permit application.
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Old 15.12.2020, 15:23
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Re: A Teacher who wants to move to Switzerland

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That's my understanding too, that language teachers in Canton Zurich need to have level C1 German. Hence, there are not so many English teachers who are actually native speakers.

My son speaks fluent English at home and has been completely bored in his English classes. So I called his English teacher to discuss. We started speaking in English but ultimately switched to German because it was easier for his teacher ��
Primary school teachers teach all the subjects in my neck of the wood so I never expected native speaker level. I know that between 3rd and 6th grade they'll have a teacher that teaches only English so maybe the level of English will be higher. I don't mind tbh and I'm not in the habit of contesting their teachers' methods, though I have to bite my nails when it comes to math. Their focus should be on German/Swiss-German anyway. I'm more in favour of "let them do their job and we do ours".

Last edited by greenmount; 15.12.2020 at 15:43. Reason: grammar
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