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Agegroup for teaching?

 
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Adventeuerin



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Agegroup for teaching? Reply with quote

I'm looking to move to Germany next year to teach EFL, probably starting in one of the language schools like Berlitz or similar. I had been assuming that most of the students there will be teenagers or adults, but realized I am making a big assumption here. Is this the case or would there also be younger students? That is not a problem for me, but I want to know how to best prepare.

Also what level of English would they most likely give me as a beginning EFL teacher? Beginning English class, intermediate, advanced or what?

I realize you can't give me any guarantees, but I'm hoping to get a better idea from those of you who are already in the field.

Thanks in advance.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9391
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll be adults. English is taught in state schools by local teachers, and there will be few schoolkids who will want or need extra. Maybe a few in test-prep courses, but that won't apply to Berlitz.

So far as level, with Berlitz it won't matter in any substantial way. All these 'method' chains basically use the same approach regardless of how proficient (or not) the students are. The most realistic answer to this question is that you'll get whatever the teachers with more seniority than you (all of them, to start out) don't want/like.
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Adventeuerin



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, that confirms what I was expecting.

Any idea of what the least desirable classes would be?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9391
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, any class at a Berlitz or similar school would be undesirable. But I'm picky about approach and methods.....

The drawback to these schools, besides the fact that they pay at the bottom of the scale, is that the very specific (and quite outdated) methods they use aren't well-respected by other schools when one wants to move on. It's a way to get one's foot in the door, but not many teachers (at least not those who are supporting themselves and for whom it's not simply a secondary income) stay more than long enough to find something better.

You don't mention your qualifications, but if you haven't already got a CELTA or something similar (onsite, 100+ hours, supervised teaching practice with real students), this will likely be something to consider later on if you decide to stay in the region.

So far as a more realistic answer regarding the less desirable classes you're likely to teach - it's probably going to be mostly related to time slots. Expect early start, late finish, long useless breaks in midday, and very possibly Saturdays. You might not get stuck with the schedule from hell, but it's definitely possible, at least in your early days.
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Adventeuerin



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, the schedule info is good to keep in mind.

So what are the better schools thar you are referring to? I will need to support myself but am not expecting, or needing to make more than my living expenses.

I have a teaching license in New Mexico and will have a CELTA by the time I get there, and while I have teaching experience I have not been a full time classroom instructor.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9391
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I obviously can't name individual schools having no idea what city you may be targeting, but there are loads of private language schools out there.

Many/most will be 'better' than Berlitz and the other 'method' schools in that you'll at least get to use what you learn on your CELTA. Berlitz and its ilk pay at the bottom of the pay scale because their teachers don't need any training other than what the schools give them in the 'method' used.

The bottom line is: use whatever school you can find to help you get a work permit initially. The better jobs aren't normally found until the second year at least (though you might get very lucky and land a 'good' job right away, of course!). It takes a local reputation and contacts, and local language skills, to get into the better niches, and that obviously takes some time and energy in an area. This is a highly competitive job market, and you will be less attractive than a UK teacher simply because of the paperwork hassles. It can all work out well in the end, but expect hassles along the way.
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Adventeuerin



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, thanks again.
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Adventurer



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Berlitz is not a bad place to cut your esl abroad teeth.

Yup, you're not gonna rake it in - but if you wanna teach and live in Europe,
it's not a bad place to start.

Average age of my students during my 3 year stint with Berlitz in Berlin and Erfurt was probably 30.

Be prepared to do some split shifts, but you will rarely work on weekends!
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