Joined: 20 May 2004
Location: The Baltic Area
|Posted: Tue May 25, 2004 8:24 am Post subject: Following up to "Age limits & Non-native speakers&q
First I would like to thank "daily chai" for your sympathy and your understanding of my rather not-so-easy situation (i'd like to avoid the word "difficult" here).
Then I would like to thank "Gowump" for your tips about Poland.
Do you know any home-site, which I could search, in order to get in contact with these potential employers, to whom you referred in your reply?
As I suspect that many are not on-line yet (this still exists a lot in this part of Europe), since I did not happen to find any them, neither through "yahoo", "google", "tefl" nor through "davescafe", I would like to ask you, whether you know any other way for me to find them and get into contact with them?
I will be in Poland this summer, in Warszawa, right in the centre, so I could easily pass by and visit them in the end of August.
When do language schools usually start their autumn programme in Poland and Central-Eastern Europe in general?
Will it be too late to apply for an autumn term position by the end of August?
Returning to my central topic (and the reason why):
Two years ago, I was visiting some cities in Central-Eastern Europe
(I prefer not go into detail here, but it was not in Poland).
Since I felt at home there, more than I ever felt somewhere else, I thought that I'd use the opportunity to look for a job at the language schools in those cities, which I could find through tips of friends and the local tourist information boards.
I did not have a TEFL or CELTA qualification yet, because at that time, I did not know yet about this wonderful opportunity.
Neither would I've had the money to do the training at that time.
The reasons, why I was rejected by these potential employers, were however totally different.
We had not even gotten to the point of assessing and discussing qualifications.
At first sight, I was met with lots of enthousiasm: although I was not asked to show them any papers of qualification yet, it somehow was preassumed, that I'd certainly have them, or that they'd maybe even might consider hiring me without them.
No one could tell me right away, whether there would be a need for teachers, but in all cases, the people who met me, were more than willing to examine the possibilty (this goes for all the five schools I visited).
Through the lines, I got to understand, that this was, as I was perceived as a "native speaker".
The tables turned to my disadvantage, only when I had to show them my passport.
By this act, it became immediately clear to them, that I could not be a native speaker, and that I was over 40 (I was 42 at the time).
The reply changed in all cases into the explanation, that it was an absolute requirement, that one had to be a "native speaker".
Linguistic skills, including ability to explain grammar, and including the ability to speak as a "native speaker" (without any accent), neither fluency in several other important languages besides English, did not count.
The persons whom I met, could only tell me, that thay regretted the situation, but that it, unfortunately, were not they, who decided.
And to the possibilty to talk to the persons who (supposedly) decided, I was never admitted.
In three of the four cases, I was also hinted at the fact, that they'd actually rather have a "younger" person teaching at their school (which means someone up to 35-40).
I was 42 at the the time: one of the ladies at one of the schools even apologized to me for her "mistake", for she'd thought me to
be "around 32" (as for me, she absolutely did not need to apologize for THIS so-called "mistake", as you may understand).
But remains the fact, that I need to find a way around the constant risk of being thrown out in the first selection round, because of superficial formalities like age, native language and (the lack of) university degrees (in spite of relevant qualifications and a more than sufficient i.q.).
Does any one know, whether the chances will be better in Poland, Russia or the Baltic countries?
What kind of schools should one preferably contact?
Private languagee schools or state schools?
Is it possible in the first place, to survive on wages paid by state schools in those countries?
I know that teachers have a hard time surviving there, ifthey get paid at all.
Thanks a lotfor any tips and information.
With best regards