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Good TEFL Schools in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia

 
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jamallo



Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:32 am    Post subject: Good TEFL Schools in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia Reply with quote

After reading many threads, I'm somewhat convinced that I, particularly as a non-EU citizen, may have to get an onsite TEFL certificate to get a job in any one of the 3 countries listed in the subject line. Quite frankly, with a BA, MA, LLB and LLM I'm rather schooled out at 55 and would prefer not to get one more certificate, but I enjoy teaching English and would like to work, hopefully, part-time teaching English for the next 10 years to earn a few extra euros and then semi-retire in Europe.
I would certainly to like to hear from anyone with experience that it simply is not true that a TEFL certificate is mandatory, but, otherwise, I would appreciate any suggestions concerning good TEFL schools in these countries - I'm assuming its probably best to go to a TEFL school in the country where I want to live as the school will likely have more local contacts and also I hope that a one month course will be sufficient.
TIA
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12368
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sure that a CELTA or similar would be a waste of time for Bulgaria. Not sure of the other two.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9589
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slovakia, CELTA, yes.

I realize that you're well educated in other fields, but EFL really is very much a discipline on its own and some training is really advisable. You want students to pay in money and time and energy for your services, and having at least a basic idea of how languages are best taught is really recommended. Language teaching does not bear a strong resemblance to teaching/learning in other fields; some of the least successful language teachers I've worked with were those with extensive teaching experience in other subjects.

Please consider the training. A CELTA or equivalent is really only a starter in the field, but at least you'll be on the right track.

I agree with the desirability of doing a cert in-country. There are some generics that meet the standard for the European region. Be sure it's 120 hours (or more) on site and includes supervised teaching practice with real students, with feedback from experienced teacher trainers on how you've done. I myself have a generic, and have worked in Europe for the past 14 years. It's always been accepted and in fact was accepted in Canada by the national powers that be in the field.

CELTA is just the immediately recognizable brand name. If you go for a generic, be sure to highlight the key ingredients of 120 hours and hands-on practice on your CV and application letters.
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jamallo



Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks thus far for the useful responses. To clarify my question, do any of these 3 countries require a TEFL certificate to obtain the necessary visa and work permits and do schools commonly use the presence or absence of a TEFL certificate as a simple and convenient tool to whittle down the number of CV's they have to pile through?
I'm somewhat dubious about equating having a CELTA, etc. with the ability to provide students with value for money. If a CELTA simply gives students of the course the ability to rattle off the 3rd conditional and other parts of grammar, as one poster claiming to be a CELTA course instructor indicated he asks in interviews of people applying for teaching positions, I can't think of more useless way to spend my time and money.
I've worked as a freelance translator for the past 10 years and I cannot rattle off parts of grammar of English or Japanese, the source language I work with. I primarily do legal and some finance translation and it is my background in the subject matter, my firm understanding of the source language and my ability to write grammatical correct, effective English that has allowed me to survive for 10 years as a freelancer.
Again, I don't know what the course really teaches and what students expect in Europe, so I have no basis for knowing whether it does indeed make one a better teacher. But if a CELTA course forces students to rote memorize the grammatical terms of parts of speech, I'm dubious - not that an grammar review wouldn't be useful. Again, I may very well be proven wrong once I'm there and take the course - its just that the statement of the CELTA instructor really made me skeptical.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9010
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a couple offers from schools (primary and secondary) in Romania. They required a bachelor's and teaching experience. Pay about 5 years ago, they were going to give me about 1500 dollars.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9589
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No; your perception of entry-level couses is by no means accurate - I cannot imagine what CELTA instructor would lead anyone to believe that the course is primarily grammar-based in terms of the newbie teachers knowledge of it!!

It's far more focused on the approaches and methods (well, an introduction to a few of them at least) used to teach language to adults. Most introductory courses include a grammar brush-up component, and that would likely be the easy part of the course for you, but it's really primarily about teaching skills in the field.

In other words, not whether you are aware of what the third conditional is, but how would you convey it to students. Shocked Cool It's not whether you can explain, but whether you can communicate, set up effective practice, and essentially bridge students into the ability to use a structure/vocab/etc on their own, consistently, in real time......

Also, European students are typically VERY well-versed in both their own grammar and in that of their target language (English, in this case) and are highly prone to ask questions about structure. Grammatically correct English is important to them, and they won't respect a teacher who can't meet their demands with some degree of proficiency. Some of them have been known to eat teachers with sloppy English alive, frankly Very Happy . Not implying that yours is sloppy, by any means!! Just to give you an idea of how strong their focus may be in this area.

Schools in Slovakia will likely use the presence or absence of a CELTA or equivalent to weed through applications, yes.
Prague features quite a few CELTA/equivalent teacher training centres, and many of the newbie teachers on the job market in nearby Slovakia will have such a cert from a training centre schools are likely to recognize.
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jamallo



Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually the posting claimed to be a TEFL instructor in Prague - perhaps he was just joking or making a slight overstatement to bring home whatever point he was trying to make.
In any event, he gave me the impression that students would sit in class and learn to parse sentences like taught in a Latin course in a pre-war public school in England.
Thanks for the clarification!
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9690
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto what Spiral said. No way the Celta or any other respectable equivalent is just about parsing sentences. Rest assured, you'll find plenty of new ground for you to cover on your TEFL course. More than you may think at the moment.

So, I wouldn't listen to any one poster on this forum or another - not even me. Especially me, in fact! Check out for your self what the course aims are for Celta. Here's a link, if you have not already got it:

http://www.cambridgeesol.org/assets/pdf/exams/celta/celta-syllabus-assessment-guidelines-2011.pdf

As Spiral has said, your own linguistic knowledge will be a boon to you. But teaching language is another matter. A Cert course will without doubt be helpful to you in the classroom.

As for visa requirements - I do not know. You'll have to follow whatever your future employer tells you, I suppose.

Good luck!
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 514

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A typical kind of grammar question which you may be asked on an interview would be something like: "How would you explain/teach the present perfect to a student who was having difficulty with the concept? I totally agree with Spiral, you won't be required to know the nuances of English grammar for the course but your European students are bound to ask you for an in-depth explanation of them.
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