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Laughable article about salaries in EL Gazette
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:43 pm    Post subject: Laughable article about salaries in EL Gazette Reply with quote

In the April, 2012, edition of the EL Gazette we read this article by Frank Wright, an EAP tutor based at a British university partnership provider:

EAP in the UK – how to achieve a life-changing transformation

Most EFL teachers become tired, sooner or later, of teaching the present perfect to groups of under-inspired pre-intermediate adults, or trying to tame loud hyperactive teenagers ‍into appreciating the ultimate purpose of the communicative approach. If that’s the case with you, then you’ve more than likely considered delving ‍into one of the more ‘serious’ strands of ELT, such as academic English or English for academic purposes (EAP), areas that allegedly offer somewhat more motivated students and improved ‍salary prospects.
But how can the average frustrated and underpaid EFL teacher make that switch ‍into the academic hinterland? Having made that very transition myself, here’s some advice on achieving this life-changing transformation and liberating yourself from apparently pointless hours spent cursing over a copy of Headway Intermediate.
If you are currently working at an EFL school in the UK or abroad, probably the best way to make that first step onto the EAP platform is to put your name forward for teaching Academic Ielts exam classes. Broadly speaking, this exam is taken by students who plan to study or train in an English-speaking environment at tertiary level, so you will be teaching them the academic skills, particularly in reading and writing, that they will need to prosper at college. In fact, almost 1.5 million stu dents sit this exam every year, and therefore the demand for teachers is high both within and outside the UK.
UK pay rates for this sort of enhanced teaching vary from as little as £12.50 per hour to £15–18 at some of the better EFL schools, and this is (or should be) usually a good 20 per cent better than teaching general EFL classes. However, many of the private-sector ‘partnership’ providers of university-bound courses, such as Bellerbys and ‍Into, will happily pay well in excess of £20 per hour for an experienced Ielts teacher qualified to diploma level. In fact, a current advertisement for an Ielts tutor to work at an FE college in London offers almost £30 per hour. Although ‍salaried positions are available for such teachers, the rates can still be quite low – around £24,000 per year – and the Ielts teaching is often mixed with general English or preparing students for other Cambridge exams, such as BEC or FCE.
The next step up is teaching EAP – English for academic purposes – which moves on from Ielts classes and covers many different genres of writing, plus seminar skills, study skills and much more. Although some EFL schools in the UK claim to teach so-called academic English, these classes are sometimes little more than Ielts courses in disguise, and the pay rates offered match. Of course, the most solid EAP are the inhouse programmes delivered by the universities themselves, along with the partnership providers such as ‍Into and others. With the partnership providers, ‍salaried positions teaching on foundations and diplomas (equal to the first year of a degree courses) can be found on offer at just under £30,000. Even better, a current advertisement for an EAP programme manager (at ‍Into) is offering up to £38,000 – not bad for EFL!
Of course, such employers prefer to recruit experienced teachers of EAP, so the best place to pick up your first exciting EAP experience is on a summer school. Most universities and colleges operate pre-sessional summer EAP courses for international students, and it’s probably fair to say that there are not enough well qualified ELT specialists in the UK to satisfy demand. The odds, therefore, of walking ‍into a temporary summer EAP job are quite good here, especially if you already have experience of teaching Ielts or business English.
Summer EAP courses at universities generally pay well – in the region of £600–700 per week for around 20 hours of teaching plus short weekly tutorials. Hourly rates in excess of £40 have been advertised in the past, so it’s worth keeping a keen eye out for this type of temporary vacancy. A current advertisement for a permanent EAP tutor (at Sheffield University) offers more than £30,000 a year, which compares very favourably with the ‍salaries on offer at ‍Into, Bellerbys, Kaplan, etc.
Regarding professional standards and qualifications, there are probably no UK universities that will let anybody teach on an EAP/pre-sessional course without a diploma as minimum, and they clearly prefer teachers with a relevant masters. In contrast, my experience with the university pathway providers reveals there’s a number of Celta-qualified teachers working there, albeit also working on their diplomas.
If you’re interested in breaking ‍into the heady world of EAP, your first step should be to sign up for regular updates from jobs.ac.uk. And the jobs page on the EL Gazette website also has summer school EAP vacancies.


There is little that makes sense in this article and most of it is complete humbug. First of all, Mr Wright assumes that there is a big difference between those students studying Headway Intermediate at our bog-standard language schools and those that are enrolled in pathway programmes and presessional courses at our most prestigious universities. This of course is nonsense. The truth is that many of the students that study with organisations like INTO University Partnerships or their nemesis Study Group, or for that matter at some of the universities they work with, have questionable levels of English. Indeed many would have trouble navigating a Headway Intermediate textbook considering their ridiculously low IELTS scores. The truth is that most of the students that are fed into(excuse the pun) pathway programmes are there simply because they were:
1. Able to by-pass the IELTS test altogether and move onto very inferior in-house programmes with very little quality control;
2. Helped with their application by pushy agents in countries like China and Saudi Arabia;
3. Submitted fake documents or had shadow test-takers take their exam for them;
4. And they paid large sums of money and will continue to pay further sums of money as they are fed further along the pathway, assuming of course they pass? But the question is not whether they will pass or not, but whether firms like INTO would have the guts to fail them when there is so much (future) money at stake.(Don't forget the appalling amounts of money that international students cough up to rent rooms built by guess who? Yes, you guessed correctly: INTO University Partnerships.) Failure simply does not exist in the lexicon of these for-profits.

And now to the other major error in this piece: Teacher's salaries. I work in ESL and know what the salaries are like. I have friends who have worked for private companies like INTO and I can tell you their salaries are embarrassing low. The most a teacher could earn with INTO, and this is on par with the salary they pay their librarian, is around £26,000. For that, you'd be expected to be on site for a minimum of 40 hours per week with the expectation that you be around for longer, with the occasional weekend gig thrown in for good measure. This summer I noticed that the University of Westminster were paying a measly £17-19 per hour for presessional teachers. Westminster used to know better, but since going into business with a private company, hourly rates have plummeted. The trend in fact is that salaries for English teachers, even if they have moved into the rarefied atmosphere of EAP, are falling. I'd like Mr Wright to tell me where I can earn "£700" on a summer presessional. The examples would be few and far between I'm sure.

And this brings me to a final point: If presessional courses continue to pay peanuts, how are they gonna recruit well-qualified teachers to keep the students motivated and teach them how to write and structure an academic essay? The answer of course is that they won't be able to attract the top talent. Contrary to what Mr Wright says about needing to hold a Diploma to teach on an EAP/presessional course, many of the teachers that are hired over the summer are certainly not Dip-qualified. During the summer, quality and qualifications often go out of the window: If there are courses to be run and a surplus of Chinese students to teach, you can bet your bottom dollar the university will bend the rules a little and hire whoever's around to fill the shortfall in teacher numbers. It's about maths, and it's about realpolitik.

I'm surprised the ELGazette let this article, with all its errors, slip through. Another case of poor quality-control perhaps? But let's not blame the Gazette, let's put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Mr Wright who wrote the article. His views are simply the views of the private companies that he represents. He knows deep down that teachers get a raw deal when it comes to salaries, so why not engage in another bit of spin suggesting that there are more lucrative pathways out there for the ESL paupers. EAP will make you rich. A summer presessional will help you find the deposit for that new house in Chelsea. In fact, English teaching will allow you to enter that "heady" atmosphere of the privileged classes, where you can dine on caviar and champagne every night. Maybe Mr Wright needs a reality check. Most English teacher that I know are not rich and don't get into the profession for the big bucks. On the contrary, they, like myself, got involved in this profession because they genuinely love bending minds towards learning or they simply enjoy meeting interesting foreigners in interesting locations. That's about it really.
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Stuka



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Laughable article about salaries in EL Gazette Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:

But how can the average frustrated and underpaid EFL teacher make that switch ‍into the academic hinterland?


Certainly NOT by working for INTO University Partnerships! That would definitely be a step backwards. Well, done Slap for bringing the Gazette article to my attention. I had the unfortunate opportunity to work for INTO and I've gotta tell ya it was the worst teaching experience of my life. Here are some of the issues:
1. Overworked
2. Underpaid
3. Rigid corporate climate where teachers felt guilty about taking a lunch break.
4. Opaque managerial style that left teachers guessing.
5. Poorly designed materials.
6. Teachers and students are not encouraged to mix outside the classroom.
7. No perks or generous pension deals.
8. Membership of the UCU forbidden.
9. Emphasis is on profits for shareholders . . . all other matters relating to education are secondary.
10. A soul-destroying 9-5 routine that knocks all the creative gusto out of teachers and leaves them asking the same question that Michael Caine asked at the end of Alfie: "What's it all about?"

The article by Mr Frank (Lloyd) Wright - wasn't he a famous American architect? - is most disingenuous. It was obviously written by one of the spin doctors within INTO's huge marketing department. BTW, INTO, like their American for-profit counterparts, spend a far great amount of their considerable budget on spin(around 30%), while the poor old teachers get the leftovers(about 10%). The TRUTH is that if you want to move up in the TEFL business, don't consider INTO. I would compare them to a 21st century sweat shop. Better to move into a university that is not partnered with these cowboys. Or maybe even better why not consider a move out of tefl altogether and get into a more lucrative line of work, whatever that may be?
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Captain Coddo



Joined: 04 Feb 2012
Posts: 32
Location: East Coast

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:33 pm    Post subject: Into, London Reply with quote

A contact of mine who works at Into in London reports great rumblings of discontent from the teachers there. Apparently, the company is refusing to pay teachers their statutory sick pay, and is insisting that teachers come in when recuperating from illnesses if they want paying. So if you have a broken arm, you can't rest at home, you need to turn up if you hope to get paid, even though you're not expected to actually teach!!

This sort of management malpractice is very different from the Universities and colleges that Into claims to be in association with, namely City Uni and UEA, and the disparity in conditions has been noted. Into also refuses to recognise unions, another anomaly.

Of course, mismanaging and ripping off teachers in this unnecessary way has had an incredible effect on morale, and most teachers there are apparently already looking for 'pastures new'.

In short, it's a place to be avoided all round by proper teachers, and it will soon find itself attracting only the dregs of the trade, which would be a sad thing for the students there, who deserve much more.
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Stuka



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Laughable article about salaries in EL Gazette Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:
And now to the other major error in this piece: Teacher's salaries. I work in ESL and know what the salaries are like. I have friends who have worked for private companies like INTO and I can tell you their salaries are embarrassing low. The most a teacher could earn with INTO, and this is on par with the salary they pay their librarian, is around £26,000. For that, you'd be expected to be on site for a minimum of 40 hours per week with the expectation that you be around for longer, with the occasional weekend gig thrown in for good measure.


Just wanted to actually check the hourly rate that INTO pays. According to slap, the annual salary is around £26,000 for a 40+ hour week. Let's do the maths: 26000/12 = 2167/4 = 542/40 = £13.55 Gross per hour. (Remember that around a quarter of the original £26,000 will be taken by the government in the form of tax and NI, and INTO often ask their teachers to do additional duties that go unpaid.) All I can say is how can a teacher survive on that if he/she is living in London and is not living at home with mom and dad? Still all this doesn't surprise me because Mr Andrew Colin, the CEO of INTO University Partnerships, has gone on the record as having said: "We are not trying to make money out of the tuition fees. That’s the problem with both language schools and international education. If you only have the tuition fees to make money from then the easiest way to increase your profits is to cut your teachers’ wages.’

http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/l/q/into_theirownwords_revnov08.pdf
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ChrisV



Joined: 14 Jan 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject: Don't let yourself fall into the pessimism trap Reply with quote

Private EFL schools are generally pretty nasty places to work, and they benefit enormously from teachers getting the false impression that all of the ELT world (including the EAP world) is like that. Those teachers figure that there's no point trying to leave their 20k-a-year general EFL job for an EAP job, because at the end of the day, pay and conditions will be more or less the same.

The thing is, it isn't true.

I've been teaching EAP for 8 years now. Below is the reality I have experienced in the EAP world.

First the bad news:

- The standard of teaching required is much higher than in general EFL, at least in terms of specialist knowledge required (teaching techniques are pretty much the same). I didn't believe this when I was a general EFL teacher. I was always a very highly-rated general EFL teacher, and the kind of guy that always knew the really tough grammar questions that come up in the staff room. I really thought I had the profession nailed, but alas, I was wrong. You need to up your game (including your qualifications) quite a bit to get seriously into EAP.
- Public-sector EAP jobs are very competitive, especially if you're attempting to score a full-time contract.

Now, the good:

- When I left my last full-time EAP job at the University of Southampton to pursue a PhD, I was earning 30k per year. This is not in any way an unusual salary for an EAP teacher in the public sector.
- I only work part-time now, as I need time for the PhD, but as a rule, I never work for less than 40 pounds per hour in London or for less than 25 per hour in Cambridge (and that's only because I really like the programme in question). I just interviewed for a job that pays 53.50 per hour.
- 700+ per week on a presessional is not terribly unusual (I've earned closer to 800 on one presessional and never less than about 650). If you're experienced and well-qualified, then 700 should be fairly easy to come by in London and a few other places. 600 should be fairly easy elsewhere. As a side note, this sort of short-but-high-paying contract works out very nicely for teachers that work the academic year abroad and then return to the UK for the presessionals.
- Private sector deals in EAP can range from somewhat less well-paid than the public sector (let's say 25% less) to not much better than general EFL (I won't name names, but we're talking about the sort of school where a CELTA and IELTS experience would be the required minimum qualifications). Also, private-sector providers are almost always less pleasant to work for than public sector ones, but you can still get a lot more money than you would doing general EFL if you work for one of the better private sector employers. Look at it as a stepping stone into the public sector.

In sum, don't get caught in the pessimism trap. The only people that benefit from it are the private-sector employers who don't lose their good teachers to EAP because said teachers falsely believe that the deals they could get in the EAP sector wouldn't be much better than the ones they get now in the general EFL sector. But the truth is that there's well-paid and enjoyable EAP work out there if you're willing to chase it and put in the necessary years developing your specialist knowledge, your qualifications and the 'experience' section of your CV (normally via the presessionals).

Just my two cents.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12524
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I tried work but I didn't like it so I went into EFL." My sentiments and those of hundreds of others !

If EAP means WORK count me out !
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: lol Reply with quote

He's doing a Ph.D and he's earning 10k a year less than this cruddy general EFL teacher and I bet he doesn't get four months of fully-paid leave or free housing and food or BUPA.

God I'm a mug. I wish I'd done more useless quals......not.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12524
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad. A bit like those posts elsewhere on this forum stating that the poster's aim is to have a million US$s in the bank.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 400
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure who you are referring to .. but, yes, in the course of other discussions on finances, some people have mentioned what they are targeting financially, but nowhere have I seen people say that that was their aim (in life) .. which is how you seem to be misrepresenting it. The two are not necessarily the same you know ..

Anyway, it's good to see that you have at least accepted $1 million as being achievable in TEFL ... I remember when you first encountered the notion, you accused a poster of talking out of his 'poppo' and of being a backpacking dreamer who had most probably never set foot in the Middle East ..
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12524
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So now parrots can do arithmetic ? I will leave our dear readers to figure out for themselves if a million bucks is feasible without joing that Fraternity of Misers - The Five Hundred Club ! (Who live on SR500 a month in KSA = US$135)

It can be done - but would any sane individual even try ?
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 400
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No one I know that is on course for the same savings is spending that little. On average, I'd say the figure is 10 to 20 times that amount per month if you factor in all expenses + foreign holidays - which, by the way, are not on a shoestring ...

Not everyone would feel comfortable depending on the state for subsidised housing. I doubt there's enough acceptable stuff to go around, let alone nice stuff ..

On the subject of sanity, I would ask you this:

One person spends 12 years in one of the more liberal parts of the Gulf and walks out with $1 million, while another spends 25 years in Saudi and walks out with next to nothing ..

Which one would seem to have played the system better?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12524
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends what you spent your money on. Did you have kids ? Did you spend any money on them ? Grandchildren ?

I see you embrace the Thatcherite line that subsidies to hosuing exist only in the public sector. MIRAS is also a huge subsidy to housing - but in the private sector.

I assume that you are opposed to the NHS as well - sunsidies from the state prop it up after all !

Sorry but I find to hard to beleive that many save US$80,000 a year in the UAE. I may not be a mathematical genius but I do have SCE O Grade Arithmetic (1963)

In any case I shall leave the Psittacoid to his worship of the False God Mammon and to his adoration of the prophets oif that Same False Deity.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 400
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see your logic is as cock-eyed as ever ...

I'm not sure, and don't want to know, how you managed to get from (i) the uneasiness of relying on government handouts to get by .. to (ii) embracing 'the Thatcherite line that subsidies to housing exist only in the public sector' ..

The key word is in bold type.

Your arguments haven't made you look any saner ..
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12524
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You think you are a parrot and then claim to be sane ?

"Woof, woof" is all I can say and remember that canines EAT birds. Watch out.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 400
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Young canines might .. but wrinkly canines don't ..

Anything more than an ant sized bite and your choppers would fall out .. What would you do - drown me in dribble?
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