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Non-native speakers at UK summer centres
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billbob



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to get back to the questions I asked about money, inspired by artemisia:

"It's probably also a reflection of the low wages on offer and the refusal of native teachers to accept them."

and GriffinParka:

GriffinParka wrote:


Non-native teachers are CHEAPER than true Brits, and also LESS HASSLE as they are not aware of their employment rights, or at least less inclined to make waves. This is why shoddy outfits prefer to employ them.


and see some of my questions in my previous post:

"Have wages always been 'low' at summer schools, and if so, did they suffer a dearth of teachers as natives refused to work for this money, a dearth which was only reversed upon EU enlargement in '04?

Or, did the wider pool of teachers created by EU enlargement mean employers could lower wages? "

What do people think think about this?
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the_thinker



Joined: 24 Nov 2009
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think wages have always been low. Summer schools mainly attract inexperienced teachers or teachers who live abroad and need some work over the summer if they don't get paid from their employers in the summer months when there are no lessons. In both cases the teachers don't really have much bargaining power and the schools know that.

I did my CELTA in 2000 and three days after finishing I went off to work at a summer school. I can't remember how much I was earning I think it was about 280 a week or something. Perhaps it was less. It didn't seem bad at the time considering I was still a university student at the time and the accommodation and food was free. And when you're there you live in a kind of bubble and don't really have many opportunities to spend much money, so you do save a fair amount of it.

Considering the kids normally come over for about a couple of weeks I doubt the accent thing would ever be a problem. I don't recall any students of mine picking up my (more or less RP) accent even after months of lessons, so I don't see why it would happen after a couple of weeks.
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billbob



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, there seems to be some sort of consensus that:
a) summer schools offer low pay because they have a captive pool of willing teachers,
and b) if the school is marketed as a 'come and experience England' kind of thing, then the teachers should be native speakers of English from England.

It's been discussed that from a methodological point of view, it doesn't matter where the teacher is from, rather where he or she is 'at'. That's thankfully been my observation of my non-native colleagues at summer schools. GriffinParka raised this point though:

GriffinParka wrote:

Non-native teachers are CHEAPER than true Brits, and also LESS HASSLE as they are not aware of their employment rights, or at least less inclined to make waves. This is why shoddy outfits prefer to employ them.

If they really thought that they make better teachers, with their funny accents and lack of understanding of colloquial English, then they would market them as a USP.

Can you imagine it?! "Come to sunny England this summer and be taught by a bunch of Bulgarian / Polish / Hungarian chancers!"


Just because someone could be deemed a 'cheaper' teacher, does it make them a worse teacher?
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mikkenzi



Joined: 12 Jul 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For comparison... enter a French classroom taught by a native English speaker with kids who have travelled repeatedly to the UK and enter a Bulgarian classroom with kids who have never been abroad and have only been taught by a Bulgarian teacher... You will be amazed to learn that while the Frenchies can't put two words together, the Bulgarians can talk to you about anything in a relatively good, understandable English... been to both countries, taught in both countries... fact
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jimmykhan1186



Joined: 10 Jun 2012
Posts: 1
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:08 pm    Post subject: native teacher Reply with quote

Does being a native necessarily qualify someone as a good teacher?
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 352
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have met some native speakers who I could not understand because of their accents, whereas non natives were good at teaching, but mis pronounced some of the words.
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sprightly



Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 120
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i worked in a smaller bell summer centre. the teachers were all 'proper' teachers. lots of qualifications, varying amounts of experience.

we broke down into:
2 brits who taught year round in europe and used summer camps to up his income.
a recent (non-native) graduate of an MA TESL program, getting summer work until a late august job start
a recently celta qualified non-native
and me, a native speaker but not british.
the activity leaders were about 50/50 brit/european.
the accomodations staff were almost entirely eastern european, but with excellent english. i think they were teachers at home, earning summer money.

i didn't hear of any complaints. two weeks is not long enough to pick up an accent or for gaps in the teacher's knowledge to have any effect.

the bottom line is money. different camps charge as much as they can and pay as little as they can, because they are businesses. they generally don't give a rat's hiney about education except so far in as it affects their reputation. the sooner teachers accept this, the happier they'll be when doing these jobs. i taught the same course 3 times that summer, because i knew the kids were there for fun. a colleague was up until 1am every night, intent on ensuring maximum pedagogical impact!! i'm pretty sure our students absorbed about as much as each other. i know i had more fun in class than the other teacher did.

if the parents want a full on, native speaker-only experience, they will have to pay a lot more for it.
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