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TESOL vs TEFL
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Travis86



Joined: 05 Nov 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:42 pm    Post subject: TESOL vs TEFL Reply with quote

My girlfriend and I are looking to work in Prague as ESL teachers. We both have a year(Technically 15 months myself) of experience under our belt as we just finished a stint in South Korea. I have a TESOL certificate (120 hours) and she is looking to get a certificate herself.

My question is, do they accept TESOL certification as on par with TEFL or CELTA? What are our chances (assuming she gets certified) of finding work in Prague with these qualifications?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your certs were onsite and included supervised teaching practice with real students, you'll be fine. If not, consider taking a course in Prague.

A few things to note, in case you aren't already aware:

Experience in Korea won't put you ahead of other newbies here; the students in Prague are so different that it's apples and oranges, and employers are well aware of this.

If you are not EU member citizens, you'll have visa hassles - these can be overcome, but it's not simple, and you're competing with UK teachers who have automatic legal right to work.

Jobs are not found from abroad; you need to be here on the ground, ready to interview in person.

The job market here is slanted in favour of employers - there are lots of teachers around. This means that pay is subsistence level (at least for the first year) and that you won't get the perks you did in SK.

Most contracts are Sept/June, with a small hiring bump in Jan. Because of Schengen zone laws (google if you're not familiar) you have only 90 days - again assuming that you are not from an EU member country) to land legal paperwork and a job before you would have to leave the entire Zone for 90 full days before re-entering.

It's do-able, but you'll need to plan well, and be sure to come with enough funds to pay your way for a few months at least.
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Travis86



Joined: 05 Nov 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The certification was onsite, but not with real students.

Does having teaching experience really not give any kind of edge when looking for jobs? I understand that it would be very different, but it seems very counter-intuitive to say that it is on par with someone who has NO teaching experience.

Also, I am assuming you are basically saying that I need to go to the CR and look for a job once I'm there?I read that it is best to go on "vacation", and then if a job just happens to come your way, its nobodies fault. How accurate is this account?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=95456&start=0

You need the real supervised teaching practice; anything less will put you at a significant disadvantage on a tough job market. Prague is a training centre mecca, turning out a few hundreds of newly certified teachers every few months - all with the supervised teaching practice with real (Czech) students.

I've been on hiring committees on and off for over a decade now. We actually avoid teachers with 'only' experience in Asia, as they are often too ingrained in approaches and methods that don't work well here.

Yes, you enter the CR on a 90 day basis, along with the other 10 million tourists coming in this year, with no residency or work visa. No questions will be asked. You then have 90 days to get paperwork. Again, timing is crucial, as noted above.
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emmett grogan



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could have 20 years teaching experience in Korea but it wont mean a thing in Prague. The schools are looking to employ people as cheaply as possible so they will be quite happy to dismiss what you did outside of The Czech Republic as worthless and offer you a gig right at the bottom of the pile paying peanuts. Měj se hezky.
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eventually



Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=95456&start=0

You need the real supervised teaching practice; anything less will put you at a significant disadvantage on a tough job market. Prague is a training centre mecca, turning out a few hundreds of newly certified teachers every few months - all with the supervised teaching practice with real (Czech) students.

I've been on hiring committees on and off for over a decade now. We actually avoid teachers with 'only' experience in Asia, as they are often too ingrained in approaches and methods that don't work well here.

Yes, you enter the CR on a 90 day basis, along with the other 10 million tourists coming in this year, with no residency or work visa. No questions will be asked. You then have 90 days to get paperwork. Again, timing is crucial, as noted above.


i'd love to know what you mean. i taught in korea last year, and i've been teaching here for a few months, now. could you expand on the teaching methods that don't work well here?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thread I linked above does just that, and presents the thoughts of a range of posters on the topic, rather than just mine.
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Mercury Morris



Joined: 28 Jun 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Prague

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject: Sprial78 is HUGELY pessimistic, don't trust his advice Reply with quote

Hello Travis86/anybody else reading this thread,

MOD EDIT It is also a blatant lie to say at certain times of the school year you can't find work. Rubbish: schools are hiring teachers ANY time of the year: summer, winter, spring, fall you name it they want you. If you are a native speaker of English that is what they want. Americans are often particularly in demand: I have many students currently who don't want British teachers because they don't want to deal with the British accent. Or, they simply prefer Americans for whatever reason.

I've been teaching here for years, at many ESL schools and privately. The truth is this: if you have enough money for the Visa and Zivno, have a university degree and TEFL/TESL/etc you will not have any problem finding work here. The schools are very hungry for new teachers. I know teachers teaching here in Prague with no ESL certificate and they're doing fine. Heck--many of them don't even have the visa sorted and the schools are still hiring them!

Fact of the matter is in Prague there is a shortage of native English speaking ESL teachers. Americans of all ages are here teaching English to Czechs...in their 20s, 30s, 40s...even in their 70s. Many retirees from UK and USA are here teaching English as well.

Will everybody easily make it here? In all honesty NO: while it certainly can be done and thousands of Americans are here teaching English and making it, there are many Americans, Canadians, and Brits who just don't have their shit together: disorganized, drinking problems, don't know how to show up on time for a lesson, don't know how to plan a decent lesson, or simply put don't have what it takes to teach English in Prague.

My point is this: if you are a 3rd country national (read that American, Canadian, Aussie etc) you can come and teach here and make it work. Don't believe the posters who make it out to be too difficult, few opportunities, picky schools, etc. If you are presentable, have good business acumen, are organized, basically have your MOD EDIT together you will have no problem making it here teaching English.

Hope this helps.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MOD EDIT

Oh, sorry, of course it's nonsense to worry whether you'll need an onsite TEFL cert in a job market where most candidates have one. And as for employers preferring to hire teachers who don't need visas (UK/Ireland/other EU) over those who will require lots of legal paperwork - clearly rubbish! And even though most contracts are Sept - June, of course great employers have their hiring doors wide open anytime of the year for all those exceptional Americans everyone loves so much.

All I'm saying is maximize your chances of success. Get a cert that's competitive on this job market (google how many TEFL training centres there are in Prague!), come at the peak hiring period, and be prepared to look and act professionally.
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Mercury Morris



Joined: 28 Jun 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Prague

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Don't believe them... Reply with quote

MOD EDIT

The schools don't care if you're from the UK/Eu or outside. If you've got potential they will run with you, hire you–even without a proper visa. The facts are the facts I've seen this loads of times at different schools.

It's not necessarily subsistence wages here, many ESL teachers pull down gross 30,000Kc monthly once they get the hang of it. Even 40,000Kc is easily achieved.

You just need to get the visa and zivno sorted at first, which is not difficult. There are companies like www.easyvisa.cz who can take care of the visa and zivno for you. No problemo! You need I think about $7,000 in the bank for the visa as proof of funds.

Doesn't matter where you get your TEFL/TESOL/CELTA etc. from, as long as its reputable and you have teaching experience. Doesn't matter at all if you do it in Asia–the proof is in the pudding–they will observe you teaching and if you are decent you're in.

And who cares about the ESL schools anyways? The Zivno (trade license) means you are a self employed ESL teacher in CZ. And the schools hire you in that capacity, NOT as an employee so as to avoid paying taxes. You are an independent contractor providing a service to the school. This is how they do it in Prague. If you market yourself well you can build up loads of privates and make much more money than through the schools.

Basically it's fast and loose in Prague: get your visa, get your zivno, and get going. Have decent lessons that students like. If your lessons suck, you show up late/unprepared a lot, and the students complain then the schools will dump you straight away. But if the students like you and you get good feedback, the schools will love you and even beg you to take on more lessons. You don't even have to be good at grammar, or have stellar credentials: the bottom line is that students like you and like your lessons. Take the time to prepare a decent, interesting lesson. It's not rocket science!

Ignore the debbie downers on this forum. If you want to come and teach in Prague and you're American, New Zealander, Aussie, etc get your butt over here and do it. The Czechs just want native speakers and they MOD EDIT















Very Happy


Last edited by Mercury Morris on Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mr. Kalgukshi
Mod Team
Mod Team


Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 5947
Location: FSU 13-0 -- Go 'Noles! 2014 BCS Bowl Champions

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Staying on topic, watching your language, not insulting other members and ceasing the contentious bickering are required here to avoid having this thread (and possibly you) disappear.

No more warnings.

Y'all have a nice day now.
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emmett grogan



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Fast and Loose' Mercury Morris paints a totally unrealistic picture of Prague for a newbie whos just got a tefl/tesol. The only people making money out of tefl in Prague are the owners of the language schools.
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Czexpat



Joined: 14 Aug 2011
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Sprial78 is HUGELY pessimistic, don't trust his advice Reply with quote

Mercury Morris wrote:
Hello Travis86/anybody else reading this thread,

MOD EDIT It is also a blatant lie to say at certain times of the school year you can't find work. Rubbish: schools are hiring teachers ANY time of the year: summer, winter, spring, fall you name it they want you. If you are a native speaker of English that is what they want. Americans are often particularly in demand: I have many students currently who don't want British teachers because they don't want to deal with the British accent. Or, they simply prefer Americans for whatever reason.

I've been teaching here for years, at many ESL schools and privately. The truth is this: if you have enough money for the Visa and Zivno, have a university degree and TEFL/TESL/etc you will not have any problem finding work here. The schools are very hungry for new teachers. I know teachers teaching here in Prague with no ESL certificate and they're doing fine. Heck--many of them don't even have the visa sorted and the schools are still hiring them!

Fact of the matter is in Prague there is a shortage of native English speaking ESL teachers. Americans of all ages are here teaching English to Czechs...in their 20s, 30s, 40s...even in their 70s. Many retirees from UK and USA are here teaching English as well.

Will everybody easily make it here? In all honesty NO: while it certainly can be done and thousands of Americans are here teaching English and making it, there are many Americans, Canadians, and Brits who just don't have their shit together: disorganized, drinking problems, don't know how to show up on time for a lesson, don't know how to plan a decent lesson, or simply put don't have what it takes to teach English in Prague.

My point is this: if you are a 3rd country national (read that American, Canadian, Aussie etc) you can come and teach here and make it work. Don't believe the posters who make it out to be too difficult, few opportunities, picky schools, etc. If you are presentable, have good business acumen, are organized, basically have your MOD EDIT together you will have no problem making it here teaching English.

Hope this helps.


This is what I believe you Americans call a crock of ... "BS and half-truths".


Anyone saying that non-British teachers have an easy ride here is a liar or deluded. Some prefer British English, some American. In my experience, almost all the 35+ students prefer British and about 50% or more of the younger ones.

In fact, that whole contribution is so spurious that I seriously suspect it must have come from someone with a vested interest.

SOME Czechs prefer US English because "it's easier", ie they have access to it from more films and TV. Others prefer British English because they believe it sounds more proper and intelligent.

As for the other "3rd country" nationals - give me a break. I have had several hundred students and not a single one has ever expressed the slightest interest in Canadian or Australian English - with their combined total populations of around 50 million people - less than England (and I MEAN England, not the UK).

There are unscrupulous companies determined to get as many native speakers of any type into the country as they can to drive down the prices and, effectively, squeeze the preferred easy-legals from the British Isles out of the market.

These companies need what is effectively, in teaching terms, mass immigration of young, cheap teachers they can sell as natives and pay 100Kc an hour. They also need these people to be so desperate that they will work unlimited hours for a pittance, just to survive. They are in a suicidal price war with each depending on being the last one standing.

They are crushing the smaller agencies who would pay more for the continuity that customer satisfaction brings - I know of one who is shutting down her operation, rather than taking on airport labour, destined for the departure lounge three months later.

Can you always get some work? There lies the half-truth - you'll get maybe three-to-eight hours a week, probably starting at 7.30 am, at 100-200 Kc an hour.

You DO have to be qualified because only the companies operating outside the law will take on unqualified teachers. I got this from a Director of Studies and one of the biggest schools (and an expolitative one at that). The heyday of bluffing your credentials ended about 4 years ago and is going downhill from there.

But these companies are so desperate, as are some of the training schools, that they actually WANT vulnerable Americans, Canadians and Australians (Note no mention of New Zilders - Smile ) to leave home and be thousands of miles away from any support, while comparable British Isles students could easily get the fare for a 2 1/2 hour flight home.

This market is becoming more and more savage and any young hopeful teacher should research it thoroughly and come with enough funds to support themselves for at least six months.

The people enticing you to come here think you have a rich daddy and they will pay you pocket money for beer during your adventure. That's great, if you have it. Then again, why teach instead being a tour guide, if you don't need the cash?

DISCLAIMER: Yes, I know the 100KC offers are extreme but I have an excellent source on that. The mega-schools NEED a glut of natives wanting to teach so they can drive prices to the minimum.

Many of these teachers will be left without work. If there is no trust fund, they will be in severe trouble. But do the language agencies care about that?
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emmett grogan



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now what Czexpat above wrote is bang on correct. A perfect sketch of the tefl scene in Prague. Anyone wanting to really teach in the Czech Republic for a year or two would in fact be better served trying a city outside of Prague.

The reality of Prague is hours trundling across the city on the metro to classes which the students often cancel cos they have a meeting or something.

A lot of the newbie young Americans dont realise that they are being ripped off cos they are too busy enjoying the beer.

All the students I taught there said that they preferred British teachers. And they especially didn't want to waste their time with a drunk Yank kid on a gap-year.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, my outlook on the situation looks positively sunny now! Shocked Very Happy Very Happy
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