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Pre-sessional, in-sessional, what's that all about?

 
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Fatboy



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:32 pm    Post subject: Pre-sessional, in-sessional, what's that all about? Reply with quote

I'm kicking around the idea of returning to teach in the UK and I'm having problems getting my head around how this works. It's seems lots of people do pre-sessional work. It this just temporary summer work? What do people do afterwards - go in the dole? Shocked Also, what exactly is in-sessional work? Does this mean you teach during the regular semester, but don't have a full time contract? Confused

Any one any who can provide any answers to the questions above will get unlimited questions about working in Dubai!

FYI - I have an MA in TESOL, currently teaching EAP and completing a PHD in Applied Linguistics.
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D. Amokachi



Joined: 15 Oct 2014
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I think you've got it pretty much spot on. Pre-sessional is just summer work. A number of teachers will be brought in to hammer the foreign freshers so as to get them up to the required standard to start their courses. After that's over with you're pretty much out on your ear unless you get lucky and there's a vacancy for an in-sessional teacher. These work year round with the students constantly trying to sharpen their academic English and study skills. It seems that these positions are extremely hard to come by though, as is any kind of full time TEFL work in the UK. I hope this helps, I know sweet FA about Dubai.
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Fatboy



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:36 am    Post subject: Thanks for the reply Reply with quote

Thanks for the information. Sounds pretty grim 😳. Btw I work in Dubai, so pm me if you need any information.
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Londonlover



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 69
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, in-sessional EAP courses are very similar to pre-sessional courses except that they are run during the academic term time rather than the summer. (The hours may be far fewer than pre-sessionals too)
Many people who are doing some in-sessional or other term time EAP teaching, got their foot in the door by first teaching on pre-sessionals. Once their face and name gets known and they are seen to be reliable, conscientious and popular teachers they are in prime position to be called on if any work becomes available during the rest of the year. But N.B. at many universities there is little work available outside of their peak pre-sessional time of June-September and very small numbers of teachers are needed.
EAP is HIGHLY competitive in the U.K. and even when in-sessional/term time posts are advertised, any applicant will have to compete with all the temporary pre-sessional teachers who worked at that university during the summer who would also apply for the job, and would have a very good chance of getting it. Many posts are not even advertised as unis have contact details of their summer pre-sessional teachers.
Rates of pay vary enormously, depending on if one is employed by a respected university or by some of these universities that have contracted out their EAP teaching to shoddy cowboy outfits like 'INTO' who pay far lower. Even Queen Mary university who has been advertising for 2 terms of in-sessional work recently and I don't believe is INTO connected, is offering the appalling rate (for London) of £19 an hour. Some London high street language schools were paying £13 an hour 10 years ago. I believe pre-sessional hourly pay at many London universities is now over £40 an hour.
The best chances to be taken on as a full-time EAP teacher are probably by starting off on pre-sessionals in the very big universities that have large EAP departments. And luck and simply being in the right place at the right time can be an enormous factor.
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Stuka



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Londonlover wrote:
Rates of pay vary enormously, depending on if one is employed by a respected university or by some of these universities that have contracted out their EAP teaching to shoddy cowboy outfits like 'INTO' who pay far lower. Even Queen Mary university who has been advertising for 2 terms of in-sessional work recently and I don't believe is INTO connected, is offering the appalling rate (for London) of £19 an hour. Some London high street language schools were paying £13 an hour 10 years ago.


Well said. It is shoddy Mickey Mouse operations like INTO, run by a bunch of property developers, and the universities they collaborate with them, who are bringing down the wages for TEFLERS. Most presessionals have a pool of teachers that they call upon each year to teach with them, so getting a foot in the door can be difficult. If you have a permanent full-time gig in Dubai, do not give it up to return to the UK to teach English. It's something you'll regret.
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Fatboy



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:20 am    Post subject: Thank you all for the information Reply with quote

Thanks for all of that useful information. I think I will wait to finish my PhD and then get into teaching linguistics. This is also hard, but at least there are full time, permanent jobs available. Either way, thanks for all of your help!
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Londonlover



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 69
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly, you do find the occasional person with a PhD doing EAP teaching in the U.K. (sometimes the PhD is not in Applied Linguistics, though), but anyone with a PhD is way over-qualified for a job that usually requires a DELTA EFL qualification (a few of the prestigious places prefer to employ candidates with a DELTA AND MA TESOL/Applied Linguistics).
On the other hand, the fact that the odd PhD holder is found teaching EAP might also indicate the difficulty of getting a job in teaching subject content in university departments. It may also be that some of these people probably didn't want an academic career as subject lecturers after completing their PhD.
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Fatboy



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:46 am    Post subject: Thanks for the info Reply with quote

If I finish my PhD, I would try to teach linguistics related courses, not EAP. Given the scenario, I think I won't bother with EAP in the UK. As they say, the lemon ain't worth the squeeze 😀 Either way, thanks for all of the useful info.
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Londonlover



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 69
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In that case, as you probably know, it is important to have published journal articles and/or books as a prerequisite for helping get a foot in the door in U.K. university subject departments. They usually employ on a proven track record in publishing in the academy. Good luck in your quest.
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Dr X



Joined: 04 Jul 2016
Posts: 84
Location: Everywhere

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks for the info Reply with quote

Fatboy wrote:
If I finish my PhD, I would try to teach linguistics related courses, not EAP. Given the scenario, I think I won't bother with EAP in the UK. As they say, the lemon ain't worth the squeeze 😀 Either way, thanks for all of the useful info.

Finish your PhD and get a proper full-time university position with decent salary and pension. I know a couple of people who did it. Try the post-92 universities where publications is not a prerequisite for such positions.
Good luck.
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Fatboy



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:53 pm    Post subject: Thank you all for the advice! Reply with quote

Thank you all for your advice and please feel free to PM me should you have any questions about working in Dubai/the UAE.
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LH123



Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have stated, pre-sessional courses are Summer work, and insessionals are year-round. Not to be forgotten, though, are foundation and pre-masters courses, which run year-round too. These serve a similar function to pre-sessionals (inasmuch as they are preparatory courses for international students hoping to do Bachelors or Masters degrees afterwards), but take longer and typically involve a mix of academic English classes and subject-specific tuition by other lecturers.
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