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Am I delusionary?

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The K Dog

Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Posts: 24
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 4:48 pm    Post subject: Am I delusionary? Reply with quote

Dear Readers,
I wanted to bring this out in the open to get a fair balance of opinions on this subject; I am currently teaching at a language institute in Paris (I have an EU passport, even though I am American, in case you were wondering), and as is the case with many employees at a language school see no visible future; after all, how can one grow old not knowing how much money he is going to earn month after month? How can one tolerate knowing that after hours and hours of work one will earn about the same as a dishwasher? This brings me to my present query - has anyone upgraded from language institute to university EFL instructor? I am not some dread locked, dope smoking, twenty-three-year-old backpacker, but rather a twenty-nine-year-old American man with a BA in English Literature and an M. Ed in Postsecondary TESOL, I have over two years of experience teaching in Paris and eight months of EFL in Korea combined with ESL work in New York City, is this insufficient for working in a university? I haven't got a Ph.D and I don't have over seven years of experience teaching, so I don't know if I am consigned to language cram school purgatory for more years. I have been trolling the internet looking at university posts in places such as Turkey, Korea, etc, but don't know what chances I will have on the scene. Has anyone been in a similar situation? I am hoping to make a leap forward in my life, but am wondering what you think of my status. I see job advertisements all the time, but they are always for language schools, and it is somewhat disheartening, although I should add that I see unis in China which will take someone with my lack of experience and lack of a doctorate, but I wish not to teach in China, so I am at the crossroads and pondering. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17644
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 11:38 pm    Post subject: not quite... Reply with quote

K dog... I can only talk about the Middle East because that is where my experience is, but I would say that your opportunities are unlimited. There are many tertiary institutions where your background would be sufficient. For instance, there are American Universities in places like Cairo, Dubai, and Sharjah (UAE) where you would have good possibilities for jobs with high pay and very good benefits. Because of the current war situation in the Northern Gulf area, this will probably be a good time to apply as many will be scared away. I personally would avoid Saudi and Kuwait for the time being, but the Emirates, Oman, and Qatar should have possibilites.

Check out the information journals on this board and there is also a section that gives websites that you can peruse at leisure. Then, you can come back and ask questions here. There are lots of people on this board with experience in the Middle East or the Far East or wherever. You are certainly not limited to the low pay dead end jobs of Europe and/or language schools.
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Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your qualifications are probably enough to get you started as a substitute instructor at community college in Canada, and then you might get hired on as temporary staff. The wages are better than washing dishes, but it is not a stable paycheque. What about the colleges in Paris? Could you start there as a substitute or part time instructor and work your way up to being permanent staff? One of the things that I think prevents a lot of EFL/ESL teachers from landing the higher paying gigs is that they don't like to invest too much time in one city. I don't know if this is the case for you or not, but the magic fromula that I seem to have discovered is as follows.
First year:work low paying job, be dependable, make a reputation for yourself, make business contacts.

Second year: Work like a dog, take all offers of tutoring and part time work from business contacts, let people know that you are looking for a permanent full time position.

Third year: interview for as many positions as you can, ask all of your business contacts to provide references for you.

I just don't see a faster way to land a great position, but if others have advice on the matter, please post it. I'd love to hear how other people go about establishing their careers.
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Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2003 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello K Dog!

It is unclear to me whether you want to teach a more challenging subject, or just move on to a more stable and more lucrative green pasture.

Basically, language institutes don't hire you to do besides cramming. Since you have a background in English Literature, your chances might be better in America.
In France, you are not likely to get a job with a state-run or a Catholic school because they draw their teachers from French universities, and the quals are quite high and teaching-specific.

In the Far East, English (or American, for that matter) Literature has almost no place in the curricula. I once taught English Literature at a Chinese college - imagine teaching 4 centuries of British literature to Chinese students in one semester, and all American literature (possibly including Canadian) in the second semester? It was a farce!
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richard ame

Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 319
Location: Republic of Turkey

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:50 pm    Post subject: Am I delusionary? Reply with quote

Hi K dog

I don't see any reason you could not walk into a well paid job teaching at one of the better Uni's in Turkey . There are plenty of places in all the big three Istanbul,Ankara Izmir who are crying out for people with ANY experience and who do have SOME qualifications . I would suggest you go straight to the top Sabanci or Koc University click on to their websites scour the small ads on this site and others and put as many applications as you can for a month or so and then just take your pick,quite easy really .If you need more info e-mail address is [email protected] . Be lucky
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some waygug-in

Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on where you want to work. You could easily get a job in Asia at a university with your qualifications. I don't know that you would necessarily like Asia though. Also, practically any university in Latin America would jump at the chance to hire a guy like you. Not that Latin American uni's pay that well, but some of them are not bad. I know some teachers in Mexico who do alright teaching at universities. It's up to you. Where do you want to live? How much do you need to feel comfortable?
Some waygug-in
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