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Starting up in Rome

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Joined: 13 Nov 2009
Posts: 5
Location: Canada/Italia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Starting up in Rome Reply with quote

Ciao tutti, I am a citizen of both Italia and Canada. My mothertongue is English as I grew up in Ontario, but I also speak Italian quite fluently. I do not have a university degree (only partial) and I am currently working on my TEFL certification. I am well spoken and personable. My only relevant experience is working as a camp leader for 4 years, as well as training employees at a shop where I was a manager.

I am hoping to move to Rome in January.

I wanted to ask anyone on this board who knows Rome what I can expect when I arrive. I know Rome fairly well, just not from the perspective of an English instructor. All things considered (language skills, TEFL certification, limited amount of experience and lack of diploma) would you think that I could find a job with a language school? How well do you think I might do with freelancing one on one through posters + internet postings? Is there much demand outside of teaching for those with mothertongue knowledge of the English language (who also speak Italian)?
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Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11481
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My input is confined to one detail, as I'm not in Rome, and my friend who worked there for some years left in 2008, so my personal info regarding the market is outdated and second hand.

The detail:

You haven't specified what kind of TEFL cert you are pursuing, so hopefully you're aware that online or weekend certs (of the kind sometimes well-marketed in Canada) may be considered substandard by many Italian employers.

The industry standard in Europe in general is 100+ hours on-site, including (key) supervised teaching practice with actual students. CELTA is the name brand, but Trinity and SIT also offer well-known certs, as do a few generic providers.

There are a couple of popular certs in N. America (Oxford and Global come to mind) that don't include the key teaching practice. Not to imply that you won't find a job with a cert from one of these providers, but it won't be as helpful in a tough job market as a name brand one.
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Teacher in Rome

Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1286

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your best bet would be to be as vague as possible about your lack of degree or CELTA. Many schools insist on both, so although you can't lie about your background, you might want to say something along the lines that you've partially completed a degree, and have a TEFL certification. For some schools it won't matter too much, as they have their onw "system" - Wall Street English comes to mind. You could also try ItalPacific (if they're still in operation). Weird weird set up, but OK pay if you get the hours. They pride themselves on not providing teachers to clients, but consultants. The idea is you get to talk about business etc.

If you're serious about teaching as a career option, you're not going to get very far without degree / CELTA, so that might be a long-term option.
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