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Italian native speakers teaching English in Italy?

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Joined: 11 Apr 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject: Italian native speakers teaching English in Italy? Reply with quote

I am a Celta qualified teacher (with Pass B as final grade), I finished the course 3 weeks ago in London and got back home: Italy.
I am looking for a job but all the schools I have contacted so far told me they employ native speakers only.
I have a degree in Business Communication and Computational Linguistics (and not in English language and litarature), I've studied in the UK and France, and worked in the UK. I've been working for an American company in Italy (editorial production services) as project manager for 6 years, speaking English more than Italian, but still, I'm not a native speaker!

Has anyone ever met, in an English language school in Italy, a teacher that is not a native speaker, and maybe Italian?
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 15
Location: northern italy

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no doubt that schools here in Italy will virtually always prefer a native speaker to a non-native speaker regardless of skills, qualifications and general professionalism. Schools still tend to assume that potential students will always perceive 'insegnanti di madre lingua' as being intrisically 'better'; therefore native speakers have a higher marketing value.
A lot of students will like the idea of native speaker teachers simply because the Italian English teachers they had at school were so ill-prepared. Of course, we all know that a significant number of native speakers who 'teach' are only 'teachers' in title and students who end up in their care soon recognise that the challenge of being with a 'real English speaker' is outweighed by the overall lack of knowledge, expertise and, sometimes, responsibility.
I have come across Italian teachers in private English schools and in those few cases they have been dedicated, well-informed and enthusiastic. One was primarily 'relegated' to working with teenagers (which he seemed to love anyway). The others work or worked in schools in the kind of small towns that did not appeal to British or American teachers who wanted a more exciting taste of Italy on their year here.
I know of a school in a town (admiittedly in Spain but not so different from Italy) where it's difficult to recruit qualified and reliable native speakers. The owners decided several years ago to employ qualified and talented Spanish teachers of English after years of frustration and grief caused by the behaviour of the mother-tongue teachers they felt compelled to employ (they have a couple of long-term native speaker teachers as part of the team). Initially it was a PR handicap but with time overall student satisfaction made this a strength.

Since you have the teaching qualifications and the advantage of a real career in business behind you, by presenting your case well you might be able to get a foot in a door. It's just that the door might not be where you wanted it to be. Let us know how you get on.
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Teacher in Rome

Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1286

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A company I worked for employed an Italian teacher to teach English, and there were absolutely no complaints or comments made by students. Her English was flawless, and she'd lived and worked in the US, I think. Like the stories Iain mentioned, this teacher caused far fewer problems than native English teachers, was always available, and took the job seriously.

The company no longer exists, but I think the teacher is at another school. To the OP: it's true that most language schools are prejudiced about this, but emphasise your qualifications and experience, and try to get to talk to them and impress them before you tell them you're Italian!
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Joined: 12 May 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked at inlingua (on cristoforo colombo) in Rome for a year, and they have English teachers who are Italian. Admittedly, they are not the "primary" teachers, but do supplemental lessons mainly with multimedia and especially with more basic-level students.

It could be that other schools do this as well.
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Shana Martz

Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Indianapolis/Napoli

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: yes, italian english teachers work in private schools Reply with quote

There is an Italian teacher of the English language in the public schools where I work!

He lives in Naples and is considered an "expert" of the language- he's paid 80 euro per hour.

These PON projects are numerous, and sometimes there aren't enough native English speakers to fill the jobs, (or none of them apply)

My advice is to snoop these jobs out and try to get your foot in the door with public schools.

Private schools aren't much worth your time, if you ask me.

Why not offer lessons in your home, or even start your own school? Being Italian would be a real advantage in that case.
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Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 495

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could try wall street institute in Cagliari.. ALL of there teachers are non-native speakers!
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Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a native speaker of English (I'm Dutch) and I've also worked for Inlingua and had several colleagues who weren't native speakers. Give it a try!
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