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General Conerns

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Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:29 pm    Post subject: General Conerns Reply with quote

Has anyone encounter stark contrasts between verbally stated terms (i.e over the telephone prior to arriving) and actually teaching conditions such as class sizes, pay, general teaching standards Question Question Question
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Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 476
Location: in transit

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

English is a commodity and the world is craving it. Yet the world can't afford it and does not know how to use it or what to do with it.
As such, you will be in demand as an abstract concept (ENGLISH!!! NATIVE SPEAKER!!! WHITEY!!!) and not as an actual human being, nor as a professional with standards and expectations.

99% of what you are told will be lies. The other 1% will be guesses. Bad, uninformed guesses. The problem with EFL is this:

English is spoken by Americans. Americans are believed to be complete morons. Ergo, if Americans speak English and they (who, remember are morons) can learn it, so can we. It's easy! It's fun! It requires no effort, no plan, no concentration. So the easiest way to make a buck, especially in East Asia, is to cash in on this line of reasoning. Teachers are looked at as a necessary evil that is essential to this grubby little enterprise but not liked or respected. Add to it that many TEFLers are running away from home (drugs, kids, booze, debt or if you hit the jackpot all of the above). So they have spines of gelatin and accept whatever is thrown at them because the alternative of going home is unthinkable.

Believe nothing. Trust no one. Suspect everyone. Life doesn't get any better than this!

P.S.: And just think, if you are the most unappealing male specimen alive you can go to many places where your passport will transform you into a 100% grade-A stud.
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Joined: 21 Jul 2005
Posts: 64
Location: neverneverland

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guangho has made some good points to describe the current TEFL world. I accepted an overseas job early in my career after a telephone interview and then after I arrived, I actually went to the administration and asked if I was in the right place as everything was totally different to what they had described - and suddenly, I was unpopular with them for asking this question!
I would advise you to do as much research on various overseas positions before accepting an offer.See if can can get contacts with other teachers on the same teaching staff just to talk over general issues.If the administration is reluctant to provide these sources then I'd have doubts about the job and move on to something else.
Read as much as you can about the new area to find out about local conditions and read anything that you can find from postings by other teachers in forums such as these. Create your own thread of questions if you have any doubts.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 329
Location: Alexandria, Egypt

PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the best thing to do would be to get a written contract sent and signed before you actually go over there! Not sure how many places in Africa do that - I know very very few schools in Egypt do! Mind you, who's to say that the contract can't be "interpreted" differently?
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Joined: 19 May 2006
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The world of TEFL sounds terribly shady. I have taught EFL in Ethiopia with the Peace Corps and loved it. The students were very eager to learn and well behaved and I was treated very well by the school where I worked. Back here in the US I teach ESL to African Refugees and love it (excellent administrative support though) but I really want to go back overseas. But the more threads I read, the more discouraged I become. I am getting the sense that no matter how professional you are, no matter how good of a teacher you are, no matter how passionate you are - it doesn't matter - if the school where you are teaching doesn't give you support or appreciation for your efforts. But there must be some good schools out there. Anyone????????
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