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Teaching in Lithuania
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Kootvela



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 513
Location: Lithuania

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By saying 'native teachers don't prepare' I mean this: native teachers, especially with little teaching experience, have difficulty in planning lessons and give too little if any supplementary material. From the observed lessons I know that quite a few native teachers just kept working from the textbook for 2 full hours, not giving a single handout. Sometimes it may be good because the programme is very broad and we alls weat to cover all the main points and any deviation from the textbook is wasted time. BUT the students think this way: no extra handout, no gameboard, no nothing, the teacher did nothing for us EXTRA, he/she just came. What matters for the students is the big file of handouts brought just to show you took your time for them.

I'm not saying that handouts do or do not help for the aim of the lesson, it depends on a concrete situation. It's just an example why students complain the teacher does not prepare.

As for rising rates, I'm thinking about it. I have a few 1:1 who attend once per week. Shall I put up the price for, say, 10lt from January? (1 Euro=3,5lt)
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I do think that teachers need to consider preparation. Ok, full preparation if you're teaching a lot is unrealistic, and also the students would be unhappy if they paid for a book that they didn't in fact use. BUT, a little additional input does make a difference to a session. Maybe think about a little grammar for the board - something students have got lax about or something to stretch them a little - and then expand on it (this doesn't require preparation, just deciding on the grammar input) and hopefully get it to fit in with the book's material. Or get another textbook at the same teaching level and bring a photocopy from it that shares the same topic as the set book. I've been using these two ways of topping up my 'book and board' workover the last term and the students think it works.

And, occasionally, break off from the book. If they're beginners, get them to blindfold you and direct you to places they think they know. Seasonally, talk about different ways of celebrating Thanksgiving/Guy Fawkes Night/ Idi Amin's birthday, using the language that they've recently learned from the book.

The above suggestions don't require lots of written preparation, but maybe a few minutes thought on the bus to work or between lessons if possible. So you can use the book and be less boring. And you may never have to sit at a table cutting up bits of paper!
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Kootvela



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 513
Location: Lithuania

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coledavis wrote:
Yes I do think that teachers need to consider preparation. Ok, full preparation if you're teaching a lot is unrealistic, and also the students would be unhappy if they paid for a book that they didn't in fact use. BUT, a little additional input does make a difference to a session. Maybe think about a little grammar for the board - something students have got lax about or something to stretch them a little - and then expand on it (this doesn't require preparation, just deciding on the grammar input) and hopefully get it to fit in with the book's material. Or get another textbook at the same teaching level and bring a photocopy from it that shares the same topic as the set book. I've been using these two ways of topping up my 'book and board' workover the last term and the students think it works.

And, occasionally, break off from the book. If they're beginners, get them to blindfold you and direct you to places they think they know. Seasonally, talk about different ways of celebrating Thanksgiving/Guy Fawkes Night/ Idi Amin's birthday, using the language that they've recently learned from the book.

The above suggestions don't require lots of written preparation, but maybe a few minutes thought on the bus to work or between lessons if possible. So you can use the book and be less boring. And you may never have to sit at a table cutting up bits of paper!


Thank you for the input. I wish all teachers were that thoughtful about their lessons. You are right that with full teaching load preparation is sometimes not easy. I used to spend my Fridays for getting ready for the next week, 6 groups, 4 full hours each (2 full hours twice a week) and I would leave when it was dark.
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Yorkshire Ian



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked in Vilnius, within the last 3 years, I was paid 1,500 and had a free flat in Antaklanis, its a really good area. I really enjoyed Lithuania and its sad that I was working for a school that eroded so much of your time in petty admin jobs (ILS) In the months that I spent in Vilnius, I actually saw very little of the place because I was in an office most of the time, despite being a teacher.

Vilnius can be expensive and whilst not as expensive as other Central European countries, its not so easy to make ends meet. I would have said 2-2.5k Lt a month after accomodation would just about be enough.
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Haft



Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Kootvela, it's quite nice that there are recent posts concerning Lithuania. A few questions:

1.) What time of the year do teaching contracts normally begin?
2.) When should I come to look for work?
3.) Should I even come in person to look for work rather than arrange something in advance?
4.) I'm American, what can I expect to need to get a work visa?
5.) If I start later this year doing EFL, then I would be looking for my first teaching job ever - is Lithuania the place to start?
6.) When dealing with private lessons, is it common practice to tell the student to go buy a particular textbook?
7.) I will be getting certified before going to look for work, can I expect the "average" salary?
8.) What does "frugal" mean for life in Lithuania? Let's assume all public transportation or a bike, no sin-taxable items like cigarettes, no coffee, no saving except for the slow months, moderate eating and socializing habits, probably minimal reliance on buying non-food items from local shops, NOT living around Vilnius. Is that frugal enough? If that's not enough can you think of a nearby country where it is?
9.) How long would you estimate it takes to start speaking passable Lithuanian for an English speaker?
10.) I like to jog, and I come from a place that never snows. Does anybody in a snow-prone European country do this outside, or must I rely on an indoor track?

Thank you so much.
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Kootvela



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 513
Location: Lithuania

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.) What time of the year do teaching contracts normally begin?

That depends on the institution. State schools start september 1. Universities start September-October something. Language courses have different strating dates, IH starts September 25 something but other language courses start later or earlier, there is no fixed date. Also, unexpected groups happen, esp. in company, so there can be demand to teach unexpectedly. Also, there are autumn, winter, spring terms and sumemr intensive courses, so practically you can start anytime.

2.) When should I come to look for work?

Better look before you come Laughing A few months in advance at least because if you need visa support, flat, etc. that has to be arranged way in advance.

3.) Should I even come in person to look for work rather than arrange something in advance?

That won't help a lot (look at answer to question 2) unless you have where to stay and want personally to see how everything is. Or you must attend to an interview.

4.) I'm American, what can I expect to need to get a work visa?

That's a good question to your embassy, actually. This is http://vilnius.usembassy.gov/ American embassy in Vilnius. They have electronic visa application form. Consular information email consec (eta sign) state.gov

5.) If I start later this year doing EFL, then I would be looking for my first teaching job ever - is Lithuania the place to start?

I'm a bit biased here but it's a good place if you can sell yourself well. Without cash and with nasty administration every country can be hell. It will take time for you to get accustomed to things here but it's survivable. Laughing


6.) When dealing with private lessons, is it common practice to tell the student to go buy a particular textbook?

I do. If the student doesn't want to, I make copies for that lesson. No big deal.

7.) I will be getting certified before going to look for work, can I expect the "average" salary?

That's what you're most likely going to get Laughing In teaching it's difficult to strat making money hand over fist unless you take lots of privates and they are groups in companies. In language courses- it depends on their rates but that's negotiable when you start making queries.


8.) What does "frugal" mean for life in Lithuania? Let's assume all public transportation or a bike, no sin-taxable items like cigarettes, no coffee, no saving except for the slow months, moderate eating and socializing habits, probably minimal reliance on buying non-food items from local shops, NOT living around Vilnius. Is that frugal enough? If that's not enough can you think of a nearby country where it is?

The minimum wage will be 800lt starting next year but social security rates will also increase. Prices have tripled. The richer get richer and the poor get poorer. But we don't like living frugally, we live from salary to salary. But your description fits very much to what most Lithuanians are doing.


9.) How long would you estimate it takes to start speaking passable Lithuanian for an English speaker?

Depends on how often your practice, how often you have lessons, are you capable of learning the language with cases and inflections and loads of prepositions. But if I say that for a beginner to start speak somewhat English is necessary to work hard for about 6 months, that should apply as well to your case. If your girlfriend is Lithuanian, that speeds things up. Cool

10.) I like to jog, and I come from a place that never snows. Does anybody in a snow-prone European country do this outside, or must I rely on an indoor track?

There are crazy people running in sweatsuits early in the morning outside, I alsways shiver at the mere sight Laughing I am anti-sporty, you know. But jogging is not a problem. And it doesn't snow that much to prevent you from jogging, it may be cold and windy weather puts people off. This year the snow hasn't arrived yet.
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Haft



Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those answers are very helpful. I'll probably have more questions as time wears on. Thanks!
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Plisken



Joined: 15 Mar 2008
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: To Kootvela Reply with quote

I've read this and your other posts and you seem very helpful; if you get a chance, I have a topic up in General Europe that I would like to have your opinion on. Thanks.
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Kootvela



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 513
Location: Lithuania

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please specify which topic that is, thanks!
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Plisken



Joined: 15 Mar 2008
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: oops... Reply with quote

right, sorry - http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=61658


i'm still trying to get used to the layout here...thanks for responding.
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booty



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be warned about IH Vilnius. The boss there is ruthless and will give teachers a very hard time. I have never seen a school with such a high turnover and even senior teachers and admin staff going home crying. Im sure there are better deals in this great city with great people.
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booty



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be warned about IH Vilnius. The boss there is ruthless and will give teachers a very hard time. I have never seen a school with such a high turnover and even senior teachers and admin staff going home crying. Im sure there are better deals in this great city with great people.
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booty



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be warned about IH Vilnius. The boss there is ruthless and will give teachers a very hard time. I have never seen a school with such a high turnover and even senior teachers and admin staff going home crying. Im sure there are better deals in this great city with great people.
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booty



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be warned about IH Vilnius. The boss there is ruthless and will give teachers a very hard time. I have never seen a school with such a high turnover and even senior teachers and admin staff going home crying. Im sure there are better deals in this great city with great people.
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booty



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be warned about IH Vilnius. The boss there is ruthless and will give teachers a very hard time. I have never seen a school with such a high turnover and even senior teachers and admin staff going home crying. Im sure there are better deals in this great city with great people.
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