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US Citizen With EU Passport--ESL Job Prospects in Italy?

 
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EvilTwin2000



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:41 pm    Post subject: US Citizen With EU Passport--ESL Job Prospects in Italy? Reply with quote

As the bulk of ESL teachers in Italy are likely to come from the UK, is my American accent likely to be held against me? I have a Master's in English, I've taught english composition in community colleges in the states, and I've been accepted into a CELTA course in Italy. But if this is going to be an exercise in futility because I sound different than most other teachers, please tell me now, before I plunk down all that CELTA money.

Or do I just need to develop a charming Irish brogue? Thanks.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1207

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that an American accent will hold you back at all. I know Americans, Canadians, Aussies and South Africans working here, and as long as you speak comprehensible English, you'll be fine.

Good luck in your job search! Where are you heading?
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SueH



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 1022
Location: Northern Italy

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teacher in Rome wrote:
and as long as you speak comprehensible English, you'll be fine.Good luck in your job search!


That's the key. I know I've had students say they don't like American English but it's never something I've encouraged, given the rise in world Englishes. Others say they like it, given their exposure to it in various media.
Do what my mum tells me: 'speak more slowly', and you'll be fine!
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EvilTwin2000



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was kind of a bonehead question, I suppose. But to paraphrase the former Sec'y of Defense, it's what you don't know you don't know that will bite you in the butt. So thanks, TIR, for the reassurance.

I'm taking the CELTA this summer in Verona, hoping to teach in the north (Ravenna would be ideal since I'm nuts about mosaics, but there aren't a whole lot of schools there). I'm sure Rome and Milan are the hotspots, but I wonder how far outside either city I'd have to live in order to afford to teach in them.

And Sue: I may not be articulate, but I do articulate. For a Yank.

Are you suggesting that method actors make bad ESL teachers?
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SueH



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 1022
Location: Northern Italy

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't feel so guilty about being a Yank!Smile The worse speaker I've ever encountered was a call-centre operative from Liverpoooool. Being an ESOL teacher I'd always thought I could cope with strange Englishes...

BTW.. my mum really does say that to me! As for method actors... not quite sure about that comment. Brando is probably not a good example to follow..!

Ravenna is OK though: twinned with my local town in the UK, and they certainly were asking the local college for teachers a few years ago.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1207

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't dismiss Ravenna out of hand either. Have a look in the pagine gialle to see if there are any schools. It's a small town, but there's bound to be something if not there, then nearby. Don't forget, either, that you will probably do a range of teaching, possibly including working in a state school as a language assistant. In a small place you'll get to know people pretty quickly, and you might also pick up courses and private students here and there.

I think the real questions are whether you can a) handle living and working in a small town and b) whether you can earn enough the nine months of the year you can expect to work. Expect low, low wages...
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