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To what different types of schools should I apply?

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Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: To what different types of schools should I apply? Reply with quote

For starters, I want to thank Teacher in Rome and Sue H for your helpful responses to my previous questions. Now, can you help with with one more biggie?

It's a given that I'll be applying to "stand alone" English language schools. Presumably there are also other schools I should apply to. I just don't know what types--largely because I've vaguely heard of the "mother tongue" rule in Italy, that (allegedly) says a mother tongue speaker should be present in foreign language classrooms. Is my info accurate so far? And does this rule apply to all schools from elementary to university?

To review my qualifications: Master's in English, previous teaching experience in the states (but in English composition, not ESL, and no teaching certificate--not required for teaching on the college level in the states for those holding post-grad degrees), taking CELTA course this summer, soon to be holder of EU passport--thanks for being Irish, dad.

Thanks again. Some of this info is hard to track down from reputable sources. In English, anyway.
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Teacher in Rome

Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1286

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CELTA is really important, if only because it shows you know what you're doing in a classroom. But I'm also going to let you into a secret and say that I have never been asked to show my qualifications. I actually have a DELTA, but nobody has asked to see it. And I've worked for companies, private language schools and the state... So I guess that personality also goes a long way (or is it my stunning looks??)

Apply to all language schools, but unless you're desperate for hours, avoid the bottom-feeder chains. Getting into the state sector requires time and contacts, and you're much more likely to be paid the proper wage there if you do it under your own steam than through a language school. For example, I get paid twice (directly by the school) than a friend who works for a language school and is seconded to a state school.

I don't know where you found the law about having a mother-tongue in the classroom, but it seems different schools have different priorities. I go in for 10 weeks to the first and second years of a liceo, but after that only see the kids when I prepare them for Cambridge exams. Other media (middle school) and primary schools also have lettrice hours, but this is by no means standard through the public education system.

Some of the better paid gigs are with business English, so having some sort of background here will help. If you don't know one end of a presentation from another, consider looking at some of the business English books on the market, such as Market Leader or the new Macmillan one (temporarily forgot its name). Bookshops like Feltrinelli International generally stock a good range if you're stuck for resources. (In Rome that is - just off Repubblica metro stop.)

Let us know how you get on!
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Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 1022
Location: Northern Italy

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

on the teachers in the classroom bit you may have got the wrong end of the stick in that as an outside 'expert' officially you shouldn't be alone with the kids as you are not responsible for them. A class teacher is meant to be in attendance, but they tend to sit in the corner doing marking! In practice, once they know you it's a little more relaxed than that and they disappear for meetings and the like.

The actual amount of foreign lettrici is often dependent on local budgets. I have a regular morning teaching 4 elementare, but there was an additional budget of 6 hours for the little ones, so I do an occasional hour of story-telling with TPR type stuff and playing my various instruments! It does vary but as TiR says, get employed directly by the school. I even get paid for meetings!

PS TiR - perhaps you should get that fiddle out again!
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