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Celtas from non-EU countries
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BootOfTheBeast



Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 45
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:08 pm    Post subject: Celtas from non-EU countries Reply with quote

Hi all,

Just wondering if a Celta from an Asian country would preclude me from working in Italy at some point in the future. I know the general advice is get your Celta in the country you want to teach, but it's a big ol' world!

On the same lines, is teaching experience in non-EU countries effectively written off by employers in It?

Thanks,

Boot
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CELTA's a CELTA. That's one reason it's the name brand - it should be ok anywhere - the standards are (in theory, at least) the same.

Your other question's interesting.

I haven't worked in Italy myself, but have worked in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands (also the Czech Rep and Canada, but that's not relevant here). Also, the university where I am now has partners all over the EU, and I have lots of contact with teachers in other countries.

The general view is that at some levels, people do tend to be a bit suspicious of teachers whose experience is solely from Asia. It's because teaching/learning approaches, methods, and expectations are so different to those used and expected in Europe.

Effectively written off may be a bit too strong, but I wouldn't be surprised if your Asian experience didn't help you much.

However, your showing some awareness of the differences could go some way to offsetting that.
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BootOfTheBeast



Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 45
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
It's because teaching/learning approaches, methods, and expectations are so different to those used and expected in Europe.


Thanks for your reply Spiral, good to hear (about the Celta at least!). If you were so minded, could you expand a bit on the above point?

Thanks,

Boot
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, here's the GENERAL scoop - and remember it's from my perspective, who have never personally been to Asia.

However, I have worked in Europe with quite a few teachers who have spent more or less time working in Asia.

I'm going a bit on a limb here as this is not from my personal experience. But here is the general feedback I have from others:

Asian classrooms tend to be pretty highly teacher-focused. There is generally more control of the learning situation on the part of the teacher. This may be both demanded from the administrative side and made necessary by the kinds of classrooms/students/learning goals common in Asian teaching contexts.

There is often more interactivity in European learning contexts, and in some cases, more control of the class, activities, and goals on the part of students.

Asian students are often less exposed to English in their actual lives - more European students at least use English as they travel, and in some countries here most young people are functional in the language anyway - what they need is the move into professional/formal/academic ranges, rather than the basics.

In Europe, there may sometimes be more opportunity (and demand to) to move away from book-based teaching. Real texts, real-life situations, and teacher-learner communication on a more interactive level is more common.

Students may be more demanding in some contexts in Europe, if their need for the language is pressing and immediate, like in the university setting where I am now, and in many business teaching contexts. Compared to teaching in an Asian high school, for example, where the students may be primarily learning just to pass a test.

I hope all this is kind of understandable, and that I've made it clear this is just my own perspective on the thing, from some years of working with teachers who've worked in Asia.

One anecdote of an extreme example, if I may Very Happy

One of the worst teacher I've ever worked with spent 16 years in a couple of Japanese universities. She was apparently very successful there - but crashed and burned very quickly here.

Her approach to teaching: stand in front of the class at all times, holding papers in her hands. Bummer Shocked Because at this particular university where I am, a strongly student-centred approach is used across all faculties - and the official leader of all of our classes is a STUDENT.
The poor lady was unable to understand why her tried-and-true methods didn't work here.
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Nomad79



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about an American with a CELTA from NY? (Spain, Italy or Portugal would be nice...)
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SueH



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

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not where the CELTA is from, and actually, I reckon a NY CELTA would have given you a good and interesting mix of students. The problem is the visa... do some more research on here...
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Nomad, your CELTA would be fine - it's your passport that's the problem. As Sue said, there is tons of info on this and other country forums about Americans in the EU.
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caramelizeme



Joined: 01 Oct 2010
Posts: 6
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: re: spiral Reply with quote

thanks a lot spiral, very efficient and supported perspective.
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pie in the sky



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my experience in these matters (US citizen with EU passport (Irish grandfather) Asian experience up till now and CELTA from London. Hasn't seemed to cause any problems in the job market.I figure that Italian students will require big adjustment from tecahing Korean students. Any tips?
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caramelizeme



Joined: 01 Oct 2010
Posts: 6
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: us w eu? Reply with quote

Hold on Pie,
So you have an Irish grandfather? And that makes you eligible for a EU?
Is that correct?

And you're having trouble teaching Italians?


*I never get why certified English teachers can't just use proper grammar in these forums.
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wiganer



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: us w eu? Reply with quote

caramelizeme wrote:
Hold on Pie,
So you have an Irish grandfather? And that makes you eligible for a EU?
Is that correct?

And you're having trouble teaching Italians?


*I never get why certified English teachers can't just use proper grammar in these forums.


It seems quite clear that 'Pie In The Sky' has a EU passport and eligibility came from an Irish grandfather.

You might mock the grammar of certain posters but your reading comprehension needs a lot of work methinks. Wink
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BootOfTheBeast



Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 45
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:49 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Before this turns into a slanging match, (very) belated thanks to Spiral for taking the time to give such a thorough response to my original question.

I'm coming up to the magic 2 years experience mark (Asia) - still keen on Italy but I worry I've been spoilt with generally great, well-behaved and focused students. The students in the med countries don't get great reviews from what I've read!

Boot
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rafaella



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boot - I haven't worked in Asia so I can't compare the two regions. However, I have spent a fair amount of time teaching in various parts of southern Europe so maybe I can try to give you some idea what to expect. Obviously 'the Med' covers a vast and diverse area so this can only be a generalization. I would say the children are not overly disciplined learners and concentration isn't always a strong point, so you need to be able to make the classes varied and fun without them spiraling out of control! I'm making it sound pretty bad but most of the time it's fine. I guess that, after Asia, it might be a steep learning curve as you find out what approach works in a European classroom. The adults are, by and large, delightful although (in most cases) you shouldn't expect learning English to be their top priority! I've been thinking of moving to Asia at some point. How would you characterize learners where you've been teaching?
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BootOfTheBeast



Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 45
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only taught in one school in one country (HCMC, Vietnam), and I only teach adults, but for what it's worth...

Positives: 99% of the students are great, hard-working polite, and respectful, and also game for a laugh. I work at a school with a general english foundation leading through an academic pathway to IELTS, so the students are supremely motivated to get their 6.5 and escape to university in the West, where the streets are paved with gold and everything is wonderful and shiny. Be careful what you wish for is a phrase that springs to mind, but I digress. Almost no L1 in the class, but that's school policy so they know what's expected of them when they sign up. It's also expensive - about US$500 for 100 hours, so they don't whine too much about playing games. However we teach 4-hour classes so there does have to be plenty of variety to keep them engaged. Homework generally gets done. The more I think about it the more I realise they are really great. Other teachers at other schools aren't so lucky.

Negatives: A lot of them are also at university or have jobs so self-study can be a problem. They seem to think they will improve dramatically overnight as if by magic. Just desperate to get to the promised lands. Timekeeping - they tend to trickle in for the first 15 minutes of the lesson citing traffic jams, even though their friend who lives twice as far away manages to be on time EVERY lesson. Another (minor) issue is men who are older than the teacher can be a bit worried about losing face/accepting instructions from a younger teacher. Age-based respect is very important here. I was once approached by a student at an end-of-term party who was angry that I'd referred to a group he was working in as 'boys' He'd been stewing over it for 3 weeks. Lesson learned! Also not massively creative thinkers. Dream job? Businessman. What do you want from life? Earn money. What do you do in your free time? Play computer game. And so on

Why would I ever want to leave such a paradise? Well, the traffic, the air quality (lack thereof), no green space, you can't walk anywhere, dodgy cops with their hands out, bureaucracy, internet censorship (not as bad as China but still rankles, and on the rise), cockroaches, rats, the language would take a good 2 years of hard study to grasp and then be next to useless elsewhere, and 16 hours on a plane (not to mention 800) is a hell of a long way from home.

So what I'd like is for someone to tell me there is a warm European country where I can teach cooperative adults at one school on site for 20-24 hours a week and earn enough to live comfortably. If you could also offer me a job at such a utopian dream school, that would be especially great!

Boot
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ciao Boot

I think it's unlikely you'll find your 20 or so hours all in one place, and consistently every week. Far more likely that you'll be teaching for more than one organisation, and much more irregularly, with work coming out of your ears from October to June, and drying up completely from July to September.

I've done a mix of teaching here, from private language school, state teaching, and adults (mix of general and corporate). My observations are:

private language school: poorly paid. Who you teach will reflect on local demographics. You might have a lot of YL, lots of "recupero" (coaching for secondary school students), and fewer adults. Or you might be sent into local secondary schools....

state teaching: where to start. Large classes (though that depends on age group. By the time they get to 3rd or 4th year "superiore" the class sizes are smaller, and students better motivated.) A lot will depend on what sort of school it is, how good it is, but by and large expect a lot of noise and indiscipline. Students aren't used to pair work or group work, so get very excited by the chance of not having to listen and memorise for 50 mins. Outside class expect your students to be generally lovely - well mannered and friendly. Inside they can be little horrors. Or large horrors. Even in the "academic" schools.

adult classes: my favourite. Motivated, interested, hard-working. Curious about you, your culture. Likely to have not-so-easy lives outside the classroom. Italians work long hours, often look after aged relatives, juggle demands of kids etc as well as their working lives. And they have all the hassle of bureaucracy, incompetence etc as you have. (Not that you would know all this until you get to know them better - Italians aren't really whiners.) Generally collaborative and extremely sociable - they like helping each other, working together, finding points in common. Your dream students. But unfortunately not enough of them to make up your full-time teaching load!

Italy is no utopia. There are massive problems with the economy, lack of work (impacting on you too, obviously) and reforms of schools and universities mean there is often less money / timetabling hours for you there too. Bureaucracy drives me mad, and general ineptness plays its part too. Don't expect efficiency and organisation - all the stereotypes you've heard about this are true. It's a not-so-funny joke that the only thing organised in Italy is the crime. On the upside, friendly, warm people, good food, beautiful scenery etc etc.
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