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Celtas from non-EU countries
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Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 45
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Don't tell me the truth, tell me what I want to hear! Reply with quote

Ciao tutti,

Thanks for the run-down on schools/students TiR, very useful if a little depressing! Your info re Italy in general mirrors what I've gleaned from lurking about on here for a while. Living somewhere is bound to be a different pot of cockles than holidaying there, but I really like Italy and it has got be better than the UK. Please tell me it's better than living in the UK! Organisation, where it exists at all, is also a nightmare in Vietnam (governmentally anyway, my school is great in that regard) so I'm used to having to do things in triplicate.

Obviously my dream job is just that - a dream of the pipe variety - but actually if I can find somewhere that ticks enough of the boxes I don't mind compromising on some of the others.

I'm short of experience (zero) in young learners, corporate and off-site work, and to be honest I'm not in any great rush to rectify that! It would worry me, based on your summary, to land in Italy and, on top of trying to sort out endless paperwork etc, be running around like a blue-arsed fly between jobs I'm not familiar with just trying to make ends meet. The very antithesis of the life I want, in fact. No reason I should have it all handed to me on a silver plate, I know, and I'm sure many people there now are doing exactly what I've described. In the end it probably comes down to how much one wants to be there, and what one is willing to do to achieve that.

I suppose compared to many I have it very easy and have been spoilt in that my first job off the boat has been so good. I'm coming to the conclusion that if I want to make it in Europe I might be as well to move when I'm further up the managerial foodchain, with further qualifications. Maybe in a year I'll start a thread called Deltas from non-EU countries...

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

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My word I waffle on don't I? Must work on my TTT...
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Teacher in Rome

Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1286

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ciao Boot

Living in Italy is better than living in the UK.

That's why I'm here - still - after ten years. But everybody's circumstances are different. I don't hanker after a consumerist society, don't particularly like xmas with all the hassles, and I'm not particularly close to my family. I go back about once a year, to go shopping, go to bookshops etc, and just breathe some of that good London air. It would drive me insane to live there.

Italy is a bureaucratic nightmare if you're freelance and have to file everything in triplicate, several times a year. Not even accountants like that aspect of it. Or at least, mine doesn't. To do anything here, you have to use professional services. Can't file your own taxes on your own, can't make a will on your own, can't do a myriad of things that elsewhere are commonplace.

But back to the teaching. If you don't currently have exp with YL, corporate, etc, I'd suggest you get some before coming here. It will make life a lot easier if, on top of everything else, you're not trying to play catch-up with teaching methodologies, course books, suitablie activities and so on.

Italy will always be here. I doubt very much if the economic situation will improve drastically - or if it will get much worse. There will always be work for English teachers - especially if you put in the effort to meet people, get on well with them, learn a bit of Italian... There's been a huge groundshift in people's perceptions of English over the last few years. Where once you'd be unlikely to hear an English word at all, you now get TV presenters - and even politicians - inserting the odd "leadership" (Napolitano) or "relocation" (anti-immigration Maroni - that one made me laugh) into what they say. My students yabber on about scream music, grunt music, gigs and guinness, and the teachers wonder about CLIL with Economics. There's a lot of interest, and a lot of opportunity, so not a bad destination at all.

Definitely come over with savings to tide you over for the first few months. It makes settling in much easier, and less stressful. If you get a good employer they should also help you with some of the paperwork, finding accommodation, etc. Larger towns will probably give you more variety in work, but smaller towns can be as much fun.

Oh, and a DELTA isn't normally necessary for most jobs. I have one, but nobody has ever asked to see it...
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Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 122

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boot - thanks for the info re working in Vietnam.

Is Italy better than the UK? Italy's good points - beautiful scenery and architecture, culture and history, great food and friendly people. (Not saying the UK lacks all of these things just that, IMO, they are more abundant in Italy.) The bad points - red tape which can make straightforward transactions mind-numbingly difficult and teaching in 3 or 4 locations in one day.

TiR sums up life and teaching in Italy very well.

If you really don't want to teach young learners or corporate classes (at a language school or off-site), I think you'll find it hard to get a job in Italy. If you prove me wrong and get 20-25 hours a week teaching adults in one location in Italy, please PM me so I can apply too. Very Happy
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I'm With Stupid

Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
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.

As someone who is constantly reminded to not be too teacher-centred, let me assure you that this isn't true. At least not in my school (which is not necessarily representative of the entire continent). But I work at a DELTA training school, and a lot of my friends work at International House, so the only schools I can really talk about are very keen on teachers keeping the classes student-centred. My first job was teaching business English at another school, and I was given a course book and one instruction: "just let them talk, it's good for them."

This opinion even seems to be a trend in Asia though, with our CELTA trainer saying that experience from China, Korea, Taiwan or Japan is looked on with some suspicion by our school, unless it's come from a school known for high standards.

I'll echo Boot's claims about Vietnam. And I'm not quite as keen to leave just yet.
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