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"Writing Specialist"--too narrow a niche?

 
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EvilTwin2000



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:54 pm    Post subject: "Writing Specialist"--too narrow a niche? Reply with quote

As someone who lacks a Celta, but has a masters in English, all coursework toward a doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition, and lots of experience teaching english composition, I'm wondering what the possibilities are of marketing myself as a "writing specialist" for advanced students--or anyone else--who needs to write effective, polished English as a component of their professional careers. I'm thinking anything from e-mails to reports, presentations, etc.

I realize this is a small segment of the EFL student population. But it's also arguably one where the stakes are highest. And the Celta, for all its good points, gives pretty short shift to the development of student writing abilities.

If I want to take this approach, should I try to market myself directly to large companies as an in-house English editor/writing teacher, rather than to schools? Should I try to get a handful of hours at a wide variety of schools? How many of of *your* students (presumably in advanced Business English classes) would benefit from the services of a "writing specialist"? Is there a living to be made at this? Or is the whole concept just preposterous?

Any other suggestions for someone in my situation, other than: get the Celta (and the Punto from the previous post)? Thanks.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck to you! I think it's a good idea, but a slog commercially. Most Italians think their weaknesses are in speaking rather than writing. Not true, but you've got a persuasion battle ahead of you on that one! If you can incorporate it into a wider business English focus, then you'll probably get further. You'd find a CELTA really useful, but failing that, wave around any other training or study certificates you've got.

I think it's unlikely that companies will pay for an on-site editor or writing coach. If necessary they'd get the piece sent out for translation as a one-off cost rather than pay for someone pt or ft.

Something I've also noticed is that a fair proportion of companies only do business within Italy. And even if they have foreign customers, they prefer to muddle along with imperfect English than pay for training. The recession is biting hard here, and training is often the first budget to cut.

Sorry to sound so depressing, but maybe the situation is different in north Italy.
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SueH



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

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd concur with TiR from a northern perspective. There may be a recognition that they should do more with regard to languages but actually getting down to doing it is another matter.

On their language weaknesses I'd mildly disagree by saying that it is a general weakness, and fluency and spoken understanding is generally poor, but often made up by natural communicative ability. Poor writing is more noticeable (bit like my written Italian!) , and in that respect I'd agree that it is not really any better.

I'd recommend not limiting yourself, even if you have a particular angle; my own business card says 'English Language Services' - poncy or what, but I'd like to cover any potential avenues!
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Luder



Joined: 10 Jul 2004
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Any other suggestions for someone in my situation, other than: get the Celta (and the Punto from the previous post)?


Physician, heal thyself!

Quote:
Thanks.


You're most welcome.
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EvilTwin2000



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't currently afford the cure. But thanks for the advice.
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