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Usual questions...

 
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ben4242



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:17 pm    Post subject: Usual questions... Reply with quote

I am from England and I am moving to Prague in May. I will be starting a CELTA TEFL course at Akcent school in June, finishing 1 July 2011.

I have been trying to increase my awareness of TEFL teaching in Prague and the economic situation regarding jobs, Thus, I have a few questions, many of which, I guess, are typical of 'newbie' ESOL teaching.

1. I have read that the best time to find jobs is end of August, September and October. If I finish my course at the start of July, am I likely to find it difficult to find a job to begin with? Will I be at a disadvantage to those who do their course in August, finishing when the job market is on an upturn? Is there anything I can do in July to improve my chances of finding a job in Sept/August? (e.g. volunteering?)

2. What is the job market like at the moment? The last information I read discussing this was August 2010 and stated that jobs were getting harder and harder to find. Has the situation picked up or is the same as it was last year?

3. Do employers favour CELTA qualifications to other TEFL qualifications? Do they also take into account the reputation of the school? I have chosen CELTA and Akcent as I read that the school was one of the best in Prague and I wanted to have an internationally rcognised qualification.

4. Do employer's recognise volunteering on your CV? I have read that volunteering in Czech is not as extensive as in England. I have no formal ESOL experience but I have spent alot of time volunteering assisting a tutor to teach ESOL in England. Will this help me or will it not be recognised?

5. How old is the average graduate from TEFL? Will employers favour older candidates rather than younger 18 year olds with no job experience?

I appreciate that some questions are quite speculative and will require a generalised answers. However, any information on how I can improve my chances of finding a job that I like and find worthwhile would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Ben
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ben4242



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I have another question(s).

6. I have read that alot of teaching, especially for newbie's is business English and you have to do lots of travelling around the city? How do people find these positions and you are employed by the business directly? Or are you employed and paid by a language school and the business contacts them?

7. Is there possibilities for career progression? Whilst I think it will be perfectly fine for the beginning, I do not think I would want to be teaching business in English in Prague for the rest of my life. After or if I gain this experience, how likely is the possibility to get full time work in a school?
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smithrn1983



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 320
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll take a stab at some of your questions, though I've been out of the CR for a few years now, and can't answer some of them.

1. Timing. Finishing your course at the end of July is not a bad thing, but you will find it very hard to find a job, as most people are on holiday. The school I taught at in CR had around 300 hours of lessons during the school year that dropped to around 10 over the summer. Still, you'll be able to find work at the end of August, if you're still in the CR.

3. CELTA is the most widely recognized qualification.

4. It depends on your employer. Even if it does not count as experience, I cannot see how it will make a poor impression. If nothing else, it shows you have a passion for teaching, and you're a step ahead of those straight off the CELTA course. Still, it may be hard to find opportunities in the summer.

5. Again, it depends on the employer. Some prefer younger teachers (i.e. 20s-30s) some older (40s-50s), and still others do not care one way or another. However, if you don't have a college degree or any work experience, you can pretty much forget teaching English anywhere in Europe.

6. You're typically employed by the schools, and they will send you out to different businesses. It is possible to find an in-house position working for a company, but you need some experience in CR first, and you have to have the right connections.

7. The career progression (if you stay in CR) will probably be moving into an in-house teaching position. If you want to make a career out of ELT, though, you might be changing countries a couple of times for better pay and conditions.
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spiral78



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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think smithrn has covered most of the bases. One point I'll pick up on is that, if you're 18 or thereabouts (does your post suggest this?) and without a degree, employers are likely to be worried that you are

1. too young to be credible to their adult students
2. don't have enough education to be credible as a teacher to students who mostly have university degrees themselves
3. may not be responsible and reliable enough overall

Your post is written in the kind of English that will impress employers and students (well done) but if you are very young, this may in fact impact your chances negatively to some degree. Consider everything you can do to offset this in terms of dress, manner, and any other way to establish your credibility.

Also - yes, I would doubt that you will find anything to do in the field in the month of August. It's holiday month, and everyone from businesses to private students take this pretty seriously.
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ben4242



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies for the late reply. Thank you both for your quick replies to my message, the answers were very useful.

I am not 18, apologies for misleading you. I am actually 26 and was wondering about competition and whether the fact that I am 26 and have job experience (not specifically in teaching, however) would be in my favour. I also have a bachelors degree and masters degree from a university in England.

Anyway, me and my Czech girlfriend are moving to Prague in May and I start the TEFL in June, fingers crossed it all works out! Any last tips?

Thanks again for your help.

Ben
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spiral78



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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be sure you've got enough funds to get you through the summer lull! Otherwise, you should be nicely in line for whatever's going in late August/early September, and you MIGHT be able to pick up some bits and pieces over the summer (but don't bank on that).

Yes, your age, degrees, and previous job experience should be of benefit!
You should be well able to come across as a professional.

Good luck!
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