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The ESL Scene in Cambodia – Part 1: The Teachers

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: The ESL Scene in Cambodia – Part 1: The Teachers Reply with quote

The reasons people choose to move to Cambodia and teach English are as varied as the characters that walk into English institutes and call themselves “teachers”. Most people start as English teachers because they come to Cambodia as tourists and end up wanting to stay longer (for whatever reason). Most foreigners, lacking the ability to speak Khmer, generally aren’t qualified to do anything else in Cambodian society, so teaching English seems a natural fit. Others use teaching English as a means to an end. They see teaching English as a job to get themselves established with while they look for work in another field or set up a business. Some teachers in Cambodia are career teachers and have followed the teaching circuit around Asia and down to the tropics to finish up their careers before retirement. Still others are here for the cheap beer, MOD EDIT - DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT WRITING SOMETHING SIMILAR ON THIS BOARD AGAIN and they have no qualms explaining that to you. Yes, it’s a mixed bag of tricks down here in the jungle and you meet new and interesting people everyday.

When someone in Phnom Penh asks you, “What’s your job?” and you say, “Why, I’m a teacher,” the inevitable follow-up question is going to be, “What do you teach?” You see in Cambodia, there are good teaching jobs and there are English teaching jobs. Foreign teacher’s salaries range anywhere from the bottom of the barrel slop-job schools that pay $5/hr to sustain a teacher’s boozed up/drugged out existence – all the way up to a king-like (by local standards) $30,000+ a year for teachers who qualify for positions at international schools.

A native speaking English teacher makes about double that of a junkie tourist, with his or her salary averaging in at about $10-$12 an hour. There are generally no benefits for lowly newbies. The top-off point, salary-wise for an English teacher who has been here a couple of years and stayed with the same school is capped at about a max of $20 an hour and a few benefits if the school is generous. Most English teachers in Cambodia are making between $900-$1300 a month, depending on what the terms and conditions with their employers are.

If you’re in Cambodia, low on cash and want to make a go of it here, chances are, you’re going to end up teaching ESL sooner or later; but weary traveller, fear not. Asia Pundits is going to going to be bringing you an in your face series on what you need to know about the ESL scene in Cambodia. We are going to give you the low-down and the ins and outs on the industry. We are also going to let you know about pitfalls that you can avoid, should you choose to jump ship and set up shop in the Kingdom of Wonder.

Our first part of the series will feature the people who are the most involved in the ESL “education” community, the movers and shakers, the teachers. We are going to let you know about the characters you’ll be working and running around with, should you choose to move to Cambodia to pursue a career as an English teacher. Do you have what it takes to make it in this highly “competitive” and rapidly expanding industry? You’ll see it all when you come to Cambodia; it’s best to be prepared before you arrive. Let us introduce you to who’ll you be working with. - The teachers - MOD EDIT - NO BLOG ADVERTISEMENTS
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Mr. Kalgukshi
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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