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Any advice or suggestions welcome

 
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Veek



Joined: 15 Feb 2011
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:06 am    Post subject: Any advice or suggestions welcome Reply with quote

Hello everyone. I would like to ask for some advice or hear what you think about my situation. I'm Eurasian, being Half Swiss/Half Chinese and have been living in Hong Kong all my life so far. I'm contemplating a move back to Europe, most likely Switzerland. But since I've never been back to live (been back for holidays on many occasions), I was wondering if I have much chance to find anything decent to do with ESL. Abit about myself, I have been teaching in Hong Kong for 8 years already, and am currently on the NET scheme for those who know it.
Anyway, I would like to hear from people who are currently living in Switzerland and whether I have much chance to find an ESL job there.
p.s. I can speak Swiss German quite fluently.

Thanks alot.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9489
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, I'm not in Switzerland and have only taught there on occasional projects. However, I'm responding because there are not many (any?) Swiss-based teachers who frequent these boards - though maybe someone will happen along.

There is an EFL market in Switzerland, but it's quite small. You might find something, but it is most likely that you would have to go there and search in person (this is common for Europe in general - rare to find a job from abroad). The best time to do this is end August to early September, when the private schools are hiring.

Also, unfortunately your experience in Hong Kong may not impress employers too much. The reason is that European students are known to be quite different to most Asian ones in terms of accepted approach/methods and motivation, making classrooms here very different to those you'll be used to.
The biggest job market for private language school teachers in this region is with businesspeople, who often expect to have quite a lot of control over what happens in their classroom, and who want to see and feel real results for their (valuable) time. They are not reticent to speak, and there are many students at high levels who need specific language for their jobs.

Finally, you'll want to consider your qualifications. Are you a native English speaker, or totally fluent (your writing suggests that you are at least proficient)? Do you have certification?

I'm not familiar with NET - sorry. I can say, however, that most teachers at private language schools in this market have a CELTA or equivalent. If you don't have, you might consider getting one in Europe, so that you can claim that you have experience teaching European students. I don't know if there are courses in in Switzerland, but there are course providers in surrounding countries.

Unless you've got related MA, you're unlikely to be competitive for university jobs in this region- you will most likely need to focus on private language schools. You may want to google such schools in regions you're interested in and try to find out whether they have openings and if your quals fit.
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Veek



Joined: 15 Feb 2011
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your input. It has given me something to think about. I am a qualified teacher in Hong Kong, and have studied in an international school (which followed the UK curriculum). I have obtained my PGCE from Hong Kong, but I doubt that would impress the employers over there. The NET scheme stands for 'Native English Teachers' by the way.

Once again, thanks for your thoughts.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is not exactly what you were asking about but it is true that there's not a lot of information usually posted about EFL in Switzerland. You say you have a PGCE. In the UK, I know you can get this qualification in either secondary or tertiary education. Does yours qualify you to teach in secondary schools? Is it in ESL only? If you are qualified at secondary level and especially if you can offer other subjects to teach, then that might be another option. If so, you could look at international schools in Switzerland.

With a secondary PGCE, you'd also be able to teach in high schools in Britain, too (though you might not want to!! High schools are not the easiest there). Maths, Science, Modern Languages, Design & Technology and English (lit) & Drama used to be the shortage subjects. They probably still are. If you get work there, you could use that as a jumping off point for Switzerland.
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