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Advice re: private tutoring vs. "Berlitz"-type wor

 
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rotemmay



Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Posts: 26
Location: US and Israel

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Advice re: private tutoring vs. "Berlitz"-type wor Reply with quote

Hi all,
As those of you who have been reading this forum know, I'm exploring further training and options to add to my skills set of teaching college-level English composition/literature courses for both abroad (Israel) and the States.

It looks like I'll be pursuing the CELTA in June (due to not having free accommodations in San Francisco with my brother until then) and in the meantime, I am here in Israel and would like to try and get my foot in the door with at least a little English language teaching experience, even without the CELTA (I do, remember, have an MA in English with 7+ years of teaching experience in my field plus native English and Hebrew language skills, so I'm not entirely without skills Very Happy).

From what I've been researching, I have a few things I can do in the 7 months before I do the CELTA. My interest is primarily teaching adults and college level students, though I'm also fine with teenagers (as long as it's not in the Israel school system, which seems to be as bad as the American school system...) I'm also trying to think ahead and start to get work that will give me skills I can transfer to the States when I move back.

So there are 2 options I've been looking into: private tutoring and a Berlitz-type job where a CELTA or other TESOL training isn't required because they use their own methods.

I'm aware that the Berlitz-type option is not regarded very highly on these boards and pays a pittance. I look at it more as "foot in the door" type of work as well as work that can supplement my income if I'm able to continue it in the States (such as with Berlitz Virtual Classroom or another language school type gig in San Francisco). It would also give me some experience with language teaching in a classroom setting. Though I have teaching experience, I've been doing a lot of online work lately, so I haven't been in front of a classroom in several years.

On the other hand, private tutoring might be fun and, according to my conversations with people here, can build into something that is financially lucrative (as many teens here need tutors to help them learn English for the "Bagrut", or matriculation exams that all high school kids are required to do to get into college). However, while it might give me some good experience with teaching English language, it won't give me the classroom experience. So I'm wondering how that might translate for when I get to the States, since I'm guessing that private lessons in English are few and far between there.

So any advice on which might be better for me to pursue at the moment would be nice. Any experiences on working with either of these things (or both) and how that helped (or didn't help) you in the States would be great also.

Rotem
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EFLeducator



Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 595
Location: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Advice re: private tutoring vs. "Berlitz"-type Reply with quote

rotemmay wrote:
Hi all,
As those of you who have been reading this forum know, I'm exploring further training and options to add to my skills set of teaching college-level English composition/literature courses for both abroad (Israel) and the States.

It looks like I'll be pursuing the CELTA in June (due to not having free accommodations in San Francisco with my brother until then) and in the meantime, I am here in Israel and would like to try and get my foot in the door with at least a little English language teaching experience, even without the CELTA (I do, remember, have an MA in English with 7+ years of teaching experience in my field plus native English and Hebrew language skills, so I'm not entirely without skills Very Happy).

From what I've been researching, I have a few things I can do in the 7 months before I do the CELTA. My interest is primarily teaching adults and college level students, though I'm also fine with teenagers (as long as it's not in the Israel school system, which seems to be as bad as the American school system...) I'm also trying to think ahead and start to get work that will give me skills I can transfer to the States when I move back.

So there are 2 options I've been looking into: private tutoring and a Berlitz-type job where a CELTA or other TESOL training isn't required because they use their own methods.

I'm aware that the Berlitz-type option is not regarded very highly on these boards and pays a pittance. I look at it more as "foot in the door" type of work as well as work that can supplement my income if I'm able to continue it in the States (such as with Berlitz Virtual Classroom or another language school type gig in San Francisco). It would also give me some experience with language teaching in a classroom setting. Though I have teaching experience, I've been doing a lot of online work lately, so I haven't been in front of a classroom in several years.

On the other hand, private tutoring might be fun and, according to my conversations with people here, can build into something that is financially lucrative (as many teens here need tutors to help them learn English for the "Bagrut", or matriculation exams that all high school kids are required to do to get into college). However, while it might give me some good experience with teaching English language, it won't give me the classroom experience. So I'm wondering how that might translate for when I get to the States, since I'm guessing that private lessons in English are few and far between there.

So any advice on which might be better for me to pursue at the moment would be nice. Any experiences on working with either of these things (or both) and how that helped (or didn't help) you in the States would be great also.

Rotem


The states isn't good for jobs at this time, especially teaching English. I taught private classes in Mexico City and also worked for a language school...Harmon Hall. Neither have helped me AT ALL in the states. I also taught ESL in a community college in Texas from 05 to 08 before heading to Mexico City. If you want to make money teaching English in the states, you'll need to get state certified and work at the middle or high school level.

There's no money in ESL in the states plus if you did get a gig in ESL in the states there would be no bennies because it's too difficult to get a full-time gig. You MAY be able to get into a university position and if you do the experience with Berlitz MIGHT help you when it comes to teaching adults at a university. The hardest part will be getting your foot in the door. Jobs are scarce in the U.S. these days.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9603
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm aware that the Berlitz-type option is not regarded very highly on these boards and pays a pittance. I look at it more as "foot in the door" type of work as well as work that can supplement my income if I'm able to continue it in the States (such as with Berlitz Virtual Classroom or another language school type gig in San Francisco). It would also give me some experience with language teaching in a classroom setting.



The problem with using Berlitz or other similar schools to 'get a foot in the door' and to 'get some experience in a classroom setting' is that their methods are no longer at all in line with what most other employers in the field expect and require. It really not only won't enhance your CV in the States (or anywhere much else) but may actually hurt!!

Berlitz and similar schools use such outdated methodology that it's really a step backwards.

I'd go for the private students, if that's the alternative.
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