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Non-native English teachers
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Andri Mavrou



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:27 pm    Post subject: Non-native English teachers Reply with quote

Hi,

This is such a great place to share information!

I'm 27, female, single, from and currently living in Cyprus. I've made up my mind to live and teach abroad, at least for 2 years, starting ideally from June or Sept 2013. I have four years' experience in teaching English to adolescents and adults.

I've been researching online sources for a while now and I'm particularly interested in working in the more westernised parts of the UAE.

From what I've found out, I'm under the impression that most recruiters are only looking for native English speakers. There must be Universities that welcome teachers from other linguistic backgrounds as well... Am I right?

Any tips/advice would be truly appreciated!
Many Thanks!
Andrea
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3941
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Non-native English teachers Reply with quote

What are your academic credentials? Also, do you have a CELTA or equivalent TEFL cert? You'd need strong qualifications to teach at the university level in the UAE.
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Andri Mavrou



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love to teach in schools as well, of course.

I have a first degree in English Language and Literature, an MA in Environmental Sociology and four years of teaching experience.
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Andri Mavrou



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone else???
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 854
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your degree and teaching experience is fine for many locations, the problem is more to do with passports/visa regulations rather than your status as a non-native speaker.

For example, here in Canada, non-native speakers are welcome to teach ESL, but it is extremely difficult for someone to legally teach here without meeting certain conditions. Unfortunately, all non-native speaking teachers here have obtained Canadian citizenship through other means.

Most places that offer TEFL employment to non-citizens are places which require a passport from an Anglophone country (and yes, many desire a native speaker, but it is not always essential). This is how francophone Canadians can easily get work in those countries despite their non-native status.

So, assuming you do not have the PASSPORT that they require (UK, US, Canada, etc) then you'll need to look at places which will allow you to work with a non-Anglophone passport.

ttompatz recently wrote this, if he does not mind me quoting him:

Bottom line = unless you have a passport from one of: UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia or South Africa you will NOT get a visa to work as an English teacher in Korea. There is no maybe or work-a-round.

China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam are just about your only legal options for work in Asia. Do be aware that you will also need, in spite of graduating from a UK university, because your passport is not from an anglophone country that you will need to have a valid "test-of-English" score (TOEIC, IELTS, TOFEL) as well.


I hope that helps. Don't be discouraged too much, as you do have a degree (and not completely unrelated either) plus teaching experience. Many employers also recognize that non-native speakers can be just as good, if not better, than many native speakers. I'm embarrassed to admit that my French Canadian husband might know English grammar better than I do!
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Andri Mavrou



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey,
Thanks for pointing that out-last bit on grammar.

Well, I'll send my CV to different schools, first in the UAE and see what happens.

Who knows? I might be given a chance, in spite of the odds. Cool

xxxx
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 854
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would recommend posting your situation on the UAE/ME forum. I'm not 100% sure, but I do not think you qualify for the UAE. If you are going to get a TEFL position abroad, it will likely be in Asia.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewforum.php?f=34
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3941
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

santi84 wrote:
Your degree and teaching experience is fine for many locations, the problem is more to do with passports/visa regulations rather than your status as a non-native speaker. Most places that offer TEFL employment to non-citizens are places which require a passport from an Anglophone country (and yes, many desire a native speaker, but it is not always essential). This is how francophone Canadians can easily get work in those countries despite their non-native status. So, assuming you do not have the PASSPORT that they require (UK, US, Canada, etc) then you'll need to look at places which will allow you to work with a non-Anglophone passport.

I agree; if the applicant holds the wrong passport, visa regulations/restrictions will trump their education and experience regardless of how strong those quals are. Moreover, some employers also require academic credentials be from an Anglophone university.

Andri Mavrou wrote:
I have four years' experience in teaching English to adolescents and adults.

and...

I'd love to teach in schools as well, of course. I have a first degree in English Language and Literature, an MA in Environmental Sociology and four years of teaching experience.

Speaking of qualifications, yours aren't clear. Do you have a CELTA or equivalent TEFL cert? What did your teaching experience entail and was this in a language school or university English language program? Employers in the UAE and Gulf, in general, expect to see specific, solid teaching credentials and experience.

Anyway, you might reconsider the temptation to just "send your CV to different schools, first in the UAE to see what happens." Before applying, read the job ads carefully to avoid scams and to not waste your time and get your hopes up by focusing on just one country; recruiting and hiring periods can be short, plus, competition is high. Be realistic about where you can teach, especially since you stated you only want to teach EFL abroad for about two years. Your ideal teaching situation may not be in your target country (the UAE), but you still may be able to teach in another region/country that suits your needs and interests. As Santi suggested, Asia is likely a more doable option for you.
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Andri Mavrou



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys....

To answer your questions, I'm eligible, since I have a Bachelor's degree in English Studies (Language and Literature) to teach, both in public and private language schools in my country, Cyprus.

At University I studied, besides literature, linguistics, that is, phonetics and phonology, syntax, teaching theory as well as psycholinguistics among many other courses.

I do not have a CELTA or TEFL diploma because I simply never needed them so far. As far as I'm concerned, people become 'teachers' IN THE CLASSROOM. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I've worked in a private afternoon Language School with students between ages 8-17. This is my fourth year.

Your advice is appreciated and taken into consideration.
Andrea
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3941
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andri Mavrou wrote:
To answer your questions, I'm eligible, since I have a Bachelor's degree in English Studies (Language and Literature) to teach, both in public and private language schools in my country, Cyprus. At University I studied, besides literature, linguistics, that is, phonetics and phonology, syntax, teaching theory as well as psycholinguistics among many other courses.

I've worked in a private afternoon Language School with students between ages 8-17. This is my fourth year.

Your qualifications may be fine for Cyprus, but they're not enough for the UAE. For an idea of the requirements for teaching EFL in the Emirates, check out www.teachaway.com; they're a major recruiter for the region. You'll also notice direct-hire opportunities at the university level typically require a relevant masters degree as well.

Andri Mavrou also wrote:
I do not have a CELTA or TEFL diploma because I simply never needed them so far. As far as I'm concerned, people become 'teachers' IN THE CLASSROOM. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Ah... The ministries of higher education in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, etc., say otherwise.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Related BA and experience in a private language school won't take you anywhere on the European continent, either. This is the level of quals of a tremendous number of teachers of English language in their home countries on the continent, and it's not enough to be very sought-after outside of one's home country, unfortunately. We've had a number of candidates at this level for the rare job openings at 'my' university; it's simply not enough to compete successfully on a competitive job market.

I agree you're more likely to find something in Asia.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
I agree you're more likely to find something in Asia.
Korea has already been eliminated, and I would add that Japan is not very likely.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1832

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Western Europe: difficult even for native speakers, let alone non-natives.
Eastern Europe and anywhere outside your native country: difficult for non-native speakers.
Best chance: China. There is high demand and I know from personal contacts that talented Russian teachers of English get employment there fairly regularly. So if they can, so can you.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Western Europe: difficult even for native speakers, let alone non-natives


Actually, at university level, many of us try to balance native/non-native speakers (recognizing that each brings somewhat different perspective to the process, and also in the interests of hiring locally when possible), but it would take more quals than the OP's got to be a credible candidate on this market.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1832

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re Western European universities: interesting, I stand corrected.

Re qualifications: yes, I think some teaching qualification would also be necessary for a non-native to break into Chinese teaching of English.
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