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A non-English speaker teaching in UK...

Posted: 26 Feb 2016, 12:27
by Onwards
Hello everyone, I'm new here and wondering if you could advise me on the following.
I'm considering taking an online CELTA course (if I find one locally!) - or a face-to-face one (if I don't) and would like to get a job as a tefl teacher in the UK. I don't know yet if I venture out abroad at some point later but currently am thinking of getting a job in the UK.

My question is, will I have a lot of trouble finding work, do you think, as a non-native speaker, and will I be turned away as soon as an employer sees my CV? I've lived here for 13 years (I'm Russian), have a BA in English language teaching and a PhD in linguistics (from Moscow State) and am generally complemented on my accent... But all that might not matter if there's a general rule not to employ non-native speakers. Would be grateful if you could share your experience.

Now, the next question. Suppose I do get a job as a tefl teacher here, what is career development like for tefl teachers? Has anyone here taken a 'further education' course/degree to teach at a uni - or? Would be really interested to hear of people's stories if they could share them. Thanks a lot in advance!

Re: A non-English speaker teaching in UK...

Posted: 26 Feb 2016, 17:01
by sergios
No, I think. If you're fluent in English, why not?

Re: A non-English speaker teaching in UK...

Posted: 26 Feb 2016, 17:39
by Briona
Hi there,
Onwards wrote:My question is, will I have a lot of trouble finding work, do you think, as a non-native speaker, and will I be turned away as soon as an employer sees my CV? I've lived here for 13 years (I'm Russian), have a BA in English language teaching and a PhD in linguistics (from Moscow State) and am generally complemented on my accent... But all that might not matter if there's a general rule not to employ non-native speakers. Would be grateful if you could share your experience.
Let me start by saying that the problem is NOT being a non-native English-speaker, it's the lack of jobs. The market is shrinking rapidly thanks to a combination of the Government having made it much harder for foreign students to come and study there, and other countries offering quality and affordable teaching. This means that jobs, especially decent ones, are becoming much harder to find.

Generally speaking, for any worthwhile TESOL job in the UK, you would need to have not just a CELTA but a DELTA or a Master's as well. As a newbie with just a CELTA, outside of short-term summer school jobs, the only thing you're likely to land is a zero-hours contract in a language school. And if a zero-hours contract wasn't bad enough, it's worth noting that the average TEFL salary ranges from £8-13ph. In many parts of the UK, that wouldn't be anywhere close to being a liveable wage.
Onwards wrote:Now, the next question. Suppose I do get a job as a tefl teacher here, what is career development like for tefl teachers? Has anyone here taken a 'further education' course/degree to teach at a uni - or? Would be really interested to hear of people's stories if they could share them. Thanks a lot in advance!
To put it bluntly, for most ESOL teachers, there is no career progression, not just in the UK but everywhere. Some become ADoSes or DoSes, some become teacher trainers, a few set up their own language schools (with varying degrees of success), even fewer become materials writers, but most just stay as teachers. This isn't a problem for me because I enjoy teaching, but if climbing the ladder is what you're after, I'd advise doing a serious amount of research before jumping feet-first into the murky world of TESOL.

Apologies if this all sounds a bit depressing, but I believe it's important to have the facts, whether they are what you want to hear or not. If it's any consolation, I changed career six years ago, leaving a well-paid graphic design job for teaching, and I've never looked back. This job has enabled me to live and work in five countries, to have experiences I would never have had if I'd stayed in design, and to find a career I really love.

Briona

Re: A non-English speaker teaching in UK...

Posted: 26 Feb 2016, 22:09
by Onwards
Thank you Briona. This is very helpful. Albeit a bit sad.