Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in?

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Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in?

Unread postby EllenaM » 05 Sep 2010, 13:39

sorry to bother you with all this non-native nonsense, but I have just
finished my CELTA in Budapest, 2-27 August 2010, which has been amazing,
tutors were great, colleagues likewise, the whole experience was a true
eye-opener for me, I am excited to start teaching, but I see all these jobs
where only native speakers are required... Has the market become more
demanding? my main concern...
I have been fluent in EN for almost ten years now, even if I am Romanian, but I
have a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication (Univ. of Bucharest
2004), have finished one uni year in English and have worked abroad for
more than 7 years in English speaking countries (Dubai, UK, USA). I have
always been fascinated by English and loved teaching when I was doing it in
1:1 lessons - Business English, for more than 5 years, during college.
Now, after CELTA, I see what I have been missing and I want to commit to it full
time, still, do not know where to start. Even China, which seemed to be a
friendly start a while ago, seems impossible to "catch" as they want
natives.
Hence, my courage to approach a more experienced teacher like you, who
hopefully has seen more non-natives struggling and finally getting to some
light at the end of the tunnel :) I must brag about the fact that during
the CELTA course, my strong points were the Phonemic Script and Grammar,
which I helped my native colleagues with :-)

Please help, I prefer Europe - Poland, France, Portugal - but from what I
have seen, not all of them are keen on Romanians fluent in EN :-)
Kindly advise,
much appreciated,
Regards,
Elena
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby Briona » 05 Sep 2010, 19:50

EllenaM wrote:Please help, I prefer Europe - Poland, France, Portugal - but from what I
have seen, not all of them are keen on Romanians fluent in EN :-)

Having had a quick nose through my "bible" aka 'Teaching English Abroad' by Susan Griffith, while there are undoubtedly a number of schools in Poland, France and Portugal who insist on native speakers, there are a surprising amount who don't.

I don't know about France or Poland but schools in Portugal are still hiring now for contracts starting at the beginning of October, so it might be worth looking there first? I know this because I've just landed one! :)

Based on information taken from the above-mentioned book, the following schools state that they have no preference of nationality and/or want an EU passport (which would give you the edge over non-EU citizens):

PORTUGAL
Centro Anglo-Americano: http://www.caaenglish.com
Self Escola de Lìnguas: http://www.e-self.net
Centro de Ingles de Famalicao: cif@esolterica.pt (email)
CIAL - Centro de Lìnguas: http://www.cial.pt

FRANCE
Applilangue: http://www.appli-langue.com
Inlingua Paris: http://www.inlingua-paris.com/versionAn ... loisUk.php
Institute of Applied Languages: http://www.ial.fr
Linguarama: http://www.linguarama.com
TEFL Jobs in France: http://www.tefljobsinfrance.com
Transfer: http://www.transfer.fr
Wall Street Institute: http://www.wallstreetinstitute.fr/Cours ... crutement/

I can't personally vouch for any of these schools so if you do contact them, please take all the necessary precautions! (I believe there was a post from someone on here the other day advising newbies what to look out for!).

Hope that helps.

Briona
Last edited by Briona on 05 Sep 2010, 19:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby Briona » 05 Sep 2010, 19:51

The system wouldn't let me post the list of schools in Poland with no preference for nationality as my post "contained too many URLs" so here goes:

POLAND
Ability Es Ltd: http://www.ability.com.pl
Adam Mickiewicz University English Language Centre: sjauam@main.ed.pl (email)
Cosmopolitan Private Language School: http://www.cosmopolitan.com.pl
English Language Centre 'Right Now': http://www.rightnow.pl
Global Village: http://www.gv.edu.pl
International House (Bydgoszcz)*: http://www.inthouse.pl/index.php
International House (Integra Bielsko): http://www.ih.com.pl/bielsko
International House (Katowice): http://www.ih.com.pl
International House (Krakow): http://www.ih.pl
International House (Wroclaw): http://www.ih.com.pl


*currently advertising one job on IH World: http://www.ihworld.com/recruitment/teac ... ancies.asp
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby EllenaM » 05 Sep 2010, 20:48

thank you! thank you!!! you are the best :-) you gave me stuff to do now, hugs! all the best where you are!! xoxo
EllenaM
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby Briona » 05 Sep 2010, 21:33

You're welcome! Let me know if you have any problems with the links (I typed them quite quickly!) or if you need any further assistance! Best of luck finding a job, and remember, perseverance is key! ;)
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby learnenglish » 07 Sep 2010, 15:53

Hi Ellena,

The job market is tough at the moment, but that's true in all areas, not just in EFL.

There are two ways in which non-native speakers are at a disadvantage in job hunting.

  1. In some countries, they cannot legally teach English. This is mostly a problem in Asia, with South Korea and China refusing to issue working visas to citizens of countries that do not have English as an L1. Of course, many people in these countries work illegally on a tourist visa, but that's unwise at the best of times and doubly so if you want teaching to be a career rather than just a working holiday.
  2. In some countries, non-native speakers are regarded as intrinsically worse teachers of English. Ironically, this is often true in countries with a low level of English where non-native teachers would be most useful. Countries with a generally high level of English (e.g. northern Europe) are generally much more realistic about the abilities of non-native speakers, although they also have a fairly small market for foreign teachers, since their own education systems are excellent.
I would say that your best moves would be
  • go to a country with a strong and growing EFL market
  • specialise in an area with plenty of demand, such as YLs
  • gain additional qualifications as soon as possible to get you ahead of the pack

Hope that helps - good luck!
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby Juanes » 24 Dec 2010, 04:45

I'd like to agree with the other responder. It's inherently bad for someone who is not a native speaker of English to teach it. I went through a TEFL course about 3 years ago, and two of the students were non native speakers. They were Portuguese and I'm a latino -- so I could talk to them in Spanish -- but the fact that they were not native speakers really showed. That is, they got a lot of simple things wrong: They said things like X-mas is "on" December or Thanksgiving is "in" Thursday, and etc.. When I brought this up to my instructor, all he said was something like, "Well, they're just trying to learn to be an EFL teacher like you. And blah, blah, blah." I guess it wasn't P.C. to bring it up. Anyways if you have so much experience and knowledge of English, maybe you'd be better off as a translator in your own country? My mom's law firm uses translator services a lot, especially in translating documents from Asia.
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby odyssey » 24 Dec 2010, 12:29

Juanes wrote:I'd like to agree with the other responder. It's inherently bad for someone who is not a native speaker of English to teach it.

I've scoured the previous posts and can't find any poster even hinting that it is "inherently bad for someone who is not a native speaker of English to teach it".

Juanes wrote:It's inherently bad for someone who is not a native speaker of English to teach it.

As generalizations go, that's about as broad as they get - especially when you take into account that the vast majority of teachers of English around the world are not English mother-tongue. Bit of a slap in the face for what might be more than 80% of all teachers of English.

Juanes wrote:That is, they got a lot of simple things wrong: They said things like X-mas is "on" December or Thanksgiving is "in" Thursday, and etc..

Yes, and even native speakers "get things wrong". They write things like "non native speakers" and "X-mas" and "and etc".

Dear Juanes: please think very carefully before you make sweeping and pompous remarks.
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby pokedmund » 24 Dec 2010, 15:43

Although you aren't going to work in China (Asia), I would like to add that in fact:

Someareas in China don't care if your first language isn't English, BUT, it doesn't mean that you will get the best jobs.

Some areas of China will take you on, as long as you don't look Oriental. I've heard stories of a tuition centre employing African cleaners to teach English as they couldn't obtain any foreign looking English teachers.

Worse still, there was a time where a tuition centre I worked at in Hong Kong refused to employ a NET because they wore muslim clothing! And it was thought that the children would be scared of someone like them!

Anyway, good luck with your teaching career!
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby danielinbo » 28 Dec 2010, 17:36

I'm a school owner and would happily employ a competent non-native speaker over a less-competent native speaker IF my clients would let me. Honestly, I believe it's far from being the most important thing.
But it would be commercial suicide - my clients would likely think I am trying to rip them off, and my competitors would use it against me.
In the end, it all comes down to marketing, in Italy at least. I suggest you don't come here!
But good luck, whatever you do!
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby jetard » 03 Mar 2011, 15:54

When I read your post, I find it interesting to notice how much there are variations from one country to another! I am still an ESL student teacher in Canada in the province of Quebec. Here, because English and French are the two official languages of the country, it is mandatory to learn English as a second language in Quebec schools (French is the language that dominates in Quebec). In elementary and secondary schools, there are plenty of jobs for non-native English speakers. In universities, a lot of teachers who teach English courses are non-native too. I think that, as long as you speak English properly and have knowledge on English language and culture, you are qualified to teach English.

Good luck for finding a job in Europe.
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Re: Non-native speaker, what is the best country to start in

Unread postby dubdoob » 23 Mar 2012, 17:07

Have you found any school yet Ellena?
I have the same problem. All the schools in the Paris region seem to employ exclusively native speakers. Can I also ask you how you found the CELTA course? Was it very difficult? I am planning to take one myself and need to find the courage first as I have heard it is very difficult. Cheers.
Martin
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