Questions I've been thinking about

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Allophony
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Questions I've been thinking about

Unread post by Allophony » 15 Feb 2016, 20:20

I've been lurking here for a while and I am and (as you would expect) thinking about starting a career in teaching English abroad.

I am a UK citizen and I have a BA in English Language and Creative writing.

Here are the things I'm really wondering about:

1) I get the impression that people are mainly teaching children in schools. Is this inevitable? I don't mind children but I don't know if I am capable of controlling a class room or if my course will teach me this.

2) What is your personal experience with travel costs being met?

3) How do you go about finding an apartment? Where do you stay after arrival until you've found one? If you should live with people, how do you find potential roommates? Does the company you work for help you?

4) Although I of course want to socialise with the community where I am based, in your experience, what is the best way to find and make use of any expat/Anglophone community just for balance? Or should I avoid non-natives completely?

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Re: Questions I've been thinking about

Unread post by Murphy » 16 Feb 2016, 15:28

About 70% of all ESL/TEFL jobs in China are teaching Chinese kids in after school classes. ABout 20% are teaching Chinese students in public or international schools. This is your reality in China. 10% are high school age and older (TOEFL & IELTS training) The rest of your answers are in this section - just read the posts. Welcome to China!

Allophony
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Re: Questions I've been thinking about

Unread post by Allophony » 17 Feb 2016, 11:01

It would have been nice to have more questions answered for I have been searching the forums for answers for several weeks now but I appreciate your time.

Allophony
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Re: Questions I've been thinking about

Unread post by Allophony » 17 Feb 2016, 11:02

And what about outside of china!? I put this post in the Asia section by accident...

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Joe
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Re: Questions I've been thinking about

Unread post by Joe » 17 Feb 2016, 11:24

I have moved your topic into the more general Jobs Discussion forum since you say you posted in Asia by accident.
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Re: Questions I've been thinking about

Unread post by Joe » 17 Feb 2016, 11:45

Allophony wrote:1) I get the impression that people are mainly teaching children in schools. Is this inevitable? I don't mind children but I don't know if I am capable of controlling a class room or if my course will teach me this.
Personally I'd think you're under a misapprehension (though it may be more true in China - I can't really say).

As a general rule, people are learning English around the world in all kinds of situations:

First of all, within the national education system (which may be public or private):
  • at university - over age 18
    at secondary school - approx. 12-18
    at primary school - approx. 5-12
Depending on the country there are opportunities for teaching English in all of the above. Note that generally speaking many if not most of the English teachers in those cases will be nationals of the country in question.

Then there are "language schools", usually private companies set up to teach languages, not necessarily just English. While they do have children as students (usually in the more "driven" countries, perhaps SE and E Asia) probably the majority are adults who simply wish to improve their English, often for business or better job prospects.

In addition, many companies employ teachers (either directly or through a language school) in-house to teach English and other languages to their staff—so not many children there.

There is also truly private teaching where a language learner finds and employs (usually hourly) an individual teacher to teach them, probably at home or in a coffee shop etc. (Many of the more driven parents also do this for their children, but there are plenty of adults too.)

Teaching online (Skype etc) rarely involves children.

There's a page on our ESL Jobs FAQ that says much the same thing.

And if you look at the Learning English Video Project (filmed in seven countries around the world) you'll see plenty of adult learners.

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Allophony
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Re: Questions I've been thinking about

Unread post by Allophony » 17 Feb 2016, 12:05

Josef wrote:
Allophony wrote:1) I get the impression that people are mainly teaching children in schools. Is this inevitable? I don't mind children but I don't know if I am capable of controlling a class room or if my course will teach me this.
Personally I'd think you're under a misapprehension (though it may be more true in China - I can't really say).
Thanks a lot Josef. But I can't help but wonder if teaching children is something I might actually like. But I don't want to go in with some romantic idea of what it means to teach children and find that my job is 1 part teaching English, 2 parts being the kind of teacher that depressed me in school because they had to yell and be so obnoxious ALL THE TIME.

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Re: Questions I've been thinking about

Unread post by Joe » 17 Feb 2016, 12:17

As for travel costs, that varies A LOT. If you find a (good) job from England, you might get parachuted in at their expense and yearly trips home. If you go to a foreign country and look around for work, you're unlikely to get any travel allowances at all. Just my observations. (I'd guess, but no real evidence, that the majority of ex-pat TEFL teachers don't have travel allowances.)

You can look at job offers. Some of them offer travel. Some are quite cagey about it.
"We are not wholly bad or good, who live our lives under Milk Wood :? " — Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

eBooks: English Prepositions List | Essential Business Words | Learn English in Seven

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