Teaching English Abroad

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Vox Populi, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    After I finish up my first two years of school, I'm looking into taking a break to teach English abroad for a year. Most likely in Europe. I'd be heading to Prague next summer to take a four week intensive teaching course. It'll cost me some heavy duty cash if I do.

    So anyone have any experience teaching abroad? In any country, I know Asia is popular as well.
  2. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I taught in China for a year. It was excellent, a really incredible experience. Everyone should have that experience.

    brad cook
  3. TOFUpwns

    TOFUpwns Banned

    Oct 21, 2005
    DICK!jp good luck !:) TRIANGES RULE BaSs SUxors
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

  5. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    I'd love to do that, the problem is, I don't know any French. The program requires that you are proficient in French or had at least three simesters in school. I've had three simesters of Spanish, but not French.
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Do all the years I spent in drywall teaching my Mexican employees English count??

  7. joninjapan


    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    Actually still doing it...

    Here in Japan, you have a wide variety of teaching jobs most go from bad to worse, I imagine it may be the same in other countries. As long as you approach it from the point of view that "you are doing your best", you should be ok... Japan has a problem with the speaking of English, all students study 6 years in school, and most another 4 at Uni. But there are so few opportunities to actually speak while studying the oral skill is very low... but should be fun for a couple years:)

    If you are interested in Japan check out the following:


    hope the links still work....
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I think they slip a bit on this rule when they have problems filling their quota. :)
    An australian guy I knew had between 10 and 20 words of french vocabulary when he arrived. You know you learn very quickly when immersed into the country anyway.
  9. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    Where were you Brad? Did you pick up any Mandarin along the way?
  10. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    When I was teaching I lived up in dong bei region in Changchun, Jilin. It was freaking arctic winters up there but I really liked that city. I traveled around by trains to Xi'an, Shanghai, Hongzhou, Beijing (many times) and Harbin.

    I was also there in the summer in Hefei, Anhui.

    I knew enough mandarin to get around but I wasn't fluent. I did go on a Chinese TV show once and do this comedy monologue that my good friend from Germany and I learned together. That was a blast. Afterwards I asked them how many people typically watch the show and they said "Usually 200 to 300 milliion." What?! They also told me that it was airing on satellite in America. I got recognized around China a lot after that but so far I've never been recognized for that roll in America. :smug:

    Anyway, I've lost a lot of the mandarin. It would come back pretty quick probably if I went back over there. Also, I hardly learned any characters except the ones I needed. I learned mostly spoken language only. I usually just asked if I needed to read a sign.

    brad cook
  11. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Vox Populi,

    Another advantage of China over some other places is that money goes a lot farther there. Things are cheaper than Europe, South Korea or Japan.

    brad cook
  12. I'm a big fan of inter-cultural experience. I lived in Brazil for a couple years and one of my friends has an English school and translation service there. Languages are a hobby of mine and L2 acquisition is one of my favorite topic in linguistics. There are 3 major theories for L2 acquisition: grammar & memorization, total immersion & audio-lingual. Over the last 50 years I have been exposed to all of them and they all have shortcomings for me when used in isolation. I would suggest that you start with adding a course or two in teaching ESL to your class load before venturing out. It would help knowing a little bit about what you are attempting to do, instead of just bumbling through.

    Also, if Europe is where you are heading, I would suggest one of the more out-of-the-mainstream countries, like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Greece, etc. They may not have the cachet of Paris or Amsterdam, but you will have a lot more competition in the more western countries and you will probably get a lot more respect in the lesser developed areas. Don't rule out Turkey, if you are looking at Europe. They are a lot more stable than the surrounding countries other than Greece and the language and culture is one of the most fascinating.
  13. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Where in Brazil did you live? I've been there for about 8 weeks in between two trips ministering to homeless kids. I've been to Caruteba, Ponte Grassa, Recife, Sau Paulo, Brasilia and Ponte Gahenus. It is a beautiful country with lots of great kids. I would love to get back there.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You have to go to Prague from Washington to learn how to teach English in Spanish-speaking countries? Definitely not a shortest distance between two points happening there...

    My advice would be to finish your education before you do something like that. It would be a great thing to do, but I think your own education comes first.
  15. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I have taught English in Brazil (Escola Graduada de Sao Paulo), Manila ( International School, Manila) and Nairobi (Nairobi International School). These are schools that cater primarily to the diplomatic, missionary and foreign business community plus some children of nationals, especially those who hope to attend college in the US or England. They all served kindergarden through twelfth grade. These three schools were accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.

    Most major cities in other countries have at least one privately owned "international school" that hires English speaking teachers. The best way to secure such work is through one of the job fairs for teachers willing to teach abroad. Most do require that you be a certified teacher.

    If you hire on locally, you probably will be paid little better than local wages which will create a real hardship in regard to your living conditions.

    You do not need to speak the local language because schools accredited by SASC require that most classwork be conducted in English. Usually local teachers teach classes that are conducted in the local language. However having at least some familiarity with the local language will make living in that country much easier for you.

    If I can answer any more questions for you, don't hesitate to ask.
  16. Mostly outside Salvador, but I spent a considerable amount of time in Recife and visited Sao Paulo several times. I prefer the northeast. I love Brasil. If I were picking a place to live based on only the people, I would still be there. If I were picking a place to live based only on the music I would still be there also. However, the homeless children problem is unfortunately the worst I have seen anywhere in the world and that includes India.
  17. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong

    +1 especially Japan (the first time I saw my hotel bill in Japan, I thought they had rented me the whole floor)

    Sounds like a great experience. I've spent a bit of time in China, but not nearly as authentic experiences as it sounds like you had. When were you there? I would guess it must have been within the last 10 years.
  18. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I spent the 01-02 school year there teaching and I was also there just for 6 weeks in the summer of '96.
    It's not authentic until you spend a month with a stomach parasite. :smug:

    brad cook
  19. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    I am just going to bust in here and say that my cousin taught in Japan for a couple of years. He DID NOT graduate high school. I think that there are a ton of people teaching in other countries who forge their credentials... a shame really. However, I also know a young woman with two undergrad degrees who is teaching in china for a year or two, and she likes it. She is Chinese herself, so she knows a lot about the culture and language already. Her only beef is that the Chinese Gov't restricts what she can and cannot do over the internet. You might want to stay in a country that isn't so... communist.