Teaching English as a foreign language in Czechia
Teaching English is a popular job choice of many students who you’d like to visit various countries and study or work there, often only for a year or two. While finding employment in other work spaces usually requires very specific qualifications and you are bound by a strict contract, teaching English is a rather flexible job that might be perfect for you. However, it’s not that simple and definitely not for everyone. So what does it entail in the Czech Republic?
Who can you work for?
Unless you have prior experience and a degree in education, you usually can’t apply to Czech public schools. Nevertheless, it’s not something you’d do anyway if you want your work time to be flexible because you’d have to follow a rigid timetable. It’s private language schools you’re looking for. And they’re almost always looking for new employees.
Private language schools usually don’t require any special qualifications. You have to pass a job interview to prove your language proficiency which often includes giving a short sample lesson to your interviewer. Still, it never hurts to have a language certificate since it’ll make your chances better and your CV will look more impressive.
If you’re a native English speaker, it makes everything much easier. While English grammar is often taught in Czech and by Czech teachers, language schools are always looking to cover speaking lessons. However, even if you’re not an English native, you still have a pretty good chance to get that job if your English proficiency is C1 level.
Private language schools almost never offer traditional job contracts that include health and social insurance so that’s something to have to keep in mind. They employ you just for a specific number of hours you teach for them which also means no paid holidays and no sick days. Make sure to ask thoroughly about everything that might be important to you before signing the contract.
You’re usually paid once a month and only for the hours you actually taught. If a student cancels 24 hours before their lecture, you don’t get paid. If it’s less than 24 or sometimes 12 hours, you usually get the full payment or at least 50%. It depends on a language school and your contract so make sure you negotiate it to your benefit. Anyway, do negotiate your payment since it might vary significantly from school to school but also from employee to employee.
Your timetable can be as flexible as you set it. You can teach 5 hours a week or 20. A language school will offer you some group courses or lessons for individual students they need to cover and you can take it or leave to someone else. Just remember that if you refuse new lesson offers too often just because you don’t feel like waking up early, the school might start preferring another employee who is more willing to take less attractive hours.
Is it the right job for you?
It really depends on what your goals are. Teaching English as a foreign language for private language schools might be a good source of income for university students to do part-time. You can also make it a full-time job since they pay quite well if you prove yourself, just be careful about job contracts and insurances. And commuting! Some classes will take place in a language school but you will have to almost certainly also teach in various companies.
You can become a qualified English teacher
Did you know that you can actually obtain a degree specifically for this kind of job? Prague City University offers a 3-year long bachelor programme called Specialized Education – Teaching English as a foreign language where you can get all the necessary skills if you want to become a true professional and not only a part-timer. You’ll be also presented with an opportunity to earn the Cambridge CELTA certificate which will qualify you to teach adults anywhere in the world.
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