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English trainee teacher looking for career advice

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by kirby42, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. kirby42

    kirby42 New commenter

    Currently doing my PGCE in English and I'm considering what to do in the next academic year, so long as I pass. I have a background in EAL, which is something which I really enjoy and feel that I'm quite good at. I taught abroad for three years. Now, I'm teaching English at a post-primary school and I can't say that I'm enjoying it... The poetry, drama, novels... I also see a lot of senior teachers getting burnt out from their workloads in the public schooling system. I just can't get the same enjoyment out of this as I did teaching people how to speak English.

    I would ideally like to start working in an EAL department, preferably abroad in Europe somewhere. I'm not British and I don't know if I want to work in the UK in the future...

    But it seems to me that career prospects and pay are far better as an English 'literature' kinda teacher. A lot of EAL work in the UK seems to be part time or paid on an hourly basis.

  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Not many schools in the UK have EAL departments or specific EAL staff - it will depend on the area you live/work in. Despite the government saying that teachers have to cater for SEN and EAL kids (as per the teacher standards) they don't actually tell you the best way of doing this, or have a national way of measuring language ability in EAL kids. The government expects the non-native speakers to immerse themselves in order to learn English - I think that's fair enough, to be honest, because some schools can't even afford books and paper, let alone EAL teachers who won't teach the kids content for any specific qualification.

    There are more EAL jobs abroad - have a look on the TES job pages. Some do want you to be a qualified teacher, so may pay better than general EAL jobs.

    Career prospects are better for secondary English teachers because academic English is a core subject in state schools, and in independent schools parents pay for their kids to achieve qualifications, so you're never going to get paid as well teaching EAL. The only exception might be pre-sessional English at universities - you could have a look into that, but you'd probably need a Master's in Applied Linguistics or similar. International schools may need EAL teachers in lower school, but the iGCSE English as a Second Language is not suitable for uni entrance, so it's not something rich parents want their kids to do, they prefer the iGCSE or GCSE Language and Literature because unis do accept these.
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Perhaps the OP should have a look at the forum all about "Teaching Overseas". There he might find one or two posts that could be of some help.

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