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How piddible is it to secure a job in an international school if not a native MFL teacher?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Madamemorgan, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Madamemorgan

    Madamemorgan New commenter

    Hello just after some advice / useful opinions / experience ...
    As a family (with 2 children non teaching spouse ) we would like to move abroad...ideally Europe so not too far from grandparents etc. My husband would be intending to work. I teach French and German but I'm not a native. I've been looking at job adverts (of which there are already very few for my subject!) for a few years now and usually MFL positions specify Native teachers.
    I have been teaching 12 years and have a proven track record of exam success ...do you think I have a realistic chance of securing a job or will native speakers always be given preference?
    Otherwise I was considering going down the tefl route ....any advice / experience in this?
  2. Madamemorgan

    Madamemorgan New commenter

    Oh dear ...title obviously meant to say possible!!
    install likes this.
  3. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Established commenter

    In 10 years of international teaching over 3 continents i have only know or even heard of 2 non native MFL teachers. Im sure its not impossible, but why would they offer you a job when they can easily employ a native speaker. Just apply for everything you see and something might come up.

    Good luck
    install likes this.
  4. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Anything's piddible....if you just believe
  5. rod901

    rod901 New commenter

    Your premise does not make sense! An MFL teacher in GERMANY would be a native ENGLISH speaker which you are no doubt. In fact an MFL teacher in MOST of Europe would be a native teacher if they are English because most of Europe learns English as their first foreign language. If you teach German in Germany then obviously this is German as a first language not as a foreign language so yeh obviously they are going to hire a native German speaker who knows the staatexamens. If on the other hand, you teach German in Brussels or Amsterdam, then it's German as a foreign language so you couLD easily get a job in those countries as an MFL teacher especially if they did the IGCSE syllabus.

    In Asia, no one really learns French or German here, it's either English as a 1st or 2nd language and 2nd language english is just ESL teaching really. I very much doubt they'd learn French or German in Angola but I may be wrong. They more than likely learn Africaans there or how to stop being mugged for a tenner ha ha ha
  6. MayaJones

    MayaJones New commenter

    Taught French in various international schools even though my mother tongue is English. Some schools may prefer natives however.
    estrella7, frangipani123 and install like this.
  7. install

    install Star commenter

    There is a song 'impossible' or is it 'impiddible' ?

    Im sure its possible....try to build up connections and network :)
  8. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    4 MFL teachers in my school, only 1 of them native. Anything is piddible ;)
    estrella7 and install like this.
  9. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    It's interesting to read this after spending several years teaching English and academic skills to international students in British universities. It's quite a hot topic, as you cannot ask for a native speaker in your advertisements when you're recruiting teachers and most of the staff - the numbers increase significantly over the summer - are non-native speakers of English. I'm surprised that schools in the EU can specify native speakers only in the school sector.
    install likes this.
  10. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    As others have posted, many schools do hire native speakers for those positions but it is very much down to the specific school, region, etc.

    There are enough non-native teachers out there that you may as well apply widely and give it a go. As Walt Disney once said, "It's kind of fun doing the impiddible."
    install likes this.
  11. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    We have native and non native MFL teachers at my school. It's certainly possible. Some schools will care and others won't.
    install likes this.
  12. tesquestion2016

    tesquestion2016 New commenter

    I think it may depend on the make up of the student body. If a school has a strong French A programme they may require a native teacher. An experienced non-native teacher would be suitable for French B. My previous school had British MFL teachers and my current one has native speakers. My previous school only offered language B. You have nothing to lose by applying
    install likes this.
  13. tesquestion2016

    tesquestion2016 New commenter

    @mermy I'm wondering if any of the non-native speakers started this academic year. If you are still in China do MFL teachers also need to fulfil the native speaker requirement for their visa? English teachers now have to come from native speaking countries. Is it the same for Spanish, French etc?
  14. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    In my school in Europe we have two British MFL teachers and some native. I think the school is generally more concerned with having the best teachers not nationality.
    estrella7 and install like this.
  15. miketribe

    miketribe Occasional commenter

    Up until this year, my school has always hired native speakers for MFL, but this year we have a new French teacher who is not, I believe, a native speaker. It also sometimes depends on the nature of the school. There is one school here where the owners consider recent experience of the English exam system more important than country of origin because they think this will lead to better exam results... Again, if there are a lot of "foreign" students taking host-language courses, fluency in English might be a major consideration...
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  16. rod901

    rod901 New commenter

    This is ridiculous only hiring native speakers to teach MFL. To be able to teach MFL., you need to be educated in how to teach languages not just to be a native speaker who hasn't the slightest clue how to teach his or her own language. Also, most schools outside the EU will only offer English anyway I would think. In Asia it is all English or Japanese. No one learns Spanish or French or GErman in Asia. Well people might learn these languages themselves but no schools offer these languages. It's just English.
    oignon and install like this.
  17. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Established commenter

    In my last school in South East Asia we taught 16 mother tongue languages, including Spanish, German, French. Yet again musikteech your lack of knowledge about international schools has let you down.
    install and blueskydreaming like this.
  18. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    How come the Chinese kids in my school in China are learning French and Spanish then o_O
    install likes this.
  19. Madamemorgan

    Madamemorgan New commenter

    I would be looking to teacher in an international school in Europe....probably following the British curriculum...where most schools teach French and German as a MFL igcse.

    I assume like in England that I would be unable to teach English in state schools without retraining and doing their equivalent of a PGCE?

    The only other alternative is teaching EFL but that would be in a language school not an international school.
    install likes this.
  20. Madamemorgan

    Madamemorgan New commenter

    Thanks for all the responses. Makes me feel more hopeful
    frangipani123 and install like this.

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