August 27, 2010 by Willy Cardoso
One of my favorite things on Twitter is to observe and whenever possible to engage in unplanned conversations. It’s really interesting to see a topic getting hot and how some people enter in the middle of the conversation and contribute a lot to the discussion and how others drop out of it unnoticed even if they started the whole thing.
Conversations on Twitter are very organic, dynamic and complex; and it usually scares new users. The best thing I guess, is to observe first, make a comment or two, and increase your participation to the extent that you can cope with all info flooding in.
I’m glad that now I’m more comfortable with it, but if you’re getting started and feel a bit lost like everyone once did check out this goodie:
The English Language Teachers Guide to Twitter by Karenne Sylvester
The idea of this post is to share other blog posts and articles that I found and a little job hunt I did while revisiting the great conversation that emerged yesterday.
The main subject was
the never-dead poignant
(native English-speaking teacher vs non-da-di-da)
Here are 11 tweets I selected from the tweebate:
- What triggered the whole thing
- 50 minutes later
- How to increase students’ awareness of what is good teaching and bad teaching? Whose notion of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are we talking about?
- Marisa Constantinides describes a bad lesson on How not to teach English based on her vast experience as a teacher and teacher trainer and many teachers world-wide agreed that was pretty bad.
- I also had my take on 9 Steps to Prevent Learning stepping away from my role as a teacher and trainer and seeing it from my experience as a foreign language learner.
- Everyday someone posts about what is good and what is bad, but no one can know it for sure, after all chances are you non-native-da-di-da advocates against audiolingualism but became fluent because of it.
- Differentiating and labelling is a human instinct and can be good sometimes. Anita Kiwatkowska’s 3 kinds of teachers and David Deubelbeiss’ In Praise of Backpacking English Teachers are interesting blogposts on the dichotomy here presented.
- What’s the minimum level of English teachers should have in order to teach it? Who decides? In some countries, like Brazil, if the language level required is too high, there won’t be enough teachers able to do the job.
- I didn’t find this particular study by Jack Richards, but I did find two interesting articles related to the conversation.
- That was a good joke, but teachers can entertain students without being a clown of course. Education as Entertainment by Nick Jaworski
My late response to this question. It does.
Discriminatory hiring practices surely influence the market, among other things. And I was particularly interested in it so I started to ‘look for a job’, for the sake of finding other parameters.
I’ve always thought that at some time in my career it would be relevant to join a world-wide renowned institution. So I started browsing International House World jobs list and found that out of the 24 ads aimed at English teachers, 13 required the applicant to be native-speaker of the language.
LOCAL MARKET RULES
- The IH schools below say: Unfortunately due to the local market, the school can only accept applications from native English speakers. This is not a policy of IHWO but a local requirement.
- Bogota, Colombia | Almaty, Kazakhstan | Astana, Kazakhstan | Jounieh Lebanon | Pamplona, Spain | Muscat, Oman | Braga, Portugal | Prague*, Czech Republic (*can only accept a limited number of non-native speakers.)
LOCAL MARKET AND WORK PERMIT
- IH Palermo, Italy and IH Benghazi, Libya say:
- Unfortunately, due to the local market and work permit requirements the school can only employ native speaker teachers holding EU passports.
REQUIRE NEST BUT DON’T SAY WHY
- IH Hanoi – Viet Nam
BEING A NEST IS NOT A REQUIREMENT at the places below.
- They didn’t say what level of English the teacher is expected to have.
- Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | Mexico City, Mexico | Bydgoszcz, Poland | Katowice, Poland | Koszalin, Poland | Torun, Poland | Moscow, Russian Federation | Huelva, Spain | Cordoba, Spain
STRANGE things might happen in Ukraine regarding work visa, considering it’s the same country I didn’t quite get what the deal is.
- DNK, Ukraine says: “International House DNK has an opening for native and non-native speaking English teachers. The school will assist in all applications and processes where necessary”.
- Kharkiv, Ukraine: doesn’t mention NEST requirement, and says “The school arranges and pays for work permit issue”.
- Lviv, Ukraine: “Unfortunately due to the local market, the school can only accept applications from native English speakers. This is not a policy of IHWO but a local requirement”.
- Odessa, Ukraine: “We are looking for enthusiastic qualified native speaking individual to work in our school. Unfortunately, due to local market and work permit restrictions we are only able to consider native speaker, EU citizens for this position.”
Moving on in the ‘job hunt’ thing I paid a visit to British Council’s jobs list and found that my not being born in an English-speaking country or my not being raised by English-speaking parents wouldn’t cut my prospects in half, should I want to apply for all of the 11 ads listed, to work in countries such as Syria, South Korea, Romania, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, UAE, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Lybia.
As regards language, The British Council have in their requirements statements like:
- “You must be highly proficient in the use of English (IELTS 8.5, CPE Grade A)”
- “You will be a proficient English user (CEF C2)”
- “Highly proficient use of English, first degree or equivalent qualification (NQF L6/L7)”
- “You should be a highly proficient user of English with a degree from an English Speaking country”
My point in showing you all this is definitely not to praise or devalue so and such institutions. I don’t even know whether they preach what they say, I don’t know them and never had business with them. The folks working where they are will tell, and I’d be glad to learn what actually happens beyond the job description. Moreover, what I showed here is just a tiny sample of the market, and the names are the first two that popped up in my head. (for some subliminal reason)
What ticks me off is that I believe one can’t blame it on the market, when one is part of it. If an institution, its leaders, advisors, trainers, teachers really believe the NEST NNEST dichotomy is erroneous, they do things in order to change it.
On the other hand, if certain institutions really think NESTs are the best, fine by me, it’s their business, but don’t play the ‘equal opportunities’ game; hypocrisy is ugly!
So, there we had important issues that I’d encourage you to bring to your staffroom and why not to your classroom, after all those in it will be the ones most affected by any of this conversation, ain’t that right?
My big THANKS to all of you who shared your thoughts and experiences, as far as I could track you are:
- Arjana Blazic @abfromz
- Nick Jaworski @TurklishTEFL
- Jason Renshaw @englishhaven
- Ceri Jones @cerirhiannon
- Cecilia Coelho @cecilialcoelho
- Henrick Oprea @hoprea
- Mike Harrison @harrisonmike
- Tyson Seburn @seburnt
- Jeremy Harmer @harmerj
- Marisa Constantinides @Marisa_C
If I forgot to mention someone and this someone wants to be mentioned please tell me.