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Poll: Do you also teach?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:44
SITE STAFF
Aug 30, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you also teach?".

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 04:44
German to English
+ ...
i used to Aug 30, 2011

I enjoyed the contact with real humans face to face at the University in Klagenfurt, but it meant a five hour train journey every week, which got stressful as the railways gradually ceased to be punctual and as the use of excessively loud (not so) personal sound devices increased (are you legally allowed to stamp on those blasted machines to
reestablish peace and quiet) in parallel with the number of people who not only communicate the most banal of information but also believe that because the person on the other end is a long way away it is necessary to shout. (I found joining in the conversation to be the best solution!)


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Used to Aug 30, 2011

The move to translating from teaching was a natural progression in my case. I do have some fond memories, but don't really miss it, although the social aspect, meeting people more often than in translation, was nice.

I haven't done any language training at all for a few years years now, but am always open to suggestion for a one-off course or series of sessions if the rates are high enough and the travelling isn't too off-putting. The last course I turned down (2 months ESP for scientists in summer) was offering 40 euros an hour, quite a decent rate here, but the person organizing the course was too pernickety and demanding for my liking, expecting daily lesson plans and class reports ad nauseam and besides, I hate commuting.

I usually enjoyed teaching in Spain but the negative aspects (inept or too-demanding bosses, late payments, insufficient facilities and shortage or total lack of materials, schools or organizations that care little about learning and more about filthy lucre and keeping up appearances, bad attendance, lack of motivation, misconceptions/unrealistic "quick-fix" expectations about the learning process....) eventually took their toll.

(Perhaps I should add that I usually found doing TEFL in the UK with mixed nationality groups more interesting/rewarding than with monolingual learners in Spain, and I think most TEFL hacks would agree that there are definitely important cultural differences in learning attitudes and styles between the different nationalities which have an important influence on outcomes. Stereotypes exist for a reason.)

[Edited at 2011-08-30 10:59 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:44
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Aug 30, 2011

For the past 10+ years I've been (and still am) teaching English and German,
mainly to pupils/students grades 5 - 12. Now and then I give crash courses
for adults as well.

It's fun, it helps the children/teenagers, and it's a chance to get away from
the computer.


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Marga Demmers  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:44
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Yes Aug 30, 2011

Before embarking on my career as a translator Spanish-Catalan, I have been working as a Spanish teacher for some 25 years (professional training). Now I offer tailor-made Catalan classes via Skype, as there are hardly any possibilities to learn this language.

This year I have been training a whole family (parents, two children) before their emigration to Catalonia. I enjoy these classes very much, because the students are very motivated.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:44
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Used to Aug 30, 2011

I taught Spanish-English translation at Georgetown University, also a course that I launched in the 1980s titled "Machine Aids to Translation" - total 14 years between the two.

I believed in "machine aids" back then, but I long since outgrew them. I do better without, and I think this may be true for people who have been working in the profession for as many decades as I have.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
From time to time Aug 30, 2011

I had a parallel career to Neilmac and left teaching for all the same reasons. Recently, however, I've been considering the idea of giving a few EFL classes just to get out of the house and have a bit of contact with people. Fortunately, I'm now in a position to be able to pick and choose the students I want to teach.

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 04:44
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
In defence of EFL! Aug 30, 2011

Neilmac's description of the state of the EFL profession rings all too many bells. As one of those who still teaches since I actually own and run a language school, I would like to come out in defence of our profession though, whilst emphasizing that his and other's comments are all too spot on for a huge number of schools...

For years now we (that's me and many schools I am associated with through regional associations and national federations) have been campaigning to improve the image of our sector in the only way we see logical: by improving standards in the sector. How? A few of our priorities: employ properly trained career EFL teachers, bin any application mentioning that applicant fancies a year in the sun to learn Spanish (mind you, subjecting them to an Avila winter is some revenge), pay them a decent wage (difficult, since our clients are used to paying wages based on paying the above type of applicant a pittance), and do so legally - including all the pagas extras (mandatory bonus payments) as over and above monthly salary rather than including them therein, give teachers proper contracts, provide ongoing training, etc etc.

The result? Loyal teachers who stay long term, despite the fact that our salaries are still not that high, a good reputation, more students than we can take, and a skint boss!

PS I still love being in the classroom, so have never been able to give the activity up completely.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 04:44
English to French
+ ...
I taught... Aug 30, 2011

... in the public secondary school system for 23 years (19 years full time, 4 years part time) but resigned in 2004. Working conditions were much better in the 70s than in the 90s, and working conditions in the translation world improved a lot in the 90s.

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Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:44
Italian to English
+ ...
don't miss it Aug 30, 2011

I taught EFL for several years but gave up because it didn't fit in with a young family, there was too much demand for evening classes till after 10 p.m.
Coming from a family where the majority went into teaching, I more or less grew up expecting to do the same. But I soon found that teaching is not my scene, for one thing I haven't got the patience.


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Katharine Ridgard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:44
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Not worth it financially Aug 30, 2011

I used to teach a little in language schools here when I first became a full-time freelancer, but the vast difference between what I earned teaching, and what I could earn in that time at home translating, meant that it wasn't really worth it. Pity, because I did enjoy the social aspect!
I have had one very keen private student for the past three years though, who comes to my home twice a week, pays well and requires very little lesson preparation- a real gem!


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Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
France
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Used to Aug 30, 2011

I was a voice teacher for many years, and used to run classes for people who thought they couldn't sing. I always enjoyed working with private pupils and leading big weekend workshops, but I was very glad to get out of working for institutions!

Much of my work was with individuals who wanted to find their "natural voice" - often a deep journey into the self, wonderfully satisfying to do, but very demanding. I still occasionally take on students for specialist work, but only for a limited number of sessions.

It's lovely when ex-students stay in touch so I can follow what they are up to.

Although I have done a little language teaching, I soon realised it isn't what I want to do. But skill-sharing (or helping others to fulfil their potential) is so fundamental to me that I'm sure my teaching days are not yet over!


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oxygen4u
Portugal
Local time: 03:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Used to Aug 30, 2011

After I graduated from university I was invited to stay there as a teacher and I taught translation for 4 years...

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tabor  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:44
English to Polish
+ ...
I used to Aug 30, 2011

... and miss it

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Eser Perkins  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 05:44
Member (2010)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Used to... Aug 30, 2011

... teach as an ESL teacher. I did give private music lessons as well.

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