News for ESL teachers in Canada

Some interesting "2013" facts for new ESL English Teachers

The world has definitely changed since September 11, 2001 and the 2008 economic melt-down and the 2011 Arab Spring. Overseas travel is still down 20% (5 years later) and ESL Teachers interested in Middle East positions has declined 95%.

Good News for ESL Teachers

Worldwide demand for ESL English education has increased by 10%.

Samsung uses English as the head office language

China wants 300,000,000 English speakers by the year 2020.

Worldwide requests for overseas teachers up 300%.

China Teachers salary 2001:$2500 RMB - 2007:$5,000 RMB up 200%. 2013:10,000 RMB up 200%.

China trained 1,000,000 for the Olympics and World's Fair - Brazil needs the same for 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Bad News for the ESL Industry

Percent of individuals using fake certificates to get overseas jobs 60%

Best estimate for fake certificates sold in Asia to native English speakers to obtain jobs with fake credentials since 1980: 165,000.

Number of Asian agents selling fake University certificates and degrees charged: 3. Yes finally in Canada the OPP raided a very large scale Chinese forgery operation that specialized in Canadian University and College Degree sales to foreigners.

Unfortunately Canadians who have worked years to obtain a coveted Canadian University degree will have their hard work diminished by the lazy, incompetent, screw-ups who obtain jobs using fake Canadian credentials and then mess up. The value of Canadian University degrees plumets because of idiots and criminals using fake degrees and it makes life very difficult for real Canadian University degree holders to get jobs.

Cost of fake degree, TESL certificate, transcripts and special university hotline phone number to "verify fake degrees": $600.

Percent of worldwide ESL English language schools that are not properly registered, licensed or operating with illegal or unqualified teachers: 75%.

In the mad rush to get a good TOEFL score before the speaking section becomes mandatory - the cost for a Korean pro test writer to create fake ID and write a 600 score: $1,500,000 Won and the cost to bribe a Chinese test proctor to complete your test after the exam: $10,000 RMB.

Most obvious nonsense school ads: good looking English teachers to teach older gentlemen English at their home during the evenings.

Most brutal stories of Middle East ESL teacher mistreatment include: locked up in apartments with no food, water or heat, strip searches, robbery, assaults, death threats.

Most evil fraud: using J1 program to send underage prostitutes to the USA.

Latest China campus grades scandle involves Douglas College. In the news reports the teachers were complaining that the Chinese partners were passing all students regardless of test results.

Being a new ESL teacher is difficult

Most North American ESL schools are marketing organizations. They like to sell their school as the best (in everything) to the international students. The schools like to present themselves as established, well organized, professional, with highly qualified and experienced teachers, proven curriculums, lots of resources, a history of happy students.

If you want to teach ESL in the competitive private school industry then you have to realize that as an ESL teacher you are part of a packaged commodity. Remember that most ESL schools pay for advertising, marketing, salesmen, agents, flashy brochures and have to travel to expensive international student education fairs to recruit students. ESL schools pay from 25 to 50% to get ESL students in the door.

For most ESL teachers to get a job in North America you have to have a combination of personal qualities, education and teaching experience. The ESL schools that try to cover 10 levels, 45 electives, activities, and self-directed programs are usually stretched because of budget restrictions. Many schools are on low-margin, high-volume operations programs and cannot afford to make hiring mistakes.

To be a successful career ESL teacher you can look at the stages most teachers go through. The start can be wonderful or ugly. It depends on your preparation. Many successful career ESL teachers tutored while they finished their university and teacher education programs. As a tutor you can really learn how to help a student. You can see their struggles and provide the solutions. The next step is the classroom. The leap from one student to 15 is major and requires all the theory and methodology necessary to operate as a classroom professional. You have to do this in person. Get the practicum supervision and corrections necessary to teach ESL professionally.

Experience can be gained in North America as a community volunteer, operating your own classes, team teaching classes, teacher observations, and tutoring.

Traveling internationally where experience is not required can be exciting and educational - however - one has to consider the dramatic life-style changes and risks which accompany these opportunities.

After 2 years of mistakes and corrections, continuing education, workshops, professional exchanges, brainstorming, team teaching, collaboration, students calling you wonderful, others not so happy - then many of the higher paying professional organizations consider you job-ready. Career ESL teaching in North America is not easy and not available overnight with most professional organizations.

New ESL teachers should take an internet tour of teacher white, grey and black lists, personal webpages and blogs to see good, bad and ugly teaching experiences.

May the force be with you.

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