Thursday, August 7, 2008

TESOL Jobs in Turkey

General Information

With the rapidly expanding tourist industry, and pending membership of the EU, Turkey has seen a massive increase in the number of TESOL teaching opportunities available. There is a broad market including high schools, private high schools, universities, and private language institutes. It’s very easy to get a job; however, the art lies in finding the right job with the right of employer.

Teaching English

One can find work simply with a TESOL qualification; however, this is not sufficient to comply with the regulations required to get a work permit. In order to teach in a high school, private high school, or a university you must have a university degree and a TESOL certificate. This is so that these institutions can satisfy the requirements of the Department of Education, and employ you legally.

Because of the huge variety of standards in education you can expect a commensurately varied student body. Some will have very little experience; however, others, with more experience, will be competent in English.

Students tend to be highly motivated due to the gains to be made, both in tourism and trade, from being fluent in English. Many universities use English as the medium of instruction. For many people in Turkey, English is a must.

Visas and Regulations

Tourist visas are normally good for three months, and may be renewed by a cross-boarder trip to Cyprus or Greece. The penalty for overstaying your visa is of the order of $250.

To obtain legal employment, one’s visa must be processed in your country of origin. So even if you get a job on the spot, you will have to return home to put your papers in order. It's important to note that for universities and other large organizations, its possible to have a phone interview before even arriving to Turkey. With this method, you can have your job and paperwork arranged before you go.

Your employer must obtain permission to employ you from Ministry of Education, and the Undersecretariat for the Treasury. At this stage teachers are required to submit notarised translations of their educational certificates. Only those with an undergraduate degree and a TESOL certificate need apply. Once these have been submitted it takes about four weeks to process. After this, in your country of origin, you must submit to the Turkish Consulate your contract of employment, papers from the ministries, and a form that needs to be filled out. This usually takes about six weeks to process.

As a part of your contract you should normally expect to have any visa costs reimbursed, accommodation provided, and airfares covered. You should also beware that your allotted annual vacation should not be eroded by Islamic holidays, i.e. that Ramadan, usually three days, does not take a bite out of your vacation entitlement.

Getting a Job

The British Council in Izmir is a good contact for everybody, and issues a pamphlet ‘Information for Foreign Teachers’. Bilkent University School of English Language is often on the look out for teachers. Tukeng Recruitment is a recruitment agency worth checking out. As is Bosphorus Teacher Placemen

The advantage of showing up to find work is that you can check out your potential employers, your accommodations, class sizes, and facilities and materials. As ever, in the TESOL world, there are some schools that make a lot of promises through email but once we arrive, our expectations fall short.

Local telephone directories detail universities, schools and language institutes, etc, which are often only too willing to interview candidates. Highly-qualified, and more importantly, well-turned-out, organised and enthusiastic teachers are in short supply. If they like you they will most certainly find some teaching for you!

One of the best and most realistic propositions is to build a working life based around constructing a portfolio a few hours here and a few hours there, bearing mind that revenue from ‘one to one lessons’ can double a teacher’s income, one should always be on the lookout for one to one students, whatever one’s employment or visa status. The market for those wanting private tuition or conversation practice is huge, and potentially very lucrative, therefore, not be neglected. Give yourself time to build a portfolio of work. This is best safeguard to both your income, and employment status.

For more information about getting TESOL certified, visit us here!

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