Why do you want to teach English in Italy?

on Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earlier today was a nice sunny day so my husband, a friend of mine and I went for a picnic near a small village in Piedmont called Pombia. The photo is of an old chapel where we had our picnic.

I usually check out my stats for my blog on a daily or almost daily basis. Every time there are people checking about teaching English in Italy, whether it is about the pay or life as an English teacher. Yes I wrote a post about this back in March 2006. My question is though, WHY do people want to come to Italy to teach English?

I moved here to be with my Italian husband, not to teach English. Yes I have been teaching English since February 2003 due to not able to find work doing anything else at a somewhat reasonable wage. I have 12 years customer service/call center experience, but this type of work here in Italy does not pay near as much as I make working 20 hours a week teaching English. But is it easy work, teaching English? Yes and no. Yes in the sense I work at home and do not have to deal with traffic etc. But I have to work my butt off in order to gain students and keep them coming back. During the summer, especially in August when Italy is on vacation, lessons practically cease. So I end up not working, and of course not getting paid.

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9 comments:

J.Doe said...

And it is harder to find interested students in a big city due to all the competition. it seems like every nativeEnglish speaker in Italy either wants to or has to teach English to make a few Euros. (emphasis on the word few)

Ann said...

Few is an understatement. A person has to bust their butt in order to collect those hard earned Euros. Even in the area I'm in, over the last few years there are more and more English speakers, so of course more competition. Then there are the people that moan and complain about prices. Yes wages are low here, but sorry I have to put bread on the table also!

nikeez said...

Hi, I like the scenary of the woods and the old chapel. Thanks for sharing!


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Kataroma said...

I agree - of all the places where you could chose to be an expat - Italy seems like the worst (unless you have lots of money and don't need to work!) Low salaries high prices. I used to teach English too and was Euro 8 an hour at a language school (nothing in August or most of December). You just can't live on that. I found private lessons better but I did that just to supplement my income from another job.

Ann said...

Exactly Kataroma! Nowadays, at least in this neck of the woods the pay at a language school still sucks, at 12 euros an hour on average, net. Then there is the issue of hours, nothing guaranteed, of course. Nowadays I only do private lessons, except a night or two a week at a school that isn't even a mile/kilometer from my house. Otherwise, teaching at schools/companies are not worth my time and effort. Why do so and end up also loosing private students due to a commitment at a school/company that is going overwork/underpay?!?

Maria said...

ahhh now my bubble has totally exploded reading comments about TEFL. But I am glad you all filled me in. I thought maybe teaching english could get me by somewhat until another job could be found. I am thinking about relocating from Chicago to Milan to be closer to relatives and friends. I am still deciding ... Out of curiosity, if one wants to teach english in Italy .. is it better to take the TEFL course in Italy or can I take it in Chicago?

Ann said...

Maria, if you can take it in Chicago, would probably save you a few bucks compared to taking it here. I think the British Council charges around 1k euros for the classes and the certificate.

As far as finding a job goes, since you're parents are Italian, do you have dual citizenship? Are you able to speak Italian? Those are of the utmost importance if you are wanting to work here. The job market here is pretty tight, even for the locals. It is kind of difficult to land a job with a permanent contract and at a "liveable" wage. Don't expect the same wages you would receive in Chicago. Good luck!

margaret said...

Though they pay more in Italy for teaching English as a language, The hard work one has to put in order to better withstand the job is too difficult here. Understanding the psychology of both parents and students plays an important role here as a tutor.
Thanks for sharing your views.

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