TEFL in Lithuania?
April 6, 2011 3:40 AM   Subscribe

Advice on teaching English in Lithuania?

I'm interested in the possiblility of teaching English in Lithuania (OK, my last AskMeFi question about Lithuanian for a while).

I have some experience of actually teaching English as a 2nd language to German students, but don't have an EFL qualification and I'm slowly but surely learning Lithuanian.

I'm wondering what are my chances of getting a good EFL qual, moving to Lithuania and teaching for a few years before finding a job teaching EFL at a university or college.

I've been recommended to aim for a "serious" EFL certificate that takes months rather than days before starting, and to upgrade at some point with a masters e.g. in linguistics later on (I have a first degree, though not in English or linguistics already).

Can anyone offer some more concrete, Lithuania-specific suggestions on how to procede, what the job market is like, which qualifications are prefered in Lithuania etc...? I have looked through EFL questions on Ask MeFi but Lithuania is not mentioned. I will add I'm considering it more as a career move than as an early career stage!
posted by KMH to Work & Money (2 answers total)
Response by poster: The standard answer, Dave's ESL Cafe, didn't seem to have much on Lithuania either, though I need to register to search properly :)
posted by KMH at 3:41 AM on April 6, 2011

I'm a TEFL teacher who's worked in Latvia and is working in Poland now; that's sort of as close as we might get here on AskMe! :)

You need to get a CELTA or Trinity Cert to get your foot in the door at many, many schools, especially those which will invest in training you and making you better - which makes you an asset to them and their clients (ka-ching!), and, of course, yourself for future opportunities. It's a month full-time and is available all over the world; any school which offers it is externally assessed, by Cambridge in the case of the CELTA, so while there are varying levels of quality, the content and assessment of the courses are standardized regardless of where you do them.

Also, what's your citizenship? If you aren't an EU citizen and have no post-certification experience, it can be very, very difficult to even get e-mails replied to. I started sending out feelers in February for a job in Poland in September and even with a personal connection between the schools, it still took ages.

That said, you're coming up to peak hiring time right now - Easter through to about August is when most private language schools are looking to hire for September; that said, we've got awesome teachers on staff at the school I work at who were hired four days before the start of the year! Get your CELTA ASAP, ask your trainers for advice on working in Lithuania, and work at a summer school in Britain or Ireland for a few weeks/a month this summer if you're an EU citizen to get experience with young learners and teens - a huge part of the market in central/eastern Europe.

If you don't have that lovely burgundy passport (I'm still working on mine!)...schools have no incentive to pay for your visa expenses or the time it takes them to find someone to process all your paperwork without a proven track record. Get that outside the EU (I went to Indonesia, which was awesome!), then see if you can get in the door.

Best of luck! Shoot me a Mefi Mail anytime.
posted by mdonley at 1:23 PM on April 6, 2011

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