Advice for teaching English in Germany?
May 23, 2012 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I'm getting my CELTA in July in Germany, and I'd like to teach English there afterwards. Help me be a good applicant for teaching jobs and an attractive tutor for freelance work!

Relevant info about myself: I'm male, 25 years old, and have a BA in Philosophy with a minor in German Studies. I speak German fluently and studied abroad there in 2007-2008. I've never taught classes before, but I'm not scared to speak in front of a group or classroom.

I'll be doing my CELTA in Hamburg during July, but after that I'll be moving to Baden-Wurttemburg for at least a few months. I'll be based in Heidelberg starting out (I know the city and a few people there), but I'm ultimately willing to move just about anywhere in Germany.


How can I make myself most attractive as an applicant for teaching positions at businesses or educational institutions?

To what kind of places should I apply?

Where can I work with a CELTA?

What should I wear to interviews? In the classroom?

What should I emphasize on any applications?

How can I make myself attractive as a freelance tutor?

Where should I advertise?

What else should I know but haven't asked about?

Vielen Dank!
posted by edguardo to Education (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I know people who teach in Germany and will try to get info from them.

Perhaps the most important information is missing from your question; what's your visa status?
posted by Busy Old Fool at 3:28 PM on May 23, 2012

Response by poster: I'm a U.S. citizen; I'll be applying for a self-employment visa after I arrive.
posted by edguardo at 3:42 PM on May 23, 2012

Best answer: Bet you thought I wasn't coming back to this question!

Firstly, this summary of job opportunities for EFL teachers in Germany is a few years out of date, but still contains a lot of essential information.

From what my contacts tell me, the market has moved even more towards business English since the page above was written. Also that you should definitely get in contact with your local ELTA, since they can help with finding work, training opportunities and even with tax / legal issues.

Freelance work is very popular, since it means better wages. Also, the sort of place that would hire someone without teaching experience is not likely to be the sort of place you want to work for. i.e. No CPD, low teaching standards, unreliable at paying wages etc. There are more professional schools, but they are looking for people with experience, usually of teaching business English.

However, as a non-EU citizen, you're going to have problems getting a work permit. Usually that requires a written offer of work from someone, but most language schools (especially the low-end ones who are prepared to employ inexperienced teachers) have no interest in taking extra trouble to employ a non-EU candidate, when they can easily find an equivalent EU one who doesn't require additional paperwork and the possibility of it all falling through and being left high and dry without a teacher. The fact that you'll be able to deal with the bureaucracy without a translator is helpful, on the other hand.

I do know non-EU teachers working in other EU countries, so it is possible, but they were attractive candidates for other reasons. Any work experience you can get before or after your CELTA, particularly in Business English, will be valuable.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 7:49 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, Busy Old Fool! I appreciate your response and I will keep all this in mind. :)
posted by edguardo at 3:07 PM on June 11, 2012

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