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A Teacher's Perspective; Teaching English in Southern Italy PDF Print E-mail

Where do you teach English as a Second Langage?

Where do you teach ESL? Are you a native speaker of the English language?

I teach ESL in Italy.

Yes, it’s true, I’m very lucky. I teach English in Southern Italy, along the bottom of the Amalfi coast, on the Mediterranean (precisely Tyhrennian) sea. The stretch of land under the famous Amalfi coastline is actually an entirely different entity. It’s the coast of Cilento, and in my opinion it is equally beautiful if not more, and much less commercial.

Anyway, I’d like to give you some information about myself. I came to Italy in 2001 on a week’s vacation and met my husband (well, I didn’t know that then). We dated for about a year long-distance, and then I decided to make the move. And it was a MOVE. Not just moving to the other side of town, but the other side of the ocean, and it was really an upheaval.

First challenge was trying to learn the language (still working on that). Next it was trying to get my papers in order so I would be officially legal in Italy (took about 1.5 years). Then it was driving a car in Italy. I won’t even go in to that. Terrifying is the word that comes to mind.

But, I did it all. Right? So, now I can speak Italian (kind of), am legal (mostly) and can drive a car (very defensively). What more could I ask for??

Did you say work? A job? That‘s right- because I was not ready to sit for a crash course in Italian domesticity. Unfortunately, I have never had any natural domestic inclinations, and would be a horrible full-time Italian housewife. If you have doubts, ask my husband.

In my previous life I was an advertising sales representative. I wanted to look for something along those lines, but it was nearly impossible with my limited Italian language skills and no higher-ups to call on for a nice recommendation.

So, there was tension. And frustration. And it was getting bad.

“I can‘t stand staying in the house anymore. I need a job. I‘m going crazy. I can‘t just sit here and eat all the time. She (his mother) keeps making me eat.“

“Why don’t you ever listen to me? You can teach. Why don’t you teach English?”

“Because I’m not a teacher. My Mom’s a teacher. I’m a salesperson. I don’t know how to teach.”

“But you’ve got the language- you’re a mother-tongue”

“ Yep, but I don’t have a teaching certificate- and I’m not even an Italian citizen…”

“Who cares? You have the language- you have everything you need”

To make a long story short, he was right. Here, if English is your first language, or one of many that you speak fluently, chances are you can teach English in Italy.

What about the country you teach in? How important is it for an ESL teacher to be a native speaker of the language?

What about the country you teach in? How important is it for an ESL teacher to be a native speaker of the language


+1 # Ellen 2010-09-08 11:36
I am you! Solo, sono una brava casalinga (only I'm a pretty good house wife). Plus I have two small children, so I'm not exactly bored, but I do miss feeling smart and useful. So I'd love to hear more about your story. Are you certified now? How and with what program? Are you working legally and adding money to your pension? This is what my Italian husband is concerned about, justifiably!
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-3 # carla 2010-10-12 12:35
Ciao parli italiano? Se sei madrelingua allora puoi aiutarmi. mi chiameresti al 3356203669?
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-3 # ISABELLA 2010-11-10 19:10
I am interested in teaching English in Italy, I have the advantage of speaking and writing English, but how do you go about teaching there without a certificate!
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-3 # philippa 2010-12-06 10:20
i am english but speak italian. I am moving to lampeudsa next year and i know they are in desperate need of an english speaker to help out with trinity lessons and other various english based courses. They tell me the pay is good its just that i am unqualified therefore i am scared they cannot pay me a good amount. what qualifications do you have and how did you achieve them. mail me
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-3 # IRENE 2011-06-05 04:42
Hi I am intrested to know how did it go for you Philippa did you end up going? I like the first note I like the driving part---just beck from Napoli I am Italian yet I live now in Canada -- so much in need to move beck in Italy yet need a good job single mom with 3 girls!! not much luck in love!!! would love to be a housewife not so lucky--hihih so maybe teach ESL is a good start? my english is still not perfect yet I do my best. ciao
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-3 # John 2011-07-22 04:38

I am pursuing an Education degree presently and I do have a CELTA certificate with a Bachelor's degree. I have an Italian passport. Are there any jobs for an English teacher in southern Italy?? Please let me know. Thanks
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-1 # maria 2011-10-11 12:54
hi I am Italian, was very young when we came to england so did all my schooling here in england, also did my A levels in italian. We are moving back to italy next summer and I know that english is a very needed language over there, if I was to teach in a school or in private, would I need teaching qualifications? what would I need to have and how quick and easy is it to get them? please mail me.
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-2 # marianna cervera 2011-10-31 10:56
My name is Marianna. I am currently completing a TEFL course and looking for work in Italy. I am a bilingual Italian speaker.
I can be contacted on this email: mariannacervera
or on +447933577654

Thank you
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