Why should I take a TEFL course in Prague?
Apart from the fact that Prague is an enchanting city full of breathtaking architecture you will simply fall in love with the wide array of cultural activities, the countless microbrews you will want to try in the beautiful beer gardens around the city and the tightly-knit alumni network you will be part of.
One of the most important reasons why Prague is such a popular location to take a TEFL course is the tremendous demand for English teachers here. The Czechs are well aware that their native language is not very widely spoken and are eager to learn foreign languages. Many companies offer it as a benefit to their employees, which provide a seemingly never-ending flow of students. To find work is as easy as it gets and getting legal is, despite a bit of red tape, comparatively stress-free, including for non-EU passport holders.
Whether you only come for the course, want to gain some experience before moving on or plan on staying long-term: Prague has something to offer for everyone. And if you should ever run out of options: the Czech Republic is the heart of Europe and the mountains, Berlin or Warsaw are only a train ride away.
What types of teaching jobs are available in the Czech Republic?
You will likely start teaching for a few different language schools. They will offer you lessons and you can build up your own schedule. Later you may narrow the schools you work with down based on which you find easiest to work with, like best or find most convenient. Most teachers in the Czech Republic work as freelancers which means you are free to work for as many schools as you like for as many hours as you like. Not a morning person? No problem, grab the evening lessons. Or would you rather keep the evenings free and work in the mornings? No problem at all. You can take on as many lessons as you like and design your own timetable that works for you.
While language schools are the majority of employers, a lot of teaching is also done in-company. Many teachers are sent there by language schools but some bigger companies also employ in-house teachers, which is usually a really sweet deal as you will be working office hours with a fixed salary and benefits. To be prepared for the challenges you could take a teaching Business English extension course after your TEFL qualification and show employers that you went the extra mile to get ahead of the competition.
Another big branch of teaching English is Young Learners. Very often pre-schools are looking for teachers to teach a lesson in the morning and then stay so the kids are exposed to English all day. Obviously, you are paid for the whole day even though you will spend most of it playing Lego and hide and seek or pick up some Czech phrases from the teachers during the kids’ nap time.
A growing branch is teaching exam preparation classes. Those are often better paid and are very popular amongst students who need to work towards a certain proficiency certificate for their job or studies. The students are usually highly motivated and the syllabus is clearly laid out.
Most teachers teach 1-1 lesson on the side. There are loads of internet platforms that make finding students very easy and word-of-mouth recommendations might make your client base grow so fast, that you will end up turning jobs down very soon.
Your students will be a multicultural bunch. Very often you will find more nationalities in a classroom than you can count on one hand. Many Vietnamese, Ukrainians and Koreans live in Prague.
Apart from the enchanting capital there are other cities worth considering such as the home of Budvar (you may know it as Budweiser) České Budějovice in South Bohemia or Brno in beautiful Moravia. There the competition is smaller and wages are generally a little higher compared to the cost of living.
How and when can I find teaching jobs in the Czech Republic?
The language schools hire year-round and don’t care much for the academic year. There are peaks in August/September and January/February when the new semesters start (especially in the young learners sector) but generally the schools open courses as soon as they have enough people signed up for a class and that happens on a daily basis.
The easiest way to find jobs is to take your TEFL course with a supportive school that offers a comprehensive careers service and helps you get in touch with the best schools in town. Oxford TEFL in Prague, for example, is also a language school itself and is in constant contact with dozens of other schools to recommend graduates. The tightly knit alumni network does the rest: Your new friends will let you know as soon as there is a job opening at their school. So don’t worry if you don’t find many job ads online, most positions are filled through connections.
What are the educational requirements to work in the Czech Republic?
Employers usually look for English teachers who have a TEFL qualification from an accredited training centre. A degree is not mandatory and experience is preferred but there are plenty of jobs at entry level. A high command of English is key and it helps to be organised and reliable. Once you want to move into higher positions a degree can help, but for most employers a diploma in English teaching is of more importance.
How easy is it to obtain a visa to teach in the Czech Republic?
The visa requirements are comparatively easy to fulfil. The Czech bureaucracy is famous but it’s nothing to be afraid of. Make sure to go with a TEFL programme or employer that offers extensive visa assistance, as all of it is in Czech and you will want an expert by your side (www.oxfordtefl.com/work-and-visas/visas/visa-service-prague) and inform yourself before you leave your home country as to what you need to bring. Let’s say you are an American citizen: You will enter the Czech Republic on a tourist visa, which is essentially the stamp you get in your passport when you enter. That allows you to stay for 90 days. In that time your TEFL provider or employer will sort out your visa application and soon you will be able to pick up your visa. It’s pretty straightforward and hassle-free as long as you stay on top of things and work with pros.
How much money can I make teaching English in Prague?
The Czech lifestyle is rather relaxed. Driving up to the cottage or going mushroom picking can often be more important than spending a Friday in the office. This rubs off on us expats too: You can work as little or as much as you like. The amount you can earn will depend largely on what your priorities are (work or free time), where you are, how many hours you teach per week, which schools you teach for and what kind of classes you teach.
To give you a general idea, here are some examples. While you’re looking at these numbers, please keep in mind that the cost of living is super low in the Czech Republic – see these statistics.
Compensation per lesson in Prague (on average)
General English: 350CZK
Business English: 400CZK
Exam Preparation classes: 450CZK
Private classes newly qualified teachers: 500CZK
Private classes experienced teachers: up to 800CZK
Lesson planning, marking homework and commuting are not usually included in your pay. As a new teacher, you will probably be teaching around 16-20 lessons a week and make around 20’000CZK which allows for a comfortable lifestyle in the Czech republic.
Looking for more information?
Email tesol@oxford tefl.cz or visit www.oxfordtefl.com