Teaching in Syria

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  • fullerdan
    31 July, 2008 at 21:38
    • Total posts: 1


    I would like to teach English in Syria and I am planning to do a CELTA course in the near future, probably at International House here in London. However, the earliest I will finish the course is the end of September, which presumably makes things a bit tight as far as contracts for the beginning of the academic year go. I’ve heard that training institutions can often help with finding work, but can anybody advise on what this really means regarding the chances of finding a job elsewhere in the world, especially on a tight schedule (regarding the academic year)?

    I would be interested to hear from anybody with experience of teaching in Syria, as I have not found much online evidence of language schools. Do you have to have experience? Is there enough work to warrant just turning up with a CELTA certificate? I have an MA, in something completely unrelated but I know it can help.

    I have been told it is better to train in the country in which you want to teach – if that is not possible, is it worth at least going to the region? The nearest I could get (on my timetable) is Egypt, I am wondering if that would provide more work opportunities in the Middle East as a whole.

    I’d be grateful for any advice, and interested to hear anybody’s experiences of teaching in Syria.



    31 July, 2009 at 16:35
    • Total posts: 1

    Reply To: Teaching in Syria

    Hey there!

    This is my first post as a new member, and also as a recently qualified teacher.

    I have just returned from Syria, where I lived for 7 months.

    I just graduated from university last year, and promptly did a CELTA qualification in London. I then went out to Damascus with the aim of learning Arabic and maybe at some point, teaching English.

    I focussed solely on Arabic for the first few months, but then found out about a few language schools at which to teach and utilise my new qualification.

    There are many language schools, though only a few hire ex pats or are recommended. If you have plenty of experience (i.e. 10 years) the British Council in Damascus or Allepo is the best place to go.

    If you’re like me and had no other experience apart from the CELTA, then I went to Berlitz in Baramke, Damascus. They also have another branch in Allepo but the training is done in Damascus. With Berlitz, you do not need any qualifications as they train you. However, the more qualified you are, the better pay you get. Pay is based of factors like education, but also on performance factors as Berlitz have their own methodology which must be followed.

    However, as a Brit, it was a bit strange having to teach American English…it wasn’t explicit, but the manual we used was an American one so there were slight differences in the lexis…I just taught the British equivalent.

    Other schools i heard of were Horizon (which now only hire Syrians, as far as I am aware) and Friend’s Centre.

    Regarding the CELTA, my personal opinion is if you get a TEFL qualification in an English speaking country, it’s more recognised and valued- especially somewhere like International House (which is really expensive!). Some schools abroad will train you anyway, though you may find their training to be insufficient and then you may be thrown into the deep end quite unprepared. In cases like that, the CELTA is a lifesaver. I personally loved doing the CELTA at Language Link in London and it helped me a lot.

    Any questions regarding Syria and my own experience, just yell :D
    Hope it helps

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