Language schools work.

How come there are so many language schools in Malta - is there such a big demand for language learning in a rather small country? I'm a certified teacher (62) based in Bangkok (Th.). I teach English, German, Dutch and Geography. Have a EU passport (Belgium) and ca. 20 years experience in teaching in Thailand and China. Degrees are bachelors and TEFL. Would like to know if a move and applying for a position (on-line) is feasible and realistic in my situation (refer to nationality and age)? Appreciate any comment and/or advice concerning this matter.

Hey Gary,
First of all - the language schools mostly cater to incoming students, i.e. many students from Spain, Italy, other European countries, Russia, the Middle East, and also Japan and Colombia come to Malta to study English, as Malta has a British history, English is an official language there, and it's cheaper and has better weather than other destinations in Europe (mostly Britain and Ireland). You do get occasional foreigners who live in Malta and need to improve their English (mostly Eastern-Europeans and Italians), but most students come for a couple of weeks and combine studying English with a holiday.

That said, obviously there is more demand for English teachers during peak season (especially in summer, when teens come for teen camps in their school holidays), and some schools even close in winter. There are some biogger schools, however, who have enough students year-round.

With your background, finding a job as an English teacher shouldn't be a problem, but you will need to apply for a teaching permit. Google ELT Council Malta for more info on that.

As for applying online - Malta is rather "old-school" in that respect, meaning it's often hard to secure a job if you are not actually in the country.

Another thing to consider is that most teachers work on a "part-time" contract, meaning that you will only get paid for actual hours taught, and hours are not guaranteed. So in low season you might end up not teaching at all for some weeks if there aren't enough students. And even in summer it might happen that in some weeks you'll only have 15 hours. Happened to me this year - I only had morning lessons for 3 weeks, as too few students had booked afternoon lessons. The pay is around €11/hour (preparation, break time, etc. is all unpaid), so you can do the maths.

I only teach in Malta in the summer, during the rest of the year I teach in my home country of Austria - I return to Malta every year because of the weather and because I like the country, but it's definitely not worth it for the money I earn there.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask ;)

Hi Bernie (I think that's your name, Iris your wife, and the others your kids - correct me if I'm wrong). First of all many thanks for your message and useful information. Secondly, wish you a happy 2020 and loads of work, probably in Austria, where you actually live. It was good to hear that I could find a teaching job if I'd decide to move to Malta, but from your advice I reason that going over there should be the best option. Malta isn't alone concerning the difficulty sending out a CV on-line and expecting to get hired. I think this is the case almost everywhere, also here in the Far East. At the moment I'm sort of in a dead-end situation concerning enough work. Has to do with my age, and not being a NES from an English speaking country; they're rather sensitive about this here in Asia. Wasn't such a problem when I got here in 2001 but the last 5 years or so it only has become more difficult due to a bunch of stupid new regulations (some are understandable) and tougher visa rules. In China for example there's a law in place that a foreigner over 60 can't get a work permit and obviously can't teach! Believe me, not many know this, even many school directors over there!
A lady friend of mine I met here moved to Malta to study at an International Institute of Beauty for the next 2 years, and it was she who advised me to maybe consider moving too. Since I'm an EU national the visa issue wouldn't apply but she did tell me that accommodation is quite expensive. But, if I should make the move I could share the place she's currently living in. I don't want to go too much in detail about this on the forum. I suggest we might have further exchanges through e-mail if that sounds more interesting to you. Mine = aglenn6[at]gmail.com  In the meantime I enjoy a rather nice winter season here (ca. 30C...) and the long holiday week. Hope you had a fine year-end celebration although for many people it will be a hard year again. We shouldn't forget that. Take care and once again appreciated for your information.

Are you currently in Malta or Austria?

Hey there,

I'm in Austria. Sorry for the late reply, it was the Christmas holidays here, so I didn't find the time to write - but I've just sent you an e-mail.

No problem, I understand. Take care and thanks for the message.

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