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Teaching English in Russia‏‎

A Visa is an official document stating that a person is authorized to enter the country or territory for which it was issued and teach there. Depending on your own nationality, you may or may not need a visa to work in certain other countries.

For more, see Visas for TEFL Teachers Abroad.

TESOL or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is usually used to talk about teaching English to people who do not already speak English. It's more commonly used by American teachers.

For more, see TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

A TEFL Certificate is the basic qualification to teach English to non-native speakers. Good ones are usually 120hrs and cover teaching methodology, classroom management, lesson preparation and so on.

For more, see TEFL Certificates.

A Private Lesson or One-to-One or 1-to-1 lesson outside the normal school. It is usually 1 teacher and 1 student (but sometimes 2 or 3 students).

For more, see Private English Lessons.

Business English is English as it is used in the business workplace. It focuses on business phrases and typical workplace vocabulary often used for negotiations, telephone conversations, interviews, presentations, meetings, etc.

For more, see Business English.

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Simply put, this is usually used to talk about teaching English to people who live in a non-English speaking country and who want to learn English for business or to take an exam, etc.

It is pretty much equivalent to TESOL and TESL.

For more, see TEFL‏‎ - Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

TEFL/TESOL in Russia

Colorful domes of St Basil's Catherdral in MoscowRussia, or more technically the Russian Federation, is the largest country in the world and spans 11 time zones. Its population is relatively small and unevenly distributed with the majority of the population in the European and Ural regions.

It is a popular destination for TEFL teachers and growing in popularity. Despite a cooling in relations between Russia and the west in recent years, English is still considered to be a passport to improved job opportunities and English teachers are in demand; in schools English de facto compulsory and new schools are springing up in all major cities.

Although British English speakers are preferred, there are still a lot of jobs for American and other English teachers.

Where to Teach

English teaching positions are available across the board from university positions to state schools to smaller private schools. There is also a strong demand for English teachers in growth industries (oil, tourism, service industries, etc) where experience in teaching Business English‏‎ can pay dividends.

Private language schools, where most of the jobs are, dot the country in all major cities and towns. They usually employ a mix of local teachers and native speakers. Often these schools will run a variety of courses for local teenagers, adults and then business courses as well so if you can show experience and knowledge of teaching all kinds of classes this will be to your advantage.

Generally speaking the bigger the school, the better in terms of help with bureaucracy, accommodation, healthcare and so on. Also you need to consider the size of Russia and if you are offered a job there, research well the location as it can be quite easy to end up many, many miles from the nearest other city.

Qualifications

The standard minimum qualifications are a degree plus a TEFL Certificate. If you don't have these but have determination and a little luck you may still be able to find work though, especially in the less popular places where there are English teachers working there solely because they happen to speak English. Having said this, the Russian authorities are clamping down on unqualified teachers and are less willing to provide visas for them than before.

Peak hiring times are in September and January.

Pay & Conditions

Pay will depend very much on the type of school and the location with a lot of variation across the country.

In major cities a starting salary might be around 25,000 per month <?php $base_curr = USD; $base_amount = 750; include ‘arathra/currconvert.php'; ?> with double that for experienced and qualified teachers. However, this does not include accommodation which can be quite expensive and difficult to arrange, especially in the major cities.

Better paid jobs can go up to 100,000 per month – <?php $base_curr = USD; $base_amount = 3100; include ‘arathra/currconvert.php'; ?> although bear in mind that cities like Moscow are quite expensive with food costing the same as the US and nightlife not cheap at all.

Private Lessons

Though it is potentially much more lucrative than working in a regular school, private lessons can be had although a decent knowledge of Russian is a great advantage as many of the jobs come through word of mouth and socialising within the local community.

Hourly rates for private lessons vary from <?php $base_curr = USD; $base_amount = 20; include ‘arathra/currconvert.php'; ?> for individuals to <?php $base_curr = USD; $base_amount = 60; include ‘arathra/currconvert.php'; ?> for small groups. Schools will sometimes offer small ‘private' groups to their tutors however they will often take a cut.

Useful Links

Classified Jobs for TEFL Teachers – the vacancies page of the Expats Russia site which often has a number of TEFL jobs advertised.

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