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Teaching English in Poland

19 Jul 2011
Children on a couch with an adult
My wife with some of her students.

Want to travel to Poland for a long period of time but don't know how to afford it? Teach English!

If you are a native speaker of English or speak English at an advanced level, working as an English teacher can be a great way to support yourself while you travel abroad. In Poland, language learning is very popular and there are tons of private language schools (something completely unheard of in the States).

Even if your native language isn't English, you can probably find a school that teaches it. When we were living in Kraków, I knew Italian, German and Russian native speakers who were teaching their native languages!

Don't speak very good Polish? No problem! It's not required, and in fact, you will be encourage to never use the students' native language in the classroom.

From October 2009 to June 2010, my wife and I were working as English teachers in Poland. In this article, I'd like to give a little advice for people who want to do the same.

Read more for my advice!

Qualifications

Before teaching in Poland, I had some experience teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) to Russian immigrants in Milwaukee as a volunteer. I worked with individual students and taught one lesson a week for about two years. But I didn't have any experience in a classroom and my wife didn't have any experience at all!

So, we decided to take a four week intensive CELTA (a teaching certificate) course at IH Kraków (the course has since moved to the British Council but it's run by the same people).

The CELTA is the most recognized English teaching certificate and so it's the best to have for your job search. Unfortunately, CELTA courses are also very expensive.

You can probably take the CELTA in your home country, but I recommend taking it in your destination country because you can immediately start building your network. Finding a job in any country is frequently about who you know.

Beyond that, I think the CELTA course was very helpful! While I disagree with some of the teaching methodology, the course mainly consists of putting you in a classroom in front of students, where the tutors and other teachers will critique your performance. It's trial by fire, except in a very friendly and supportive environment.

And much like fight club: On the first day, everyone must teach! ;-)

Finding a job

Here are a couple of things to remember:

  • Start searching as early as possible: It's not uncommon for schools to interview and hire for fall semester starting in May or June. You can still find jobs at the last minute, but it will likely be just a few hours here and there.
  • Private schools will only give hours in the very early morning or from 4pm to 8pm: For many, that means teaching only 1-3 classes a day, which might not be enough to survive. Teaching children at a public school or teaching in a business (some businesses provide language lessons for their employees), is the only way you're going to get hours in the middle of the day. Also, classes on Friday are rare -- they will usually only happen if you teach children.
  • You may need to work at 2 or more schools: It's not uncommon that a school will only offer you a couple teaching hours, so you may need to work at several schools to get enough hours. That said there is generally more work than teachers, so you won't have any problems finding schools that need you!

For us, Gumtree was the best place to search for work online. For those who don't know it, it's just like Craigslist except Craigslist isn't at all popular in Poland.

The only other good site (there are tons of crappy ones!) I know for finding work is TEFL.com. They have a very small number of jobs, but they are high quality. If you are looking for work several months before moving to Poland, this is great a resource. Right now (2011-07-19) they have 12 jobs listed.

Legal stuff

I could write several dozen articles on this topic, but I'll just start with an overview here! ;-)

There are only two options for legally remaining in Poland for longer than 90 days: a work visa or residence card (karta pobytu).

A tourist visa (which is what they stamp in your passport on entering the country) is only good for 90 days within a 180 day period. So, technically, if you are in Poland for 90 days, you have to leave for 90 days before you can return. However, that part is relatively new (added only a few years ago) and isn't generally enforced.

So, some people cross the Ukrainian border every 90 days to get a new tourist visa. But I don't recommend this because it is against the word of the law! Eventually, they will start enforcing this and deny you entry.

Unfortunately, it is only possible to get a work visa from the consulate in your home country. The easiest solution is to find a job before coming to Poland and they will help you get the work visa and work permit (zezwolenie na pracę).

This is not what we did! ;-)

If you're already in Poland, your only option is a residence card, which you can get on one of several bases: a work visa, marriage, Polish heritage, owning a business, and many more. The option that is open to pretty much everyone is starting a business, which is what we did.

Starting a business can also be useful if you want to work at more than one school. A work permit is only good for the employer it was issued for. Few schools will pay and do the paper work to get you a work permit unless you will work there full-time (around 20 classroom hours). But you can start a business and then invoice the schools for your hours, as a contractor -- no work permit required!

The process for setting up a business can be complicated but it's not that bad. Maybe I'll write a full article about it sometime!

Have you taught English or any other language in Poland? What was your experience? Do you have any advice for people thinking about doing it?

Anonymous's picture

loved the article, David :) well written :)) really hope you enjoyed your stay here in Poland.

Posted by: incognito (not verified) | Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 15:14
David Snopek's picture

We really enjoyed it a lot, thanks! I hope that's clear particularly from my Things I Love About Poland articles. ;-)

Best Regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 16:37
Anonymous's picture

And how it looks in US? There, without H1B, you can't work even as contractor, yes?
BTW,I dont want discourage people, but registration of company is not so easy in Poland, especially for foreigners...:) Probably in US the process is much more easier and quciker?

Posted by: Piotr (not verified) | Friday, July 22, 2011 - 07:40
David Snopek's picture

For foreigners in the US, if you have a green card, I think the process is the same as for an American. So, you don't need to start a business or be a contractor or anything. I've never personally known anyone in the US on a work visa (H-1B), so I don't know how that works.

I've started businesses in both Poland and the USA. In Poland, there were definitely more steps but it really wasn't very hard. In Kraków, there is an office in Urząd Miasta where you can do it all in one place so you don't have to go to seperate GUS, US and ZUS offices. We did it all 2 hours! No worse that going to the DMV. ;-) But maybe it was simple because it was only spółka cywilna?

In the US, if you want to be a Sole Proprietorship, you don't have to do anything (if you're OK with working under your name) -- so that's the easiest! :-) I've also started a few LLCs (similar to spółka z organiczoną odpowiedzialnością) and that can be much more complicated. If you have partners you need to make an Operating Agreement which means you'll need to hire a laywer. Getting all the paperwork back (because everything is done via the mail) can take a few weeks.

Regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Friday, July 22, 2011 - 07:54
Anonymous's picture

So in the US if you want to work under your name there is no paper work? You can give invoices etc?
If so, it's great for freelancers.

Posted by: Piotr (not verified) | Friday, July 22, 2011 - 08:00
David Snopek's picture

That is correct! You only have to do the tax paperwork associated with specific contracts and the money you earn. Ie: with each firm you contract with, you need to do a W-9 and 1099 and then, of course, file your taxes in April as being self-employed. But you don't need to do anything to register the business.

If you want your Sole Proprietorship to have a name other than your name, then you need to file a DBA (Doing Business As) with the state (I think Registrar of Deeds?). Last time I did this, it took about 2 months after I filed the paperwork. But it's not really a problem because you can still work, you just can't open a bank account for your business and payment has to be to you directly.

So, it makes it very easy to become a freelancer in the first place. As your business grows, you might want to switch to another form of business.

Anyway, sorry if this is more information than you wanted -- it just happens to be something I know a bit about. :-)

Regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Friday, July 22, 2011 - 08:11
Anonymous's picture

wow, thanks for info!
Poland looks still like bureaucratic country. Especially with ZUS(Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, sometimes maliciously named by liberals "Złodziejski urząd socjalistyczny").

ZUS is the most dangerous killer of new companies (after 2 years you have to pay very high payments even if you dont have any profits). So this is not start-up friendly country.
If you work as teacher (contractor) you have stable source of profits. But for example in IT start-ups this is problem:).

Piotr

Posted by: Piotr (not verified) | Friday, July 22, 2011 - 08:21
Anonymous's picture

Can you share more about "spolka cywilna"?

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 05:28
David Snopek's picture

"Spółka cywilna" is just like a partnership in the US. It doesn't have any of the limited liability advantages of a "spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością" (which is like an LLC or LLP in the US). But it's much less complicated to form.

If you are just forming a business in Poland so that you can get a karta pobytu, I recommend either forming either a "firma jednoosobowa" (if you are one person) or "spółka cywilna" (if you are multiple people).

We formed a "spółka cywilna" because it was my wife and I. It's a little more complicated than a "firma jednoosobowa" in that you also need a contract between the people forming it. But you can find examples on the internet - which is exactly what we did. :-)

I hope that helps!

Regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 05:54
Anonymous's picture

I'm very interested in learning more about the costs associated with establishing a firma jednoosobowa, applying for a residence permit on the basis of having formed the company and annual maintenance of the company. I'm a freelance Japanese-to-English translator, so I can work wherever there is a good Internet connection. I should note that I'm an American, but I really want to settle permanently in Europe and I think Poland might be a good choice. Thus, I'd be grateful if you would share your experience and also, if possible, recommend lawyers or other professionals you used along the way. TIA

Posted by: Jim (not verified) | Monday, June 18, 2012 - 03:42
David Snopek's picture

Hi Jim!

It's now getting to the point where I'm starting to forget a lot of this stuff. We've been back in the US now for two years! Time flies. :-)

I don't recall the exact costs, but establishing firma jednoosobowa is pretty cheap and getting a residence card is pretty expensive. In any case, you'll likely be able to afford them given your line of work.

I think Poland is a good choice because dealing with immigration (especially for Americans) is relatively easy. There is lots of beauracracy and many steps, but if you perservere there is really no way you can fail. In other countries like Franch, Spain, Germany, etc I hear that it's much harder to go through immigration.

For establishing the business, you won't need a lawyer - if you don't speak Polish just bringing a Polish friend and you should be able to figure it out. I recommend hiring an accountant once you have the business going. The accounting requirements are a little complicated but you can find reasonably priced accountants.

For the residence card, hiring a lawyer might be a good idea because that's just such a convoluted process. That said - it will be extremely expensive! We had a lawyer help us out the first time we did it. If you send me a message via the contact form, I can give you his phone number:

http://www.linguatrek.com/contact

I don't know what he's up after all this time, though.

I hope that helps!

Regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 11:19
Anonymous's picture

Cześć!! Uczę się angielskiego w szkole od kilku lat i chciałabym się ciebie zapytać o czytanie Harrego Pottera. Mój poziom znajomości angielskiego to B2 (Upper Intermediate), czytałam już książkę po polsku. Czy mogę się już zabrać za wersję po angielsku czy jeszcze na to za wcześnie?
Pozdrawiam,
Magda

Posted by: Magda (not verified) | Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 02:48
David Snopek's picture

Cześć Magda!

To zależy od Ciebie. :-) Kiedy osobiście zacząłem czytać Harry'ego Pottera po polsku, byłem na poziomie nawet niższym od Ciebie. Więc to całkiem możliwie go przeczytać na tym poziomie!

Ale największy problem jest zniechęceniem się. Harry Potter będzie dość trudny. Osobiście kiedy zacząłem z nim było ok. 40 nieznanych słów na każdej stronie! Tylko czytałem dwie strony dziennie. Ale nie martwiłem się o to i po prostu czytałem dalej. Coraz szybciej uczyłem się i pod koniec było tak mało nieznanych słów, że mogłem po prostu zgadnąć z kontekstu.

Więc jeśli to, że będzie dość trudno na tym poziomie zniechęca Ciebie, lepiej czekać. Ale jeśli sądzisz, że wytrwasz -- dlaczego nie?! ;-)

Daj znać jak Ci to idzie!

Pozdrawiam serdecznie,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Monday, July 25, 2011 - 13:07
Anonymous's picture

Ale zdzierstwo panuję na tych certyfikatach Cambridge. Najdurniejsze jest to że aby uczyć w szkole publicznej musisz mieć przygotowanie pedagogiczne pełne z praktykami które kosztuję bagatela 2 tyś zł. Co wysuwa pytanie kto chce pracować w placówce publicznej i wybulić te 2 tyś by zarabiać potem 1 tyś/msc.

A CELTA za 4 tyś mnie przeraża, w Anglii ludzie płacą za nią 1000 funtów, co dla Anglika jest jedną wypłatą, a dla przeciętnego Polaka trzema.

Abstrahując.

Ostatnio wpadła w moje ręce świetna książka do nauki angielskiego, "Przygody Sherlocka Holmesa z angielskim". Są w niej przy każdej stronie, na marginesie wytłumaczone słówka. Dodatkowo po każdym rozdziale są zadania i wytłumaczenia gramatyczne.
Osobiście używam z audiobook'iem praktykując shadowing no i oczywiście masywna nauka słownictwa.
Na początku zacząłem robić sam tłumaczenie słownictwa do Harry'ego, ale to konsumuję ogromną ilość czasu, lepiej ten czas poświęcić na realną naukę, posiłkując się chociażby takimi książkami. Gorzej, że takowych książek wiele nie ma, no ale coś za coś.

Pozdrawiam ;)

Posted by: Foxxx (not verified) | Monday, July 25, 2011 - 16:44
David Snopek's picture

To prawda, że CELTA bardzo dużo kosztuje. Ale to nie zmienia faktu, że to najbardziej uznana certyfikacja z nauczenia języka angielskiego i najlepiej wygląda na CV. Oczywiście możesz znaleźć pracę w szkołach prywatnych bez jakiejkolwiek certyfikacji -- znam wielu takich nauczycieli.

Brzmi jak fajnie uczysz się angielskiego! Takie książki "do nauki" są wspaniałe. To prawda, że jest dość ciężko czytać normalną książkę - sam to doskonale wiem! To właśnie dlatego buduję BiblioBird. ;-)

Życzę powodzenia w nauce!

Pozdrawiam serdecznie,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Monday, July 25, 2011 - 17:07
Anonymous's picture

Hi David,

When you got your residence card, did you have to present the title of an apartment? It sounds like you weren't there long, so I doubt you bought an apartment during that time.

The Polish Embassy in DC's website states that you need to show a title to an apartment to get a temporary residence card...I just find that strange...

Posted by: ice (not verified) | Friday, January 27, 2012 - 10:17
David Snopek's picture

No, we didn't. He had to show the contract for our apartment which we were renting (along with zameldowanie) and prove that we had enough income to afford it. But that was it!

Yeah, that does seem strange. That wasn't the case at least for us.

Hope that helps!

Best regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Friday, January 27, 2012 - 10:36
Anonymous's picture

[...] rozmowy kwalifikacyjne po [...]

Anonymous's picture

Great Article. Thanks for writing!

I'm an American about to embark for Poland. I am enrolled at the British Council for Celta certification. So it seems as though I am in a situation similar to yours.

Because I am not CELTA certified yet, I thought that it wouldn't be wise to job hunt yet (maybe this wasn't a wise decision).

When I was there last, I talked with an American English teacher who talked of an easy way to get a visa. Maybe he was talking about getting a business visa?

I looked over your article and replies, and I can't find the specifics of how to obtain this. You mentioned a street "Urząd Miasta", but I couldn't find a business name or address.

Thanks for your help.
Ryan Dylla

Posted by: Dyllabox (not verified) | Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 17:15
David Snopek's picture

Hi Ryan,

It's never to early to look for a job! Personally, I wouldn't feel bad about saying that you'll get your CELTA soon on your CV or in interviews. For some they'll want to wait but it'll make it easier the 2nd time around.

When are you actually arriving in Poland and taking the CELTA?

Soon schools will start hiring for the fall semester. But in general it's difficult to find work for the summer. This is usually reserved for the teachers who have been at a school for a long time. Summer camps are a possibility but are a lot of work and mean you're working with kids (which could be fine! I personally prefer adults, though).

Urząd Miasta is a place, it literally means "City office" but it's something like "City Hall" in the USA.

Like I said in my article, if you're going to be in Poland already, you can't get a visa without coming back to the USA. But you can get a karta pobytu which is just as good as visa! The easiest way to get it is by starting a business.

Hope that helps!

Best regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 05:10
Anonymous's picture

Thanks for the quick response!

I'm attending the course that begins on Apr. 16. I'm arriving in Poland on the 9th. So I leave very soon.

I'll look into the business visa. I'm also a musician (drums) and I was hoping to supplement my income with gigs and lessons. I already have a gig at a festival in Lodz at the end of May.

Can you tell me a little more about karta pobytu? What is the Urzad Miasta going to want as proof/validation? What preparation should I be doing now?

Posted by: Dyllabox (not verified) | Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 19:34
David Snopek's picture

Ah. Well, you might be able to find some work for the summer. But like I said, it's much harder. If you have some savings, just hanging out for the summer would be fun. :-)

That's awesome about your gig! I know another American who lives in Kraków and is a musician. Maybe you guys could connect?

So, you get karta pobytu at Urząd do Spraw Cudzoziemców (literally: "Office for the Affairs of Foreigners", most similar to Immigration in the USA). Don't worry, you'll have to go to all these offices! ;-) There is a lot of beauracracy in Poland, especially for foreigners. Anyway, karta pobytu is most similar to a green card in the USA. It gives you permission to reside in Poland for a specific period of time or permanently (depends on the type, basis, etc).

They'll want lots of stuff and unfortunately, everyone's experience is a little different. We had to give zameldowanie (something you have to get at Urząd Miasta on arrival in Poland), our apartment contract, birth certificates, business registration, proof of funds from the bank, and some accounting info about the business. Some people are asked for a criminal record from their home country (we weren't). We had to do an official interview, but I've never talked to anyone else who had to do that. :-)

Anyway, it's Immigration, so it sucks!

Getting a visa can be much easier if your employeer handles all of it for you. But like I said, you have to return to the US to get a visa. I've known at least one person who cheated that by mailing their passport home - but that's risky because (1) it's illegal, (2) you're now trapped in Poland without ID, and (3) they might ask you to come to the consolate (in the US!) for an interview.

In any case, it's a lot of "process." But it's really not hard. You just end up waiting in a couple of lines at a bunch of offices. But if you just sit through it, ask a few of questions, make a bunch of photocopies - there's really no way you can fail. :-)

I hope that helps!

Regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 05:25
Anonymous's picture

Ryan,
I am so curious to see how the CELTA was at the British Council in Krakow? I will be heading there to take it in November and am lost as to how to get a work visa before I leave if I do not yet have employment. Let me know what you ended up doing?

Ruth

Posted by: Ruth Hearn (not verified) | Monday, July 2, 2012 - 16:56
David Snopek's picture

Hi Ruth,

To the best of my understanding, you have to already have a job to apply for a work visa. So, you can go to Kraków, do the CELTA, find a job and then return home to get the work visa. Or you can remain in Kraków and get a karta pobytu instead of a work visa.

Best regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Monday, July 2, 2012 - 17:15
Anonymous's picture

One of the most frustrating aspects is that, though I appreciate everyone's input, I keep getting partial and sometimes inaccurate information.

The Karta Probytu is a residency card and does not allow you to work. To get this, you need to have a work visa. You get the work visa through your employer. At least this is the latest information that I've received.

There is the 'set up your own business option', but getting information on how to do this is tricky because everyone I talk to talks about the work visa and Karta Probytu.

David mentioned writing an article about the self employed option. Hopefully he'll do this soon. But I have heard that to do this, you need to provide your own health insurance which isn't cheap.

I have found a lawyer/charity group in Warsaw that helps refugees. They are going to help me with the immigration papers. It is according to them that the work permit comes first, then the residency card (Karta Probtu).

About the CELTA course: The course is a bit intense, but they make sure that you won't fail unless you are incompetent. It will be hard to look for a job and hard to work on the residency because the class is time intensive. And if you want to work outside of Krakow, it is super difficult because it is necessary to submit your residency papers in the city in which you want to live.

November is a good time as the course takes a month, then you can start looking for a job when schools are hiring in December.

You can always start looking for work via internet. Craigslist is pointless. Gumtree.pl is much better. If you use Google Chrome, it can translate the page automatically which is very helpful.

By the time you leave, I should have more information. Another frustrating aspect is that almost all americans I meet have dual citizenship. So finding a 'partner in crime' is really tough. I thought this would be somewhat eradicated by taking CELTA in Krakow. Not the case. Everyone taking the course was either polish, dual citizens, or not staying in Poland. Maybe it was bad luck.

Honestly, give taking the CELTA course in the US a second thought. It might be more expensive, but I ran out of time and had to go to London to get a new stamp.

Anyway, hope this helps. You can email me directly at dyllabox@hotmail is you have more questions.

Ryan Dylla

Posted by: ryan dylla (not verified) | Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 01:28
Anonymous's picture

[...] works as a 1st grade teacher near Appleton, Wisconsin. When my wife and I were in Poland, we worked as English teachers. Although our students were a little older than hers, we set up a penpal project with her students [...]

Anonymous's picture

[...] we were teaching English in Kraków, Poland, I charged 50 PLN for a 60 minute one-on-one lesson. If you have one lesson a week, like most of my [...]

Anonymous's picture

[...] uczyliśmy w Krakowie angielskiego, brałem 50 PLN za 60-minutową lekcję prywatną. Jeśli masz jedną lekcję tygodniowo, tak jak [...]

Anonymous's picture

I too (selfishly) hope that you will write the article on self-employment, as I may be pursuing that option soon. It seems like the only way to live in Poland for more than 3 months. Getting a work visa seems highly unlikely. I know that you are busy frying other fish right now, but if you could even just answer these questions here, it would be much appreciated:

•Did you need to prove that you had health insurance? Did you pay for a private health insurance plan during this time?
•Were you employed at a school as a contractor? If so, what type of contract (I’ve heard there are several types in Poland and one should be careful)?
•Did you give a lot of private lessons?
•How did the invoicing work?
•How long did it take to get karta pobytu once you opened your business?
•For proof of funds, can you use a credit card or do you need to set up a Polish bank account?
•You mentioned that obtaining karta pobytu was extremely expensive. Any ballpark figure (if you don't mind me asking)?

As always, thanks David.

Posted by: ice (not verified) | Monday, July 23, 2012 - 04:52
David Snopek's picture

It's not the only way, but it's by far the most accessible way to most people.

To quickly answer your questions:

  • Because we were self-employed we had to pay ZUS (it's like the state run health insurance). For the first 2 years of your business, it's half off, which is pretty reasonable especially compared to health insurance costs in the USA. From what I remember it was something like 350 zł per month? That's about 50% of what we pay here and they won't ask you for any money - unlike the US where we still get a bill of $80-100 per appointment even with insurance.
  • Yes, umowa o dzieło - which isn't the best kind but it's pretty common. We worked in 3 different school, all umowa o dzieło.
  • Some! You can make a lot more money with private lessons but it also means dealing with scheduling, cancelations and transportation.
  • You can get paper forms that are unfilled invoinces. We used a web-based accounting package to handle maintaing the KPiR, printing invoices, filing taxes, etc called http://www.ifirma.pl/ which I liked.
  • Getting karta pobytu takes about 3 months. But you can open your business in 1 day. Starting a business is wicked easy, it's getting karta pobytu that's a pain. :-)
  • We had a Polish bank account, which is really easy to open, you don't have to be a citizen or even a resident. Our bank was Pekao. You can open an account in less than an hour. We got the proof of funds from our Polish bank. I don't know if a credit card would work, you're basically at the disgression of the person handling your case. I recommend being very friendly to them. ;-)
  • Unfortunately, I don't recall.. It was something like 400/500 zł? A lot for an ID, if you ask me. :-) Of course, it was me and my wife so everything was times two which may be affecting my memory/feelings about it. They'll tell you at the urząd and it's somewhere in the massive packet of information they give you.

I hope that helps!

Regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 11:51
Anonymous's picture

i am a cameroon,i live in cameroon.i want to teach english.

Posted by: moukam (not verified) | Monday, December 31, 2012 - 10:21
David Snopek's picture

I once met someone from Cameroon at a Polish language course in Lublin. :-) He was a really smart, nice guy!

I hope that you have the opportunity as well to visit Poland and teach English there.

Best regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Monday, December 31, 2012 - 10:24
Anonymous's picture

[...] Interview for jobs in Polish [...]

Anonymous's picture

Jestem zachwycona Twoim ebookiem i coraz bardziej zmotywowana do nauki. Ściągnęłam już sobie Harrego Pottera, choć nie lubuję w książkach fanfastycznych. Na razie zaczęłam od książki ,,Frankenstain''' opracowanej dla uczących się języka i bardzo mnie wciągnęła. Ale kusi mnie ten Harry Potter :-)

Posted by: Violina (not verified) | Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 16:44
David Snopek's picture

Cześć Violina!

Dzięki. :-) Bardzo się cieszę, że podoba Ci się mój ebook. Ksiażka "Frankenstein" opracowana dla uczących się jest bardzo dobrym pomysłem! Proszę daj mi znać, jak Ci pójdzie.

Pozdrawiam serdecznie,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Monday, March 4, 2013 - 14:55
Anonymous's picture

Przeczytałam Frankensteina bez zadnego problemu, a teraz próbuję przebrnąć przez Harrego Pottera. Jestem na 5 stronie, ale nie mogę się wciągnąć. Jest dużo słownictwa nowego, które jest jednak bajkowe i mało przydatne w życiu. Dlatego nie wiem czy jest sens ją czytać.
W serii ,,Penguin readers'' na poziomie A2 jest ,,The count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas'' - film był świetny. No właśnie, czy czytać książkę, której fabułę już znam, czy może lepiej porwać się na coś całkiem obcego? Np. ,,Sense and Sensibility'' bo tez jest na poziomie A2, choć nie mam pojecia co to za powieść. A może dać jednak szansę Harremu?
Sama nie wiem :-/

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 16:03
David Snopek's picture

No, to osobista sprawa i tylko Ty możesz zdecydować. :-)

Co do czytania książkę, której fabułę już znasz: sam to spróbowałem parę razy i nie podobało mi się. Było to mniej interesujące i nie byłem tak zmotywowany, żeby dowiedzieć się dalej się stanie, itd. Ale sam nie lubię czytać większości książek więcej niż raz, nawet jeśli chodzi o książki po angielsku. Więc nie koniecznie tak będzie dla Ciebie!

Pozdrawiam serdecznie,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 09:13
Anonymous's picture

Dziękuję za odpowiedź. To ja Violina, zapomniałam się podpisać.
Pamiętam jednak, że pisałeś, że zanim przeczytałeś Harrego, widziałeś już film.

Posted by: Violina (not verified) | Friday, March 8, 2013 - 00:23
David Snopek's picture

No, tak. Więc trochę znałem o fabule z filmu ale moim zdaniem, to się nie liczy. :-)

Posted by: David Snopek | Friday, March 8, 2013 - 07:02
Anonymous's picture

Hi David , I'm a boy from Algeria several months ago i met a girl from Poland through FB , any way we fall in love and now we reach a point of "we must finish our lives together" i know it's crazy cz we didn't meet in realty bt we r crazy about each-other , so she ask me to move to her and live with her next year in Poland and i really wanna do that bt my polish language is very bad now and i have jst 11 or 13 more months to learn it and i'm scared that i'll never learn it and that we will be bad cz i'm gonna live in poland next year idk wht to do ??
wht do u think about it and maybe u can advise me .
thnx a lot

Hamza Khebrara
Algeria

Posted by: Hamza (not verified) | Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 09:09
David Snopek's picture

Hi Hamza,

You're moving to Poland? That's awesome! :-)

You can definitely make really great progress in 12 months if your committed. I recommend starting with my ebook if you haven't read it yet. This website is also really good:

http://realpolish.pl/

I hope that helps!

Regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 15:16
Anonymous's picture

[...] was The time I dread the most, about the process of applying for a resident card in Poland. We also had to do this twice (most info in the comments!) - it's super painful and [...]

Anonymous's picture

[...] w artykule The time I dread the most, na temat procesu zyskania karta pobytu. Również musieliśmy to zrobić dwa razy (większość informacji w komentarzy) - jest to proces frustrujący i [...]

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for the info, I had a couple of good friends that worked in Poland. They were of the opinion that the quality of schools varied quite widely (although that could be said of pretty much every country where TEFL is taught!).

Anyway, thanks for the article.

Posted by: TEFL Teacher (not verified) | Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 03:12
Anonymous's picture

Hey!
Thanks for all the info. this blog is very helpful, I'm upset I found it so late! It feels good to see some brothers and sisters in arms ;). I am a Polish-American teaching in Warsaw privately and through 3 schools (the standard I assume ;))

Fortunately, I am lucky, my parents are Polish, and after fighting for six yes SIX years with Polish bureaucracy I won (what was rightly mine to begin with) and was able to obtain my citizenship. so I am employed by all my schools with my Polish ID. *phew*

My question to all of you is such, what are your experiences in teaching? Some general overall feelings that you may have?

So it doesn't seem I am just trolling for information I can express some of my own, please note - personal opinions :-).

1. I did not set up my own Polish company, after consulting with 2 different teachers and a professional accountant, the money that I would have to pay to ZUS, to the accountant (monthly) and all other expenses would be around 1200-1300 PLN a month. Which is basically what my apartment costs, and factoring in the Polish and American taxes I pay, I think it is just a bit much. Then I go to the doctor when I am sick and have to pay out of pocket ;).

2. What is up with these umowa o dzielo contracts? All the schools are using this type of...crappy (sorry) contract that doesn't give you any benefits at all. Some of the stipulations are ridiculous (for example - if I "steal" a student or work with any student up to FIVE years after I finish working with said company - but that is employed in said company I worked for through the school, I can be fined upwards of 20,000 PLN. This caveat is in a major language school here!)

3. In general, I've never had a negative experience with a student really, the people are amazing, nice, and friendly. They are eager to learn, have a lot of intellectual curiosity and are interested in American culture for example. With that said, cancellations are a huge problem. I have people write me at 6 pm (our lesson is supposed to start at 6 pm) that they are stuck at work or their hairdryer doesn't work and they cannot leave their apartment with wet hair or sometimes real nonsense ;). I have an honor code policy, I do not charge for such late, last minute cancellations because I think I would just lose the students in the first place. But, I am thinking of changing this policy. I understand that this is a optional class that people take and pay for - but you have to respect my time and the fact that this is what I do to make a living. Does anyone have any advice?

4. I work so hard to constantly come up with new topics, new materials, incorporate something new, and sometimes I feel that my students procrastinate with homework, taking notes, et cetera. I wish or they wish that some osmosis can happen from my brain to theirs :P

5. Pay varies widely, I have upped my per hourly rate because of aforementioned cancellations and it varies from 50-60 zl per hour per student. Has anyone after teaching someone for a year or longer told then that they are raising their per hour rates?

I could go on and on ;). But I just want to again thank you for all the wonderful knowledge that you share freely with the world.
All the best to you and Pozdrawiam :-)

Posted by: Anna (not verified) | Sunday, January 19, 2014 - 17:08
Anonymous's picture

Hello Dave!

First off thank you so much for this article, the information is so helpful.
I currently live in Michigan and am hoping to move to Poland around the end of May to be with my girlfriend who is a Polish citizen. I would love to teach English as a profession during my time there. I made an account with gumtree and am watching listings, I am worried because I have no experience or training yet, and only a few semesters of community college as my education. My question is this, I searched online and found TEFL. I could potentially take the courses here online and have my certificate and a better chance at a job by May. In your opinion, is TEFL a recognized program in Polska, or would I be better off waiting and taking CELTA after I arrive there? Obviously I would prefer not to have to come home to get a VISA ;), but I'm not picky. Do I have a reasonable chance to find work without any certification yet?

Thanks again! I hope you and your wife are well :)

Posted by: Neil Potter (not verified) | Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 00:16
David Snopek's picture

Hi Neil!

So, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is just a generic term - in fact, the CELTA certificate is a specific TEFL certificate. Pretty much the only one that any one really knows is the CELTA. Getting any other TEFL certificate is probably better than none, but won't be nearly as impressive, since no one will know the organization that gave it to you or the standards they have, whereas CELTA is strictly regulated by Cambridge.

That said, I'm pretty sure there are places you can take the CELTA here in the USA! The advantage of doing it in Poland is that you get to start building your network right away, and as with every job in any country, it's about who you know. :-)

Anyway, there's a huge demand for native speaker teachers in Poland (at least when we were there). In my opinion, you have a chance to find work even without a certificate (or even a visa! we met a couple people living and working in Poland illegally) - you'll just have to hustle harder and will probably get less desirable work.

But like I said in the article, by far the easiest way is if you find work before you arrive. Then the school will take care of your visa and all the immigration stuff. I don't recommend just showing up (like we did) unless you really like adventure. ;-)

I hope that helps!

Regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 05:52
Anonymous's picture

David, good that you mentioned the work permit.
In polish law it says that no workpermit is required for language teachers! so that's a law they don't implement!?

here: http://www.paiz.gov.pl/polish_law/employment_of_foreigners_in_Poland#8

Posted by: Jim (not verified) | Friday, May 30, 2014 - 09:58
Anonymous's picture

Hi,
I have a question: what is the strangest thing about Polish students for a native when one starts to work in Poland?

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Monday, June 30, 2014 - 03:35

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