We asked Global English TESOL graduate Nick Ponter about his experiences teaching English in Germany. Find out which English lessons are most in demand and read Nicks’ tips on making a success of living and teaching English in Germany.
Hi Nick, what was your background before TESOL?
22 years in the military mainly in the field of human resources.
And since your TESOL course?
I work full-time as a business English trainer and run my own language school in Germany.
What do your German students want to learn?
My main focus is to teach practical skills required for people to do their jobs in the English language with a clear focus on oral skills and confidence building. A typical lesson can cover many different topics depending on the needs of the group/individual and the field of business. Examples are: tour of the company/production, product descriptions, technical English, telephoning, emailing, discussing current news articles, building vocabulary and general confidence building in oral English.
The focus is moving away from grammar based training to practical skills in the international business environment. Out goes the overkill on tenses and in comes the real practical skills required for the globalised market. Participants want to leave the training with the feeling that they have communicated intensively in English and learnt something for their jobs.
How has your TESOL course helped you in terms of finding work?
For me 100% because it was the stepping stone to my current work. We are under more and more pressure from companies to prove the qualifications of freelancers working for us.
How about the legal side of teaching English in German?
Legally it is not so difficult as long as you fulfil tax and social security obligations. An EU citizen can work in Germany without a problem. Most English trainers in Germany are freelancers and the system is quite simple.
Any other advice for those considering teaching English in Germany?
Yes. Learn German! While I agree lessons should only be in English, if you can speak their language then you have a better understanding of their problems. Also, as a business English trainer you will assist them in their jobs which will involve understanding Germany texts etc. A trainer also represents himself/herself or a company and needs to be able to communicate with the company on numerous issues.
Nick Ponter is a business English trainer based near Bielefeld, Germany.
If you are interested in teaching English in Germany, find out about the TESOL course and the business specialist course that Nick Ponter took with us.
Read more from our TESOL course graduates teaching English in Germany.
Read what TESOL course we recommend for other destinations worldwide.
Moved from South-Africa to Germany in February. Keen on teaching English to adults. I am fluent in German, have extensive teaching experience with a TEFL qualification, but no degree. I find that to be a considerable stumbling block in Germany. I will definitely follow the advice Charlotte Morton gives in her testimony and contact language schools in the area. I live in Dettingen an der Iller near Ulm. I'm also willing to move and work anywhere in Germany, but preferably in Baden Württemberg. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Hi, I speak and understand German well.
I would love to teach English in Germany.
Do you have any recommendations for a South African person on where I can find work to teach in Germany?
I have always wanted to go to see where my family is from.
Thanks for your post, Heidelinde.
Germany is one of those countries you typically need to be in to secure work. In addition, if you are outside the EU and with no legal right to work in Germany, then it will not be easy to secure work legally teaching English. Might you have a claim to work there on ancestral grounds? Can any relatives in Germany help you with this side of things and in getting set up?
However, for your information, for Germany, this is the most popular course:
since there is more demand for business English on a contractual basis and few teachers have such a specialisation.
and a short guide to teaching English online: https://www.global-english.com/news/a-guide-to-how-to-start-work-teaching-english-online-freelancing-and-working-for-yourself/
This can be a good idea so you have a regular income stream while sorting out freelance/contractual work.
I have emailed you direct to see if I can help further. Wishing you every success. Louisa
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