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Deserts, Ski Resorts And Oil: A Tefler’s Guide To Kazakhstan

Astana

Olga Kravchenko looks at opportunities for English teachers in the Central Asian nation

Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia and the ninth-largest country in the world, with vast steppes and immense deserts covering two time zones. The hardest part of any teaching assignment in Kazakhstan may actually be getting there. Kazakhstan is isolated geographically. If you’re offered a flight as part of a job package, insist on an international airline or national carrier Air Astana. According to UK Foreign Office advice, other Kazakh airlines have such dodgy safety records they aren’t even allowed to land in the EU. Travellers living and working in Kazakhstan report a warm and kind-hearted population. Its people tend to be well-read and politically conscious, while the country itself has large oil and gas reserves, which make it the richest country in Central Asia. Currently there is a high demand for EFL teachers in Kazakhstan. The government invests heavily in language schools and courses in an effort to change the local business language from Russian to English.

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China turns to interns

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Melanie Butler looks at Asian countries’ fixation with native speakers and questions whether they can recruit enough expatriates to fulfil demand.

When is a teacher not a teacher? When they are an intern. Internships are increasingly being offered to native-speaker graduates who have completed some kind of Tefl certificate. In return for funding their own airfares they are offered free accommodation and stipends to work overseas. In effect, these are gap-year programmes for graduates.

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The danger of gender imbalance

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Nicola Prentis proves that gender equality in ELT is not yet a reality

Here’s a thought experiment. Close your eyes and picture a room full of EFL teachers at a conference, waiting for the opening plenary to start. In walks the speaker, and the room goes quiet. In your imaginary room, how much of the audience are female? What gender is the speaker?

After a year of counting plenary speakers at ELT conferences worldwide, I can tell you that the reality is that 55 per cent of plenary speakers are male. And that 42 per cent of conferences have more male plenary speakers than women, 32.5 per cent have more women and 23 per cent have equal numbers.

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Native speakers out of fashion

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Matt Salusbury explains how plummeting school enrolments and negative perceptions have made native speakers rarer in Korean schools

Native-speaker English teachers are becoming rarer in South Korea’s state-school classrooms. This decline seems to be driven primarily by plummeting school enrolments and the accompanying financial squeeze. But concerns over the ‘lower than expected efficiency’ of native-speakers teaching on public-sector English courses is also a factor.

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Egypt: recruiting EL teachers

Teaching Egypt

Faye Nicholls and Erica Dirou describe the challenges and opportunities for teachers with the expanding British Council operation in Egypt

The British Council is recruiting in Egypt, advertising for ‘newly qualified teachers’ (and more experienced teachers too) and will take non-native speakers with C2 CEFR-level English. The vacancies are for the Council’s growing network of teaching centres in Cairo and Alexandria. Most of the vacancies are in Cairo, where there are now four branches across the city, including its newest branch, which opened on 6 September inside a large shopping mall.

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