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Hoping to teach (or something similar) in SG

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trapjaw
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Hoping to teach (or something similar) in SG

Postby trapjaw » Fri, 18 Apr 2014 4:26 am

Hi everyone! This is my first post here. My girlfriend is currently working in Singapore as a flight attendant for Singapore Airlines, and I'm hoping to move out there to join her and find a job in around 6 months or so (I'm currently back in South Africa assisting my elderly parents while my father is recovering from some major surgery, hence the delay.)

My background: I'm a South African male, 32, with a Masters degree in English Literature. I've spent most of the last decade of my life teaching English in Taiwan - cumulatively, I have around 7 years of experience there, teaching children from age 5 and up to adults. I also have a few years of experience tutoring first year English Lit students here in SA.

I've also done a fair bit of writing and editing - my main hobby is writing novels, novellas and short stories.

If anyone has any suggestions regarding what sort of employment I could possibly go for in Singapore, I would be most appreciative of your advice.

I will be visiting my girlfriend in Singapore in June, and I thought that that might be a good time to perhaps get my CV around to potential employers. PMs are welcome :)

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Postby taxico » Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:56 am

i know some independent schools hire candidates like you - but i assume since most of those expat teachers had a basic postgrad degree 15 years ago means candidates should probably have something higher or better than a master's degree today...

whether or not you'd need a singapore certificate in education from NIE i'm not sure. you'd need one to teach in a regular public school.

www.moe.edu.sg will give you a list of recognized international (private) schools you can use to google for teaching jobs.

search in here for teach or teaching or teacher to get other ideas of what you can do and/or how to do it.
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Postby trapjaw » Fri, 18 Apr 2014 4:58 pm

Thanks for the reply. In searching before I've seen posts about tuition centres mentioned quite frequently - usually what is said of them is that the hours are not great (work all weekend 9-5) but that you do get two days off during the week. It is also frequently said that the work at these tuition centres is not ESL work - if anyone could clarify this a bit further I'd be grateful. I don't mind the sound of the hours too much to be honest.

Also any suggestions for other types of work I might be qualified for (ie not teaching related) would be appreciated.

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Postby beppi » Fri, 18 Apr 2014 5:46 pm

Tuition centres usually hire freelance teachers, and do not employ full time.
Such work is legally impossible for foreigners like you, as is any kind of part-time arrangement.
You are restricted to full employment by a regular school, which will require an educational degree and related work experience.
Informal English teaching, like in Taiwan, does not exist in Singapore.

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Postby trapjaw » Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:14 pm

Perhaps I'm using the wrong phrase when I say "tuition centre" - what I mean is kind of like a language centre (I've seen a few posts about the I Can Read chain)? Is this what you're referring to, Taxico?

I've seen a few ads online for private institutions who offer reading/grammar/phonics programs that mention that a teaching qualification is preferred but not absolutely essential, and some websites mention that a BA degree plus TEFL or a year or two of experience with kids will suffice as a bare minimum - although it does seem that teaching qualifications are preferred.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:59 pm

Unless these positions are full time positions you will not be able to get an employment pass even if the school wants to hire you.

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Postby taxico » Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:09 am

trapjaw wrote:Perhaps I'm using the wrong phrase when I say "tuition centre" - what I mean is kind of like a language centre (I've seen a few posts about the I Can Read chain)? Is this what you're referring to, Taxico?

I've seen a few ads online for private institutions who offer reading/grammar/phonics programs that mention that a teaching qualification is preferred but not absolutely essential, and some websites mention that a BA degree plus TEFL or a year or two of experience with kids will suffice as a bare minimum - although it does seem that teaching qualifications are preferred.


ah, no...

independent schools are proper full day (and usually top ranking) secondary schools that have the ability to hire teachers they like (if i'm not wrong), as opposed to government/govt-aided/autonomous schools that have to abide by MOE rules to hire only teachers that have obtained a teaching certificate from the local teaching college.

for example, the scottish mackintosh clan chief (!!!) still teaches (i think) at Nanyang Girls High School! he wasn't married when he first came to singapore to teach when i went to school in singapore some... 20 years ago. he left to go home to take over as chief when his father passed away before coming back a year or so later to continue teaching. i don't think he had any NIE certification back then.

there are three private schools (anglo-chinese int'l, st joseph's int'l and hwa chong int'l) which i assume operates entirely and genuinely independently.

then you have another type of private school... which gets a little confusing because tuition centres ("bu xi ban" to you) are registered under the "private school" scheme but are not required to be regulated under the CPE (council for private education) as they do no confer any sort of certificate or diploma...

then there are International Schools (foreign system schools) such as the singapore american school or the german european school, some of which are exempt from registration due to special considerations/instructions/legislations.

and you also have private education institutes (also registered as private schools...) which come under the purview of CPE - many offer english language courses for many many of their students - before or during their academic programs (usually tertiary level).

while it is entirely possible for a tuition centre (bu xi ban) to hire an expat, it is not easy to find the ones that will.

http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/private ... hool-list/

your best bets are with CPE-regulated PEIs, independent schools, FSSs, and the 3 private International Schools.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_in ... _Singapore

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:I ... _Singapore

edited coz i'm drunk.
Last edited by taxico on Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby taxico » Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:17 am

i can read is almost certainly operating as a tuition centre-type (bu xi ban) private school.

at some point be sure to tell them you don't have citizenship or PR or DP (LoC) or LTVP+ and see if the job app goes anywhere. you might just get lucky.
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Postby trapjaw » Sat, 19 Apr 2014 3:23 am

Thanks very much for the detailed clarification, Taxico.

Sooo... Most expats who work for the private schools would already be residence/work permit holders, possessing this status prior to and independent of the job? That seems like it would make things rather difficult for me. :(

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Postby PNGMK » Sat, 19 Apr 2014 9:05 am

trapjaw wrote:Thanks very much for the detailed clarification, Taxico.

Sooo... Most expats who work for the private schools would already be residence/work permit holders, possessing this status prior to and independent of the job? That seems like it would make things rather difficult for me. :(


Most expats who work for private or International Schools are provided work passes by their employers. You do NOT need a teaching cert at all schools - esp with experience backing you up AND if you're in a niche field (IT, language etc).

Source: my wife an international high school teacher.

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Re: Hoping to teach (or something similar) in SG

Postby triste » Sun, 20 Apr 2014 10:40 pm

trapjaw wrote:Hi everyone! This is my first post here. My girlfriend is currently working in Singapore as a flight attendant for Singapore Airlines, and I'm hoping to move out there to join her and find a job in around 6 months or so (I'm currently back in South Africa assisting my elderly parents while my father is recovering from some major surgery, hence the delay.)

My background: I'm a South African male, 32, with a Masters degree in English Literature. I've spent most of the last decade of my life teaching English in Taiwan - cumulatively, I have around 7 years of experience there, teaching children from age 5 and up to adults. I also have a few years of experience tutoring first year English Lit students here in SA.

I've also done a fair bit of writing and editing - my main hobby is writing novels, novellas and short stories.

If anyone has any suggestions regarding what sort of employment I could possibly go for in Singapore, I would be most appreciative of your advice.

I will be visiting my girlfriend in Singapore in June, and I thought that that might be a good time to perhaps get my CV around to potential employers. PMs are welcome :)


Do you want to teach EFL? Why not apply to British Council? If you wish to teach English as a subject in school, then apply to Int schools.

There are some tuition centres with the long weekend hours that do hire expats, but when you're looking for jobs be aware that the tuition centres you can work at are only ones advertising for "native speakers". There are hundreds of other tuition centres that will advertise for teachers in all subjects but exist to help local students do well on PSLE, A and O levels. Those jobs go to locals.

As for other types of employment, from what I have seen/heard/read, Singapore has a very exact experience for exact position mentality to issuing EPs. "Transferrable skills" isn't a concept that seems to have taken off here. If your experience is EFL, you are likely eligible for a pass in a range of full-time English teaching jobs and nothing else.

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trapjaw
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Postby trapjaw » Tue, 22 Apr 2014 4:52 pm

Thanks, will look into British Council...

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Postby Angelus » Sat, 26 Apr 2014 10:06 pm

A plan B might be to look for employment or start something in JB or around, in Malaysia. English language centres there are popping up like mushrooms.


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