About Us

About Us

 

MELTA is an association for teachers of English in and beyond the Munich area. Since 1989, we’ve been providing a forum for information exchange, teacher development and professional support. Our activities include social events, practical workshops and presentations by leading EFL/ESL guest speakers. Information about upcoming MELTA events is available here.

We also publish a newsletter three times a year. Written by members and other teaching professionals, MELTA News includes interviews, book reviews, reports on workshops and articles on a wide range of ELT-related topics. The MELTA website supports discussion forums, a publicly accessible page of job offerings and a teacher directory in which members can post their personal profiles.

MELTA is part of a wider network of English teachers’ organizations throughout Europe. We have particularly close ties to other associations of English language teachers (ELTAs) in Germany and are affiliated with the UK-based International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL).

 

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MELTA Committee

Randy Perry
Randy Perry
Chair

Born and raised in West Texas, Randy has spent most of his life outside the Lone Star State: in Massachusetts, New York and, since 1981, Munich. Having taught business English for many years, he now translates, teaches English short stories and poems at the Munich VHS and helps organize teacher exchange programs with schools and universities in Ukraine. In his spare time, he also works with refugee support groups. A long-time Melta member, he’s very interested in discovering new ways to learn and teach foreign languages more effectively.

Originally from Bulgaria, but have lived in Munich for almost 8 years. I completed CELTA in August 2018 and have been teaching at the MVHS and in companies ever since. I like to travel and explore new places and love a good joke.

Nik Granchev
Nik Granchev
Vice Chair
Michael Hoffmann
Michael Hoffmann
Treasurer

Born, raised and trained in North Rhine-Westphalia/Germany, Michael can look back on an exciting and varied career in international banking and finance as well as capital markets. This also gave him the opportunity to live and work in financial metropolises such as Toronto, New York, Hong Kong and Frankfurt for several years. This was followed by several years as a senior consultant in the financial industry before he took on a completely new role as office manager in a regional language school 10 years ago, rather by chance after a private move to Munich. The new task soon brought him into contact with Melta, whose diverse and varied programme he enjoys taking part in and has been actively supporting as a committee member for the past 2 years. Other interests: Intercultural topics & skills, travelling, cultural life, literature, music, cooking… and of course family & friends.

Joan Walsh is from Ireland and works as an English trainer in companies. She enjoys attending workshops and seminars in order to stay abreast of the most up-to-date trends in language-teaching and technology.

Joan Walsh
Joan Walsh
MAL, Advertising
Breda Howe-Helmecke
Brenda Howe-Helmecke
MAL

I come from Ireland and have been living in Munich since 1989. My teaching career as a freelance teacher started in 2004. I teach in-company courses as well as at the MVHS. When I’m not teaching I like to spend my time playing golf, singing in my newly formed singing group, cooking international food and in particular trying out new recipes.

Cathy was born in Pakistan, but grew up in England. She has lived in Munich since 1985. She obtained her CELTA qualification in 2014 and teaches at the MVHS and the VHS SüdOst. She also translates articles on breastfeeding and lactation-related topics and is a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor.

Cathy Pilgrim MAL, Membership Secretary

FAQs

The first place to look is obviously the language schools in the town or city you are interested in working in. Go to the German Yellow Pages (http://www.dasoertliche.de), select “English” from the options at the top of the web page displayed, then type in “Sprachenschulen” as the keyword + the name of the city/town you want to find language schools in.

A lot of the German language schools also advertise positions in EL journals and magazines.

One major drawback of trying to find work in Germany is that the schools and companies looking for teachers normally require the candidate to appear for a face-to-face interview first.

Generally speaking, the reputable schools expect applicants to have a degree, a recognised EFL qualification and at least two or three year’s classroom experience. Trying to find a teaching position at a company is extremely difficult unless you are actually resident in Germany. Companies tend to take on freelance teachers living locally and large multinational companies based in Germany usually receive enough applications from English teachers working in that area to cover their demand for courses.

So, if you like fairly hot (and often wet) summers, cold winters, a glass of good wine or beer, being able to afford to eat out more often than you do now, and you want to live in a place where the locals are generally socially and environmentally aware, then Germany could be the place you have been looking for!

Probably not amongst your top ten. Admittedly, Germany hasn’t got the same kind of attractions that the Mediterranean countries have to offer; sun, sea, sand, and so on, but it still has a lot going for it, both in the type of courses that you can teach, as well as what you can do in your free time.

As a place to teach, Germany is different from most other European countries in that most English language teachers work as freelancers. There are probably two reasons for this

  • under German labour laws, employees enjoy considerable rights and are not only difficult to fire, but the social insurance contributions an employer has to pay for their employees are also high and
  • a well-qualified and experienced teacher can expect to earn two to three times as much by working directly for companies.

 

General English is still an important market, especially in the neue Bundesländer (ex-East Germany), but this market is likely to decline as English gains more importance at school. It is now taught from the first year onwards – and is often even taught at pre-school or kindergarten level.

The hourly rates that teachers get for teaching general English are relatively low, thanks to large number of subsidised English courses offered by public further education institutes such as the Volkshochschule which can be found in every fair-sized town in Germany.

The demand for teachers who are interested in teaching Business English, Technical English or English for Special Purposes is high and growing in importance. This high demand is also reflected in the hourly rates which can range from €20-25 plus for a 45-minute lesson on a freelance basis (teachers working under contract may earn less, regardless of the type of course or degree of specialisation needed to teach it).

The hourly rates freelance English teachers can ask for may seem high, but we see very little of the money we earn. Around a third of whatever we earn will disappear for health and social insurance. Freelance teachers are required to pay 22% of their income before tax into the state pension scheme and have to pay at least another 10% for private health insurance. Income tax is progressive, but on average the government will want about a third of what you earn and there is also solidarity tax and, if you are religious, a church tax. All in all, between 60-70% of what a freelancer earns before tax will disappear in deductions of one kind or another.

All these deductions are made at source if you are teaching under contract, so before accepting any kind of offer, it is a good idea to ask your would-be employer how much you will earn net. If you want to be able to live, rather than just exist, in Germany, you will have to earn at least €1500 a month.

In the alte Bundesländer (ex-West Germany) you can usually get by quite well without being able to speak any German. In the neue Bundesländer (ex-East Germany) knowing a bit of German is more important and probably essential when dealing with the local authorities. This may seem obvious, but if you are planning to live in Germany for a few years, you will find it much more fun and rewarding if you are able to communicate with the Germans in their own language. You will also be accepted far more quickly.

CEF stands for Common European Framework. Its main aim is to provide a method of learning, teaching and assessing which can be applied to all European languages.

The CEF levels are used to define someone’s ability to speak and understand a foreign language. Ability is split into six levels from beginner to advanced: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 and many training managers may ask you how long it takes to get from A1 to C2. The answer to that isn’t easy, but most English teachers would probably agree that it takes about 100-120 hours to get from A1 to A2, then a bit longer to get from A2 to B1 and, as you progress up the CEF levels, the longer it takes to move from one level to the next. As there are six levels from A1 to C2, it could take an average student around 1,000-1,500 hours to achieve this.

Yes, but only if it was issued in the EU. If you are a non-EU citizen, you may be able to convert your driving licence to a German one. You have to do this within six months of arriving here; otherwise you be will be required to take both a written (theoretical) test and a practical test. In some cases, getting a German driving licence simply involves exchanging your current driving licence for a German one, but in others you may have to take a written test, or a practical test or possibly both; it depends on which country or state it was issued in.

You also have to pay Pflegeversicherung (nursing care insurance). AS of 2009, the contribution was 1.95% of your gross income if you have children, or 2.2% if you don’t. Employees have to pay half that; their employer pays the other half.

Yes, as a freelance teacher you have to pay compulsory contributions of 19.9% (2009) to the Deutsche Rentenversicherungs Bund and employees have half that rate deducted from their salary every month (the employer has to pay the other half).

Yes, employees normally have to pay into one of the Ersatzkassen (state health insurance schemes), whereas freelancers have to have a private health insurance scheme.

If you are working through a language school as a freelance teacher, you can expect to earn around €20-25 for a 45-minute lesson. If you work directly with companies you should be able to negotiate a higher fee. Qualified EFL teachers who have a professional background in a particular area of ESP (English for Specific Purposes, e.g., legal, financial, medical, etc.) should be able to negotiate much more.

Yes, non-EU teachers can apply for a work permit if they can show they have been offered a job as an employee at a school. In order to get a work permit for freelance teaching work, non-EU citizens may be asked to present a business plan to the authorities showing:

a) they are in a position to invest €1,000,000 in the business and/or
b) they will create 10 new jobs
c) that the business will be of economic benefit to the region

NB. Most of the sections of the German immigration laws require discretional decisions from the authorities, i.e., there is generally no legal claim for receiving the necessary permits.

TIP! The local authority in Munich is quite strict and seems to be applying this regulation to the letter, other authorities bordering Munich aren’t.

Education is a prerogative of each of the 16 German states. The state of Bavaria requires you to have studied for “das Lehramt” at a Bavarian university and to have passed the state examinations at the end of your course of study. (Update 7/2007) Rumour has it that this requirement is being relaxed due to the lack of teachers. Most foreign teachers of English teach classes at adult education centers (VHS), at private schools or in companies.

Sorry, MELTA is not an employment agency. We regret that we cannot deal with individual job enquiries.

For job opportunities please refer to our Jobs page and the local press, for example, on the Toytown website.

Well, for one thing, the pay is quite different. Companies generally pay the most. If you can establish yourself as a teacher who is in demand at companies, you can earn a good income. The VHS (adult education centre) pays better than many private schools, and you are contributing to a good organization by teaching there. However, you cannot make a career of it.

Basically, you have three options: private schools, the VHS or Volkshochschule (adult education centres) or companies.

Do I need a CELTA certificate or other teaching qualification?

Why not just come to one of our events and find out what MELTA is about? Non-members are charged €10 for a half-day workshop and €15 for a full-day workshop (exceptions: the annual beer garden social and Christmas party are free of charge), but you can put this toward your membership if you decide to join MELTA.

Sorry, but the people involved in the running of MELTA are volunteers, working from home. MELTA doesn’t have an office.

MELTA (Munich English Language Teachers Association) is an organisation for teachers of English as a second language. MELTA is open to anyone who teaches or who would like to teach in the Munich area.