ABC Language School in Irkutsk

Published: March 13, 2013

ABC School of Languages / Языковая Школа “Эй-Би-Си”
ул. Рабочая, 2А, 5 этаж
8:00 – 20:00
Phone: 780-160

As a native English speaker abroad, many students studying in Russia find their skills to be in high demand and take side jobs teaching and tutoring English. Teaching offers a chance to make money while abroad and also get to know locals, and teachers often find that they learn more Russian from their students. Teaching English is easier to do in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, places with myriad language schools and wealthy students. However, even in Irkutsk it’s relatively easier to get a job teaching English part-time, and the ABC School of Languages is by far the best place to teach in the city. While most language schools in Irkutsk don’t hire foreigners, ABC tries to give all their students time with native speakers, and as a result the school likes to have 2-3 English speakers on staff at all times.

If you haven’t taught English before, you still don’t need any kind of TEFL certification to teach at ABC; they can help you with your initial lessons and have all the materials you could possibly use. Furthermore, ABC School generally has Russian teachers focus on grammar and technical aspects of the language, while using native speakers for conversation and cultural lessons. There four branches of ABC School in Irkutsk, two of which are easily within walking distance of IGLU, making it easy to switch from classes to work. The students differ depending on the branch: While the Skver’ Kirova branch has mostly adults, the Ulitsa Marata branch has all schoolchildren, and the Tekhnicheskii branch has mostly university students. Depending on where you teach you’ll have different age groups, but generally native speakers don’t teach below an intermediate level of English, so your students will already be basically conversational.

Classes generally last 80 minutes, and teachers are given starting pay of 450 rubles (currently ~$15) per class, which can be raised to 500 and above if you teach for more than a couple months. Schedules vary depending on the semester and how many other native speakers they have, but generally one could have as little as 4 hours a week or as much as 20 hours a week, depending on preference and availability. If you decided to work full-time for ABC, you’d probably have a more regular working schedule, but part-time teachers generally have classes scattered throughout the week and often see classes once a week or once every two weeks. If you are interested in teaching at ABC School, call the main branch at Rabochaya Ulitsa at the number above and inquire about their vacancies, they’ll probably ask you to come in for an interview.

Apart from the English classes offered at ABC, the school also has classes in Chinese, Turkish, Japanese, Arabic, French, German, and Italian. While not all of these classes are offered at any given time, Chinese classes are a constant, and Turkish classes are being offered at the time of writing. English Teachers at ABC, even if they only teach one class a week, are able to study any other language for free. As the quality of classes at ABC is far superior to that at IGLU, this is an excellent opportunity to pick up another language (in addition to Russian) while abroad. Chinese is a particularly popular option due to the large numbers of Chinese immigrants in Irkutsk, and ABC also has Chinese native speakers who help with lessons.

ABC School is not the only language school in Irkutsk; if you want other options, the Big Ben school and Denis’ School are the other two major language schools in Irkutsk, with some other smaller options scattered around. In my experience, ABC offers the most flexibility and the best pay. Overall, teaching English is the best way to make money while studying in Irkutsk, and the added option of taking free language classes makes ABC School a excellent opportunity.

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About the author

D. Garrison Golubock

David Garrison Golubock graduated from the University of Chicago in 2011 with degrees in History and Slavic Languages and Literatures. With a full year of academic study abroad already under his belt, he will be participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad Program in Irkutsk over the 2012-2013 academic year. He plans to pursue graduate studies in his fields.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar: $10,000 to Study Abroad

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