There are virtually hundreds of English schools in Istanbul, and it is more than possible to find work. But it just takes some time. It took me nearly a month of trying before offers began coming in, and at this point I was ready to leave the city.
Most schools seem to want you to make a long term commitment of at least a year. If you want to be in Istanbul that long, then you should not have any problems.
As I wrote to another reader, the best school that I visited in Istanbul was called Dilge English. It is run by a Turkish woman who grew up in England named Ayse Sahin. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
They teach the Callan method there, so you don’t have to worry about not having certification, you just need to be real outgoing and speak loud and clearly.
The going rate for a native speaking English teacher is at least 25 Lira an hour, but I was offered amounts as low as 17. It is my impression that there is a lot of lee way to negotiate payment. Keep in mind that anything under 20 Lira an hour is considered low for a native speaking English teacher, so go high!
I do not know if you are certified, but I received a 100hr TEFL certification from an institute called ITTT for under $200. The course was completely online, and was actually pretty good. Their website is at ITTT TEFL Teachers Training.
I have included three lists of contact information for English schools in Istanbul, so you can call or email them. Keep in mind that many of the receptionists at these schools do not speak English, so calling them is sometimes a slight challenge. If you keep gabbing in English on the phone they will eventually give it to someone who understands what you are saying.
Keep on the job hunt, and I am sure that you will find yourself with a good English teaching position in Istanbul.
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Question about finding English teaching work in Istanbul
Istanbul is awesome. I was there for six weeks over November/December last year also looking for a teaching job. I had no luck. Do you have any contacts were I can apply again? I live in South Africa. I want to come over, but I don’t have the finances to be unemployed for too long. Help this Istanbul-lover please. Thanks