Frequently Asked Questions

  Why is the book offered as an MS Word .doc? Can I read it on my Mac computer?

Yes, you can read MS Word .doc on Mac computers. The primary advantage is that you can change the format (e.g.font style) to suit your personal preferences. If you ever decide to print out part or all of the book you can reduce the printing cost by changing to a smaller font size, etc. That's cheaper than ordering the printed and bound book and paying for shipping. This format is also the easiest for me to update when necessary. Another advantage is that some people don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the .pdf download offered by However, if you prefer a pdf file, you can request it when you order.

Why isn't the book's Table of Contents shown on your web site so we know what we're paying for?

A table of contents only hints at the actual content and is no measure of the quality of the information, anymore than the cover graphics or number of pages. If you're curious, you can preview (read) the table of contents and the book's introduction here.

Why don't you publish the schools' contact information free on your web site? It sounds like you're just trying to make money.

There are three good reasons. The first is to prevent spam. My email address gets up to 50 messages a day that have nothing to do with teaching or English or Italy. The second reason is that I don't want people firing off letters and CVs  without knowing what they're doing. The third reason is, as you suggested, collecting and offering information takes time and resources so I naturally expect to be compensated for my effort and expense. The book contains the schools' contact information. If you've already read the book and just need the job list you can order is here.

How can we verify the accuracy of your claims about the job market for teachers in Italy?

I don't have any statistics but speak to the average, educated Scandinavian or German and you'll find that they speak English fairly well. Speak to the average, educated Italian and you'll be surprised at how poorly they speak English. Italians aren't proud of their poor English; they are eager to catch up with the rest of Europe. Bookstores and newsagents in Italy are flooded with printed courses and CDs to improve your English, and they are prominently displayed not stored in a dusty back room, because they sell well.

Why are you so hard on ESL certificate courses? Do you have a personal grudge or axe to grind?

Nothing personal! The reality is that education is an industry. Consumers of educational products and services are confronted with archaic institutions (schools and universities) that dominate the market and sanction rituals (conferring certificates, diplomas, degrees) that have more prestige than they deserve. For a more thorough indictment of traditional schooling read the novel Revolt of the Children.

You didn't answer my question! What I want to know is, will an ESL certificate help me find a job?

On a practical level, I don't have any kind of ESL certificate but that hasn't stopped me from finding employment as an ESL teacher in three nations since 1990. I also know people who have found jobs teaching ESL in Italy with only a high school diploma! But some web sites flatly state "You'll need an ESL certificate to teach in Italy." That's absolutely false and merits an investigation as internet fraud.

The lack of any pronunciation guide in English for Italian Students is a serious shortcoming. I hope you'll reconsider adding some pronunciation help in a future edition.

If enough people ask for it I will, but as I said in the introduction, English pronunciation is too complex a subject to be treated superficially. Only an ultra-fast computer (e.g. a teacher) can do the job! Attempts to express English pronunciation in print such as diacritical marking or variable typographic rendering are too complicated for the average student. Teaching English pronunciation is one field where books or computers will have a hard time replacing humans!

"There is nothing on the web or on any bookshelf

as valuable as the book "Teach English In Italy." - Carrie. L.