I often work on lessons for ESL students - texts, dialogues, etc. I'm not a native speaker and I don't have any friends abroad. I often need copyeditors for my lessons, but I seem to have trouble finding the right people for the job. I need editors who could not only point out spelling and grammar mistakes, but also find any inconsistencies in the texts and make them easier to read. I tried hiring editors from different "proofreading" websites, but none of them did a really thorough job on my texts. Any tips as to where should I look for the right people?
closed as off topic by Ralph Gallagher, John Smithers, Craig Sefton, Neil Fein♦, HedgeMage Apr 12 '11 at 14:18
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This isn't a bad question, and it is a problem. TBH, I'm not sure how to get around it, either. That being said, the normal places you'd go for this kind of thing is the 800lb gorilla: Elance.
The trouble with this is that most clients (the ones buying freelancer services) are price-buyers. That is, all they care about is how cheap they can get someone to do X or Y. Quality is a distant second or third consideration. That means a lot of the freelancers that are drawn to places like Elance aren't very good. (Because the good ones have a steady stream of work, or work for someone else.) You can't really expect high quality work when you're paying crap wages. (The equivalent of $10/hr isn't enough to entice anyone but the really desperate, or people who live in other countries whose primary language isn't English.)
All the same, you don't have enough work to justify contacting a translation agency, and you don't have the funding to post a job ad on a quality board. (Writers.StackExchange doesn't have a careers section like StackOverflow.) So that leaves you with creative approaches to getting quality people.
The problem with these approaches is credibility, particularly because people are rightly skeptical of overseas work with Sakawa being so prevalent, so be prepared to be rejected quite a bit, and be prepared to have to make a substantial up-front, good-faith deposit before getting someone to commit. Be prepared to lose a bit of money if people bail on you. (These are mitigated a bit with approach #1 and #3.)