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guidance for an MA-ESL grad in December, please

 
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KingBen



Joined: 06 Oct 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:57 am    Post subject: guidance for an MA-ESL grad in December, please Reply with quote

Hi everybody, (also posted in Gen ME forum) I am graduating next month with my MA-ESL/Applied Linguistics from the University of Texas Pan American (on campus Masters). I could use a bit of guidance on how to proceed. Basically: graduating with honors in December, ready to head out immediately, interested in uni or contractor work, particularly in the MidEast or Central Asia, currently teach Adult ESL at my University's English Language Institute-Intensive Program (will have been there one year as of graduation next month), 3 years hagwon experience in Korea (kids and adults), 4 months tutoring Saudi males at an ELI in Austin, 3 months volunteer teaching adults in Palestine. Mid thirties, Anglo-American, have spent a bit of time in the MidEast. Do I have any hope of getting a job for January, or later in Spring? I know that visas and hiring usually take awhile, but there seem to be exceptions occassionally? Don't want to stay here until August waiting for the 2013-2014 school year, as I am living in a backwater which has suited the purpose of my MA studies, but in which I have no connections and would love to depart. Is it realistic to find a posting for early in the new year? I should add that if I am still here in March, I am certainly able to go the TESOL conference in Dallas. I realize I will not yet qualify for many of the better postings, but would like a better sense of what my options are. Oman? Any chance of a uni job in UAE? I would go to Saudi if necesary, for the right posting, though it is not my first choice. Should I just seek out a uni posting in Oman and get a few years under my belt? Is that even feasible in my timeframe? I do have a great deal of student debt, and the pay in Oman seems rather underwelming. I read these boards religiously, so have a decent picture of the common themes. I am really looking for some leads on starting over there sooner than later, but don't want to work at a private language academy or a school with a reputation for (particularly blatant) dishonesty, etc. I should add that I may not recieve the actual paper diploma until late February. I occasionally see advice for people to get a few years uni experience in Asia first. Would I truly be better off doing that? I've already spent several years there and would rather not, but I want to make decisions now that will aid me in the future. Also I have great references. Thanks in advance!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16191
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off... since your interest is in university teaching, you need to be aware that the vast majority of the hiring is done in the early spring... to start in August/Sept for first semester. Many institutions do a limited amount of hiring for 2nd semester... normally in Sept-Dec to start in Jan or early Feb. They almost never have anyone starting at any other time. Summer semester is normally done by current staff (often for extra pay).

As you are aware from your reading here, the better employers are pretty picky about credentials. They want the MA in hand plus 2-4 years of related experience AFTER the MA.

Your idea of starting out in Oman is probably your best option if you want to immediately start in this part of the world. No, the pay isn't stellar, but remember that it is tax free... so you should be able to easily chip away at those loans each month. These are foot in the door jobs, so low expectations and a good sense of humor are required to last a couple years to fluff up the CV. They also have the benefit to you in that they seem to be hiring all the time.

Attending TESOL is a very good idea. It would give you a chance to do some interview... do some networking... and see what is available both in the Middle East and Asia for that first job.

VS
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KingBen



Joined: 06 Oct 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks VS, you are truly a great presence on these boards. Much appreciated.
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hamergirl



Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would absolutely apply ASAP for a position in the next semester (Feb start) at UAEU and HCT. It is much more common now for new teachers to be hired for the spring semester - I've heard that UAEU is hiring at least ten. While your lack of post MA experience doesn't put you at the top of the pile, you would still have a shot - people have recently been hired at both institutions with similar credentials/experience. The worst that can happen is they say no - you've got nothing to lose.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 400
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any employer that demands an MA, like UAEU does, will be highly unlikely to accept someone without the document in hand.

It is needed for visa paperwork upon or even before your arrival.

The OP stated that the 'paper diploma' might not be in hand until late Feb, which would be problematic. I have only ever heard of people having to wait a semester or year to reapply because they didn't have it in hand. I have never heard of anyone being able to start before they were in possesion of their certficate.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16191
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PC Parrot wrote:
I have never heard of anyone being able to start before they were in possesion of their certficate.

For the first time, this year I know of someone who got hired without it in hand... at HCT. But it was an error of the applicant's university, who put their error in writing... and the person had Middle East experience.

VS
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 400
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good for them ... I specifically excluded HCT as they used to be known for occasionally recruiting people without an MA anyway.

I don't know for sure, but given the general inflexibilty of visa issuing organisations in the region, I would be surprised if an institution for whom an MA was mandatory would be able to let alone be willing to make exceptions.

Now, if the candidate had some serious wasta, that's a different matter. They could probably get the job simply on the promise of enrolling on an MA ..
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KingBen



Joined: 06 Oct 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all very much, very illuminating and clarifying, just what I needed. Called my university, there's nothing to be done about waiting til late February for the paper diploma. So it goes, i'm gonna WOOF (volunteer) on an organic farm in the Rocky Mountains and apply for fall, could be worse. Thanks again!!
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