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Concordia University TESL Certificate vs CELTA

 
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suncastle



Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:09 pm    Post subject: Concordia University TESL Certificate vs CELTA Reply with quote

Hello. I know that there are a lot of posts regarding taking a TESL Cert or a CELTA, but I would like to know if anyone out there took the Concordia University (Montreal) TESL Certificate and went abroad to find a job. I'm almost halfway through with this Certificate (15 credits to be completed at the end of this semester, out of 30), but I'm starting to wonder if I should just drop it and take the CELTA instead. From what I hear, CELTA is more recognized worldwide. I would appreciate if somebody could shed some light as to what I should do. I would also like to hear the experiences of those who took that Certificate and if they had any problems having it be accepted. BTW, this certificate has a Practicum component.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1818

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of employers specifying qualifications, then yes CELTA (and Trinity TESOL) are better recognised. However, given that your current course appears to offer practical experience, many (perhaps most) employers would be happy with your course. Unless you have good reason to, I would think very carefully before dropping out.

Remember that you are going to have pay rather a lot for the CELTA or Trinity certificate, when you would appear to have a qualification either for free or which you have already paid for. There must be other things you might do with the money you save. One possibility would be to add on a course in teaching English to young children - together with your qualification for teaching adults, this would make you highly employable, a better outcome than just looking for the most marketable initial qualification.

(N.b. My usual advice to newbies is to go directly for CELTA/Trinity. This contribution has been tailored to this particular situation.)
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2982
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to drop out to do a CELTA course; your university TEFL/TESL cert should be fine, especially since it includes supervised teaching practice. Just make sure to indicate on your CV how many hours the total program entailed and that it included a practical component.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 288

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto the responses from CD and NS. A CELTA, however easily recognized, is still a four-week, entry-level cerificate. It is not in any way the equivalent of a two-semester, full-time university graduate certificate program with a teaching practicuum. Most employers will know that. EVERY employer that you should consider working for will know that. As NS suggested, be sure to specify details on your CV to make clear that it is not just a four-week CELTA equivalent.

.
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suncastle



Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all very much for your prompt responses. When I chose to do the Certificate program instead of CELTA, my reasoning was that if a program is longer (1 year vs 4 weeks), chances are that you are going to get more out of it. So far, it has been a very good experience. I believe that regardless of the length of the training, experience is what will do the trick; in the meantime I'll stick to the certificate.

I would still like to hear from those who took this program and left Canada to teach abroad.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 843
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stick with it. It's good enough to work abroad and it will teach you more than the CELTA (not to disparage the CELTA, it's just that Concordia's program is more intense/longer).

Have you spoken with the program advisors? You should not have any issue working abroad with this certificate, plenty of Concordia graduates have gone abroad.

Mine is an identical university certificate but it isn't from Concordia (I'm in Montreal too, now) but I know that there are no issues with TESL graduates going abroad with it. Is there a reason you are so concerned?
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suncastle



Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Santi,

Thank you for your reply. It is very reassuring to hear that TESL certificates work just fine. I was a bit concerned about not seeing Concordia grads share their experience, therefore I wasn't sure if I had made the right choice or if I should have taken CELTA instead. After these posts I feel more confident about my choice; I just find annoying that there is a certain inflexibility on the department's part: if I'm unable to take one course due to work load + course load (I work full time and may not be able to take 12 credits in one semester), I'm obliged to wait another year in order to do the Practicum. To put it simply: there are 9 courses + 1 practicum. If I have completed 8 courses, I cannot do the Practicum and then take the missing course later (even if it's not the most relevant course that is missing). Many courses are offered in one particular session, which forces you to wait about a year until you can take the one you are missing. That's when I started looking for (short-term) alternatives.

I will try to work this out with them (again), and, hopefully, I'll have better luck this time around. So, I would like to thank you all again for all the clarification.

If I may, I would like to stretch this post with a curiosity question, to which I didn't find (or completely missed) any post: Does anybody out there teach abroad for, say, half the year and then comes back home for the other half? This idea seems appealing especially when Canadian winters approach Wink
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Half-year contracts are pretty rare, actually. Not too many employers want to go through the legal hassles for a teacher who won't be around for at least a full academic year. From the teacher's side, housing, logistics, and simply getting to know the teaching context and students takes time. It's hard to be effective in the short-term in a new place.
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suncastle



Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Spiral,

So much for my sun+sand Caribbean/Mediterranean dream Sad

That was pretty short-lived. Thanks for the reality check.

What you said makes complete sense. The logistics of it all would be cumbersome. Oh well, back to the drawing board...
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, well. The Med is mostly not a legal option for non-EU citizens in any case -with the notable exception of Turkey's med coast (highly recommended from a holiday standpoint, at least, though I don't know what it would be like to work there).
You could check the Turkey board below- it's very active and you might be able to live the dream, given that you're up for it more than 6 months at a time!
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suncastle



Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, Turkey, eh? I'm not so sure, I think I'd rather visit it first, but I will not rule it out just yet. I do have an EU-passport, therefore I can legally work in the (European) Mediterranean area. As a matter of fact, I've been checking the European forum (and the separate countries too) and it seems that I would be off to a rough start due to the crisis and the competition. I think that no matter where I choose to go, I will have to save up a bit until I'm able to settle down and get enough classes to at least start breaking even at the end of the month. This is why I thought I could spend six months here to make some money and six months elsewhere teaching...(until someone came along and burst my bubble Laughing )

I see that S Korea comes up a lot as a good place to save some money, however, since I'm not a native speaker, I believe SK is not an option. So I'll keep on shopping until I finish my certificate.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aha, yes, the EU passport changes things considerably - except, that, as you say, wages are pretty low at the entry level.

The way to make it in the EU is to commit to a region. Year one, expect to pay some dues in terms of crappy schedules, building a local reputation and contacts. Years two and forward it becomes much easier to find whatever 'better' jobs are around. That can include better schedules, somewhat better pay, established private students, and/or working directly for corporations. It takes time, talent, and commitment, but it's do-able over a longer term.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 843
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you a Canadian francophone?

Being a non-native speaker but a Canadian francophone presents some very interesting loop holes. Did you do your degree at an Anglophone or bilingual (UofOttawa, orothers)?
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suncastle



Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in knowing what these loopholes are. Tell me more...

BTW, I went to UdeM.
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