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newbie looking for advice

 
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bem1989



Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 5
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:20 pm    Post subject: newbie looking for advice Reply with quote

I have been working in information technology for 18 years. I earned a degree in economics in 2012 and have about 50 semester hours of work beyond that degree. I would like to teach for a few years in Eastern Europe or Asia.

My house will sell in May or June ( maybe earlier) and I will be ready to leave for a in class tefl course preferably in an area I might like to teach. I have traveled extensively in Europe, the middle mast and Latin America so i am interested in traveling in Asia or Eastern Europe. I Have a trip planned to Prague and then Bangkok in May.

I have found many websites for in class courses. Some from the front page of Dave's ESL Cafe. Can anyone offer advice on which course would provide the best training and most useful credential? I am more interested in the best training as I have no experience teaching outside of mentoring junior IT workers. Which is almost always one to one tutoring. I was also a Math Tutor in my first three years of college.

I have also been looking for sample resumes online, because I have no idea what a second career resume might look like for an English teacher looking for work in Russia or Thailand. Any assistance in that regard would be wonderful. I am considering hiring a professional resume writer for this process once i have completed the certification course. So if someone has used one of those services and can recommend one that would be great.

Thanks
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bem1989



Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 5
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

more and more reading on my part.

At first i was planning on taking the bridgetefl.com course in Thailand. But then i started reading that some courses have CETLA certs, which are the best. Now I am reading in other newbie posts that this distinction is not really important.

I have since found several other organizations that offer courses in Thailand and Czech Republic.

One big difference seems to be that some of the certification programs appear to guarantee a 6 month work assignment after the certification course. This seems to good to be true to me especially because these courses are the same price as the ones that do not offer that guarantee. Some of them are even more.

It seems to me there is a mess of schools out there offering certifications but no real way to tel which are legit and which are cert factories.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 5194
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bem1989 wrote:
But then i started reading that some courses have CETLA certs, which are the best. Now I am reading in other newbie posts that this distinction is not really important.

It seems to me there is a mess of schools out there offering certifications but no real way to tel which are legit and which are cert factories.

If you want a legit TEFL certificate, then take a CELTA course (despite whatever it was you read within this forum).
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9653
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a number of certification centers in Prague, offering CELTA or equivalent certs. An equivalent cert means 30 days on-site and supervised practice teaching with real students. The equivalent certs are acceptable to employers in the region, but CELTA is the name brand and will travel farther, more easily.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 689
Location: US

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bem1989 wrote:
At first i was planning on taking the bridgetefl.com course in Thailand. But then i started reading that some courses have CETLA certs, which are the best. Now I am reading in other newbie posts that this distinction is not really important.

Assessments like "best" and "important" are very much relative. What is important in one place in the world might not be important in another place in the world. What is important in one teaching context might not be important in another.

CELTA is a specific 'brand' of TEFL certificate that is standardized around the world. The certificate program is taught by a wide range of providers around the world, and the certificate is issued by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES), a part of Cambridge University. Because the CELTA is standardized around the world, potential employers know immediately what kind of training you've received. An important part of the CELTA course is the observed/evaluated practical teaching experience with real students (not peer trainees). Other recognized, and mostly comparable, 'brands' are Trinity CertTESOL (Certificate in TESOL, issued by Trinity College London) and SIT TESOL Cert. (issued by the School for International Training, located in Vermont).

In some places in the world, there aren't enough English teachers for the demand. The result is that employers need to have lower requirements of their teachers. That means that they will take people with certificates that the employer isn't familiar with, or that didn't have a practical component (e.g., an online certificate). In some countries, employers will hire people without any certificate at all -- if they required a certificate, there would be very few applicants. For entry-level jobs in more competitive places, employers might receive 100 applications for every position, so an easy to way to cut that number down is to only keep ones with certificates that the employer is familiar with (e.g., CELTA). Of course, there are other teaching situations where such an entry-level certificate is not enough, and other qualifications are required (e.g., QTS/state teacher certification, MA, PhD).

Of course, the more time and effort you put into training, the better teacher you are likely to become, regardless of what employer requirements are.

I would also be wary of the courses that "guarantee" employment after the course. It usually is too good to be true.

I would skip hiring a professional resume writer, if I were you. The best thing would be to do just as you have done here and highlight your past experiences that could be somewhat relevant to EFL teaching (e.g., your time mentoring junior IT workers or as a math tutor). Of course, they are only tangentially related to EFL teaching, but they are better than nothing, and they could indicate that you have a knack for (or at least an interest in) teaching.

If you are specifically going to Prague and Bangkok, it might be more productive for you to seek advice on the Czech Republic and Thailand boards below. Those would give you more information about those specific markets, what employers require, and strategies for applying for positions.


Last edited by rtm on Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:58 am; edited 2 times in total
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9792
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All solid advice above. Just one detail, though. The Trinity Cert Tesol is the equivalent of the Cambridge Celta. The Trinity Dip Tesol is the equivalent of the Cambridge Delta.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 689
Location: US

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
All solid advice above. Just one detail, though. The Trinity Cert Tesol is the equivalent of the Cambridge Celta. The Trinity Dip Tesol is the equivalent of the Cambridge Delta.

Thanks, Sasha, for catching that. As I have none of the above certificates or diplomas myself (have graduate degrees instead), I mixed them up easily. I fixed it in my post so as not to mislead anyone.
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Big Worm



Joined: 02 Jan 2011
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bem1989 wrote:


One big difference seems to be that some of the certification programs appear to guarantee a 6 month work assignment after the certification course. This seems to good to be true to me especially because these courses are the same price as the ones that do not offer that guarantee. Some of them are even more.

It seems to me there is a mess of schools out there offering certifications but no real way to tel which are legit and which are cert factories.



I could guarantee you a six month position right now. You probably wouldn't like it very much tho. The reality is that there are esl jobs falling off trees pretty much everywhere. There are many, many that are less than ideal to say the least. Finding a job shouldn't be a problem if you are flexible.

Just go with a CELTA. It's industry standard, everyone knows it, everyone trusts it. OK, not everybody, but...You won't get turned down for a job because you have a CELTA instead of a "whatever" tesl cert. The same can't be said in reverse.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9653
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The reality is that there are esl jobs falling off trees pretty much everywhere.



Just simply not true in all job markets, I can guarantee. Try getting a job in an Anglophone country, or in many parts of Europe. You will soon find that they don't fall off trees by any means.
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Big Worm



Joined: 02 Jan 2011
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm...yeah.

He was talking about eastern Europe or Asia. Definitely the case in Asia, but will admit my experience in e. Europe is only second hand stuff. My understanding is there are jobs to be had there, but they don't pay well, many are not full time and conditions can be difficult...which is why most people don't go there even though "everyone" dreams of living in Europe.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9653
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no objection to your posting that jobs fall off trees in Asia:-)

From my 15 years of actual experience in Europe, yes, jobs are around in E Europe, but good timing, a reputable certification, and a bit of luck is usually needed to land anything full time and reasonably well paid.
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Lack



Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you're selling your house, I'm assuming that means you're freeing yourself up as much as you can. In that case, I just suggest doing whatever makes you happy. (Or at least go to the place(s) that you think will increase your happiness.)

There's always getting a CELTA if you're worried about a hardcore cert. But I think any TEFL cert will be fine as long as you take a course that includes 120 hours of study AND a live practicum/observed classes you teach for practice, etc. Don't take an online cert. You've got a degree and a little experience. (Just massage your CV a bit if you need to, but probably won't have to in Asia.)
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bem1989



Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 5
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the advice. So it sounds like i can get any in class cert and be fine. money isn't the main issue for me. i have a small retirement income and some rental properties. I would prefer part time work so i can explore and enjoy life. I am visiting Prague and Bangkok next month, both seem to have a large selection of certification programs to choose from. Once the house sells I will be signing up for one.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Sashadroogie: CELTA or Trinity are the most widely recognised courses.

There is a big market in Russia, but we are of course watching as events unfold... Last time I was there, there was also a big market in Kiev, but we are of course...

By the way: Are you an EU citizen? If so, you could consider somewhere like Poland.
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