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Experienced teacher- Do I really need a CELTA?
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 673
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
For china I believe you need at least two

BA
Over 25
TEFL cert
2 years exp


Yes, I understand, but I'm saying that I'm living here now and do not need a T cert. I don't know anyone working here that has one.

Where are you getting this info? The rules change here at the drop of a hat.
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 1339

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
naturegirl321 wrote:
For china I believe you need at least two

BA
Over 25
TEFL cert
2 years exp


Yes, I understand, but I'm saying that I'm living here now and do not need a T cert. I don't know anyone working here that has one.

Where are you getting this info? The rules change here at the drop of a hat.


It also depends on which province you are applying for, places like Beijing or Jiangsu are becoming stricter with their requirements. Whereas I imagine places like Gansu or rural Guangxi won't be as demanding (and I use that word loosely).

The 'rules' are based on the SAFEA's guidelines, meaning they are open to interpretation.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 673
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shroob wrote:



It also depends on which province you are applying for, places like Beijing or Jiangsu are becoming stricter with their requirements. Whereas I imagine places like Gansu or rural Guangxi won't be as demanding (and I use that word loosely).

The 'rules' are based on the SAFEA's guidelines, meaning they are open to interpretation.[/quote]

That's absolutely true. Provinces in the PDR have a lot more autonomy than one might imagine. That one bit me in Yunnan. And in some of special economic zones it can almost seem like a different country.

From my experience China is going through an all around general crackdown on visa and immigration and I need all of my ten fingers to count the people I know who have had either serious difficulties this year or actually had to leave. It's almost as if there's a quota.

I love China (bunches more than Japan but that's another topic) but as I write this I also understand that it is a very difficult country to make your home for the long haul (unless you get married to a Chinese national- even then you need to switch to z visa to work and back to spouse when between contracts). In this respect, China is mighty unfriendly these days (in most places) though mileage does vary as the China forum will contest to.
Hopefully this is just a phase. China is if nothing else extremely arbitrary in its interpretation of rules.
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wailing_imam



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 508
Location: Malaya

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that you only have 1 qualification of note; the double degree. That degree happens to be irrelevant. Without any further teaching qualifications, it is unlikely that you have worked in a quality institution (decent university, British Council etc). It seems likely that you have worked in language schools where quality of teaching is not emphasised as much as profits for the school. We have all worked in these places and know the score. You could teach in such places for years and not develop yourself as a teacher at all and still get by okay.

Therefore number of years teaching is no gauge of teaching skills and pedagogical knowledge. On your qualifications you could get visas to work here in Singapore, but would be condemned to working at bottom feeder language schools with a salary to match. At this stage in your career, if you want to get the better jobs at the better institutions.

Sorry if it seems harsh. I was in your position for many years and got so fed up that I spent 4 intensive years from the age of 33-37 getting my DipTESOL and MA TESOL. I didn't bother with the CELTA. This has paid dividends financially and in terms of career development. I suggest you pay up and study.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 673
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wailing_imam wrote:
It seems that you only have 1 qualification of note; the double degree. That degree happens to be irrelevant.


I'll probably catch heat on this but...

I appreciate your feedback but you presume an awful lot about my career. Furthermore you assume a lot about my ambitions and goals. You may feel and all the 'specialists' may see my degrees as irrelevant but I certainly don't. Furthermore, it wasn't long ago that a degree in itself meant something. If education is not valuable in it's own right, if it doesn't distinguish one as having certain sensibilities that are applicable in a wide variety of disciplines, then we have abandoned our traditions in my opinion. More power to someone getting a degree in applied linguistics TESOL but I myself would never tell someone that their degree was irrelevant.

Anyway, it's all good.

Anyway, I'm already working toward an MA, as I've said. I just wanted to know if I need a CELTA to work for a bed and grinds. The answer is I don't, and that's good enough for me. Happy Times! : )
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4030
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
wailing_imam wrote:
It seems that you only have 1 qualification of note; the double degree. That degree happens to be irrelevant.

I'll probably catch heat on this but...

I appreciate your feedback but you presume an awful lot about my career. Furthermore you assume a lot about my ambitions and goals. You may feel and all the 'specialists' may see my degrees as irrelevant but I certainly don't.
....
More power to someone getting a degree in applied linguistics TESOL but I myself would never tell someone that their degree was irrelevant.

Seriously, it's obvious Wailing_imam was referring to your BAs as irrelevant in terms of a qualification specific to teaching EFL. That's how prospective employers will perceive it if a TEFL-related degree is required for the position. Anyway...
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 673
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Seriously, it's obvious Wailing_imam was referring to your BAs as irrelevant in terms of a qualification specific to teaching EFL. That's how prospective employers will perceive it if a TEFL-related degree is required for the position. Anyway...


Not obvious at all to me what he meant in most of the post. Bottom feeders??

Classy.

Yes, I'd REALLY like to shut up about it and move on. But if I don't say it, then who will? But any platitudes said regarding education and our students fall on deaf ears it seems. Aren't they important? Are credentials the only thing that matter?
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 65
Location: Location Location

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
Seriously, it's obvious Wailing_imam was referring to your BAs as irrelevant in terms of a qualification specific to teaching EFL. That's how prospective employers will perceive it if a TEFL-related degree is required for the position. Anyway...


Not obvious at all to me what he meant in most of the post. Bottom feeders??

Classy.

Yes, I'd REALLY like to shut up about it and move on. But if I don't say it, then who will? But any platitudes said regarding education and our students fall on deaf ears it seems. Aren't they important? Are credentials the only thing that matter?


No, they aren't, but they are evidence that somebody has actually put the work in for the teaching qualification. Therefore, this person is more likely to have been presented with the opportunity for continuous professional development throughout their career, which is even more important than the initial certificate.

As has been mentioned above, it's not immediately clear that you've had any development at all, so you could be doing the same things you were 20 years ago without having had any input to tell you otherwise.

That's the main issue for any employer.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 570
Location: US

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
Furthermore you assume a lot about my ambitions and goals. You may feel and all the 'specialists' may see my degrees as irrelevant but I certainly don't. Furthermore, it wasn't long ago that a degree in itself meant something. If education is not valuable in it's own right, if it doesn't distinguish one as having certain sensibilities that are applicable in a wide variety of disciplines, then we have abandoned our traditions in my opinion. More power to someone getting a degree in applied linguistics TESOL but I myself would never tell someone that their degree was irrelevant.


Was your undergraduate degree in TESOL or Applied Linguistics? If not, then your degree major will be counted as "irrelevant" or "unrelated" -- that is, it is in a field that is not relevant to EFL teaching. Having the degree itself counts as something, of course, but only that you can successfully finish a degree program at university-level rigor. Having a degree is valued in most places -- that's why it is a requirement for a visa to work as a teacher in many (most?) countries in the world.

I find it interesting that you sense the value of having a university degree (that is unrelated to the job you are applying to perform), yet you devalue the importance of having evidence of training and proficiency in teaching EFL.

If you don't think certificates are a good way to show that you are a good EFL teacher, then start coming up with some other ways. You've mentioned teaching demos, but not every employer has time or capability to watch teaching demos from every applicant (nor is everyone in charge of hiring a teacher themselves). I've suggested some other possibilities for evidencing your teaching ability, but you didn't like them. Like others have said, just having performed this job for X number of years itself is not enough for many employers to tell that you actually did a good job at it, as it is possible in some/many places to keep a teaching job, even if one isn't an especially good teacher.

That you ran your own language school for 15 years, were profitable and had returning students that, presumably, learned something is a bit of evidence that you were at least good at hiring good teachers, if not teaching.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9450
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It seems that you only have 1 qualification of note; the double degree. That degree happens to be irrelevant. Without any further teaching qualifications, it is unlikely that you have worked in a quality institution (decent university, British Council etc). It seems likely that you have worked in language schools where quality of teaching is not emphasised as much as profits for the school. We have all worked in these places and know the score. You could teach in such places for years and not develop yourself as a teacher at all and still get by okay.

Therefore number of years teaching is no gauge of teaching skills and pedagogical knowledge. On your qualifications you could get visas to work here in Singapore, but would be condemned to working at bottom feeder language schools with a salary to match. At this stage in your career, if you want to get the better jobs at the better institutions.

Sorry if it seems harsh. I was in your position for many years and got so fed up that I spent 4 intensive years from the age of 33-37 getting my DipTESOL and MA TESOL. I didn't bother with the CELTA. This has paid dividends financially and in terms of career development. I suggest you pay up and study.


I think the Imam has stated the case quite fairly and with some sensitivity for the situation. As a sometime-employer (though not in the Asia region, so not entirely related), any candidate with experience unsupported by ongoing related qualifications is definitely considered distant second to a candidate with related qualifications, even with less experience. As I often see it bluntly stated, simply having done the job is no guarantee that you've done it well.

I agree that earning related qualification/s is by far the most important element when trying to optimize one's CV.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 570
Location: US

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
As I often see it bluntly stated, simply having done the job is no guarantee that you've done it well.

To put this issue another way, the problem is that there is no good metric for measuring teaching quality, unlike many other jobs. People in sales can include info on their CV about how much they sold, that they were #1 in sales in their region, etc. Office managers can say that they improved efficiency in their office by X%.

Teaching is different. It's hard to quantify. That's one of the big issues with No Child Left Behind in the US -- it tried to use students' standardized test scores as a measure of teaching quality. But, of course, that doesn't really work, since there are all kinds of differences between students in different places, as well as other confounding factors. Add in the differences between different kinds of EFL teaching situations within any one country (language schools, universities, tutoring, public schools, companies, etc.), and then the massive differences among countries, and it really is hard to determine quality based on experience.

Teachers many places in the world have to show some kind of qualification in order to get a job as a teacher (e.g., teaching certification/license), are required to take professional development courses throughout their career, and sometimes even required get a (relevant) masters. It's not just EFL where just having spent X years in a classroom isn't enough to show that you are good at what you do.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 673
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtm wrote:
I find it interesting that you sense the value of having a university degree (that is unrelated to the job you are applying to perform), yet you devalue the importance of having evidence of training and proficiency in teaching EFL.


I did not say this! This is just flippant intellectual pinholding. So you do not respect a BA? Is that what 'you're' implying?

I do not 'devalue' credentials. I just feel that this has turned into a discussion that I never brought up but I'm still included in. I should not even be responding at this point but it's been hard not to as I keep getting quoted unfavorably and attacked unfairly, perhaps even bullied! I would suggest that my status has become one of somebody trying to succeed in TESOL as a career without the willingness to go through the lengths to get that. And that is just not true! As I stated from the beginning and have kept repeating- I just want to teach English in a vocational role for now (i.e. a part-time job). I am working toward an MA in linguistics (cuz that's what I want to do). Do I really need a CELTA? My own protocol would be to take things people say at face value- not assume things about them that they didn't actually say. I think if you professionals want to discuss the requirements for a successful and lucrative TEFL career, address everyone; indeed, whatever I have to say on these matters does not hold much if any relevancy. It'd be nice if you all would please read what I am writing and try not to assume what I am planning. I'd do the same for you.

Thanks for the tips! Ole....
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 570
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
rtm wrote:
I find it interesting that you sense the value of having a university degree (that is unrelated to the job you are applying to perform), yet you devalue the importance of having evidence of training and proficiency in teaching EFL.


I did not say this! This is just flippant intellectual pinholding.

I guess I'd ask about the following:
Quote:
To tell the truth, my impulse is to jump to Africa before giving Cambridge my money for what is (to me) a worthless CELTA. Now that's the worst thing I've said about the CELTA yet but lest someone should hold it against me, I would ask them to weigh that judgment in light of my situation.

In light of your situation (lots of experience, but no actual training in EFL teaching), I'd still say that EFL training would be worthwhile for you. I'm not saying you should take a CELTA, as I don't know all that much about it. But, I would still say that training in teaching EFL would have great value for you in terms of improving (and even validating) your teaching ability, even (or especially) with your many years of experience.

I had interpreted your question "Are credentials the only thing that matter?" as meaning that you don't think credentials should matter very much. I'm sorry if I misinterpreted that.
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