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post-MA experience

 
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natsume



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 409
Location: Chongqing, China

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: post-MA experience Reply with quote

I've been searching, but thought a current thread would be helpful as the sands continue to shift, and we could get a focused, cusp of 2015 discussion of this here, however brief.

I'll have (knock knock) a brick and mortar TESOL/AL MA from the US in the summer of 2017, and be ready to head back out into the world. I am generally interested in the middle east, but we all know the big draw. I could see myself working in the region for 3-5 years, once I am ready/qualified for "better" jobs in universities.

my quals/experience that "won't count":
TESOL certificate from UC Berkeley (observed teaching practice included)
JET ALT (high school English assistant teacher in Japan - 5 years)
Teach conversational ESL now in California (will be two years by the time I officially start my MA)
Will teach writing in an EAP program while earning the MA - 2 years part-time

I have a couple opportunities to return to Japan for 2-3 years to teach in a university, but I am aware that this is not the ideal "experience" ME employers will be looking for. I also may go to China.

Are there countries in the ME region where I might be able to get some of the "dues paying" experience needed for those better jobs? The 2-3 years post-MA experience?

I'm asking now because I am extremely wide open, I could go anywhere. I'm single, and will most likely stay that way, (although that is an always uncertain variable).

So curious as to any thoughts and/or advice, snarky useless comments notwithstanding.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11439
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: post-MA experience Reply with quote

natsume wrote:
Are there countries in the ME region where I might be able to get some of the "dues paying" experience needed for those better jobs? The 2-3 years post-MA experience?

Not so for the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait, where job applicants are expected to have post-degree experience. Additionally, the UAE will start phasing out its government foundation year programs over the next few years; university-level TEFL jobs will become quite scarce.

However, that's a 'yes' for Saudi contracting companies and a 'maybe' for Saudi direct-hire university positions.

Others can comment on your chances for Oman.
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natsume



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 409
Location: Chongqing, China

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you.

How much does potential Japan/China experience "hurt"?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11439
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a gray area. For example, having Chinese experience on your CV isn't likely to excite many potential employers in the GCC, especially if it entailed a lot of conversational English. Employers in the region have their biases based on the specific needs of Arabic L1 English language learners. Obviously, heading to KSA for that crucial post-degree experience is the better option.

Regardless of where you go, I suggest the following:

1) Use Arabic L1s as much as possible as the subject of your assignments for your MA coursework. For instance, if your assignment is to examine language interference of X group of language learners, consider the language problems Arabic speakers encounter when learning English. Your MA program should allow for that type of flexibility.

I used this strategy throughout my MAT studies in every course, and it paid off when I applied for my first teaching job. I'd mentioned my focus of Arabic L1s in my cover letter and it came up during my interview. (I would have brought up the topic myself if the interviewer hadn't first picked up on it.) In fact, this tactic has paid off twice. I'd profiled the education of a specific Mid East country for my comparative educational systems course project, and years later, I included this info on a cover letter for a position on a special project in that particular country. I got the job.

2) Upon graduation, if you decide to take a university TEFL position in Japan or China, target those that teach EAP, especially writing and reading. If those opportunities don't exist, then ensure you teach these skills by tutoring in the university's writing center, facilitating writing workshops to the teaching staff, and presenting on writing and/or reading strategies at conferences.
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das31



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul, excellent advice. Thank you.
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