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An American's Prospects in Sydney: Teaching or Assessment

 
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teacherchick34



Joined: 09 Jan 2015
Posts: 12
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:02 am    Post subject: An American's Prospects in Sydney: Teaching or Assessment Reply with quote

Hello all,

I am an American with a BA in Spanish and a TEFL certificate who worked for 10 years in Istanbul. I have been playing housewife/ part time tutor for the last few years in South Africa because my current visa type doesn't allow me to work. My dear husband is looking at a repatriation offer back to his homeland of Australia, and I have been doing a bit of research on what I can do with my life there. I would appreciate some advice on a few topics:

1. With my qualifications am I actually employable in an ELICOS school or something normal and reliable? My research indicates I need to look at going back to school.

2. Will I have any problem finding work due to my accent/ nationality?

3. Since I am not working right now, I am doing an online graduate certificate in Educational Testing and Assessment with my alma mater back home. I can't really find any info about jobs in this area in Oz at all, it seems to be more of a "compliment" to teaching jobs. Does anyone have any ideas/ intel on this? Are there "testing centers" at schools? Is this even considered a useful area of study?

Many thanks for any advice...
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memae



Joined: 24 Apr 2012
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sydney has high schools just for ESL students - to work at them you'd need to be a registered teacher (if you're interested in that there's plenty of universities in sydney and some online offering relevant programs). But, my point is that there's a lot of ESLers in Sydney. An Australian newspaper just published an article about the need for more ESL support in schools and the lack of specialised teachers to provide it. The universities and tertiary colleges (like TAFE) in Sydney are places to check out, and i'd say tutoring centres too. You might be able to get placed in a school for ESL support - i'm not sure what requirements are needed for that in NSW, but you'd definitely need to apply for a Working With Children Blue Card. You could also approach schools and put ads i their newsletters for ESL tutoring - but they'll want to see that blue card first, so make sure you get one if you haven't already.

i have seen job listings to work with adults who are EAL/D (English as a 2nd language or dialect) and/or have poor literacy and numeracy schools, but there's a requirement for Cert IV Training and Assessment. i'm pretty sure that can be studied online quite easily, but it does cost about $2000.

i don't think your accent is going to cause any problems; though dialect might if the materials you use are Australian - then you'll have a few little things to deal with in terms of phonetics and vocabulary and spelling.
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teacherchick34



Joined: 09 Jan 2015
Posts: 12
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:46 am    Post subject: thanks! Reply with quote

Thanks so much for the reply! The thought of investing another couple thousand and the time really doesn't appeal but I have never done anything but teach Sad

I heard from my brother in law that the blue card is a pain in the rear end. So are teachers aids fairly common in Australia?
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Tarrasque



Joined: 09 Aug 2010
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:48 am    Post subject: Re: An American's Prospects in Sydney: Teaching or Assessmen Reply with quote

teacherchick34 wrote:
Hello all,

I am an American with a BA in Spanish and a TEFL certificate who worked for 10 years in Istanbul. I have been playing housewife/ part time tutor for the last few years in South Africa because my current visa type doesn't allow me to work. My dear husband is looking at a repatriation offer back to his homeland of Australia, and I have been doing a bit of research on what I can do with my life there. I would appreciate some advice on a few topics:

1. With my qualifications am I actually employable in an ELICOS school or something normal and reliable? My research indicates I need to look at going back to school.

2. Will I have any problem finding work due to my accent/ nationality?

3. Since I am not working right now, I am doing an online graduate certificate in Educational Testing and Assessment with my alma mater back home. I can't really find any info about jobs in this area in Oz at all, it seems to be more of a "compliment" to teaching jobs. Does anyone have any ideas/ intel on this? Are there "testing centers" at schools? Is this even considered a useful area of study?

Many thanks for any advice...


Hi Teacherchick,

1) You do "sort of" meet the requirements - I'd suggest checking the NEAS site for up-to-date criteria (see here ->http://www.neas.org.au/teaching/), as there are similar requirements between teaching AMEP and ESL/ELICOS.

Overall, your degree was 3 yrs (minimum), you hold a TEFL cert (feel free to check if it has the contact hrs part), right?

2) When you say accent, can you clarify "which" accent that is? Would this be your native US accent? Or have you accrued a bit of a South African accent from your time there? This can help determine if some students may indeed have issues understanding you; for the most part, a US accent shouldn't pose an issue (this would be my opinion - not necessarily uniform for everyone else)

3) I'll admit - I'm not really 'up' on alma maters.. I do know that some ESL job adverts in Oz do mention a Cert IV TAE as a required/desired qualification (it seems to dabble between employers), so I'm unsure how that factors into it..

I'm not sure if this help answer your questions, or further complicated your search for knowledge (if so, I do apologise!)
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11202
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a BA in Spanish. Maybe another option is to look into the job market and qualifications to teach Spanish.
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teacherchick34



Joined: 09 Jan 2015
Posts: 12
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:52 pm    Post subject: Great Responses! Reply with quote

Thanks Nomad Soul and Tarrasque for your quick and informative answers!

@Nomad Soul, I do have a BA in Spanish but no educational credentials in that area. In the US you can teach at University level with just a BA, I haven't seen any jobs in Spanish faculties at all yet online, much less what the qualifications needed are. Will keep that thought in my back pocket, though. Smile

Tarrasque: I do have a 4 year degree, and a 120 hour TEFL certificate from Via Lingua which included observations. I found it unclear whether this was enough on a number of sites, though many places recommend that I just contact those same folks you suggested, so I guess I just need to do it.

As for my accent: I actually have a standard Midwestern "newscaster" accent, with no other influences. In Turkey, however, schools would often prefer a British or American or (insert nationality here) accent and would often not hire teachers with the "wrong accent" no matter how qualified they were. Plus in my 2 previous visits to Australia so far there's been a surprisingly large number of children I have come across who have said I "talk funny" which really took me by surprise. Smile

About the Graduate Certificate: Once again, I suppose I need to talk to some kind of organizing body there about what I can do with it, though it seems you can teach ESL with a Graduate Certificate, and my university back home is fully accredited, so I wonder if I can sneak in a back door through the testing and assessment route…. that would be awesome (if I survive the current statistics class!)

I have to say that the thought of working with adults again makes me feel pretty excited, maybe even if through this migration program I keep reading about that helps newcomers… that would be really really interesting.

Thoughts about freelancing, anyone? Is setting up as a single person business and paying taxes there fairly simple or is it worth it?

Thanks again for all your responses everyone, this is totally helping me with my research!!!! My husband is over there now and will be talking to his HR department about the whole repatriation schedule, so I think I need to get this all going fairly soon…

Have a great day, everyone!
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krayola



Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How'd you go?

I'd think you'd be a chance of finding work at one of the private language schools in the city or in the east.

You can get a TAE Cert IV for cheaper than $2000 too but a CELTA would be a much better investment if you wanted to teach adult ESL imp

Cannot imagine an American accent being an issue here! Plenty of students find it easier to understand than the Aussie
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