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Looking for TESOL course advice

 
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Minglis



Joined: 02 Dec 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:53 pm    Post subject: Looking for TESOL course advice Reply with quote

Hi, i'm new to the forums, but i've read around a bit, trying to soak in whatever I can to make this post as efficient as possible without asking blatantly obvious questions that have been answered over and over again. I have a few questions, and I know there are a lot of similar posts out there, but i'm looking for a little more specifically tailored advice if at all possible. Thanks in advance.

The basics:

-Male
-24
-Caucasian (nearly positive it doesn't matter, but for the record)
-Canadian (Edmonton, Alberta)
-Diploma (Radio & Television - TV major)
-Degree (Bachelor of Communications - Professional Communications major)
-NO experience teaching
-NO TESOL/TEFL or other acronym course yet


1) I guess my first question is: Where should I take my certification course? I've looked into a few companies, and eliminated any that don't offer 100+ hours of instruction, but that still leaves quite a few. As i'm in Edmonton, we're pretty strapped for our in-class options, but Oxford Seminars comes up often in y research, and a family friend has had success (Korea) through them.

1a) I see A LOT of mentions of Trinity, and forgive my ignorance, but I believe they only offer one course in North America and it is in Toronto? Are they really worth the expenses that come with travelling across the country?

2) Next, as I mention below, I really want to go to Europe to do this. I see an awful lot of people tat straight up say "forget it if you aren't an EU citizen" but as a Canadian, I believe we have better chances because of "working vacation" visas and visa agreements with some European countries. Does anybody have any experience with this process that can shed some light?

2a) I've seen some companies that claim to offer a certification course in your target country, then help with placement afterwards. Are these legitimate? and Is this something worth doing, or does the certification you earn limit you to that individual country?

I have more questions once I get the process rolling, but i'd like to see where this thread goes before I start running too long on post 1. Now with that being said, i've made kind of a list of Goals/Target Countries to reiterate or make it easy to see it all in once place:

-Targeting Spring 2017 (Late March-Early May departure)
-Undecided on term. At least 1 year hopefully, but not likely a career
-Would like to see Europe (Czech Rep., Italy, France, Spain, Germany, then any others)
-Considering Korea/Japan
-Not against SE Asia
-Not really in it for money (but don't want to really struggle and be broke the whole time either)
-Would be nice to come home with some cash, but not expecting a swollen bank account
-Not really concerned with flights/reimbursement

Thanks all.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 819

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a Canadian western Europe is pretty much off the radar in terms of being a TEFL teacher due to visa issues. Since you are not a real teacher the option of being a mainstream teacher is also off of the table.

Eastern Europe is still an option.

Asia is wide open to you. For Korea you need a TESOL course of at least 100 hours with a MINIMUM of 20 hours F-F to work in public schools.
A TESOL/TEFL cert is NOT needed to work in language centers.

For China, Japan or any of the other east Asian countries any old 120 hour generic TESOL course will suffice. For those countries it is best to do your TESOL at home. For China you need to have it as part of the visa application process.

For SE Asia you simply need to buy a plane ticket and get there for the start of school. The school year usually starts in the spring (March to June for most countries in the region).

Work is easy enough to find and the visa issue is a simple matter of a run to the next country to the embassy to get a visa. While a TESOL course is nice to have when you get thrown into a classroom is it not a visa or job requirement.

As to your other "qualifications"...
Caucasian - yes, it does matter. Bigotry and bias are alive and well (and legal) in Asia.
24 - young and pliable - works in your favor.
male - 1 strike against you but not a deal breaker.
Canadian - correct flavor of passport (one of: UK, Ire, USA, Can, Aus & NZ - also known as "native speakers).
degree - check. May need to have a certified copy or two made as well as bringing your original.
experience and/or TEFL cert = variable and usually not needed.

Don't forget to get a police check done. You might want to have 2 copies. This is usually a visa requirement for a work visa, work permits or work authorization. SOME countries (Korea, Taiwan) will require it to be legalized (confirmed by their embassy/consulate in Canada) before you apply for a work visa.

.
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 782

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best two certs are Trinity CertTESOL and CELTA. SIT TESOL is also well regarded in US but not as well known as the previous two in Europe and Asia.

If you want to go for a cheaper TEFL cert make sure it is a 120-hour course with 20 hours or so in the classroom.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11434
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Targeting Spring 2017 (Late March-Early May departure)
-Undecided on term. At least 1 year hopefully, but not likely a career
-Would like to see Europe (Czech Rep., Italy, France, Spain, Germany, then any others)


Europe is problematic. First, while some countries might grant you a WHV, you'll need to secure that on your own before heading over. Employers won't assist you to get the WHV.

Secondly, your timing is awful for Europe. Job contracts are usually Sept/Oct thru June, with very little work around in July/August. Trying to contact schools in August is futile (they take holidays seriously in almost every case).

As a Canadian citizen, you get 90 days inside the Schengen zone (google for a list of member countries) and then you have to be outside the zone for 90 days before re-starting your tourist status and getting another 90 days. In the long past, a simple border run re-started the 90 days, keeping people legal with relatively minimal hassle. No longer.

Don't bother with Oxford Seminars for Europe. It doesn't include hands-on teaching practice with real students, which is considered the key element here. A CELTA or equivalent is the only entry level cert that will be considered - there are some generics that meet the standard. If you check out 'TEFL courses in Prague,' for example, you'll find some options. Trinity also works.

'Placement' schemes are usually nothing more than advertising puff (you will still have to secure a working visa, interview in person and probably deliver demo lesson/s, negotiate a contract, and etc. on your own). The exception is large franchise/chains like Language House, which place you in their own chain, but be aware that the more desirable locations go to those with seniority.

For Europe, entry level salaries are subsistence level and you can expect pretty serious up-front costs. Flight, TEFL course, first couple of months' rent and expenses - the earliest paycheck for a new contract starting in September (best case scenario) is October.

If you decide to try for Europe, sign up for an August TEFL course and then walk the streets starting at the very end of the course. This region doesn't hire from abroad anyway; you need to be here.
Non-Western Europe is legally an option: Czech Rep, Slovakia, Poland. If you can get a WHV before coming over, then Spain, etc. might be on the table, but that's up to you.
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Minglis



Joined: 02 Dec 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These were all really helpful posts so far, thanks. For the record, my target date is extremely fluid, I'm just bored with what i'm doing and after a lot of thought, i'm eager to get going!

spiral78 wrote:

If you decide to try for Europe, sign up for an August TEFL course and then walk the streets starting at the very end of the course. This region doesn't hire from abroad anyway; you need to be here.
Non-Western Europe is legally an option: Czech Rep, Slovakia, Poland. If you can get a WHV before coming over, then Spain, etc. might be on the table, but that's up to you.



So if I were to decide to go that route, it would be best for me to take a TEFL course abroad, then start looking just like one would look for a job here in Canada? I've considered a WHV before, for different purposes, and I believe that I can usually fit in the qualification parameters for most countries.

That being said, a WHV is enough? That's actually kind of encouraging, I know friends that have went that route fairly painlessly, while others have tried to get different visas and have had trouble.
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Minglis



Joined: 02 Dec 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:

Asia is wide open to you. For Korea you need a TESOL course of at least 100 hours with a MINIMUM of 20 hours F-F to work in public schools.
A TESOL/TEFL cert is NOT needed to work in language centers.

For China, Japan or any of the other east Asian countries any old 120 hour generic TESOL course will suffice. For those countries it is best to do your TESOL at home. For China you need to have it as part of the visa application process.

For SE Asia you simply need to buy a plane ticket and get there for the start of school. The school year usually starts in the spring (March to June for most countries in the region).
.


Thanks for the advice. I have a few follow-ups if you don't mind.

So you say that a TESOL is not needed to work in language centres? I plan on taking a course regardless, because I think it will make me a better teacher, but anyhow, is there an advantage to working in a language centre over a school?

As "any old generic TESOL", is there one or two particular providers you can point me towards to get my research ball back rolling?

And for SE Asia, is it really that simple? That region was never incredibly high on my destination list, but the simplicity could really help for a first-timer.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1309
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minglis wrote:
These were all really helpful posts so far, thanks. For the record, my target date is extremely fluid, I'm just bored with what i'm doing and after a lot of thought, i'm eager to get going!

spiral78 wrote:

If you decide to try for Europe, sign up for an August TEFL course and then walk the streets starting at the very end of the course. This region doesn't hire from abroad anyway; you need to be here.
Non-Western Europe is legally an option: Czech Rep, Slovakia, Poland. If you can get a WHV before coming over, then Spain, etc. might be on the table, but that's up to you.



So if I were to decide to go that route, it would be best for me to take a TEFL course abroad, then start looking just like one would look for a job here in Canada? I've considered a WHV before, for different purposes, and I believe that I can usually fit in the qualification parameters for most countries.

That being said, a WHV is enough? That's actually kind of encouraging, I know friends that have went that route fairly painlessly, while others have tried to get different visas and have had trouble.


If you can get the WHV, go for it, just keep in mind that most countries now expect higher qualifications than an unrelated degree and cheap TESOL. So, for example, if you get a WHV for Austria, you're still unlikely to get an English teaching job. I understand Asia is not high on your list, but it's one of the few regions that will accept minimal qualifications. You may also want to explore Latin America. Either way, taking the course in your desired country is a good idea, as Edmonton is now very big on graduate diplomas/MA TESL and the nearest cheaper month-long certificates are in Calgary. Good luck!
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