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:? :? NEW KID ON THE BLOCK NEEDS HELP :? :?

 
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Stellabella



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:41 pm    Post subject: :? :? NEW KID ON THE BLOCK NEEDS HELP :? :? Reply with quote

Hello there to all the great people on this site...this is my very first post so pardon me if I waffle on...

Some info about me...I am Australian born & my parents hail from Greece so I have applied for an EU passport which is almost ready.

I am going to travel overseas next year SOLO. I thought I may like to stay in Asia for approx 6 to 12 months and then head off to Europe and see what awaits for me there.

I am a fit & healthy 39 yo and have been government employed for over 15 years as a Counsellor and an Aged Care Consultant in a major Sydney Hospital. I have been teaching Mental Health Awareness & Suicide Prevention to Children, Teenagers & Adults for approx 10 years, which is very involved & needs great skill as you can imagine.

I have also hosted homestay students from all over Asia as house guests for over 10 years. I have been a Greek teacher & I have taught Greek to Greek-Australian children ages 7-12 for over 10 years.

Ok a few questions here

#1 I am looking to undertake a Tesol / Tefl course next month. After CAREFUL reading on this site, I have realised that the Celta course is the most recognised/respected, but working fulltime I have time constraints so may need to do something else online/distance (any recommendations) I am still so confused by the huge variety of courses out there. Please don't take offence but info is contradicting on not just this website but many others...which is the most recognised ONLINE/DISTANCE course one can undertake.

#2 Also after reading all of your postings to each other , I see I may (or most certainly will) encounter scams and scammers along the way. So my question..is there a WEBSITE to guide me to ie non-fraudulent schools...reputable agencies...somewhere to tell me which countries are better/safer....or is there anybody you could recommend me to. I am truly terrified as I will be travelling ALONE!!!

#3 I have Dip and Assoc Dip but no Bachelor Degree...so I realise this limits my stays/choices in certain countries. So it looks like China and a few other are my options...any other countries that you know of please tell me

Thanks...any advice...would be soothing and helpful

Stella
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sojourner



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 728
Location: nice, friendly, easy-going (ALL) Peoples' Republic of China

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stella,

Greetings from a fellow Aussie !

Re training, it would be a very good idea to undertake a recognised course, such as the CELTA or the Trinity College TESOL certificate. Both of these require one to teach classes of actual students (not fellow trainees !). Usually, this is a 4 week f/t course, but there are some places that have p/t courses (2-3 months duration). I found my own CELTA training to be pretty tough, but if you put your mind to it, you should be able to get through. If you intend to head in the direction of SE and East Asia, it might be a good idea to do your CELTA training in Thailand - it would be considerably cheaper doing it there, than in Australia ! Before enrolling in a course you should do some background reading, eg books by Jeremy Harmer and Jim Scrivenor.

Yes, there are a number of places that run online courses - but many of these would probably not be recognised, due to the absence of observed teaching components. However, if you feel that an online course would be your best option, go to Dave's Teacher Training Forum, and look up the postings from a Jeff Mohammad (sp?). Jeff is one of the regular contributors to that Forum. Apart from being a CELTA instructor, in the US, he also runs his own online course. Because of his CELTA background, as well as his many years of ESL teaching experience, I would imagine that his online course would have far more substance than most other online programmes.Send him a PM.

In China, there should not be too much difficulty in landing a job. Although I have heard that the authorities require FTs to be graduates, recruiters and schools can somehow get over that hurdle.

Who would you prefer to teach - kids, adults or uni-age students ? If you get a college/uni job ,you would probably be working about 16 'teaching' hours (ie 12 'normal' hours pw.The salary would probably not exceed 4 K RMB, but you would also get a rent-free flat and, possibly, free utilities. Of course, there is also the airfare reimbursement. You would probably be able to supplement your income through o/t or outside casual work. I have come across several non-graduates who have managed to find uni/college jobs. The salaries in private language schools would be much higher than in the uni/college sector, but the hours would probably be a bit more. Also, as the work environment is much more commercially-oriented than in tertiary colleges, you could be under pressure from your manager/D.O.S. if he/she doesn't think that your lessons are "interesting enough". Also, I have heard some stories about language school teachers having to share their flats with other FTs.

If you are desperate for a job, send me a PM and I'll give you the name of my recruiter who got me my last two uni jobs, or the name of someone who is a D.O.S. at a language school.

If you intend to spend a few years in this game, I think that it would be a very good idea to study for a degree. Many countries (eg ROK) often require a degree before they'll issue you with a work visa. Also, many employers believe that teachers should be 'educated people', rather than merely ESL technicians.You mentioned that you have a couple of diplomas. Enquire with some unis as to whether they have cross-crediting/articulation policies.Being an Aussie, you would be entitled for HECS assistance. Also, many unis have distance education/online programmes, eg the University of New England ( www.une.edu.au ).

Had better go now. PM me if you have any further queries.

Good luck !

Peter


Last edited by sojourner on Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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lozwich



Joined: 25 May 2003
Posts: 1536

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stellabella,

Well, sojourner gave you lots of very excellent advice, but I just thought I'd add that I studied my CELTA part time, through the Australian Tesol Training Centre, which is attached to the Australian College of English. It worked that I went three nights a week for about 3 months. It was tough at times, but if you're organised you can get it done without cracking up too much!

I agree with the studying in Thailand (or wherever) thing. That way you're already there after you've finished your course, and can saunter into your first job.

Last thing, with all of your experience and your ability with the Greek language, have you thought of doing the same kind of work, but in Greece? I enjoy being an EFL teacher very much, but am also looking at it as something to do while I get my second language skills good enough to enable me to work at my old profession in a Latin American country...

Good luck, and welcome!
Lozwich.
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Stellabella



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Peter...

Hi Loz...

Thank you both so much for the excellent advice here!!! Loz I see your a local!!! I moved to QLD after my divorce and am loving it here. I did take a look at the site you suggested but at this stage I would not even have time to do the part time course, as it involves travelling to Brisbane city 3 times a week and I work at Underwood and live at Logan. I noticed they have a introductory course which is only 5 days (I could manage that) but otherwise I will need to find a good online/distance course and volunteer at one of the local English schools for some face to face practice. I did notice that www.seek.com.au has a learning site as well and they recommend Global Tesol courses, there is also i-to-i which looks interesting but not as 'legit'

I am also listening to your suggestion about working in Greece. I was actually thinking that way originally... but then changed my mind and thought that Asia (China) would be a good starting point for me. Greece will be more 'familiar' to me, as well as not being such a culture shock as Asia would be. Also, I have many relatives there on the mainland and islands and I can use Greece as my training ground...my intro to the world of TESL...lol

Peter your a sweetheart!!! Thank you also for some great advice and the offer of help. I am about to take a peek at the online site you have recommended by Jeff. I think wherever I work, be it Greece, Europe or Asia I just want to make enough to live on and have a little on the side to discover the countryside etc. I am not expecting to 'make' a fortune but I would like to visit other cultures and be able to work along the way and have a roof over my head, shoes on my feet and a full belly...hehehhehe
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sojourner



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 728
Location: nice, friendly, easy-going (ALL) Peoples' Republic of China

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stella,

An option to doing an online course would be to do a Migrant English Tutor's Course (I'm not sure of the correct term) at a TAFE college. There are such courses in Melbourne - could be the same in Qld. In Melbourne, I believe that it only takes about a week, or so, to complete - also, I think that it's free ! It is meant for for those who want to do volunteer work to help migrants with their English (1 on 1 setups, probably) - so, TAFE may not be too keen to accept you if you tell them that you want to do it in order to work o'seas ! Such a course would certainly not be be equal to CELTA or Trinity training, but it would give you a feeling for ESL-type work. Maybe, you could use the course in order to do some volunteer tutoring work before leaving Australia. Also, TAFE may provide you with a cetificate of some sort that might impress some o'seas employers ! So, contact Brisbane TAFE, if interested.

However, I really think that you would be far better off doing a CELTA or Trinity course. If you currently don't have the time to do such a course, consider doing it in Thailand after you leave your current job.

In my previous posting, I said something about books by Jeremy Harmer and Jim Scrivenor. The former is often recommended as pre-course reading by many CELTA instructors. Both writers explain a lot about the SLA process. In Brisbane, you can obtain these books at the America Bookshop, in Elizabeth St. Alternately, try the book store, near the enquiry counter at the East Coast College of English, Ann St. Incidently, that college runs a Trinity College TESOL course.

As I mentioned previously, you should consider enrolling for a uni degree - at least in the medium term - but don't leave it too late ! There is a lot of competition for decent jobs, nowadays. A degree + a CELTA/Trinity Certificate+ work experience will really give you a competive edge, especially in Europe. Otherwise, you'll be competing against young, unqualified backpackers for casual jobs in the worst language schools. Right now, it's possible for you to pick up long-term work in Asia, especially in China. Probably the same in Thailand. If you want to go to Europe, it might be a good idea to get some teaching experience under your belt, beforehand. Of course, you would have one big advantage over many of us in that you hold a passport of a member country of the EU - lucky you !

In your message to one of the other fora, you mentioned something about EF. In China (and elsewhere, probably) each EF school is a seperate franchise.Some seem to be ok - but others are NOT. If EF appeals to you, do a search, on Dave's ESL Cafe, for a person called 'deezy' ( 'deezie', or 'deezzy'), and PM her. She's an Australian lady, who works as a D.O.S. at one of the EF franchises in China.

Had better go now.

Peter


Last edited by sojourner on Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Stellabella



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Peter...nice to see you again Smile

I spoke to staff at Global Tesol today who felt that I should have enough experience/education to work in Greece. I am however going to ask the Greek Consulate here in Brisbane what they think and if they can help me. One of the male staff is very nice Wink so I may flutter my eyelashes a bit and see if they can offer assistance or advice.

Ok..well I just took a look-see for that course you mentioned and VOILA!!! I have downloaded a PDF for Logan Tafe in that 1 to 1 Migrant Course. That is a GREAT help thank you. You wont believe it, it's about 3 mins from where I live!!!

Ok next step is to grap Harmer's book and yes I have seen it advertised around the ESL sites as was going to buy one.

As for EF (I didn't even know what EF was at first...lol) it was actually the poster above me 'BRUGAL' who was talking about trying it out, a few of us have advised him to check it out thouroughly before rushing in to anything. I will check it out also as it may be of interest at a later date.
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lozwich



Joined: 25 May 2003
Posts: 1536

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Stella,

I love your enthusiasm! Very Happy

Yeeronga TAFE also has a volunteer tutoring course as well, although its more like being a classroom assistant.... Give them a bell, just in case the Logan thing doesn't work out.

Also, don't forget there are about 50 million English schools on the Gold Coast, which would be faster with the new freeway - don't know if any of them do CELTA training, but its probably worth looking into it.

Good luck!
Loz.

Oh yeah, the American Bookshop in Elizabeth St has TEFL books. Go up the back, past the yuppie cafe, and there you'll find them!
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Chester



Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 383
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Specialised Training Service - Brisbane and Gold Coast. They run Cert IV TESOL courses ( govt certified), Courses are starting all the time and is less than 1000 bucks.

I havent got their number.
try the white pages.
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sojourner



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 728
Location: nice, friendly, easy-going (ALL) Peoples' Republic of China

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chester,

Re the course run by S.T.S. - is it a f/t course ? Also, what is its duration ? If it's a f/t, 4-week course, at $1000 it is a real bargain, compared to what CELTA/Trinity training centres charge ! BTW, does it require the trainees to do some observed teaching ? If it does, Stella should certainly consider it. I'm sure that there are many courses around the world that would provide a lot of useful insights re the SLA process for their trainees. I certainly don't regard the CELTA/Trinity approach as possessing a monopoly of 'ESL truth' ! However, a big drawback with many courses, regardless of their content, concerns their lack of recognition by employers around the world. CELTA/Trinity is known everywhere. Brand-name recognition, I'm afraid, is the name of the game !

However, there some ESL centres that regard CELTA/Trinity qualifications as inadequate. Over three years, prior to heading off to Asia, I made enquiries re ESL teaching work with one of the TAFE colleges in Brisbane. With my MA, B.Ed, NZ secondary teaching diploma - and my CELTA - I was advised that I was inadequately qualified ! To teach at their college, I was told that I had to successfully complete some TAFE course involving workplace training. Since then, I have heard that in some of the other states, the TAFE systems there also require their ESL teachers to have undergone a similar course. Leaving aside the matter of having such a qualification recognised by o'seas employers, it's possible that a course involving certain concepts of workplace training may be highly relevant for ESL teaching - MAYBE, even more so that the stuff taught in CELTA/Trinity courses. ! It might be worth looking into.

- - - - - - - - -

Stella,

As Chester says, travelling from Logan to the G/Coast shouldn't take too long, on account of the freeway.That being the case, it just MIGHT be possible to do CELTA training on the Coast, as Holmes Institute has a language centre there ( near the Oasis Centre, at Broadbeach, I think). I did my CELTA training with Holmes, in Melbourne - thus, who knows, they just might provide such training on the Coast . It'll be worth enquiring about.

Regards,

Peter


Last edited by sojourner on Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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lozwich



Joined: 25 May 2003
Posts: 1536

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sojourner wrote:
However, a big drawback with many courses, regardless of their content, concerns their lack of recognition with employers around the world. CELTA/Trinity is known everywhere. Brand-name recognition, I'm afraid, is the name of the game !


I agree with Peter on this one. I have a Cert IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, and the common response I get is "You've got a what? What is a Certificate IV?" Shocked I haven't met anyone outside Australia who knows what this means.
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Tim



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:11 am    Post subject: yes Reply with quote

yes, if you want to use any qualifications abroad,make sure it is a qualification that they might actually recognise
which in this field is CELTA - and there are places that do CELTA part-time or at weekends.

You don't need one, but it opens more doors and if you decide to do a certificate, might as well get a widely-recognised one.

countries...try China, yes.
also consider going to China on a student visa and teaching in the spare time -loadsof people study Chinese there now.
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Stellabella



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Peter & Loz & fellow ESL TESOL groupies..lol

Just wanted to check in and let you know that I went to my first 'session' at my local TAFE today for the Volunteer Migrant Programme

I will be assisting in class next week as a teacher aide and combining that with some home tutoring. Sounds very interesting and I am really looking forward to it.


After 50 hours of tutoring and teaching I am given a Certificate. I will then see if this is really for me and take it from there

Cheers

Stella
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lozwich



Joined: 25 May 2003
Posts: 1536

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

YAY!

Good luck!

Lozwich.
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chickenwhat



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

go to china on a business visa. you can pick one up in hong kong. it's valid for six months and easily renewed. That way you can job-hop and avoid any major problem schools. With a working visa you're stuck with one school and a tourist visa is too short. Dunno about a student visa.
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