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A Program for TESL

 
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nstick13



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 104
Location: The Ohio State University

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:54 pm    Post subject: A Program for TESL Reply with quote

I recently graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in political science. I minored in Arabic and speak, read and write at a beginner-immediate level. I would like to go in September.

I am very interested in taking a TEFL course abroad and teaching the Middle East somewhere. I've had a hard time deciding which TEFL/TESOL etc. program to use to receive my certificate. Which ones are credible? Which ones are the best? Which will most help me get a job?

I have gone to a couple of the links of people who support Dave's ESL Cafe. Is it right to assume these are legit? (IE www.teflinternational.com) Is a 4-week intensive program like that enough to make us competitive? What makes a certificate credible? What are examples of ones that are?

I've tried pretty much all the resources I can here at tOSU, and have not been very successful in finding any advice.

Thanks for all the help!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15868
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to the Middle East... get the CELTA. It is the one the employers want.

VS
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nstick13



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 104
Location: The Ohio State University

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously things aren't totally ruled out with a different program though, correct?

A friend of mine is Egyptian (though he's been in the states for 15 years or so now) and told me that just an American degree would be sufficient to make some "big bucks". However, he hasn't lived in Egypt in about 15 years (maybe less, but I'm guessing a decade anyway).

Let me be clear with some things as this gets started. I am NOT going to the ME to teach to "cash in the ME ATM". That's as unrealistic as me making big bucks here as a college grad in my first job.

At the same time, I have no intention of making this a career.

I want to teach English for a few years (I'll say up to 5) in an Arab country. I hope to leave with a better knowledge of their language than when I came (which is inevitable, so as long as I go, mission accomplished) and enjoy the culture in a way to make myself more diverse.

I don't expect to live a life of luxury, but I do not want to live meagerly, either. I'm "male, middle-class and white" and am very comfortable with my current place in the world. I applied for the Peace Corps, but for several reasons (including the meagerity (word?)).

I'm not looking to "backpack" but am excited at the possibility of other ME travel.



Now that I covered that.

Looking into many more sites than after my first post, it looks like a CELTA program will be tough to get into when I'm hoping to leave (September). And, it looks like those are usually about 150% of the cost of the general TEFL. Is it unrealistic that I'll accomplish my goals without a CELTA and with a certificate from a TEFL Int'l?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15868
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nstick13 wrote:
A friend of mine is Egyptian (though he's been in the states for 15 years or so now) and told me that just an American degree would be sufficient to make some "big bucks". However, he hasn't lived in Egypt in about 15 years (maybe less, but I'm guessing a decade anyway).

Only an Egyptian would consider the pay of an un-credentialed teacher "big bucks." When he left Egypt, the average public school teacher in Cairo made $100 a month. To make anything close to 'big bucks' by my standard, you would need at least an MA in Applied Linguistics and have 10+ years of EFL experience to put on the CV or be a qualified certified experienced K-12 teacher. Laughing All is relative... and there are really only two employers who pay that scale in the country. Neither of them would hire you.

I can't say anything about the advertised programs here on the board. All we know for sure is that their check cleared to pay for the ad... just like any commercial enterprise. To be a decent program it should be at least 80-100 hours plus provide supervised classroom teaching of a few hours... not just reading a book or listening to lectures... or even just watching someone else teach.

Read the sticky at the top of the Egypt page to get a taste of some of the shady employers you will run into with these sorts of job. The reality is that at the beginning, most of the places that will hire you will not be places that one would necessarily want to teach. Expect to change jobs a bit... and probably supplement your income with private lessons.

Make sure that you don't go there without some savings to back yourself up. For the first year, you may very well not make enough to pay all of your bills. Be sure that you have enough money put away or a paid plane ticket to get back home if you need to. While many things in Egypt seem cheap to us at first, costs for a foreigner are always much higher than for an Egyptian and not being cheated is a part of the learning experience. (a knowledge of Arabic will help you)

VS
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MyTrunkshow



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 232
Location: One map inch from Iraq

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Obviously things aren't totally ruled out with a different program though, correct?


I had an interview in Dubai last year. All three interviewers had a CELTA. So did I. A comment was made that without it, an interview wouldn't have been offered. I didn't get the job. Embarassed

The CELTA is THE ONE to have in the ME. If you're taking a certificate course now, take the CELTA. There is no other choice.

Oh, I'm sure there are enough opinions to support any ole TEFL training course, but the fact is the CELTA is the one that raises no eyebrows. There is no other standard as high.

And it was the most productive month of education in my embarrassingly long list of years in school.

mts.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15868
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One problem is that the course isn't easy to find in the US. You have to travel hundreds of miles and the expense of the cert (which is almost double the others) is made even worse by needing to find a place to stay for a month. For someone who is currently employed or enrolled in a university, this probably isn't even possible.

VS
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MyTrunkshow



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 232
Location: One map inch from Iraq

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's a tough decision. TEFL which costs less or CELTA which costs more and is more widely recognized.

Good luck. Have you considered doing the CELTA in Spain. It's several hundred cheaper?

Also, flights from New York can be had for peanuts to Europe and then it's just a short flight to Egypt.

mts.
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nstick13



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 104
Location: The Ohio State University

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well after some more research and conversations with my Egyptian friend (and no, not about the quality of certificates--he has no clue) I think I have a few basics.

The CELTA in Cairo only has one date listed right now. I will visit their website every day for the next months to see if they list more. If anyone has any "inside info" on that, please please, please let me know.

September is the best time to go in general for me. I don't have to worry about housing after September, and doing so for only a few months would be a pain. I'm worried about getting in the trap of "waiting a year" to go and getting sucked in to a job/life/etc. here in the states (I have all three now, but I think most see my point.)

Egypt is the top location for several reasons. First, my friend has family back in Egypt, and has told me many many many times that he would love to put me in touch with them if I go. He told me just today he has a friend in Alex who would help me out. Also, I've been to Egypt; both Cairo and Alex. The trip was only 10 days total, but having a knowledge of what exactly you're getting yourself into has to help a lot. It's significantly better than being blindsided.

Similarly, I have a good Lebanese friend who is currently in Dubai. Likewise, he's offered to help me in any way possible. That's a secondary choice, but is still available. I haven't found any favorable CELTA courses as far as matching up with my schedule.

Those reasons are why I focus most on Egypt, but the Middle East in general, if possible, for my classes. I will investigate Spain a bit, though, too.

I've also considered doing one of the programs in Asia to have some experience before going to the ME. It also adds to the personal goal of cultural diversity, and gives another stamp on the passport. Two years there, three in the ME and then back to the states to start a career/graduate school/whatever it is adults do.

No offense was taken, but for the record I'm a "he" and I'm 21. All my plans include my girlfriend whose story is damn close to exactly the same of mine.


I sincerely appreciate all the help and thoughts people have shared here. As my research progresses, I may gather some sites and put together a "So you wanna do TEFL/TESOL Abroad...." thread for people in similar situations. Give back to the Cafe community.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15868
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nstick13 wrote:
No offense was taken, but for the record I'm a "he" and I'm 21.

I didn't notice that anyone suggested that you were a 'she' ... so I don't know why you would be offended. (not to mention that being female isn't all that bad...Laughing)

But, be sure to check out that site with CELTA in Egypt because it hasn't been offered for a year or two. There have been people who wanted to take it and couldn't. The website may not be current...

VS
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nstick13



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 104
Location: The Ohio State University

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Must've gotten my threads confused.

I checked the the CELTA Egypt website, and it's offered in 2009. And I e-mailed someone there and did get a response, but they weren't sure when else it would be offered this year.
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MyTrunkshow



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 232
Location: One map inch from Iraq

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under the Teacher Training forum of this website, you can post about CELTA Cairo and there is a good chance someone who has done the course can pitch in with recent info.

In the past, there have been lively threads about various CELTA centres. Start one up on Cairo.


mts
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Sheikh Abdullah



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 54
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am new to this business of English teaching abroad. Based on my experience, the TEFL/TESOL certificate that Oxford Seminars offers is internationally recognized - www.oxfordseminars.com. It is done in a classroom and has been around since 1992. It is a 60 hour course with a practicum. It is available in almost every state in the USA. I completed it last month and actually got a few job offers from Saudi Arabia. I will graduate next month with a BA in Sociology. I also am Muslim with a few months of teaching experience to Middle Eastern students. Hope this helps.

Blessings,

Abdullah
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