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Oxford TEFL Prague

 
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CP13



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:45 am    Post subject: Oxford TEFL Prague Reply with quote

Hi all,

I will be coming to the Czech Republic at the end of next summer to get my TEFL certificate and hopefully to find work shortly after that. I plan on taking the class in August in hopes of being in the country during the peak of hiring season come September. I have been looking at a bunch of different schools and the Oxford TEFL program sounds like a pretty good option. They offer the Trinity certificate and from the sounds of it they have a very complete training program. Does anyone have any experience with this school and the quality of their graduates? I would hate to save up over the next year, quit my current job and come all the way from America only to find that I signed up for a sub par program.

Also, I know it has been asked a million times on this website but how is the job market looking for Americans at the moment? I know I won't be there until next year, but I'm curious as to the how American candidates are doing at the moment. I would really like to focus my efforts on the Czech Republic next year in my job search as I have visited the country in the past and thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

Thanks!
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cks



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries about Oxford TEFL; it is a good school. The market is slower this year than last, but still hanging in there. The companies seem to be holding off another month to start their lessons and so many of us are building our hours slower than normal. I think that next year will be much better. Don't stress yourself and just relax and start making plans for your exciting new life abroad.
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CP13



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply cks, much appreciated!!! I have lived in Europe before for an extended period of time studying and trust me I can't wait to get back over there! The only part that worries me is the selection of a school to get my certificate from. I look at it as they are selling a product and of course like anything else there are good and bad choices. I'm a professional who is going to be switching careers and making sure I get the most out of my money is extremely important, as I am sure it is to everyone. The rest I'm not nearly as worried about, actually looking forward to getting out there and starting the interview process again!

Anyway, I have checked out every school I could online and I just can't find a reason not to go with Oxford. Their career services department is really the selling point for me right now as it seems extremely helpful even after the course is over. They really seem like they want their grads to do well and their support outside of the realm of certification seems second to none. The other school that interested me was IH Akcent because they offer the CELTA, but I was less than impressed with their website and services.

So does anyone else have any further input or experience with Oxford??? Maybe personal expereince on why their program is good or anything else of interest?

Thanks again!
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christine13



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Long Island, New York, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm taking the CELTA at Akcent right now, actually; I started class on Monday. I am new to the profession, and I am new to Europe. It seems so far like the course is very well organized, the teaching practice is structured well, and that the course tutors help you with both theory and practice. I don't know about how much they will help me with the job search (I hope they will help a lot). On the syllabus, we'll only be spending a half an afternoon of class time on job-search related material, and that won't be until the third week. I had been expecting a bit more support along those lines, but maybe I'll find some opportunities to seek help there. We shall see. Good luck in your future!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9498
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you referring to the Oxford program that is done primarily online? Or a full time course based in Prague?

On the issue of 'career services,' be aware that all any training centre will really logically do for you is to put you in touch with reputable employers. You will still need to go for interviews, and likely teach demo lessons. In the end it's really up to you - don't choose a course based on 'placement' promises.

CELTA is the name brand course - and there is a well-advertised course called Oxford that is mostly on-line, with practice teaching only with peer trainees (not real students). Do be sure to avoid that version of Oxford for Prague jobs, where most newbies on the market have an on-site certification and anything less will put you at the bottom of the hiring market.
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CP13



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply sprial.

I am considering taking the full time Oxford Trinity course in Prague, not the online version (which I understand is garbage and a waste of time after reading other posts). I was only considering schools that offer either the CELTA or Trinity since they are both the most recognized. I was considering the Akcent CELTA course or the Oxford Trinity course in Prague. The only kind of career support I am looking for is recommendations of quality schools to work at and a good reputation with employers. The website for Oxford sounds much better at this than other schools I have looked at and they also offer some kind of support (no matter how minimal) for a lifetime, Akcent only offered three months of support. All I need is a point in the right direction as Iím very confident I can handle the rest.

sprial, I have read a lot of your posts on this site and you seem rather knowledgeable about Prague. Any experience with the full time Oxford Trinity course in Prague or any other info that would be helpful?

Thanks!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9498
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The full time Oxford Trinity course has a good rep and the cert should stand you in good stead both in Prague and in other locations, when/if you decide to move on as a teacher.

So far as other useful advice, I think cks has covered the major bases: the economy's quite soft just now, and while there's work out there, it's not wildly abundant. I understand that many teachers currently need to cobble together a couple of different work options, but you should be able to land on major contract with a school that will help you with finding housing and getting paperwork lined up.

Enjoy the city - it's fantastic to be there!
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juliebk



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently in the Oxford TEFL Prague course on my second week and I think it is fantastic! The tutors are great and it provides the Trinity CertTESOL. Also, it is probably the best located course of all the TEFL courses in Prague (not that that has anything to do with how good it is--but it's a plus). If you want to get your TEFL in Prague I would go with Oxford TEFL. Also, from what I know about Akcent, it does not provide as much career support as Oxford.
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christine13



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Long Island, New York, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

juliebk wrote:
I am currently in the Oxford TEFL Prague course on my second week and I think it is fantastic! The tutors are great and it provides the Trinity CertTESOL. Also, it is probably the best located course of all the TEFL courses in Prague (not that that has anything to do with how good it is--but it's a plus). If you want to get your TEFL in Prague I would go with Oxford TEFL. Also, from what I know about Akcent, it does not provide as much career support as Oxford.


I just finished the CELTA at Akcent last Friday. Although the course was thorough and prepared us well for actual teaching, the job placement assistance was almost nonexistent. We had a 90 minute session about CV's, the interview process, what to look for in a job, and job websites. Other than that, there was little assistance or guidance in finding a job at all. All there was in the way of career support was a job board in the hallway with a dozen postings. I did ask my tutors for advice for CVs and job hunting, and they were helpful. However, Akcent has little organized assistance for finding a job. Case in point: Of the 16 CELTA trainees who passed, only 3 have found jobs (and 2 were already working as EFL teachers near Prague prior to the CELTA, so they knew what they were doing). On the other hand, there are 10+ CELTA trainees who passed that are unemployed now desperately looking for work (me included, but I just gave up and decided to throw in the towel). Now you can find them in a coffee shop with free internet all day trying to job and apartment hunt nonstop. (because most of us are without a flat now, and couch surfing).

So, there it is. I hope that was clear. Don't get me wrong, the Akcent program was great, but the career guidance was missing.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9498
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure what Akcent promised in terms of job search assistance, but the resources you've described have been the norm in the region for years, for all of the training programs I know about.

There are some programs in other locations (I don't know of any in Prague) that promise 'job placement.'

But all of these monikers are basically misleading, if you think the course providers are going to get you a job.

Not just in Prague, but most regions and courses - the course providers can put you in touch with reputable employers, but you are responsible for lining up and going to interviews, teaching demo lessons, and negotiating contracts. It's the reality of the job scene.

You are unlucky that your course has ended after the peak hiring period. Akcent probably should have made you aware that most contracts are September- June, and that finishing mid-October would put you on the job market a bit late.
That timing, combined with the tightened economy all around, has made things more difficult for you.
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christine13



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Long Island, New York, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
I am not sure what Akcent promised in terms of job search assistance, but the resources you've described have been the norm in the region for years, for all of the training programs I know about.

There are some programs in other locations (I don't know of any in Prague) that promise 'job placement.'

But all of these monikers are basically misleading, if you think the course providers are going to get you a job.

Not just in Prague, but most regions and courses - the course providers can put you in touch with reputable employers, but you are responsible for lining up and going to interviews, teaching demo lessons, and negotiating contracts. It's the reality of the job scene.

You are unlucky that your course has ended after the peak hiring period. Akcent probably should have made you aware that most contracts are September- June, and that finishing mid-October would put you on the job market a bit late.
That timing, combined with the tightened economy all around, has made things more difficult for you.


Thanks, Spiral. My classmates and I thought that the school should have at least given us a detailed rundown of the different schools in the region and how we could approach the situation.

Regarding the course timing:
Before I signed up on the course, I asked one of the admins at Akcent whether October would still be a good time to find a job in comparison with November, and I was told that the market is loads better in October. I guess either that wasn't true, or November is extremely bleak (even though I've heard that November is hiring season for January jobs).

Sorry I come off as bitter. Just all of my classmates and I job searched from scratch. No one told us which schools were good, which were questionable, or the job market in Prague in general. Yay unemployment Shocked

Anyway, Spiral, I'm headed outta town, going to Austria then to the mother land of Italy for holiday. (A pauper's holiday surfing couches heheh).

Peace Very Happy
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9498
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, a detailed rundown of schools in the region would be pretty difficult, I think....there are probably about 100++, and it would be tough to know which ones are hiring, which ones are going thru tough times, which ones are willing/not to offer visa assistance....

It's an idea for a course provider, to send around a survey to the language schools asking the questions above, and also the key question: do you anticipate hiring new teachers (and how many) in each period of the year.....

If I were connected to any training centre in Prague, I'd do this -



Except that




if the data I collect means a bleak outlook for my grads





and i make that public





i might go out of business




In comparison with November, I agree that October is normally 'better'.
The economy's bleak all over. I currently work in the Netherlands, and we have partner universities all over Europe. The job market's near-saturated with qualified candidates (not to imply that there's no work around - there is - but there is more competition for less than in past years).

So far as hiring in November for January....in my experience, that's not a very solid thing...and implies problems for any non-EU grads, who cannot hang around for more than 90 days before making work visa applications, which require a job contract. Basically, you cannot legally arrive in mid-September and hang around waiting for a contract to start (and your employer to file for paperwork on your behalf - or to help you to do it) after the holidays end in January. You'll be over the 90 day limit in the Schengen zone by definition in this case!


The Novermber 'hiring' season would only apply for companies who contract in November with a school to start classes in January - this happens, but it's not likely a huge chunk of business. The January intake of newbies is more to cover for teachers with Sept - June contracts who didn't return from their holidays back home, meaning that those positions aren't apparent in November.

Sigh. Enjoy Austria - and Italy. Sorry it didn't work out.
Prague's wonderful, and it's a pity you couldn't find a way to enjoy it for a while.
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christine13



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Long Island, New York, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ... and sorry for being a downer
take care
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cks



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can give you details about the schools if you want to PM me.
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