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CTESOL vs CELTA For Working in the US (specifically CA)
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rotemmay



Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Posts: 26
Location: US and Israel

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 4:12 pm    Post subject: CTESOL vs CELTA For Working in the US (specifically CA) Reply with quote

Hi everyone,
I'm exploring options for getting certified to teach ESL courses right now. I'm a US and Israeli citizen with a BA and MA in English and 6+ years of experience teaching English college-level courses (such as English composition and business writing). However, I feel that I want to concentrate on teaching adults in a non-competitive environment (i.e., no arguments about grades with students Very Happy) and do some rewarding work. Right now, I plan on working in Israel but I also plan on returning to the States at some point and I would like to continue my work with ESL students in the States.

I am looking at 2 programs right now. Both are in San Francisco. I lived in the Bay Area for a while and loved it (and hope to return someday - when I can afford it!) and also have family living there. I am currently in Israel but I would have accommodations with family if I were to do a classroom course (as opposed to a distance learning course) in SF.

The first program I'm looking at is the CTESOL Certificate course at Transworld Schools: http://transworldschools.com/courses_ctesol/. I'm actually looking at either the on-ground 3 week course or the online course which includes a 1 week teacher practicum training. The website states that the course is certified by the State of California and also ACCET.

The second program is the Cabridge CELTA 4 week course at St. Giles International: http://www.stgiles-international.com/teacher-training/tefl/native-speakers.php.

I was wondering if anyone is familiar with these two specific schools and can tell me about their experiences.

Also, I'm wondering whether there is a preference for the certification type when it comes to working in the States. I know that abroad, the CELTA is the holy grail of ESL teaching certifications Smile. But I'm wondering how this might work in the States. My ultimate goal would be to come back to the States and teach ESL to adults and/or private tutoring in ESL in the San Francisco Bay Area. So I'm curious as to how California employers would see the certification and if it is worth it to invest in the CELTA certification program (which seems much more intense and is about $1000 more).

Thank you for your help!

Rotem
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natsume



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 318
Location: Davis, California

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was shopping around for TESOL certification in the Bay Area, I settled on the Berkeley Extension TESOL cert. because it was more academic then the shorter courses and I wasn't in a hurry to finish it.

I should point out that the reality of the employment situation for ESL teachers in the area is pretty grim. I had the chance to talk to and observe many teachers at work while I was earning the cert., and it seems like most people have to put in many years stringing together many part-time jobs until they can land a full-time position at a community college or university. I was also told by more than one person that overseas experience would not count. Basically, there is a pool of locals in the queue, earning local experience, paying their local dues. I am talking about people with MAs. It is possible to get a lower paying job at an adult school with a certificate.
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rotemmay



Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Posts: 26
Location: US and Israel

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, natsome. I'll be PMing you once the forum allows me to do so (don't have the minimum 5 posts yet Very Happy).

Rotem
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8821
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CELTA is great in Europe and British Schools or institutes. As to choosing between those two schools, I'd go with CELTA, not because it's necessarily better, but rather because it's more well.-known
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rotemmay



Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Posts: 26
Location: US and Israel

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, naturegirl. That's sort of what I thought. I'm just curious to find out from others who have worked or are working in the States with a certificate whether there is a difference with a CTESOL or CELTA certification in the States, since the US can be quite different from Europe and England (no better or worse, just different Smile ). I have been browsing job ads just to see what's out there for the States and it seems that employers advertise that they accept either certification, but I'm curious from those "in the know" whether there is really a preference and they're just not stating it.

Rotem
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rotemmay



Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Posts: 26
Location: US and Israel

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reviving this thread to see if I can get more responses. My situation is similar to what I posted in May but a little different. I'm still in Israel for the time being but I'll probably be returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in 3-4 years. At that point, my SF apartment should be paid off (the mortgage, that is) and I will need to work for expenses and property taxes and the like, so I'll hopefully be able to work only part time (I'm planning on saving as much money as I can in these years, living with my parents, so my expenses will be low in Israel as well).

I've been revisiting this idea of going to SF for 4-5 weeks, staying with my brother, and doing one of the courses I mentioned in this thread. I'm leaning towards CELTA because I know it's the best and the most well-known.

I've been doing some searching on the web and glancing at job boards for ESL jobs and I noticed that several (especially in California) seem to accept an MA in a related field like English (which is what I have) and a TESOL certificate, so it looks as if doing the certificate might be worth my while if I'm looking to broaden my job options when I get back to the States. Since I'm not planning on a long-term career change but looking to find work that is flexible and fun, part-time ESL jobs might work.

Any thoughts from anybody? I'd like to hear them, as I haven't decided yet whether I will do the CELTA or not. I'd want to do it either before the end of this year or after the holidays, since the CELTA would be useful for me in Israel too (though Israel works differently than other countries - the MOE wants a teaching certificate specific to the Israeli school system and other jobs here don't seem to require more than native English speaking capabilities and a degree).

Rotem
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Chancellor



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 1305
Location: Astana, Kazakhstan - if you're willing to send me cigars, I accept donations :)

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rotemmay wrote:
Reviving this thread to see if I can get more responses. My situation is similar to what I posted in May but a little different. I'm still in Israel for the time being but I'll probably be returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in 3-4 years. At that point, my SF apartment should be paid off (the mortgage, that is) and I will need to work for expenses and property taxes and the like, so I'll hopefully be able to work only part time (I'm planning on saving as much money as I can in these years, living with my parents, so my expenses will be low in Israel as well).

I've been revisiting this idea of going to SF for 4-5 weeks, staying with my brother, and doing one of the courses I mentioned in this thread. I'm leaning towards CELTA because I know it's the best and the most well-known.

I've been doing some searching on the web and glancing at job boards for ESL jobs and I noticed that several (especially in California) seem to accept an MA in a related field like English (which is what I have) and a TESOL certificate, so it looks as if doing the certificate might be worth my while if I'm looking to broaden my job options when I get back to the States. Since I'm not planning on a long-term career change but looking to find work that is flexible and fun, part-time ESL jobs might work.

Any thoughts from anybody? I'd like to hear them, as I haven't decided yet whether I will do the CELTA or not. I'd want to do it either before the end of this year or after the holidays, since the CELTA would be useful for me in Israel too (though Israel works differently than other countries - the MOE wants a teaching certificate specific to the Israeli school system and other jobs here don't seem to require more than native English speaking capabilities and a degree).

Rotem
If you hope to work in the States, you're more likely to find something if you get a college degree in TESL (or applied linguistics) or a graduate certificate. The University of California system has such programs at a number of campuses around the state. If you hope to teach elementary or secondary public school, you will need a state teaching certificate. I have to warn you, though, that government schools across the U.S. are laying off teachers left and right as states and school districts deal with having to cut their budgets.
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rotemmay



Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Posts: 26
Location: US and Israel

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice, Chancellor. I looked into the option of doing a degree in TESL/TESOL but I came to the conclusion that it would be too much for me and I couldn't really find a valid reason to do that, especially since I already have an MA in English and teaching experience. A graduate certificate in TESOL might be an option and I do know that several UC schools offer it, but so far I've only seen those that are quite lengthy (like UC Berkeley has one that is for a year, I think). I don't imagine that I would have accommodations for that long with my brother Smile. That's one reason why I'm considering the CELTA certificate as a way to sort of provide the training I feel I need and add that to the teaching experience I hope to gain while I'm here in Israel (where I've been told my degree will qualify me to start teaching and also pick up private lessons).

But I'll continue to look into graduate certificate programs at UC and Cal State schools to see if I can find something that is shorter term.

Rotem
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Mike E



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

natsume wrote:
I was also told by more than one person that overseas experience would not count. Basically, there is a pool of locals in the queue, earning local experience, paying their local dues. I am talking about people with MAs. It is possible to get a lower paying job at an adult school with a certificate.


That is quite depressing. I got a TESOL in San Fran this summer and have been planning to go back there and look for work in the field after teaching overseas for a year.
At Transworld, they described San Francisco as the No. 1 city in North America for ESL teaching.
I poked around a bit for jobs there this fall, before deciding to go overseas first instead. A few part-time/temp offers did come my way fairly quickly, though they were spread out throughout the Bay Area and would've required a lot of commuting.
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awakenow



Joined: 26 Nov 2011
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:56 am    Post subject: master's, BA and lost eng certificate Reply with quote

I plan on redoing my eng TESOL certificate because the one I did 15 yrs ago is just gone.
So basically I only want the paper. I've been teaching overseas and am right now and no one has ever needed the original of my tesol until now. I've run into a rather nasty egg that likes to cause problems and is requiring my original They have my original Master's and BA but I just cannot locate this other.

Anyway I'm going to do it again but will not spend the money this time. I have had no problem til now. So if anyone knows of a decent online TEFL progam please send it to me.

Ive found the TESOL just as accepted as the CELTA and in fact if you are American they expect us to have the former. The CELTA is more expensive because they have been around longer and the Europeans are used to paying more. Plus they have the Euro so compared to the American it is not as costly. The TESOL is great. It all depends on where one goes to acquire it and that school's reputation.
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CELTA or a similar certificate will give you some milleage and position you well for work at a conversation school. But, an MS / MA in TESOL is much more highly regarded in the US. I recommend doing on with a K-12 certification as this will of course open up work options in public school and in adult literacy type of work. If you can't get the K-12 cert. (because you are doing it abroad or whatever), an MS / MA TESOL is of course also well regarded outside of public school teaching work or at community colleges and colleges.

As for public school teaching, you can secure and maintain long-term employment as a teacher if you 1) go through a teaching fellows program, 2) agree to teach in a high needs school (low income AND special ed), and 3) cetifiy and teach in a high needs area such as special education, ESL, or bilingual education. I worked up until last April with the Department of Ed in NYC. I was with them for 5 years, and each time cuts went through I was told that it would be way way way too political to cut ESL staff from any school.

I can't speak for the situation in California public school. I understand that government deficit is extremely high and the situation much worse than NYC. But, then again I understand there are teaching fellow programs in some of the larger cities...
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EFLeducator



Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 595
Location: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike E wrote:
That is quite depressing. I got a TESOL in San Fran this summer and have been planning to go back there and look for work in the field after teaching overseas for a year.


If California is anything like Texas, you will not get ANYTHING. I have been back in the states for three months now and have been able to get NADA. The community college where I used to teach here in Texas aren't hiring because the classes are so small now.

One of the first things people cut when things get bad are those ESL classes. When I was teaching in Texas, it was never enough money to even live off of so I had a regular job during Mon-Fri and taught ESL in the evenings and on Saturday mornings.

ESL in the states is not a good gig. It's only good as a part time job, supplemental income at best. There are SOME positions that may be full time but just remember...those jobs are already taken and everyone is holding onto their jobs these days. You'd probably be better off teaching outside of the states.

I'm considering leaving the U.S. again REAL SOON because of the HORRIBLE economic situation.
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EFLeducator



Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 595
Location: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

timothypfox wrote:
I can't speak for the situation in California public school. I understand that government deficit is extremely high and the situation much worse than NYC.


I hear that California is bankrupt. I wonder how that will affect the ESL classes at the community colleges and universities out there? Texas is better off than California and there are no ESL jobs here at the community college level at least.

Most of the colleges here want to hire you as an adjunct so they don't have to pay you any bennies. This seems to be becoming the norm in the states in general. Crying or Very sad
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EFLeducator



Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 595
Location: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

natsume wrote:
I should point out that the reality of the employment situation for ESL teachers in the area is pretty grim.


Sounds like Texas. The employment situation here is not good either. As I mentioned in another thread...people are holding onto their jobs these days and if you are trying to get in and teach ESL in the states...good luck.

natsume wrote:
most people have to put in many years stringing together many part-time jobs until they can land a full-time position at a community college or university.


Same here in Texas. And that was when things were still good but now?? Those full-time university gigs are almost IMPOSSIBLE to get now because everyone is holding onto their jobs or 200 people might apply for one full-time position these days. VERY DIFFICULT to get one of those plus who can afford to work a lot of part-time jobs in the meantime? I say ESL is better outside of the U.S. More opportunities now.

natsume wrote:
I was also told by more than one person that overseas experience would not count. Basically, there is a pool of locals in the queue, earning local experience, paying their local dues.


That was my experience when I was teaching at the community college in Texas. Actually, the ESL teachers at the community college were always given the classes they wanted based on the subject and they would get the best hours and times. Senority was the key and if you were new then you got those Beginning and Advanced Pronunciation classes that no one else wanted to teach. If you came in form overseas it was worse.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12043
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear EFLeducator,

"This seems to be becoming the norm in the states in general."

" . . . to be becoming???" It's been that way for quite a while. When I came back in 2003, it was darn near universal then.

Regards,
John
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