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Is an MA in Creative Writing seen as a useful qualification?
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shamblaram



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:43 am    Post subject: Is an MA in Creative Writing seen as a useful qualification? Reply with quote

I'd love to teach in the Middle East one day. Not just for the high salaries, but also because I'm interested in the region.

I've read endlessly that unless you have an MA Applied Linguistics (which I don't), there are very few job opportunities there. But I've also read that writing skills are weak in the ME and that the Universities/Schools like teachers who can teach writing.

With that in mind would my Creative Writing Masters be seen as an equivalent qualification (to an MA Appl.ling)?

My background: I have a BA (Oxford University), was an advertising copywriter in the UK for ten years, before taking an MA Creative Writing (Birkbeck, London) then moving to India. While researching and writing a novel, I was a sports reporter/feature-writer for an English-language newspaper. In March this year I decided to start teaching and passed the CELTA from International House. I'm currently teaching Academic English in Saigon, where I also edit the English translations of a Business magazine.

Basically, I'm wondering if my MA Creative Writing may help me skip a bit of the process. A five- to six-year process from what I gather. Most MA Appl.ling programs require two years ESL experience before you can start; add two-three years doing the course (I'd have to do a distance MA because I need to work at the same time); then two years post-MA...

I'm beginning to think about my future, about whether I should start saving for an MA App. Ling, and would love to hear the thoughts of anyone in the ME.

Thank you in advance.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15854
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt it. When we say that writing is the weakest skill and which we spend the most time teaching... we mean a simple grammatical sentence... followed by being able to form a proper paragraph... and eventually the basic academic essay. There are no creative writing classes in EFL.

You could get a job based on the CELTA, but the top tier jobs will want a related MA. Also look at university websites and see if any of the English department... not EFL... offer creative writing courses.

VS
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shamblaram



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for getting back to me. And so fast.

I'd kind of assumed that the required qualifications would be TESOL/Linguistics specific. My question was just a punt. So, now I know that I'll have to start saving for an MA App.Ling. I was planning to do the Masters anyway, (with a view to then doing doctoral research). But I was hoping to do the MA in the ME, while teaching. Oh, well... See you all in 6-7 years time.

Thanks again.
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shamblaram



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, one more thing...

Is the DELTA recognised/well-regarded in the ME? (For positions in tertiary institutions)

Sure, the DELTA is not a Master's (less about linguistic theory, more about the in-class practical aspect of teaching etc.), but would having it put me in the running for middle-tier jobs (if not the top-tier) in the ME?

(I'm not trying avoid the MA Appl.Ling. But, as I've said, I'm wondering if I can be teaching in the ME while taking it. Judging from what most of you say on this forum, about it being 'quiet', 'limited distractions', 'bring lots of book and dvds' etc., the ME seems like the perfect place to get one's head down and study when not teaching)
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Badar Bin Bada Boom



Joined: 01 Jun 2011
Posts: 192
Location: Fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quiet and bring lots of books refers to Saudi Arabia, certainly not Dubai, Abu Dhabi or most of the other Gulf states.

Delta is a good qualification.

I don't know about Britain, but in the US, the MA in creative writing is an MA possibly on the way to a PhD, while an MFA in creative writing is a terminal degree. I worked under a supervisor with a creative-writing MFA from Columbia University (NY). Our department was first-year university tech writing, at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. For what it's worth.
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shamblaram



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply.

Been hearing a lot about the DELTA recently (and a lot of which-one-is-most-useful arguments between teachers with a DELTA and teachers with an MA, heated arguments in fact) and hearing that some places/countries like the qual and others don't.

Basically, I'm wondering how to get to the ME as fast as possible (the DELTA would take nine months distance-learning as opposed to 2.5 years for a distance learning MA) and if having a DELTA would raise my employability above the 'bottom tier'/ 'jobs you wouldn't want to do..' category

And, yep, guessed that the UEA is certainly a lot less 'quiet' than KSA.

(Also, thank you for the point about Creative Writing and being able to teach it at ME universities- I love writing, and will be trying to teach writing as I can in the next year or so, but I don't want to be solely teaching writing. I understand (100%) from VeiledSentiments that my Creative Writing MA would not really count as a related qualification when it comes to teaching English Language as a whole)
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Badar Bin Bada Boom



Joined: 01 Jun 2011
Posts: 192
Location: Fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shamblaram wrote:
Thanks for the reply.

I understand (100%) from VeiledSentiments that my Creative Writing MA would not really count as a related qualification when it comes to teaching English Language as a whole)


That's correct. My department at the PI was at the freshman university level, not intensive English.

You might want to avoid distance MAs if you wish to keep all options open, because it's a patchwork quilt in the Middle East (possibly Asia too) as to whether such an MA is accepted.
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Steinmann



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 254
Location: In the frozen north

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
...the top tier jobs will want a related MA.


So one mustn't hold specifically an MA in Applied Linguistics - a related degree will suffice? I wonder how closely related it need be?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine is in EFL... what it is called can vary by institution, but related means that the concentration is in language teaching... preferable EFL/ESL. Some teachers get in with a slightly unrelated education MA if they happen to also have a CELTA and/or DELTA.

VS
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Steinmann



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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Location: In the frozen north

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
Mine is in EFL... what it is called can vary by institution, but related means that the concentration is in language teaching... preferable EFL/ESL. Some teachers get in with a slightly unrelated education MA if they happen to also have a CELTA and/or DELTA.

VS


Thanks for that.

I'm beginning an M.Ed. program in Language and Literacy. It has second language acquisition, reading instruction, and linguistics components. It'll definitely help out in my current situation, and I'm hoping that such a degree will also make me more attractive to overseas employers. I guess I'm trying to get around having to get a CELTA, but the more I think about it, the more I reckon I may just suck it up and grab that cert too, unless I am reliably informed that a master's degree such as the one I describe would render a CELTA unnecessary.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your MA allows you to choose classes more directly related to ESL, one should do so. And if a thesis is required, I would direct it towards ESL too.

As to the CELTA... it is usually a one month course... you could combine it with a long holiday in an interesting country like Thailand... and it will teach you a lot about practical classroom procedures. If you can do it, I would... for your own professional development.

VS
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Steinmann



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good ideas, and I'll figure out the CELTA thing. Thanks a bunch.
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Argofoto



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to start a new thread but this is precisely the subject matter of my inquiry.

There seems to be a "gray" area if you have a "related" Master's degree and a CELTA.

My plan is to get my M.F.A. in Creative Writing for personal reasons. I only had a Minor in Humanities for my Bachelors (Major in Marine/Int'l Business) degree. A lot of programs are difficult to get into (both MFA's and M.Ed's) because I lack an English related degree as well as lack of teaching experience. Not to mention I want to do this while I work my current job which is marine business related.

My goal is to have my M.F.A. in Creative Writing, get my state teacher certification (from Florida) and procure the CELTA.

So: MFA Creative Writing + State Certification + CELTA + certain number of years teaching experience after the MFA (i.e. 3 years in Japan, Korea, etc) = a good mid-level job in the middle east?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will get a job but forget any ideas about teaching "Creative Writing" !!
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Ixchel



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 151
Location: The 7th level of hell

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argofoto wrote:
I was going to start a new thread but this is precisely the subject matter of my inquiry.

There seems to be a "gray" area if you have a "related" Master's degree and a CELTA.

My plan is to get my M.F.A. in Creative Writing for personal reasons. I only had a Minor in Humanities for my Bachelors (Major in Marine/Int'l Business) degree. A lot of programs are difficult to get into (both MFA's and M.Ed's) because I lack an English related degree as well as lack of teaching experience. Not to mention I want to do this while I work my current job which is marine business related.

My goal is to have my M.F.A. in Creative Writing, get my state teacher certification (from Florida) and procure the CELTA.

So: MFA Creative Writing + State Certification + CELTA + certain number of years teaching experience after the MFA (i.e. 3 years in Japan, Korea, etc) = a good mid-level job in the middle east?

Kind of a mishmash of qualifications you're seeking. Each of the three would lead you in a different direction.
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