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Trying to gain emplyment in the Middle East.

 
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Ludvig Von Mises



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:17 am    Post subject: Trying to gain emplyment in the Middle East. Reply with quote

Hello,
I have been teaching English in Japan for the past twelve years and am looking for a change. My plan is to complete a distance MA TESOL with the University of Nottingham and try to find a position in the Middle East.
Reading through some of the posts it seems some employers do not recognize distance degrees, and this would be a problem because (frankly) I would be bearing the cost and long study time of the program specifically for work in the Middle East.
My employer will not give me time off to study on-campus, so distance is the only possible mode of delivery. One idea I was given is to get a certificate from Nottingham claiming the on-campus and distance degrees are of equal value and academic rigor. Also, I would be willing to follow up the MA with a DELTA if that would boost my qualifications.
Another point is the need to gain two years of teaching experience after completion of the program (preferably in country). If the post MA teaching experience was completed in Japan, would that suffice?
Is the best thing just to go ahead and hope for the best?

Thank you for your thoughts and help,
Jonathan
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 891
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We heard you the first time! Very Happy

As for DL degrees I think they are becoming much more acceptable these days ans they become more popular. Cool
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Ludvig Von Mises



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:36 am    Post subject: My apologies! Reply with quote

I am very sorry to post the same question so many times on this forum! The annoyance was not intentional - I did not know the question was posted and kept hitting the "enter" key. Hope the extra postings can be deleted soon.

My apologies,
Jonathan
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2730
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are ME forums, you know! ( http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/index.php?c=7 ). As for your repeat threads in this GD forum, IIRC a thread can be completely deleted (by hitting the 'X' [=post delete] button) provided no replies have been submitted. Wink

If a university offers the same qualification through both distance and on-site modes, how will a future employer know you did it by distance mode rather than on-site (assuming the awarded certificate won't indicate such things)? And you can always write off the necessary amount of worktime in Japan and claim to have been in the UK at Nottingham during that period. Hell, you could even get a completely new passport so that nobody will ever be able sneak a peek at the date your visa's cancelled (once you've eventually exited Japan).
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4310
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ludvig Von Mises wrote:
My employer will not give me time off to study on-campus, so distance is the only possible mode of delivery. One idea I was given is to get a certificate from Nottingham claiming the on-campus and distance degrees are of equal value and academic rigor. Also, I would be willing to follow up the MA with a DELTA if that would boost my qualifications.
Another point is the need to gain two years of teaching experience after completion of the program (preferably in country). If the post MA teaching experience was completed in Japan, would that suffice? Is the best thing just to go ahead and hope for the best?

Well, I did state on the teacher training forum that you should post on the general Mid East forum. Anyway...

The post-degree experience doesn't have to be in the Mid East, although it's preferred. You didn't indicate if you have a CELTA or equivalent TEFL cert nor what your specific teaching experience in Japan entails, but you'd have a better chance of landing a position at a university in the Gulf if your post-degree teaching includes curriculum design, technology for teaching, test construction, or academic writing. Teaching conversation English won't cut it. To get an idea of general qualifications for the Gulf, check out the job fair link on the TESOL Arabia conference website. There are also numerous job ads for the Mid East posted on the ESL Cafe's site; however, these are positions available with contracting companies, most of which you'd be wise to avoid.

Quote:
If a university offers the same qualification through both distance and on-site modes, how will a future employer know you did it by distance mode rather than on-site (assuming the awarded certificate won't indicate anything as such)? And you can always write off the necessary amount of worktime in Japan and claim to have been in the UK at Nottingham during that period. Hell, you could even get a completely new passport so that nobody will ever be able sneak a peek at the date your visa's cancelled (once you've eventually exited Japan).

Some Saudi university application forms require applicants to indicate how their degree/studies were obtained. It also may be brought up during an interview. But again, a degree earned via DL isn't always rejected by employers in the region.

As for writing off experience to give the impression you were in the UK, Mid East employers usually require official employment verification letters from your previous employers.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2730
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As for writing off experience to give the impression you were in the UK, Mid East employers usually require official employment verification letters from your previous employers.

The trick is to get pally with the person writing such letters. Granted that may be difficult in places like Japan/with actual Japanese employers.
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Ludvig Von Mises



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for your replies! Something ideas to think about.

I will post this question on the question forum for Saudi Arabia as they seem to be the more strict in hiring. No preference for one country over another, just wanting to teach somewhere in the Gulf region.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4310
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
Quote:
As for writing off experience to give the impression you were in the UK, Mid East employers usually require official employment verification letters from your previous employers.

The trick is to get pally with the person writing such letters. Granted that may be difficult in places like Japan/with actual Japanese employers.

So true, Fluffy. A friend ran into problems getting an employment verification letter when she left a casual employer in Asia for a rather anal one in the Gulf. Different cultures, different processes...
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Ludvig Von Mises



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I ask what your friend did? Things turn out alright?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4310
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lack of written employment verification meant not getting credit for 3 years of teaching experience and thus, she was offered a much lower salary. She didn't take the job and stayed in Asia.
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Ludvig Von Mises



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found some information from MOHESR in the UAE indicating that "non traditional, distance, e-learning, etc" degrees from their list of UK universities would not be accepted. Nottingham was on the list of acceptable universities, but only full-time, on-campus would be kosher. Another person advised a certificate indicating that distance is of equal value and vigor, but this would seem inadequate with the blanket ban.
I emailed the MOHESR file to Nottingham and asked about it.

Guess it comes down to liking the program and taking a shot in the dark, or throwing in the towel on the whole idea.
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