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Experience Vs. Tefl - does it matter?

 
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Aelric



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:42 am    Post subject: Experience Vs. Tefl - does it matter? Reply with quote

I've been at this game a while now. I went to Korea for two years, Thailand for two and a half and worked at a language school in the US. when I took a westgate application, I figured I've logged about 5000+ hours of EFL/ESL for all age ranges in three different countries, for public schools, a university I founded the English curriculum for and Hakwon/Eikaiwa-style outfits.

Through all of this time, I've had only a BA in English Literature. No Tefl, no Celta, nothing more. This was largely because Korea and Thailand largely don't require one, and I've been busy with real work, I don't have time not lived in the right cities to take a proper supervised 100+ hour Tefl course.

No I'm looking to Japan. My question is this: is my application mostly going to be tossed in the trash due to my lack of Tefl or other certification? Will I be able to get an interview and prove my experience for better positions than what first-timers typically get? Will I get hired at all at some of the better companies? Will I be able to at least leverage my experience to negotiate slightly better pay?
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends what you want.
For better paying jobs, no way.

I still have not found work for April and I have been here since 2000.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 896
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding is that, for entry level jobs, a CELTA may be desirable, but is by no means necessary, although with the job market being tight at the moment you need every advantage you can get.
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Big_H



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From browsing through the countless J-job ads, I'd say that a TEFL or CELTA certification is an add-on -compared to years of teaching experience-, being often mentioned as a preference rather than a requirement. Having said that, including a TEFL cert. could move your application a tier or two on top of the pile of applicants to be considered for an interview. Your teaching experience's more likely to come into play once you're negotiating your salary and work benefits.

So like mitsui said, it'd work out for low-end salary positions, but for not the better paying ones.
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Aelric



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
Depends what you want.
For better paying jobs, no way.

I still have not found work for April and I have been here since 2000.


I'm sorry, is that "no way, your experience is fine to be considered and negotiate" or "no way, you need extra certifications to get any non-entry level position."

Also, I don't know what you mean by work for April since 2000? I assume you've been working if you've been there since 2000. That would be pretty long unemployment to stretch into a visa.

Ideally, I would find a place in a city that my Filipino wife can also work in (we aren't picky, just work for both of us is the only criteria) and I'd be able to start around to 300,000Y mark. The 250,000Y average seems livable and I'd take it, but eventually I'd like to make a little scratch and negotiate for as much as possible. I also wouldn't mind being considered for some lower to middle management positions, but again, no MA, no CELTA. I figure I don't stand much chance in those cases.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think if you could make 250,000 at first you could take this.
Getting paid 300,000 a month often means having a MA and experience in Japan, plus ability in Japanese.

Contracts end in March. I am on a limited contract. I have had just one interview scheduled and I have a spouse visa.
Getting a decent job is tough.
It used to be that if you applied for a job you would at least get a rejection letter. These days mailing out applications is like sending them in a black hole.
More teachers have come over the last several years and instead of quiting, more teachers stay.

It is easier to get a job in Korea or Thailand, than here. The competition is fierce.
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Aelric



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
I think if you could make 250,000 at first you could take this.
Getting paid 300,000 a month often means having a MA and experience in Japan, plus ability in Japanese.

Contracts end in March. I am on a limited contract. I have had just one interview scheduled and I have a spouse visa.
Getting a decent job is tough.
It used to be that if you applied for a job you would at least get a rejection letter. These days mailing out applications is like sending them in a black hole.
More teachers have come over the last several years and instead of quiting, more teachers stay.


I see. I have heard a trend in the forums mentioning that timing seems to be everything as well, more than your CV.

I got a callback this morning to a position I applied for last night. It's at a k-6 majority sort of place, but if something comes from it, I'll take it. It's at 250,000Y. Did I get really lucky then? Is it really normal to hear nothing at all for years as you are saying?

It's all still better the the 25,000baht I made in Thailand (about 800USD). That was a fine wage to get stuck in Thailand for, if you plan of retiring there, but it's not any good for a younger guy with a wife. My poor wife makes only 300USD a month, because Thailand sucks.
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jmatt



Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aelric wrote:
mitsui wrote:
Depends what you want.
For better paying jobs, no way.

I still have not found work for April and I have been here since 2000.


I'm sorry, is that "no way, your experience is fine to be considered and negotiate" or "no way, you need extra certifications to get any non-entry level position."

Also, I don't know what you mean by work for April since 2000? I assume you've been working if you've been there since 2000. That would be pretty long unemployment to stretch into a visa.

Ideally, I would find a place in a city that my Filipino wife can also work in (we aren't picky, just work for both of us is the only criteria) and I'd be able to start around to 300,000Y mark. The 250,000Y average seems livable and I'd take it, but eventually I'd like to make a little scratch and negotiate for as much as possible. I also wouldn't mind being considered for some lower to middle management positions, but again, no MA, no CELTA. I figure I don't stand much chance in those cases.


If you're going to be in Tokyo, it may be possible to string together enough part-time jobs to make it work until you find something full-time, but that means a lot of running around---especially tough if you're not in a good location. I've been doing it for the last 9 months and while I make pretty good money, the travel gets a little old---though I'm lucky enough to be living in a central enough area enabling me to ride my bicycle between most of my jobs.

Good luck!
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