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Prospects for Colombian-born native-English speaker

 
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LaLaDivina



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 6
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:08 am    Post subject: Prospects for Colombian-born native-English speaker Reply with quote

Hi everyone, second post!

Some background about me: I am a Colombian born, New York City raised woman who will be turning 34 later this month. While I am NOT an American citizen, I am a native English speaker since I was raised in NYC since the age of 3. I also have a BA in Communication from a university here in NYC.

While I did just graduate in May 2013, I have a lot of work experience behind me. I was a legal secretary for 11 years and I've been working in the wine industry as a marketing & office assistant for the past year. I haven't had much success in obtaining a job I'm really in love with since graduating and I have been considering teaching English. I'd really like to do something where I can make a difference and feel fulfilled with myself.

Since I am Colombian I'd like to return to Colombia to do my TEFL or Celta certificate and teach English there for at least a year to gain some experience.

After that I think I'd like to go elsewhere to teach. I'm considering China. I know Korea is out because they only hire teachers who are citizens from the main 7 English speaking countries. A couple of questions:

-For someone in my position who is not a citizen of one of these countries, what are my prospects and possibilities for teaching overseas?
-What other countries are friendly to teachers who are not citizens of the main 7 countries?

Thanks!
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damn_my_eyes



Joined: 13 Jul 2013
Posts: 88

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could come to Thailand, not sure how fulfilling you'd find the teaching though!

These are the visa requirements:

Teachers from countries where English is not an official language must present evidence of English-language fluency, in the form of a standardized test results with the following minimum scores: IELTS 5.5, or TOEFL 550 or TOEIC 600.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can find something in China; if at first you don't succeed.......
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3627
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: Prospects for Colombian-born native-English speaker Reply with quote

LaLaDivina wrote:
What other countries are friendly to teachers who are not citizens of the main 7 countries?

Frankly, since most of us are citizens from English-speaking countries, it's hard to say where you could teach. Your best bet is to research the visa requirements for countries you're interested in to see if you can obtain legal work. Then look at job ads for those locations that are doable, get yourself TEFL-qualified, and apply.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 496

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why don't you get American citizenship? Just out of curiosity. If you've been there since you were three years old, it must be an option, two passports usually help in life, even if one is from a country whose days of glory are over.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 520
Location: US

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Prospects for Colombian-born native-English speaker Reply with quote

Japan is a possibility. You would be eligible for a work visa if you can prove that at least 12 years of your education was conducted in English. However, it's a tight market right now, and some employers might not know that you are eligible and go with someone else instead. Still, it's worth trying, I think.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1106
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Prospects for Colombian-born native-English speaker Reply with quote

I have worked with a teacher who was Colombian, however she was a British Citizen. That was in Mexico.

LaLaDivina wrote:
Hi everyone, second post!

Some background about me: I am a Colombian born, New York City raised woman who will be turning 34 later this month. While I am NOT an American citizen, I am a native English speaker since I was raised in NYC since the age of 3. I also have a BA in Communication from a university here in NYC.



In your specific case stress that the US is where you grew up, it's your home and English is your dominate language. Look into getting citizenship if possible. Why? When a country gives a work visa to a Native English Speaker for a job as an English teacher, they are in affect, saying you are more qualified for the job than one of their citizens. They justify that passport holders of X, Y, and Z nations are Native Speakers. You are also a native speaker, but it's harder for them to determine that. In the case of Mexico, there are plenty of Mexicans who have similar backgrounds as you, so why would we hire you over them? I'm not saying it's impossible, that's just what we'd be asked if we presented you as an applicant we wanted a visa for. So your task is to make yourself stand out? Are you also able to do translations? Legal translations? You might want to look into getting certified in that area as well.
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LaLaDivina



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 6
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:41 am    Post subject: Re: Prospects for Colombian-born native-English speaker Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
I have worked with a teacher who was Colombian, however she was a British Citizen. That was in Mexico.

LaLaDivina wrote:
Hi everyone, second post!

Some background about me: I am a Colombian born, New York City raised woman who will be turning 34 later this month. While I am NOT an American citizen, I am a native English speaker since I was raised in NYC since the age of 3. I also have a BA in Communication from a university here in NYC.



In your specific case stress that the US is where you grew up, it's your home and English is your dominate language. Look into getting citizenship if possible. Why? When a country gives a work visa to a Native English Speaker for a job as an English teacher, they are in affect, saying you are more qualified for the job than one of their citizens. They justify that passport holders of X, Y, and Z nations are Native Speakers. You are also a native speaker, but it's harder for them to determine that. In the case of Mexico, there are plenty of Mexicans who have similar backgrounds as you, so why would we hire you over them? I'm not saying it's impossible, that's just what we'd be asked if we presented you as an applicant we wanted a visa for. So your task is to make yourself stand out? Are you also able to do translations? Legal translations? You might want to look into getting certified in that area as well.


Yes I've done a few translations before, legal and otherwise. My father is a freelance translator and that's how he makes a living. In the USA there is no such thing as "certified" translator the way there is in other countries. You could join the ATA, American Translators Association, but that is a private organization and not at all a certification issued by the government. Ideally I'd eventually like to become a translator and teach English so I can utilize my English/Spanish skills.

I don't see how it's harder to distinguish a native speaker if I can simply prove this by speaking with the interviewer via phone or Skype. Easily done.

I don't have the option of becoming a citizen at this time.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3627
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:04 am    Post subject: Re: Prospects for Colombian-born native-English speaker Reply with quote

LaLaDivina wrote:
Ideally I'd eventually like to become a translator and teach English so I can utilize my English/Spanish skills.

Two fields that are apples and oranges. Plus, knowing the language of the country you teach in generally isn't a requirement, though it's useful for day-to-day situations. However, you could possibly become a licensed bilingual ed teacher if you expect to eventually work in the US public school system.

and wrote:
I don't see how it's harder to distinguish a native speaker if I can simply prove this by speaking with the interviewer via phone or Skype. Easily done.

That's usually the case unless you're required to submit a photocopy of your passport info page upon application to verify citizenship. But you also should be indicating your native English proficiency in your cover letter and CV.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 867

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LaLaDivina wrote:

I don't see how it's harder to distinguish a native speaker if I can simply prove this by speaking with the interviewer via phone or Skype. Easily done.


As MotherF said, often it's not the school you have to convince, but immigration, because the issue is usually about getting the visa not the job. It's highly unlikely that immigration will be willing to interview you by phone or Skype to confirm your language level.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1106
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes the decision will come down to someone who hasn't spoken with you and would not be able to distinguish a what a native speaker sounds like anyway. Unfortunately being blond and having blue or green eyes is more likely to help your case in some situations than your accent.

As for translations, it doesn't need to be a government certification--people just want a document, it doesn't really matter who issued it. But something like this course would go a long way to getting you work in Latin America. http://www.umb.edu/academics/caps/certificates/spanishtrans?nossl
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LaLaDivina



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 6
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your responses guys.
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