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content area for BA in education
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desert



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:06 pm    Post subject: content area for BA in education Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I am from the U.S.A. and I am looking into various degree programs to help me find work in the Middle East. I already have a BA in Linguistics and a CELTA equivalent certificate. One possible option for me is to get a second BA in education so that I can teach in K-12 schools.

I am wondering whether it is necessary to have a BA in education with English or ESL as the content area. For example, could someone certified to teach another content area such as Spanish go on to teach English in international schools in the Middle East?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4871
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest you take a look at Teach Away's site in regard to basic qualifications needed for teaching in international and k-12 schools in this region.
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 336
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I knew I would spend this amount of time teaching ESL, and if I could go back in time, I would get a M.A. in Linguistics, or TESOL and not English. Because you already have a BA in Linguistics, I would recommend that you get a MA in TESOL if you want to spend more than five years teaching ESL. The two would be a good mix that many would seek out when looking at CVs.

If you are dead-set in working at international schools teaching k-12, I would get an M.A. in education because your job would "lean" towards teaching academic English (Language Arts, for example). I think you will find (after working in the Middle East) that the best route would be to teach (as a direct hire) in a prep-year program at a university teaching ESL. To do that, you need at least three years of teaching experience after your last degree. You could work at an international school during that time and then apply to a university. More money, less hours. Happy, happy. Joy, joy.

I taught Language Arts at a private school in Dubai and I found that schools are very straight-forward when it comes to instructors teaching in the same content area that they have in regards to education/experience. Most schools will not hire a teacher outside their content area unless it is for ESL.

If you just want to work overseas for a few years and save money, I would get an MA in education.

Because you first degree is not in English, you would have less opportunities finding a position teaching English at an international school unless they offer ESL classes.
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desert



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I have not decided on working at international schools yet, but its just one of the possible options.

I have also been looking into a MA TESOL degree. I found one in which almost everything about it seems fine. The only catch is that about 1/3 of the classes are conducted through distance learning. I would be living on campus, and taking the rest of the courses in the classroom. Would that be an issue in Middle Eastern countries?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4871
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

desert wrote:
I have also been looking into a MA TESOL degree. I found one in which almost everything about it seems fine. The only catch is that about 1/3 of the classes are conducted through distance learning. I would be living on campus, and taking the rest of the courses in the classroom. Would that be an issue in Middle Eastern countries?

There's a related thread, "Distance MA TESOLs being refused in the Middle East"(http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=100919).

A degree that includes some coursework online is problematic for jobs in Saudi Arabia. You could still be hired based on your related BA + CELTA + experience (?), but that equates to lower pay and limits you to working for a contracting company and not as a direct university hire. On the other hand, it's not an issue for other countries in this region, but be aware a lack of post-degree TEFL experience likely won't get your CV a second look. Check out TESOL Arabia's job fair link, and you'll see the type/level of qualifications employers in the Gulf require.
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El Hobo



Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 40
Location: Iraqi-Kurdistan

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you ever plan on having children one day, I would advise you pursue a career in K-12 international education. That is unless you can find $24,000 a-year for your kids' tuition fees.

Most ESL teachers don't think that far ahead, that's why you can find so many washed-out, childless middle-aged teachers in the industry.

Consider your options very carefully.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16129
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Hobo wrote:
Most ESL teachers don't think that far ahead, that's why you can find so many washed-out, childless middle-aged teachers in the industry.

Interesting take... in the Middle East, I worked with dozens of couples with kids... some of them up to 3-4 kids. (school fees have gotten a bit high for this many kids these days) All of them were teaching at university level. The few without kids had chosen that lifestyle - not everyone wants kids. I certainly wouldn't have called any of them "washed out."

International schools do offer the opportunity for your kids to attend, and if one enjoys teaching at this level, it can be a very good career choice.

VS
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4871
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Hobo wrote:
Most ESL teachers don't think that far ahead (about having children), that's why you can find so many washed-out, childless middle-aged teachers in the industry.

Hmm... So your position is that they're washed-out because they never had children. Confused
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desert



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
A degree that includes some coursework online is problematic for jobs in Saudi Arabia. You could still be hired based on your related BA + CELTA + experience (?), but that equates to lower pay and limits you to working for a contracting company and not as a direct university hire.


I have seen some advertisements for direct hire without a master's although these positions usually require something in the range of three to five years of experience. Are there many positions like this or is having a master's degree really necessary most of the time?

I would think that any position that doesn't require a master's degree would look favorably upon a distance MA as opposed to only a BA for the purposes of getting hired.

nomad soul wrote:
On the other hand, it's not an issue for other countries in this region, but be aware a lack of post-degree TEFL experience likely won't get your CV a second look.


I was wondering if these countries make a distinction between the type of accreditation (national vs. regional). I personally don't see any problem with national accreditation as long as it is a quality program, but it is the employer's opinion that actually counts.
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 336
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for continuing the off-topic comment made by El Hobo, but if I can be very honest with myself I am one of those "washed-out, childless middle-aged teachers in the industry". I don't mind living on the island of misfit toys. I'm at peace with it. Cool
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4871
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

desert wrote:
I have seen some advertisements for direct hire without a master's although these positions usually require something in the range of three to five years of experience. Are there many positions like this or is having a master's degree really necessary most of the time?

I would think that any position that doesn't require a master's degree would look favorably upon a distance MA as opposed to only a BA for the purposes of getting hired.

For the Gulf, generally a related MA is preferred even if the job ad states the minimum requirement is a BA. But it also depends on the job---the teaching situation. Is an MA really necessary? Obviously, it's the employer's choice, or in some cases, per the Ministry of Higher Ed's requirements. Plus, some universities particularly want teachers with experience in curriculum design, materials creation, test/assessments design, English for Specific Purposes, etc., which many MA degree programs include.

and wrote:
I was wondering if these countries make a distinction between the type of accreditation (national vs. regional). I personally don't see any problem with national accreditation as long as it is a quality program, but it is the employer's opinion that actually counts.

Yep, stick with regional accreditation if you don't want your degree to raise any eyebrows.
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desert



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:

Yep, stick with regional accreditation if you don't want your degree to raise any eyebrows.


Would getting a DELTA help to compensate for any eyebrow raising?
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El Hobo



Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 40
Location: Iraqi-Kurdistan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
El Hobo wrote:
Most ESL teachers don't think that far ahead (about having children), that's why you can find so many washed-out, childless middle-aged teachers in the industry.

Hmm... So your position is that they're washed-out because they never had children. Confused


No, it's not that they only fail to prepare their security should they wish to start a family - many fail to think about their future at all.

It's all very fun living a jet-set, experiential lifestyle but when you're 47 years-old and have no savings, property or pension and you're defaulting on your students loan repayments for example (I know such a person). You've somehow #@*$ed up and things are only going to get worse.

This si the common curse of the ESL teacher. They forget how old they are and the security they need for a family and themselves.
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El Hobo



Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 40
Location: Iraqi-Kurdistan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
El Hobo wrote:
Most ESL teachers don't think that far ahead, that's why you can find so many washed-out, childless middle-aged teachers in the industry.

Interesting take... in the Middle East, I worked with dozens of couples with kids... some of them up to 3-4 kids. (school fees have gotten a bit high for this many kids these days) All of them were teaching at university level. The few without kids had chosen that lifestyle - not everyone wants kids. I certainly wouldn't have called any of them "washed out."

International schools do offer the opportunity for your kids to attend, and if one enjoys teaching at this level, it can be a very good career choice.

VS


I'm sure those school fees are staggering. Better to get them for free, I would say.

Your absolutely right, there are some people who have chosen to remain without children for their lives and I also would not call them "washed out". To qualify, I'm talking about the teachers who enjoyed their lives in ESL but did not prepare for the future and became increasingly more desperate and anxious. I'm talking of those that perhaps wanted children but had made a career which they would struggle to export back to their home countries.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4871
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Hobo wrote:
It's all very fun living a jet-set, experiential lifestyle but when you're 47 years-old and have no savings, property or pension and you're defaulting on your students loan repayments for example (I know such a person). You've somehow #@*$ed up and things are only going to get worse.

This si the common curse of the ESL teacher. They forget how old they are and the security they need for a family and themselves.

and wrote:
To qualify, I'm talking about the teachers who enjoyed their lives in ESL but did not prepare for the future and became increasingly more desperate and anxious. I'm talking of those that perhaps wanted children but had made a career which they would struggle to export back to their home countries.

Perhaps that describes you, but it certainly doesn't depict my life nor that of my friends teaching abroad. In fact, that scenario isn't peculiar to EFL teachers; it describes lots of folks in just about any employment situation regardless of their profession and country of residence. It's just human nature. Period.

Anyway, I doubt this is the type of advice the OP was seeking...
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