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Getting a Master's while teaching.
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jijor



Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:13 pm    Post subject: Getting a Master's while teaching. Reply with quote

Does anyone have suggestions on where to teach to get a master's while teaching? It doesn't have to be the school that I'm teaching at, and it should not be a online master's degree.

Comments from people that have done this, or are doing it now, would be especially useful.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3586
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are several variables that make your situation tricky.

You need to be specific about the degree major and from what country. The problem with the latter is that it may be difficult to find a teaching position in a language school or college setting in a particular country if your qualifications don't meet the minimum. Obviously, there also needs to be a nearby university that offers your target degree program since you don't want to study via online. Moreover, keep in mind that employers generally want to see TEFL-related degrees obtained from an Anglophone university, which limits you to the US, Canada, UK, etc., if that's important to you.

That said, many US universities have work study programs for those who qualify, but those positions definitely don't involve teaching. There are also graduate assistantships offered through many US universities (an easy Internet search). You might also look into something like a fellowship in TESOL from the American University in Cairo, if that's the field you're interested in.
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jijor



Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:17 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

I need to reflect on what you've said.

The logistic side of it all is what I'm grappling with.

I've received several job offers from Saudi (I'm supposed to be interviewing for one tomorrow), and ironically the Master's options there are primarily online, but I just can't do it. Not after seeing articles and pictures about shredded hands because people read the "wrong" book. So, I've been reconsidering Asia.

Finding a school that offers a Master's in the English language is quite a challenge in itself. Getting a low key job near that school is even more challenging. (I suppose you could source a job on location, but I was hoping to have a proper work visa to avoid entering on a tourist visa.)

Since I have two BA's in liberal arts, and teaching English is one of the only ways to earn a living in today's economy (despite IT certifications and experience), I guess I'm stuck with linguistic oriented degree's as my choice. Sadly, I've wanted to change over to environmental conservation and restoration for years, but can't do it without going through the whole undergraduate system again.

As far as Western universities, I simply can't afford the tuition.

I do need to think about what you've written; it's all food for thought.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 518
Location: US

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:22 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

jijor wrote:
As far as Western universities, I simply can't afford the tuition.

As nomad soul indicated, many universities in the US that have intensive English programs offer graduate assistantships to their MA TESOL students to teach there. Usually, the student teaches a couple courses (1/2 time) and takes a full-time load of graduate work (9 credits). In exchange, tuition is usually either reduced or waived completely, and the student also often received a stipend which is about enough for a single person to live frugally. So, the tuition doesn't need to be a barrier.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP's been watching too much CNN.

In Asia you can earn a respectable MATESOL / MATEFL / M.ED TEFL/M.Ed at a number of universities and they ARE accepted as legitimate in most other countries on the planet. You can also do an MBA

Seoul National, Chulalongkorn, The University of Hong Kong, University of the Philippines (UP Dillman), Hong Kong Institute of Education to name but a few in Asia that are respected globally and offer post graduate programs in English.

As an American with a Bachelor's degree you can find legal work in Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong while you are working on your MA/M.Ed/MBA.

You'd be looking at US$12-15k (books and tuition) for a decent master's program. Many post grad programs are run on the weekends (Fri evening, Sat, Sun) to accommodate working professionals so you can work and learn at the same time.

I know that SNU and Chula often fly in visiting profs from US, and UK uni's for specific programs, as guest lecturers and for workshops/symposiums. HKI has a number of well respected researchers who also lecture at the post grad level.

HKU, SNU and Chula are also respected research uni's and you will be expected to publish as a requirement for graduation.

.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3586
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:
In Asia you can earn a respectable MATESOL / MATEFL / M.ED TEFL/M.Ed at a number of universities and they ARE accepted as legitimate in most other countries on the planet. You can also do an MBA

Seoul National, Chulalongkorn, The University of Hong Kong, University of the Philippines (UP Dillman), Hong Kong Institute of Education to name but a few in Asia that are respected globally and offer post graduate programs in English.

Those degrees may be well-regarded in Asia, but to state they're "respected globally" is pushing it. To get a sense of how limiting the degree would be, try getting a job in say, the United Arab Emirates, with an MA from an Asian university.

That's not to say there's anything wrong with these degrees---that they're not legit; however, the better employers worldwide expect a native speaker to hold a degree from an Anglophone university---one that carries specific accreditation and touts a native-speaking faculty. Moreover, a degree program from an English-speaking country takes into account learners of diverse languages and cultures representative of the country's demographic refugee and emigrant makeup. (I've taught several ESL classes in the US to groups of students representing a dozen nationalities and distinct, different languages including Spanish, Arabic, Oromo, Russian, Armenian, Hmong, Amharic, Somali, Khmer, etc.) By contrast, a similar MA degree from an Asian uni targets a very specific linguistic pool of learners. Not surprising, even the University of Hong Kong's brochure states, "Schools, universities, and other educational institutions in Asia are in need of skilled professional English language teachers with Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) qualifications. This MA(TESOL) programme is designed to prepare teachers for work in these important positions." In other words, this degree program and others like it really aren't intended for teachers who expect to head out of Asia for teaching work.

Anyway, there have been a couple of forum members with TEFL-related MAs from non-Anglophone countries lamenting about how that decision has shut them out of a wider pool of job opportunities. Just something to think about when choosing a degree program.
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ttxor1



Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Master's while teaching. Reply with quote

jijor wrote:
Comments from people that have done this, or are doing it now, would be especially useful.


I didn't do it, but I had a tutor who did and she, in my opinion, was the best teacher. I saw its potential value though and i did the CELTA towards the end of my MA. teaching while doing an MA would have made it much easier for me to see the relevance of theory and meaningfully connect it to practice....
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9299
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In Asia you can earn a respectable MATESOL / MATEFL / M.ED TEFL/M.Ed at a number of universities and they ARE accepted as legitimate in most other countries on the planet. You can also do an MBA


Quote:
the University of Hong Kong's brochure states, "Schools, universities, and other educational institutions in Asia are in need of skilled professional English language teachers with Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) qualifications. This MA(TESOL) programme is designed to prepare teachers for work in these important positions." In other words, this degree program and others like it really aren't intended for teachers who expect to head out of Asia for teaching work.

Anyway, there have been a couple of forum members with TEFL-related MAs from non-Anglophone countries lamenting about how that decision has shut them out of a wider pool of job opportunities. Just something to think about when choosing a degree program



nomadsoul is correct; I have been on hiring committees in North America and Europe for a decade and an MA from an Asian university would not be regarded as anywhere near par with one from an Anglophone country. It should be absolutely fine for teaching in Asia, but if you are thinking about going elsewhere, think again.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 518
Location: US

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
That's not to say there's anything wrong with these degrees---that they're not legit; however, the better employers worldwide expect a native speaker to hold a degree from an Anglophone university---one that carries specific accreditation and touts a native-speaking faculty. Moreover, a degree program from an English-speaking country takes into account learners of diverse languages and cultures representative of the country's demographic refugee and emigrant makeup.

I think it might be more accurate to say that a degree from an inner-circle country is preferred. To an extent, it's a bit disheartening, but it does reflect real-life hiring practices.

Nomad soul, you say that employers expect a "native speaker" to hold a degree "from an Anglophone university". I'll remind you that there are Anglophone universities all over the world, including some that the previous poster mentioned.

I would also argue that the last statement ("a degree program from an English-speaking country takes into account learners of diverse languages and cultures representative of the country's demographic refugee and emigrant makeup") would be accurate about almost any grad TESOL program in any country -- i.e., a program would take into account the needs of populations in the country that the program is located. That would also mean that a TESOL program that focuses on TESOL/TESD for aborigines in Australia wouldn't necessarily help one to teach Saudi students at an IEP in South Carolina any more than a TEFL MA from Malaysia would. Nonetheless, the MA from the Australian university would be more valuable when looking for a job. Likewise, an MA from an American university that focuses on hetero-lingual classes wouldn't necessarily prepare one to teach a homo-lingual group of students in Japan, yet it would be preferred over, say, an MA from HKU.

Basically, what it comes down to is that employers shy away from what they don't know. If your degree is from a place or university or program that they don't know, they will be less likely to want to hire you. Recognized, accredited programs in major inner-circle countries will be more recognized, and preferred, by employers.


Last edited by rtm on Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:57 am; edited 2 times in total
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 518
Location: US

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
nomadsoul is correct; I have been on hiring committees in North America and Europe for a decade and an MA from an Asian university would not be regarded as anywhere near par with one from an Anglophone country.

I find it very interesting that you contrast "Asian university" with "one from an Anglophone country". That implies that there are no Anglophone countries in Asia, which I can assure you is not correct.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having been on a number of research projects with a number of international researchers from a broad range of countries (including North American and Western European researchers) my personal experience has been that it is more about what you have done, the work you are involved in and who knows about you and your work than the name of the Uni you studied at.

There are a number of well respected, internationally recognized, research universities all over the planet (including Asia). Their standards are certainly no less than and often equal or superior to those found in your average American/Canadian/UK/European uni.

If you are qualified and well published in peer reviewed journals then, in my experience, employers usually don't care where your MA was from. This is doubly so if your undergrad was from a "G7" country.

If they, an employer, think that an MA from Podunk-U in the USA is more prestigious or even of better quality than an MA/M.Ed from SNU, HKU, U.P. or Chula then they are not likely someone I would want to work for anyway (ignorance in an employer does not equal bliss for the employee).

HOWEVER, with all of that said, IF you are only looking at a leg up to teaching at the tertiary level then take what you can find and know that lots of uni's in Asia are NOT going to get you to the big bucks jobs (not that teaching has ever been a way to get rich).

IF you want to make teaching (as compared to becoming a lecturer) a career, then a PGCE or dipEd (1 year) is probably money that is better spent and will go further; leading to licensure and decent teaching positions in international schools all over the planet.

.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12294
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear suphanburi,

You may not give a hoot, but you can cross the Middle East off your list of possibles.

Regards,
John
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear suphanburi,

You may not give a hoot, but you can cross the Middle East off your list of possibles.

Regards,
John


Considering the simple fact that the OP had already done that... no worry.

In my personal case, there isn't a hope in Hades that I would consider the ME as an option.
Life is too short for that crap and no amount of money is worth it.
There is still a lot of planet left to choose from outside of the ME.

.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 518
Location: US

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:
If you are qualified and well published in peer reviewed journals then, in my experience, employers usually don't care where your MA was from.

Agreed.

However...

Quote:
IF you are only looking at a leg up to teaching at the tertiary level then take what you can find

I think this probably describes the majority of those to get an MA in TESOL.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12294
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear suphanburi


"Considering the simple fact that the OP had already done that... no worry."

Um, yes - which is why I was addressing you and not the OP.

"There is still a lot of planet left to choose from outside of the ME."

OK, Europe's out, the America's are out, the Middle East is out, so what's left? Well, some of Africa, maybe, and China, Anyplace else?

Regards,
John
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