Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Disillusioned with ESL
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
backtothefront



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 48
Location: uk

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:40 am    Post subject: Disillusioned with ESL Reply with quote

I am a teacher with nearly 5 years experience, a CELTA and post graduate qualifications in Applied Linguistics. I have taught in Korea, the UK and now China.

Despite all the hard work gaining these qualifications they simply were not worth the effort. Employers simply don't recognise their value. Having spend thousands gaining a CELTA, attempting the Delta one exam and doing MA modules in Education and linguistics it all seems like a huge waste of time.
In terms of value for money I think the CELTA was worth it.
My aim was to gain a qualification which would give me full-time work in the UK, stability. The only ESL qualification which seems to offer this, is the Delta as the CELTA is too common now. I hear stories that some Delta qualified teachers are working for 12k a year in the UK?! It seems like a whole load of work for nothing.
I attempted the Delta exam twice. My tutor told me point blank I don't have enough experience in ESL to pass indicating that I had to work in Europe where standards are higher, smaller classes and defined levels.
Also during the Exam another candidate told me that a Delta tutor he knew seen the exam as a huge cash cow to make money from students. Much like the university and housing ponzi schemes..all a big con.

The UK market just seems too seasonal to make it viable. I returned a few years ago and got summer camp work. This is the best I could get a few weeks here and there.

My take on ESL now. Don't bother with anything more than a CELTA. This will qualify you for most jobs out there providing you have a BA. Get an MA in something you enjoy not TEFL (your career will be a joke in ESL)
A pgce done in the UK is worth it. The PGCEi seems like a waste of time.
Experience in good schools is more important than most of these qualifications.
Privates are the best way to make money in China so focus on them. ESL teachers are just ten a penny no one cares what qualifications you have or where you work.
North Americans seem to do better here for the simple reason their accent is more in demand. Qualified teachers are valued much higher than qualified ESL teachers in China at least.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 212

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I can sympathize with the OP ...

- an incomplete DELTA is nothing.
- "units" in an MA are NOTHING.

You are still just a BA holder with a CELTA.

Complete either one of them and the picture changes.
Complete both and it changes a lot (those "better" schools actually want to have you instead of taking you by default).

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 540
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Korea you have to have a MA.
In Korea there is competition for the good jobs. The days where you could get a job at a university with just a BA are probably over.
In Japan it looks like merely a MA is not enough.
So of course China looks good by contrast.

Of course in the UK there isn`t much teaching available. Why do so many people teach abroad? They only go back for their holiday.
In 18 years abroad I have yet to meet a British teacher who ever returned to work in the UK.

Only do TEFL if you enjoy it. Otherwise it is not fun.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9322
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My aim was to gain a qualification which would give me full-time work in the UK, stability.


A BA and a CELTA are not enough for anyone to gain stability and full time work in an Anglophone country where there are, by definition, literally thousands of qualified teachers in competition for relatively fewer jobs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



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

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A BA and a CELTA are not enough for anyone to gain stability and full time work in an Anglophone country where there are, by definition, literally thousands of qualified teachers in competition for relatively fewer jobs.

Moreover, the ever-popular bachelor's degree has become so common to the point that it's been devalued and is now what a high school diploma used to be: the bare minimum requirement for many jobs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
backtothefront



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 48
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to know how many people have MAs now? how many have Deltas and how many have distance learning MAs who get jobs they otherwise would not have attained without these qualifications. Exactly how competitive our labor market has become by country. And how many of these coveted positions exist? The reason I want to know this is because I felt short-changed after my BA. Like loads of other graduates who completed there studies to find they were massively over qualified for the jobs available. I don't want to make the same mistake again.

Here is the jobs market as I see it:-

If you go to the Middle East by definition, you are going to make more money. Saudi will take people with a CELTA and BA. This is where everyone says the big money is but you have to live like a monk to realise it. The trade off to me is not worth it. So gaining a MA or Delta to go here is not worth it for me at least.

If you come to China you have the potential of making lots of money teaching privates regardless of your qualifications. So qualifications do not matter after the basic BA. It is a country full of clown teachers pertaining to be experts. Teaching privates is not without risk though as teaching privates in China is outside your basic contract under the new immigration laws.

In Korea you need qualifications- fair enough. I had my full of Korea working there for three years. It would be tough going back. I also heard they don't take distance degrees now.

In the UK it has become beyond competitive so you do need a MA or Delta. You are basically competing with half of Europe in the UK and proficiency in a second European language is expected. The Delta is also required for DOS positions.
Why go back you ask? Are you sure you can life abroad for the rest of your life? I'm not.

So when you ultimately stop teaching at some point you have problems! The thought of being basically unskilled outside of ESL scares the hell out of me (been there and done it) but ESL only offers a future abroad. I wish I knew the answer to this one. What else can we offer as teachers in our own countries? Language skills? Plenty already offer this. I guess it would be a problem whatever industry you worked in, if you are forced to change jobs.

The path of least resistance for me is it complete my distance MA. But for the reasons above I am still skeptical.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



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

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

backtothefront wrote:
...I felt short-changed after my BA. Like loads of other graduates who completed there studies to find they were massively over qualified for the jobs available. I don't want to make the same mistake again.

So when you ultimately stop teaching at some point you have problems! The thought of being basically unskilled outside of ESL scares the hell out of me (been there and done it) but ESL only offers a future abroad. I wish I knew the answer to this one. What else can we offer as teachers in our own countries? Language skills? Plenty already offer this. I guess it would be a problem whatever industry you worked in, if you are forced to change jobs.

The path of least resistance for me is it complete my distance MA. But for the reasons above I am still skeptical.

Have you considered getting an MA in Educational Technology or Instructional Design? It will open doors to way more opportunities than TESOL.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's only one solution!

Come to the Motherland! Peace, stability, job satisfaction! All can be yours.

Come to Russia! Live the dream!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

backtothefront wrote:
It is a country full of clown teachers pertaining to be experts.


…and some here pretend to be experts too!

Wink

I am one with an M.A. in TESOL (brick and mortar not distance). Earning that degree has been one of the best things that I have done for myself. I worked full-time as a classroom ESL teacher in the New York City Department of Education for three years. The benefits and salary were in order, but it was the toughest thing I have ever done. I would never go back to it.

OP, unlike you, gaining the M.A. was my way of getting out of my home country, not staying in it. I am one who can see me spending the rest of my days working and living abroad. I have committed myself to TEFL--it has not committed me (yet! Very Happy)

Because of this, the MA in TESOL has been good for me. I don't see being in TEFL as a joke at all. Far from it.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fat_chris!

The Motherland calls!!!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Neutrino Girl



Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

backtothefront wrote:

If you go to the Middle East by definition, you are going to make more money. Saudi will take people with a CELTA and BA. This is where everyone says the big money is but you have to live like a monk to realise it. The trade off to me is not worth it. So gaining a MA or Delta to go here is not worth it for me at least.



Remember that Saudi isn't the only Middle Eastern country to work in, and that most of the reputable institutions in the region require an MA. These employers offer the kind of pay and benefits that make the MA more than worthwhile.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 212

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

backtothefront wrote:
So when you ultimately stop teaching at some point you have problems! The thought of being basically unskilled outside of ESL scares the hell out of me (been there and done it) but ESL only offers a future abroad. I wish I knew the answer to this one. What else can we offer as teachers in our own countries? Language skills? Plenty already offer this. I guess it would be a problem whatever industry you worked in, if you are forced to change jobs.

The path of least resistance for me is it complete my distance MA. But for the reasons above I am still skeptical.


It seems like you are trying to get some qualification and hope it might lead to something.

Is getting your MA is something you actually want to do?

The MA is just the paper that gets you in the door. It is what you do afterward that counts.

In MY experience the MATESOL was OK for opening up doors but too much effort was spent on the theory side and not enough on the practical; OK if you want to go into research but not so much for the classroom unless you want to lecturer in TESOL rather than teaching ESL/EFL.

An M.Ed (or better yet, PGCE to be a teacher) works well and opens up a lot of options if you want to stay in the education field. Decent (EFL) options exist in Taiwan and Hong Kong for qualified (PGCE) teachers.

A professional degree (MBA) travels well as well and will give you some skills to return home if that becomes your choice at some point.

I guess what I am trying to say is DO NOT depend on the paper qualification to get you somewhere. Figure out where you want to go/what you want to do and get the qualification to get you there.

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Fat_chris!

The Motherland calls!!!!!


Comrade Sasha,

Ah! Is that why my phone was ringing this morning?

When the Motherland calls, one should answer on the first ring.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Motherland calls but once; kinda like "opportunity".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear johntpartee,

"The Motherland calls but once; kinda like "opportunity".

Kinda like The Grim Reaper, too. Very Happy

Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Page 1 of 6

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC