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The Value of Experience

 
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TheGinjaNinja



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:34 pm    Post subject: The Value of Experience Reply with quote

Hey all! First time poster here, so I'm hoping that I'm not repeating any topics or addressing something that is already in a sticky, but if I am please point it out.

So here's a little background info: I'm a twenty three year old English major, plan on graduating in two years with a TESOL certificate and a little knowledge of Mandarin (I'll be taking a class for it in my last semester). Currently I'm looking toward Taiwan as my university here has some contacts at a university there. On top of that, a friend of mine was born in Taiwan and has family there that may be able to introduce me to some friends and spread my name around as a tutor.

My question is this: should I build up experience teaching English to non native speakers here in the states first and then go abroad, or should I just hop on the plane and set out? Obviously what little Mandarin I have picked up will be diminished if I stay here and try to gain some experience, but it could pay dividends in terms of how comfortable I am in a classroom setting. I am also unsure of how much experience plays a factor in pay and job opportunity. I have been hearing a lot that the Taiwanese market for ESL is currently flooded, but since this is two years down the road I'm not sure if I should be concerned with my relative newbie status.

*Originally posted this in the Newbie forum, but it was recommended that I should repost here.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you interested in teaching children or adults?
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Are you interested in teaching children or adults?


The OP indicated an interest in university teaching, so I'm assuming adults.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I asked because my understanding is that university EFL teachers tend to be MA holders, so I suspect the OP will end up teaching children instead. Hopefully, he/she is flexible and willing to get a teaching license, if necessary.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
I asked because my understanding is that university EFL teachers tend to be MA holders, so I suspect the OP will end up teaching children instead. Hopefully, he/she is flexible and willing to get a teaching license, if necessary.


Excellent point!
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TheGinjaNinja



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
I asked because my understanding is that university EFL teachers tend to be MA holders, so I suspect the OP will end up teaching children instead. Hopefully, he/she is flexible and willing to get a teaching license, if necessary.


A friend of mine living there got a job tutoring at a University, and I was hoping to aim for something similar. He didn't have his MA and made pretty decent money to boot.

In general I was thinking about teach adults only because I've never been in a group setting with children. I love kids, but being with a couple of little cousins is a big difference from teaching a classroom. However, I'd certainly be open to trying it out. Would me being male affect my chances at teaching children? I know here in the states many people still see it as a "woman's" job. Is there similar cultural view in Taiwan or are they indifferent?

Following some earlier advice I think I'm going to take a volunteering job teaching English. It's for native Spanish speakers, but I think it'll be a good chance to try to get comfortable in the role of a teacher.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Following some earlier advice I think I'm going to take a volunteering job teaching English. It's for native Spanish speakers, but I think it'll be a good chance to try to get comfortable in the role of a teacher.


That's a smart move. If you're able to continue doing that over the next two years, that will certainly help develop your teaching skills in anticipation of going overseas.

On a related note: Does the TESOL certificate program at your university require any sort of practicum? If not, can you opt to do one as an elective? That could potentially extend your studies an extra semester. But in terms of long-term dividends, it would be a very good investment in your future teaching career.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Would me being male affect my chances at teaching children? I know here in the states many people still see it as a "woman's" job. Is there similar cultural view in Taiwan or are they indifferent?


I don't think that's an issue. One of my classmates from my MA program had taught children in Taiwan for five years. He was 40ish, heavyset, and had a graying beard, and the kids at his school called him "Santa Clause." If I remember correctly, the school where he taught also provided each teacher with a Taiwanese teaching assistant to help with classroom management and communication issues.

The real issue, as you suggested, is that a whole classroom full of kids is not anything remotely similar to playing with younger cousins. Personally, if I were going to go that route, I'd probably want to get some experience working with kids in a formal setting at home before committing to a year-long teaching contract overseas. If teaching that age group is not a good fit, it good be a very . . . painfully . . . long . . . year.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheGinjaNinja wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
I asked because my understanding is that university EFL teachers tend to be MA holders, so I suspect the OP will end up teaching children instead. Hopefully, he/she is flexible and willing to get a teaching license, if necessary.

A friend of mine living there got a job tutoring at a University, and I was hoping to aim for something similar. He didn't have his MA and made pretty decent money to boot.

It depends on how long ago your friend was in that position. Although you're two years away from graduating, I strongly suggest you actively look at current job ads to see what qualifications employers require for the teaching situation(s) you're interested in. Also keep updated on the TEFL market in Taiwan, particularly which teaching situations (adult learners versus children) have the highest need for teachers. You'll especially find useful info within this forum.
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TheGinjaNinja



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

esl_prof wrote:
Quote:
Following some earlier advice I think I'm going to take a volunteering job teaching English. It's for native Spanish speakers, but I think it'll be a good chance to try to get comfortable in the role of a teacher.


That's a smart move. If you're able to continue doing that over the next two years, that will certainly help develop your teaching skills in anticipation of going overseas.

On a related note: Does the TESOL certificate program at your university require any sort of practicum? If not, can you opt to do one as an elective? That could potentially extend your studies an extra semester. But in terms of long-term dividends, it would be a very good investment in your future teaching career.


Yes it does! We help tutor some of our foreign students here learning English, I'm looking forward to that a lot both for the chance to meet someone new and learn about a different culture as well as to gauge how I feel about teaching English.
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TheGinjaNinja



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
TheGinjaNinja wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
I asked because my understanding is that university EFL teachers tend to be MA holders, so I suspect the OP will end up teaching children instead. Hopefully, he/she is flexible and willing to get a teaching license, if necessary.

A friend of mine living there got a job tutoring at a University, and I was hoping to aim for something similar. He didn't have his MA and made pretty decent money to boot.

It depends on how long ago your friend was in that position. Although you're two years away from graduating, I strongly suggest you actively look at current job ads to see what qualifications employers require for the teaching situation(s) you're interested in. Also keep updated on the TEFL market in Taiwan, particularly which teaching situations (adult learners versus children) have the highest need for teachers. You'll especially find useful info within this forum.


I'll start checking it out. Are there any other good sources that could be recommended? I appreciate whatever help is offered.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously, you'll find useful info if you scroll through these forum threads. Also, do an Internet search on teach tefl university taiwan. Ditto for teach tefl taiwan jobs.

Don't be a passive job seeker---feel free to post your questions on other threads within this forum.
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