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Wanting to Make a Move
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lelick1234



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Alexandria, Egypt

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:01 pm    Post subject: Wanting to Make a Move Reply with quote

Hey Folks,

I am an American (white [not that I am bragging. I know how the game works internationally]) currently teaching social studies in Alexandria, Egypt. I have about four years of teaching experience abroad experience. I will be returning to the United States this year. I hope to earn my Master's degree in TESOL from San Francisco State University. I am also thinking about earning my teaching credential in Social Studies.

I am looking for a place to settle down. I have a wife (Egyptian American) and a daughter (2 years old). We want to live comfortably in an Islamic country that isn't about to fall into civil war. I would love to hear your opinions about the following questions in regards to Malaysia:

1) Job prospects for ESL teacher w/ 4 years teaching experience and a MA in TESOL

2) Opportunities to teach social studies at an international school

3) Raising a family on ESL wages in Malaysia

4) Schooling for my daughter

5) Opportunities for my wife to teach Arabic

6) General views of life in Malaysia

--Leo
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 171
Location: has served on a hiring committee

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:17 am    Post subject: Re: Wanting to Make a Move Reply with quote

lelick1234 wrote:
Hey Folks,

I am an American (white [not that I am bragging. I know how the game works internationally]) currently teaching social studies in Alexandria, Egypt. I have about four years of teaching experience abroad experience. I will be returning to the United States this year. I hope to earn my Master's degree in TESOL from San Francisco State University. I am also thinking about earning my teaching credential in Social Studies.

I am looking for a place to settle down. I have a wife (Egyptian American) and a daughter (2 years old). We want to live comfortably in an Islamic country that isn't about to fall into civil war. I would love to hear your opinions about the following questions in regards to Malaysia:

1) Job prospects for ESL teacher w/ 4 years teaching experience and a MA in TESOL

2) Opportunities to teach social studies at an international school

3) Raising a family on ESL wages in Malaysia

4) Schooling for my daughter

5) Opportunities for my wife to teach Arabic

6) General views of life in Malaysia

--Leo


1) Job prospects for ESL teacher w/ 4 years teaching experience and a MA in TESOL

You're pretty vague on your actual current qualifications but, in general, a lot would depend on whether your first EFL teaching certificate was a CELTA and/or whether the MA contained practical teaching and wasn't just theory based (the British Council might still be out of bounds without a CELTA). If the answer to one or both is yes, you'd likely be looking at some of the better schools and some of the universities. There are also quite a few projects going on at the moment, for which you would probably be eligible, and they pay quite well. This may change in the future though, depending on the political situation.

2) Opportunities to teach social studies at an international school

I'm not much help here, but my impression is that they'd probably ask to see a couple of years experience in your home country first. Obviously though, having home country accreditation and experience, an MA in Tesol and a first EFL certificate would elevate you to a higher plane.

3) Raising a family on ESL wages in Malaysia

See my answer to question 1.

4) Schooling for my daughter

There are Arabic schools, English only international schools, local government schools (Malay, Chinese and Tamil speaking) and private schools. It would depend what you wanted and what you were able to afford so, again, your answer to question 1 would probably influence this. However, my advice would be to aim for a private school where the standards are obviously quite a bit higher than most government schools. More info here: http://www.expatarrivals.com/malaysia/education-and-schools-in-malaysia

5) Opportunities for my wife to teach Arabic

Many. As you're in a predominantly Muslim country, there are countless opportunities for work in language/tuition centres, private work etc. Arabs tend to be revered by most Malays, who are Muslims, so they'd be quite honoured to have an actual Arab Arabic teacher. If she's qualified in her home country, even better.

6) General views of life in Malaysia

There are so many good things to like about Malaysia including the food, weather, location and relatively advanced infrastructure that you try not to pay to much attention to a political system which is designed to favour the dominant race at the expense of others. As a white guy who has (presumably) converted to Islam with an Arabic wife, you won't hear too much about it, but your western sensitivities might be piqued at times. All in all though, Malaysia is a pretty smart place to live.
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esl_prof



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

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

International schools will likely be your best option, both in terms of salary and benefits as well as regarding opportunities for your daughter's education. Getting certified for social studies while you're in the U.S. coupled with two years of experience teaching in the U.S. public schools would open quite a lot of doors for you.

You might try checking out sites such as this one:
http://educatorcareers.iss.edu/
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lelick1234



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Alexandria, Egypt

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:52 am    Post subject: Credentials Reply with quote

Hey,

Right now, all I have is a bachelors degree in history from a University of California, and TESOL Certificate from TEFL International. I think this is probably not acceptable for Malaysia.

I have copied the link of the program I am interested in applying to in the United States. I would like to know you opinion of the curriculum:

http://matesol.sfsu.edu/ma-tesol-degree-requirements

I am not well versed in the ESL field lingo. I am assuming CELTA is the Cambridge School certificate for British English. If I combined the MA in TESOL with a CELTA certificate, I should be pretty squared away for Malaysia, correct?

Also, is the Teaching House a respectable place to earn the certificate? Here is the link.

http://www.teachinghouse.com/tesol/the-celta-course

Would these credentials, if obtained, be useful in Turkey?

Hope to hear back from you all. Thanks for all the guidance.

--Leo
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 171
Location: has served on a hiring committee

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:17 am    Post subject: Re: Credentials Reply with quote

lelick1234 wrote:
Hey,

Right now, all I have is a bachelors degree in history from a University of California, and TESOL Certificate from TEFL International. I think this is probably not acceptable for Malaysia.

I have copied the link of the program I am interested in applying to in the United States. I would like to know you opinion of the curriculum:

http://matesol.sfsu.edu/ma-tesol-degree-requirements

I am not well versed in the ESL field lingo. I am assuming CELTA is the Cambridge School certificate for British English. If I combined the MA in TESOL with a CELTA certificate, I should be pretty squared away for Malaysia, correct?

Also, is the Teaching House a respectable place to earn the certificate? Here is the link.

http://www.teachinghouse.com/tesol/the-celta-course

Would these credentials, if obtained, be useful in Turkey?

Hope to hear back from you all. Thanks for all the guidance.

--Leo


As it stands you're good to go in Malaysia. Your qualifications would be perfectly acceptable for many language schools (as long as it wasn't an online cert), but the salary and benefits would probably be low/mid range.

However, I have recently seen a couple of jobs advertised by recruiters for the projects that offer very good money and benefits for people with any TEFL certificate that included classroom practice. I've never dealt with recruiters so I don't know how trustworthy these adverts or the companies they recruit for are.

The CELTA is the most respected and widely accepted entry level TEFL certificate there is. The credentials would be useful anywhere in the world, no matter where you got them from, because Cambridge regulate the programme. With an MA and a CELTA you would be pretty well sorted anywhere, but if you have a choice then home country accreditation opens the door to international schools, which are usually number 1 for pay and benefits.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Credentials Reply with quote

lelick1234 wrote:
Currently teaching social studies in Alexandria, Egypt.
....

I am not well versed in the ESL field lingo.
....

Right now, all I have is a bachelors degree in history from a University of California, and TESOL Certificate from TEFL International. I think this is probably not acceptable for Malaysia.

adaruby wrote:
As it stands you're good to go in Malaysia. Your qualifications would be perfectly acceptable for many language schools (as long as it wasn't an online cert), but the salary and benefits would probably be low/mid range.

For clarification, are you saying the OP can get hired to teach EFL in a language school with an unrelated BA, a generic TEFL cert, and zero EFL teaching experience?
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 171
Location: has served on a hiring committee

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: Credentials Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
lelick1234 wrote:
Currently teaching social studies in Alexandria, Egypt.
....

I am not well versed in the ESL field lingo.
....

Right now, all I have is a bachelors degree in history from a University of California, and TESOL Certificate from TEFL International. I think this is probably not acceptable for Malaysia.

adaruby wrote:
As it stands you're good to go in Malaysia. Your qualifications would be perfectly acceptable for many language schools (as long as it wasn't an online cert), but the salary and benefits would probably be low/mid range.

For clarification, are you saying the OP can get hired to teach EFL in a language school with an unrelated BA, a generic TEFL cert, and zero EFL teaching experience?


lelick1234 wrote:


1) Job prospects for ESL teacher w/ 4 years teaching experience and a MA in TESOL

--Leo


It's not entirely clear what the context of his experience has been so far, but for the lower end language schools they'll mainly be concerned that he has some experience in the classroom, which the OP has- 3/4 years.

There's no requirement for an English specific BA in Malaysia, nor will a generic TEFL be a problem with such outfits. Of course, the competition will be stiff and the job will likely be pretty poor, but he'd still have a chance of finding some kind of work.

This is largely a moot point though- the OP is looking for what qualifications will find him the better jobs in future.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Wanting to Make a Move Reply with quote

lelick1234 wrote:
I am an American (white [not that I am bragging. I know how the game works internationally]) currently teaching social studies in Alexandria, Egypt. I have about four years of teaching experience abroad experience. I will be returning to the United States this year. I hope to earn my Master's degree in TESOL from San Francisco State University. I am also thinking about earning my teaching credential in Social Studies.

Another option you might consider is to head back to the US and only focus on getting your license to teach social studies. If you can commit to teaching SS in a US public school for a couple of years, you then qualify for IB and American curriculum international schools throughout the Middle East, including the UAE, which offers primo benefits. Plus, while you and your family are in the US, your wife can pursue whatever qualifications are needed for teaching in the Gulf (or wherever else).
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 171
Location: has served on a hiring committee

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Wanting to Make a Move Reply with quote

[quote="nomad soul"]
lelick1234 wrote:

Another option you might consider is to head back to the US and only focus on getting your license to teach social studies. .


Lucky that this option hasn't been mentioned about 2 or 3 times by various posters before you came crashing through the thread with your usual awareness, eh?


Last edited by adaruby on Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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esl_prof



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

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Credentials Reply with quote

lelick1234 wrote:
I have copied the link of the program I am interested in applying to in the United States. I would like to know you opinion of the curriculum:

http://matesol.sfsu.edu/ma-tesol-degree-requirements


This looks like a pretty standard curriculum from a reputable state university which, if you're committed to a career in TEFL, should suit your purposes perfectly well, at least on paper. It's always good, however, to inquire as to what the objectives of the program are and who your prospective classmates will be. For example, I attended an MA TESL program which primarily targeted American students looking to teach abroad in adult and higher education contexts which, for my purposes, was much better than, say, an equally rigorous program committed to training K-12 teachers for the U.S. public schools. Obviously, if your instructors and classmates share your goals, you'll get more out of the program. One plus to this particular degree is that you have the option to complete a practicum as part of the program, which would render a CELTA or CELTA-equivalent unnecessary.

That being said, since you mentioned an interest in teaching social studies, you might take a look at MA programs in education that will allow you to get your CA state teacher licensure while completing the MA. As both myself and others have already suggested, this--coupled with two years of U.S. classroom experience--would likely open the most doors for you. Alternatively, if you're hoping to become qualified to teach in both fields, you might inquire about the requirements for getting an add-on ESL (in some states known as "linguistically different") endorsement to your social studies licensure, which would likely be much faster than pursuing an entire MA TESOL degree.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Wanting to Make a Move Reply with quote

adaruby wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
Another option you might consider is to head back to the US and only focus on getting your license to teach social studies. .

Lucky that this option hasn't been mentioned about 2 or 3 times by various posters before you came crashing through the thread with your usual awareness, eh?

I don't know the basis for your animosity toward me, but this was simply another option for the OP to look into for other countries in the Islamic world in case he didn't want to pursue an MA in TESOL.
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lelick1234



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Alexandria, Egypt

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:12 pm    Post subject: Another Idea Reply with quote

I am thinking about earning my MA in TESOL. If needed, I will add on a CELTA certificate. From there, I was also thinking of trying to get my teacher's credential in social studies from Teach For America. This way, I would be guaranteed work experience in the United States, plus a cheaper price for the teacher's credential. Any naysayers for this plan?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lelick1234 wrote:
I am thinking about earning my MA in TESOL. If needed, I will add on a CELTA certificate. From there, I was also thinking of trying to get my teacher's credential in social studies from Teach For America. This way, I would be guaranteed work experience in the United States, plus a cheaper price for the teacher's credential. Any naysayers for this plan?

The TESOL employment market in the US is competitive; however, having the social studies teaching license and experience via Teach for America will definitely be beneficial for both the US and abroad. By the way, I didn't check out the San Fran program, but if the MA TESOL program you eventually choose includes a semester-long ESOL practicum, you won't need to fork out the extra expense for a CELTA.
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esl_prof



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

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Another Idea Reply with quote

lelick1234 wrote:
I am thinking about earning my MA in TESOL. If needed, I will add on a CELTA certificate. From there, I was also thinking of trying to get my teacher's credential in social studies from Teach For America. This way, I would be guaranteed work experience in the United States, plus a cheaper price for the teacher's credential. Any naysayers for this plan?


The CELTA won't be necessary if you do the TESOL Practicum course at SF State.

Do I correctly understand that your goal is to teach TEFL overseas and just do the the social studies credential so you have something to fall back on if you ever have to return to the States? If so, then this sounds like a solid plan. Since you're looking to do the social studies credential anyway, I'd try to get an ESL endorsement on your state teacher's license, which shouldn't be hard if you've done the coursework for an MA in TESOL. Having both endorsements (social studies and ESL) will give you a bit more flexibility if you ever have to use your teacher's license and, other than the application fee, it shouldn't cost you anything more.
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lelick1234



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Alexandria, Egypt

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:42 pm    Post subject: TESOL Practicum Reply with quote

OK, but doesn't CELTA have name-brand pull for British schools. I am sure the MA is more than sufficient. I am looking for the most amount of flexibility for my credentials.

I am thinking the social studies credential because I might have to return to the States or I might want to try to earn a job at a very high end international school.

Your idea about the TESOL addition to the Social Credential is a very good idea. I will have to do some research.
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