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Job/training advice for Doha?

 
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Celta now + Masters later OR only MA TEFL now?
ONLY Celta now
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Celta now + Masters later
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Only MA TEFL now
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Sweeniak



Joined: 28 Jul 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Job/training advice for Doha? Reply with quote

Hello! I'm exploring training and/or employment options for myself in Doha. I might be relocating there due to my husband’s job, timeline uncertain.

I sought advice in the Oman forum last fall when I thought I was moving to Muscat. I got great guidance and in the end I had a strong lead with AMIDEAST (thanks for all the help!) but I never made it out there. Hence round two, this time possibly in Qatar!

I would appreciate any advice/guidance about what I can expect to find in Doha with my background and also what I can do in the immediate future to make myself better qualified for both the long and short terms.

My background/qualifications: BA in Philosophy w/ minor in English. Came to teaching through Peace Corps (3 months ESL training + two years teaching experience). Another two years teaching experience in Jordan (HS Geography and PYP 5th Grade English). I completed “Teaching ESL Students in the Mainstream Classroom” (25 hrs instruction, 50 hrs professional development reading/activities).

I am just learning about the kafala system, so I’m not sure if it effects my ability to be hired from abroad if I’m sponsored by my husband’s employer?

Assuming it doesn't, is there any chance of me getting a foreign-hire contract with my background? (My husband’s job wouldn’t include housing, so I’m dreaming big ☺)

With my background (an unrelated BA + 4 yrs. ESL teaching exp. + no official credentials), what sort of opportunities should I realistically look for? I’d love to be teaching my own class, but I am open to full or part time, adjunct positions, language schools, etc. It would help if I knew what is within my reach.

If a local contract is my lot, what sort of local salary/pay might I be able to expect? (And I’m assuming that once it’s local pay, it’s local tax, too?) When I was in Jordan on a local contract, I was making about half of what the foreign hire teachers were, didn’t have any of the extra benefits like housing and flights, and paid taxes. Then again, everything I’ve seen points to salaries being higher in Qatar than Jordan so I’m wondering if anyone can speak to local contract pay.

CELTA now + Masters Later OR MA in TEFL now?
I may have some time to get a qualification before the start of the next school year so I’m contemplating taking a CELTA course in the coming months. I understand this would only make me minimally qualified at the moment, but I think it’s better to be at least minimally qualified than not-at-all qualified. My big-picture idea was to start with CELTA then get an MEd. but I read in another post someone recommended an MA in TEFL/TESOL.

As I understand it, one of the reasons CELTA is so widely sought/recognized is that it is a standardized credential whereas most ESL/TESOL/TEFL programs aren't necessarily. So where would an MA in TEFL fit? I’ve found a 150-hour online Masters TEFL course from tefluk.com for GBP400. Could that kill my two birds (ESL qualification + Masters) with one stone (MA in ESOL/TEFL)? Or is this too good (and affordable) to be true? If this one program is, can someone tell me more about MA in ESL/TEFL? Are they just specialized full-fledged masters degrees? Is there anything in between CELTA and a masters?

Many thanks!!


Last edited by Sweeniak on Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11516
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
a 150-hour online Masters TEFL course from tefluk.com for GBP400.


Uh, that's not a Master's degree. It's a misleading generic TEFL course.


A BASIC TEFL course is 120 hours minimum. A master's is a full year of study if you do it full time in the US, and may be two years if you do it via a UK distance program.
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Sweeniak



Joined: 28 Jul 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, spiral, I'm getting that as I do more research!

I guess my question now - erasing the generic/mislabeled TEFL course - is whether there's a CELTA-like equivalent for a masters in TEFL/ESL? As in, one that's widely recognized, NOT a scam, but also not a full-fledged masters program either? Is that where DELTA falls?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11516
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CELTA and equivalent courses are all entry - level. A DELTA falls somewhere in between the entry level and the MA, but a DELTA is usually more about becoming someone who oversees teachers - a Director of Studies or equivalent - than about teaching, though it does focus very strongly on teaching skills.
An MA is a solid qualification and usually the minimum for teaching in better jobs in the ME ('better' in this case meaning not bottom feeder gigs).

So, no, there is no CELTA type course (one month/six weeks) that will be considered equivalent to a Master's degree.

By the way, no online course is going to fulfill ANY requirements for the ME.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11407
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of what we told you for Oman goes for Qatar as well; you'd be under your husband's sponsorship as a trailing spouse. If you subsequently find work, you'd have to transfer sponsorship. This is typical of the Gulf.

Again, your unrelated degree and lack of a TEFL cert (CELTA equivalent) aren't going to impress employers, so at least consider getting a CELTA with the possibility of being hired locally in some sort of entry-level job at a generic language school or with AMIDEAST, if there are openings. That said, no one can say what your potential earnings would be; there's no guarantee employers would count your previous four years of experience because you didn't have a TEFL qualification. When applying for jobs, definitely point out that you'd received Peace Corps ESL training.

Be aware that the government of Qatar does not accept degrees/credentials that entailed online coursework. That nixes your idea of an online MA for future employment in all of the GCC except for Oman and the UAE unless government requirements change. I suggest you check if any of the UK or US universities in Qatar offer an on-campus MA TESOL. There's also the option of pursuing a Delta in Doha via the British Council or International House. Take a look at their websites for info about dates, costs, etc. But visit Cambridge ESOL's site first to get a clear idea of what the CELTA and Delta are.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17610
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One detail that no one else has mentioned. There is no income tax in the Gulf countries as yet...

VS
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Sweeniak



Joined: 28 Jul 2015
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There is no income tax in the Gulf countries as yet...

Even for local hires? I paid income tax and social security in Jordan on my local contracts.

Quote:
Be aware that the government of Qatar does not accept degrees/credentials that entailed online coursework.

Can I get clarification if this is all courses that have ANY online component or rather courses that are ONLY online?

I am considering an online masters program from George Mason University in America - what used to be called the FAST TRAIN program and is now called Teaching Culturally, Linguistically Diverse and Exceptional Learners. It's a 2-yr. online/summer session program that leads to a masters degree in either international ESOL or elementary ed and a US teaching license. So yes, it is partially online but it also involves face-to-face instruction and classroom experience. This program is unique in my search that it provides a US teaching license, which I have a hard time believing wouldn't be recognized throughout the Middle East?

Quote:
I suggest you check if any of the UK or US universities in Qatar offer an on-campus MA TESOL.

If any kind of online MA isn't an option, it's great to have the US/UK universities in Doha as an option. Looking into this now.

Quote:
So, no, there is no CELTA type course (one month/six weeks) that will be considered equivalent to a Master's degree.

Please understand that I know the substance of a Masters degree and that I'm not trying to find a "quick fix" for one. Similarly, I know CELTA won't in any way be considered an equivalent to a masters. Rather, I was wondering if there is a middle step between a one month CELTA and a 2 yr. masters. I suppose this is where a standard bachelors might fit in, but I was wondering if there's a recognized ESL-specific in-between?

Thanks for the help!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11407
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In response to your comments/questions above:

- There's no income tax in the GCC. Jordan is not a member of the GCC nor is it located in the Gulf.

- In terms of pursuing an MA with online coursework, see MA with online components worth it?, specifically the OP's interview with CCQ, which states in its job postings that "applicants must indicate whether their credentials were earned wholly or partly online or by distance learning." Your university registar would be required to verify this information for work visa purposes.

Also from a major recruiter in the GCC:

Quote:
Additional Requirements: One degree MUST be in-person. Partial or fully online degrees are not recognized by Qatar immigration. Applicants without in-person degree cannot be considered.
Source: Teach Away

And...

Quote:
And as of late 2011/2012, Qatar's Supreme Council of Health no longer accepts online/distance education programs for licensing/credentialing and the government will not grant legal resident status to workers with online/distance education degrees.
Source: "Distance Education Dilemma"

- And lastly, keep in mind the CELTA is basically a non-academic, entry-level English language teaching cert. Employers like it (and similar TEFL certs) because it confirms the cert holder has received supervised, hands-on teacher training. That said, it's unclear what you mean by a bachelor's being a step up from a TEFL cert, but generally BA degrees in education, linguistics, TESOL, etc. make the cut. However, if the degree program doesn't include a practical component, that's where a TEFL cert fills in. Since you already have a bachelor's degree, an MA would be the next logical path for you. Choose a program with a practicum (like my MAT did) and you won't have to fuss with completing a separate TEFL cert. (if required). Regardless, you'll have to deal with the issue of online vs on-campus learning.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17610
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweeniak wrote:
Quote:
There is no income tax in the Gulf countries as yet...

Even for local hires? I paid income tax and social security in Jordan on my local contracts.

Jordan is a poor country where the government supports itself with taxes.

The GCC is oil country. The governments (and royal families) are supported by oil and gas revenue... and very few taxes. There is talk that the low oil prices may cause taxation to finally appear... but not yet.

VS
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izmigari



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 197
Location: Rubbing shoulders with the 8-Ball in the top left pocket

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Jordan is a poor country where the government supports itself with taxes.


King Abdullah is destined for Paradise. What that man and his country does for the regional refugees is nothing short of inspirational!

If Sheikh Zayed had lived in these times, I'm not too convinced that he wouldn't have set up camps in Al Gharbia as well. He seemed to have a similarly altruistic nature.
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