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Newbie Question about Cert. & Securing Jobs in Advance

 
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arieljch26



Joined: 19 Feb 2017
Posts: 2
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:09 am    Post subject: Newbie Question about Cert. & Securing Jobs in Advance Reply with quote

Sorry if a version of this question has been asked already many times before, but I am completely new to ESL and I am pretty lost. I have a BA in poli sci & Spanish, and a few months of experience teaching English privately to a Chinese student who had recently moved to the US. I have taken a few linguistics classes for my Spanish major. Other than that, I don't have experience or qualifications for ESL. My motivation in teaching english is that I honestly want to travel, possibly learn another language (or practice spanish in a spanish-speaking country), and see if I might want to pursue a phd in linguistics eventually. I am open to teaching in pretty much any country (except Korea doesn't particularly interest me), but basically anywhere I can find a job.

My main question is... how can I get a language certification that doesn't cost $1,000+?? I just don't have the money for that right now, but I keep reading that the cheap online courses aren't respected by language schools. Do I have any options? I just straight up can't afford those courses that cost thousands of dollars.

My other question is... can I secure a job ahead of time before going to a country? I don't have experience being a backpacker or extensive travel experience and the thought of just getting up and moving to another country with no job secured sounds insane to me. However, from what I've read on these forums it seems like the norm. Does anyone know of any language schools ANYWHERE that would be good to look into for securing a job ahead of time?

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. It is much appreciated Smile
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10829
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Others will comment on possible countries. But given your motivation for TESOL, apparent limited budget, and inexperience as a super traveler, the Peace Corps might be worth a look. (BTW, the era of carefree, backpacking EFL teachers is pretty much over.)
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1304
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt you'll learn anything more valuable in a cheap, online certificate than investing the same cost into a few good TESL books. Now, for some countries, it's a visa requirement, which is fine if that's the route you want to go. China and Vietnam may be a good place for you to start.

You may want to look into extending your timeline - you really don't want to go abroad without an emergency fund. How do you anticipate paying for travel? I hope you realize the salary for someone without qualifications or experience are unlikely to support this. You're looking at the bottom jobs in the industry, especially if you get a cheapo certificate.

Perhaps you would be best to start in a Spanish-speaking country if you feel intimidated to move abroad to look for work. You will still need to do so, but assuming you have some fluency, it can be an easier way to start. Again, money is an issue.

The days are long gone when employers would pay unqualified people to speak English and support travel during time off. Long, long gone. Maybe you'll get lucky - but that probably won't happen from abroad. You'll want to be there.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1411
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I would look into the Peace Corps. They will train you. http://files.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/learn/TEFL_Comms.pdf
You don't have to shell out a lot of money up front. you can get student loans you might have differed. And Graduate schools look kindly on that experience.
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arieljch26



Joined: 19 Feb 2017
Posts: 2
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow i have to admit it's kind of a bummer to hear all this, but thanks for the info. the thing I'm wondering about now is that I always see these posts online for jobs (mainly in Asia) where they offer to pay your airfare, accommodation, and a salary on top of it. Are these all scams? or are they only if you have the proper certification?

And thanks for the peace corps recommendation, I will definitely look into it.
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danmbob



Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Places that pay for accommodation and airfare are hiring people with MAs or Celta and lots of experience. SIT Tesol has fairly inexpensive cert programs in Latin America.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 796

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basic BA and minimal experience... Korea is a good start still.
Housing, airfare and basic wages for a 40 hour / 30 class work week.
http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/korea/

If money is less of an issue (you can afford a plane ticket) then Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar are OK places to get your feet wet.

Since you have Spanish in your background then Central and South America are also an option if you don't have to worry about paying off student loans.
It is cheap to get there and easy to get home if things don't work out for you.

For markets like China and better jobs in SE Asia then a decent TEFL course is in the offing. http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/china/index.cgi?read=45645

.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1411
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can also look at these "ALT" (assistant language teacher) programs where you go into a public school and basically model native speaker pronunciation together with Local English Teacher. Like the EPIK program in Korea. Please keep in mind many of these programs are more of a cultural exchange nature than an actual job.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 1359
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not just the language schools that don't like online or distance 'qualifications.' They're often not recognised by the visa issuing authorities.
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tedkarma



Joined: 17 May 2004
Posts: 1598
Location: The World is my Oyster

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having served in the Peace Corps in 89-91, I don't know that I would recommend it for people who "want to travel". You need a bit more motivation than just seeing the world and the application and acceptance process is quite long and drawn out. It is purposefully difficult so as to discourage dreamers looking for a bit of travel on someone else's dime.

All that said, It changed my life, but even in easy countries there is a significant drop-out rate, so think seriously before going that route.

A few months in Thailand is probably a better route for drifters and people who just want a short experience.
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tedkarma



Joined: 17 May 2004
Posts: 1598
Location: The World is my Oyster

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
It's not just the language schools that don't like online or distance 'qualifications.' They're often not recognised by the visa issuing authorities.


But in fact they often are in China, which seems to be the biggest jobs market at the moment.
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