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Is a teaching certificate necessary?

 
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Michele



Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 12:01 am    Post subject: Is a teaching certificate necessary? Reply with quote

I am planning on moving to Thailand this summer to teach english. I have a degree, but no teacher training. I have been researching this site and the web for training programs and various certificates, as well as reading comments on this website. There seems to be a difference of opinion on whether obtaining a certificate is really necessary. What difference does it make? I'm sure one can find work without, but is it about salary? Teaching at a good school? Any suggestions or comments?
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You seem to be from a country wheere quacks sell medicine prescriptions and passengers pilot aircraft! I can imagine that holding a driver's licence raises the salary of a streetcleaner there!
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Michele



Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice. how about a little helpful advice instead. is that not the point of this forum? i am simply looking into whether or not to apply for a tesl or celta certificate in order to get a job. does anyone else have any advise for a newcomer?
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Irish



Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 1:03 am    Post subject: Necessary? Well, it depends... Reply with quote

Michele:

You might want to post your specific questions about Thailand in the Thailand forum (if you haven't already done so). Myself, I don't know how not having a cert will affect your prospects in that market. Hopefully, you'll hear from people working there now who can give you the lay of the land.

In general, I think "good schools" are interested in teachers with relevant training and/or experience. You say you have no training but you don't mention experience. Have you tutored or done volunteer work? That's not the same, of course, but it'll help, just like your own experiences at learning a second language will help you.

Pretend for a moment that you do the hiring at a "good school" and you've got two applicants to choose from. They're equal in every way but one: Applicant A has a certificate from a legitimate program that includes a minimum of 120 hours of supervised practice teaching. Applicant B has zero experience, not even volunteer work. Will that influence your decision?

Putting aside things like job prospects and pay, what about confidence? Have you stared down a room full of students, expectantly waiting for your wisdom, wondering what the heck you're going to put them through for the next 50 minutes? Would the experience of doing this under a supervisor who can then rip apart your lesson plan help you feel better when you're out there on your own?

Finally, what about your students? They (or their parents) will pay good money because they'll assume that you're worth it. Are you? Not trying to offend you here--I only wish to point out that they'll have certain expectations about what you can and can't do, just as good schools have certain expectations when considering job applicants. How are you going to meet those?

As you've probably guessed, I'm biased in favor of good training. It's not only about money. It's also about feeling confident and capable. True, some schools train you (or claim to) but others throw you into the classroom, assuming that you know what you're doing, and give you no guidance. A cert is no guarantee but it can give you a starting point to improve yourself and help you feel better about what you're doing. But this is just me.

Good luck and have fun in Thailand.
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Gary B



Joined: 19 Feb 2003
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wha'z up?
Michele, I'm not sure about Thailand, but from what I've I read on many of the job postings, a teaching credential is not necesarry. Obvioulsly the more teaching credentials you have, the better chance at the better paying jobs you have. I taught for 5 years in Ecuador and I had a basic EFL teaching certificate plus a bachelor's in political science, but was making the same amount of money as a friend of mine who never stepped foot in a university nor had any previous teaching experience because in some cases, English language institutes just want to have "educated ?" native speakers. I now have a Master's in TESOL and frankly I'm wondering if it'll really mean anything given the experience I had in Ecuador. Don't mind Roger's sarcastic comment because many people label this position as a real profession, and in some cases it is, but it depends on the circumstances you're going to teach in. I'd say GO FOR IT and check at a university near you where you might be able to get a basic ESL/EFL certificate.
Chow for Now,
Hope This Helps From Motown Gary B.
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that you will need a certificate to teach in Thailand, but you may have a hard time getting a job that pays very well. Thailand is known as being the ESL teachers' playland, not as a place to work. Afriend of mine worked there for a year, and she was working for a private highschool. I think she made something around $600CAD a month. I don't know if this is standard, and it was about 5 years ago. If you did want to get certified, Thailand is a relatively inexpensive place to do this, and from some of the ads I have read, it looks as though they will also be able to help you with job placement.
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Winmar



Joined: 11 Feb 2003
Posts: 125
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even if you don't need it to get a job, it's worth it for yourself. I can't imagine what I would have done if I'd gone into a classroom with no training. Where to start??!!
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 8:39 am    Post subject: my 2 cents for ya! Reply with quote

Hi Michele:

There's really no black & white advice on this one. Some schools prefer teaching certification; some don't. Some schools require it, depending on your other qualifications and number of years of experience in the classroom. And there are even a few schools that require it regardless of your other qualifications.

Considering the EFL market conditions in Thailand, where a steady supply of 'willing' teachers pushes salaries down, you'd probably be smart to invest the time and money on an additional certification ... to make you 'stand out' a little from the pack; to give you some practical 'hands-on' experience; and to increase the probability that you'll land that higher-than-average salary of 25,000 baht.

The main minimum requirement for schools in Thailand, as I'm sure you already know, is your BA in any field. Anything on top of that is just icing on the cake, and an investment in your future.

Personally, I'm not a HUGE fan of these teaching certificates, but for people who are just entering the field, I think it's a good start.

Good luck, Michele! Cool
kENt

PS: If you haven't seen this yet, try www.ajarn.com/ for lots of Thailand-related stuff.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You seem to be from a country wheere quacks sell medicine prescriptions and passengers pilot aircraft! I can imagine that holding a driver's licence raises the salary of a streetcleaner there!

Immature response.
Why are so many of the posters here so eager to heat people up?
Ignore the post and move on if you don't like it, Roger.

Quote:
Personally, I'm not a HUGE fan of these teaching certificates, but for people who are just entering the field, I think it's a good start.

I think I kinda agree with Kent. I would advise not to get a TEFOL/TESOL certificate.

Going into my 5th year teaching in Asia, I have only come across 1 school, here in Taiwan of all places, that said that they were looking to hire someone with a TEFOL/TESOL certificate.

I laughed, thanked the woman and hung up the phone.

TESOL/TEFOL certificates are NOT REQUIRED for most of the English conversation teaching opportunities in Asia.

However, you will come across businesses saying that it would be nice if you had them.

I am confident that most people can find work here in Taiwan, Japan or Korea without a TEFOL ticket, etc.

Save the $1,000 or so or whatever it'll cost you and bring it with you to Japan or wherever you'r going to teach.

Maybe you could start doing some private tutoring around town for foreign students in order to get some experience.

Find a Berlitz in town or a conversation school and chat up one of the teachers if you can. Maybe they will have some good suggestions for the area you live in on opportunites to get some teaching experience.
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Michele



Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi guys, thanks a lot for your advise (and support!). i realize that there is a big difference in opinion among teachers, and that the schools vary in their requirements as well. i suppose the best thing to do is figure it out once there.

i have been interested in thailand, mostly because i have been there three times already, though not for work. i know i love the country, and feel comfortable there. does anyone have any comments about working in tokyo? i sort of figured that it was way too expensive to live there, so i did not consider it.

michele
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michele-
From Thailand to Tokyo... wow opposite ends of the spectrum there! Tokyo is a very expensive place to live, but the wages are higher there. If you are planning to go there to look for work, you will have to have quite a bit of money saved up first. (Glenski can give you some good information about expenses and wages in Japan.) There are a lot of other cities in Japan that are very nice places to live that are not nearly as expensive as Tokyo. In other cities you will be able to afford a larger apartment, more entertainment, and your commute times will not be as long. This is something to consider.

How long did you spend in Thailand. WHat are the things that made you feel comfortable there? Have you ever been to Japan? It is very different from the rest of Asia.

Many of us who work in Japan get down to Thailand or Vietnam at least once a year for a bit of R&R. That is because these countries can give us the seclusion and tranquility that can be harder to find in Japan. What are some of the things that you value as important to your quality of life? Fresh air and sunshine? Money? Access to healthcare? International community? Nightlife? Access to cultural events? Special dietary considerations? Religious freedom? All of these and more will come into play when choosing a new country to live and work in.

Good luck
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
i have been interested in thailand, mostly because i have been there three times already, though not for work. i know i love the country, and feel comfortable there.


Hi, OP - I also like Thailand. A lot!

I was able to go to a school in Bangkok last year and talk to some teachers from that school. I also met a couple of other teachers from a different school. 2 of them were looking to get out and maybe head off to Korea or Japan to make a little more money but they couldn't afford to buy their plane tickets out of Thailand!

I turned down an offer at Berlitz in Bangkok - Poor wages and a 6 day work week isn't my idea of a good job opportunity.

I've seen this discussed several times on Dave's old board.

Thailand is a great place to take vacations in and Japan, Taiwan and Korea are the best places to teach and make money in.

You never know, though. Thailand may work for you and you might really enjoy teaching there.

Make sure you have enough money put away to get yourself back out of Thailand when you want to though.

Good luck!
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gerard



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 581
Location: Internet Cafe

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand it a tefl is not worth the bother unless it's the Cambridge CELTA. Is is known everywhere. In some places it doesn;t matter---the standard pay is the standard pay. Without it though some countries will be closed to you. Like Vietnam and (I think) all of the ME. A CELTA would be much better to have though than a reference from Thailand...
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Winmar



Joined: 11 Feb 2003
Posts: 125
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're just looking to do conversation classes, then I wouldn't bother with the CELTA.....but if you're intending to teach grammar then it could be a good idea.
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