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Do I need certification?

 
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sebailey



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 10
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:22 pm    Post subject: Do I need certification? Reply with quote

Truly, people, truly...
Do I need a fancy $1500 certification to work as an English teacher in Argentina? If so, which is the most asked for by schools there? I will be a college graduate and will have some experience teaching ESL by June when I really gotta get out of the States (four more years my #%[email protected]). Let me know what you think, from the comments I've read Argentina seems very affordable but at the same time pretty lucrative for teachers who can live somewhat on the cheap.
Thanks,
Sarah Bailey
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Whitney Davies



Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently teach in Madrid, but after almost 2 years of wonderful Madrileņa life I thought of going back home then I realized why not make use of my improved Spanish? You see when I got to Madrid my Spanish was close to "nulo", (nothing!) and now Iīm quite confident , well I have to be after almost 2 years here!

So to cut the story short, Iīve decided to try Argentina, BA to be more specific and because Iīve been there once before I think it will be nice to teach there as well. With the question about certification, I WOULD recommend having one, the market in Madrid and I believe also in BA is getting more choosy, because with all the economic crisis here there and everywhere most "academias" do not want to risk their clients on untrained native English speakers ie: US, UK, Canada, passport holders.

Maybe many, many moons ago our passports would have been enough, but now the selection is not that easy. Of course other things like previous work experience (not necessarily in teaching), other languages would help but having a TEFL cert in my opinion is a must.

In Madrid, the certified guys also get higher rates (thatīs speaking from experience!). So advice: get certified but make sure your school really trains you well, donīt get fooled by fancy sounding titles, and most especially ask the school what type of job help they give after the course. It is important that they have a good job help program.

Most "academias" want a certified, personable and confident tecaher at job interview time. Oh yes just for the record, I am American .

Good luck, and teaching english in Madrid has been great so far and Iīm sure Iīll be fine in BA as well. Suerte! If you want more info send me a PM.

whitney
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faithm



Joined: 09 Nov 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:58 pm    Post subject: no c Reply with quote

Hi, I just wanted to report that I just got a job in BA teaching english for an institue that teaches in companies and they didnt care at all that I didnt have a certificate or a working visa. It wasnīt easy getting a job though, I had been looking for a few months.
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Whitney Davies



Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thatīs exactly what I mean , who wants to wait months before they find a job? I did my TEFL course (intensive) for 4 weeks. I was interviewing the Monday after I graduated ( course finished on the Friday before) and I was working the same week I first interviewed.

Now, this doesnīt mean Iīm so goood, Cool all it meant was like many of my classmates, we were working right away because our TEFL school had an excellent job help program which meant they had contacts with language schools who were just waiting to interview us.

You see the language schools are put in contact with us at no cost to them. They are even guaranteed that we are already trained so really the TEFL school is doing them a favor. Training the teachers, putting them into contact with the language schools for FREE! Iīm not selling my TEFL school to anyone. Iīm just a teacher and loving every bit of it. Iīm not into PR or Advertsing (no thank you!), but I donīt mind speaking nicely about my TEFL school because without them I donīt think I would have worked straight off.

When I go to BA, I will use their job search help once again, itīs a lifetime deal, so they will put me into contact with the schools in BA or in China! For the moment Iīll stick to the Spanish speaking countries!

My classmates and I got the phone calls, we werenīt the ones calling. The calling we did was to follow up on missed calls or to arrange an appointment in answer to the "academiaīs" call. So in a way we were spoilt for choice, at least I felt that way. Speaking for myself, I think thatīs the extra benefit of a certificate.

Most importantly I wanted to get some type of training before I went out to teach because I had no idea of teaching. I went out there feeling confident. I was prepared to explain the difference between First, Second, Third conditionals, what exactly are phrasal verbs, business english, etc, etc! And yes my advanced class at a big telecommunications company in Madrid asked me to explain the difference, and I believe I got away with it, you see Iīm still their teacher after 2 school years! I also chose my TEFL school for the job search program they offered which proved to be an excellent one.

Of course you will find schools hiring teachers without certificates but in my case I wanted my school to put me in touch with 100+ "academias" (ok, not all the 100+ schools will call you! Cool) so I could do the choosing, not the other way around. So to all you guys heading for Tango land, ĄSuerte a todos!

whitney
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9650
Location: Guadalajara

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 7:31 pm    Post subject: another point of view Reply with quote

Just to change the focus a bit...

One should consider the students point of view as well when considering getting TEFL training (or similar) or not. Students in developing countries often pay quite a bit, relatively speaking, for classes and teachers. They fully expect to get a trained teacher, not just some native-speaker. These students often invest a lot of their time and resources into learning English, which is very often the only wy they can increase their earnings, or support their families.

I know it's nice for us foreigners to be able to travel where we like and get teaching jobs without really deserving them, but a lot of damage can be done for having that benefit...for simply having the luck of being born in an English-speaking country
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sebailey



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 10
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 4:12 am    Post subject: Thanks... Reply with quote

Thank you all for your replies, and thanks especially to Guy for his reminder of what it's all about. I certainly plan to get a certificate having researched things a bit more, but does anyone know which cert is most asked for? It seems to me that the CELTA program is the most widely accepted, so that's what I'm looking into now. Whitney, if you wouldn't mind a bit more selling, I would love to know which school you attended for your TEFL certification. Once again, thank you all so much,
Sarah
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Whitney Davies



Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To follow the line of giving the students what they paid for, in terms of giving them quality English language training programs, to meet their goals ie: better paying jobs, better opportunities, steady income to support their familes, etc., why do you think I got myself trained ?

I could have gone out to Buenos Aires (I know Iīve been there!), contacted language schools who couldnīt care less if I was trained or not, merely intrested in the fact that I was "native" or just put my ad in "tablones" and just went about teaching.

I could have done the same thing in Madrid, but as I said earlier, I wanted to go out there feeling ready, confident and most importantly that I knew my stuff and as such be of help to my students. In fact as I had no prior teaching experience, I knew it was my responsibilty to get myself trained!


In response to this statement :

"I know it's nice for us foreigners to be able to travel where we like and get teaching jobs without really deserving them, but a lot of damage can be done for having that benefit...for simply having the luck of being born in an English-speaking country"


Why do you think I got myself trained? And by the way who decides who is deserving of a teaching job?? Who decides if Iīm giving my students adequate learning programs ?? Am I classified as a foreigner undeserving of a teaching job in BA or Madrid?

My decision to get myself trained and not merely capitalize on my US passport or on English being my mother tongue should tell you something on how serious I am about this profession.

You see I know what I give my students, grammar, esp (not extra sensory powers, more like english for special purposes), planning, preparation and the dedication in helping them attain their career goals.

Of course I see the world via my wages as an English teacher but whatīs wrong with that? As long as I know that I give my students my best then who is being shortchanged?

You see Iīm just an English teacher enjoying the world outside of the good olīUSA and learning a lot about other cultures along the way. Sorry canīt do the used car sales person tactics, tit for tat one often comes across in these forums!

Now of course if I had to attend a particular school to be deemed deserving, competent and prepared, then I rest my case.


A todos, suerte!



whitney
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sebailey



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 10
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:47 pm    Post subject: but where??? Reply with quote

Whitney, I would appreciate you telling me where you got your certification. You speak so glowingly of the school and its resources, I would love to find out where you studied.
Thanks,
Sarah
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