Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Tel Aviv University TASP
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Israel
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
mrjohndub



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 198
Location: Saitama, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like it's not a very demanding program, with very loosely defined responsibilities. Is that true?

Also, if you don't come out with an MA in TESOL, what would the MA be in? Applied Linguistics? In what way are employment prospects improved by holding an MA?

Thanks for the info.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15613
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on where you want to teach and who will recognize their degree. It sounds to me like you would be better off getting your degree from a more recognized and accredited institution.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gabby123



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get a job, but you can not get ten year without a certificate. You have to go do the certificate when you are finished with the MA--which gets pricey. Without the certificate you are the lowest on the pay scale. Think minimum wage. But English teaching jobs are plentiful in Tel Aviv. The MA is in TESOL, but it is very theory based. Almost no instruction on classroom managment and classroom procedures. This is not a teaching MA, though you can get a teaching job after the program. You will make connections in your internship to help with job placement. And yeah your right, VERY loose procedures. Varying responsibility (some have a lot of it (which can be a problem with the limited support you get), others felt like they were babysitting.) Don't bank on extra income like it is advertised. It is hard to get private students in Tel Aviv. Also a typical apartment runs about 300 dollars before utilities. They'll advertise subsidized housing, but it is not feasable. There are other teacher certificate programs where you actually student teach. Levinksy College and Kibbutzim College. Both in the same area. Good luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3350
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gabby123 wrote:
You can get a job, but you can not get ten year without a certificate.

I think it's usually called "six year".... Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
antitasp



Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TESOL friends, I don't know where to start. TASP is an exploitative scam. I quit it last year, and I received a link to this thread from a friend of mine who is still in it. She is one of the six people left from the thirteen who started last year - five of us quit before the first semester was over, myself being the second.

Here's how it works. This couple (MOD EDIT) are the entire program. They're the "directors," and their barbecue buddies are the "Board" - basically, the Danks are judge, jury, and executioner. They convince individual charities, generally American Jewish organizations, to sponsor individual TASP interns in individual Tel Aviv public schools - but rather than allowing the organizations to give these funds directly to the schools in question, the money goes through TASP - i.e. the Danks. Who - get this - KEEP IT FOR THEMSELVES every chance they get. If an intern misses a day of work, the Danks keep two week's pay. Etc. During the few months that I was in TASP, the Danks went skiing in Italy twice.

Furthermore, Israeli students pay about $2,500 per year to attend Tel Aviv University. TASP interns pay $8,000. The extra money goes only to TASP - i.e. the Danks. The Danks provide no extra services for this extra money - beyond health insurance, which I'll go into later.

Our internship placements - what a crock. They told me that I wouldn't need to speak Hebrew, and they told the principal and English teacher that I was fluent in Hebrew. They told me that I'd be observing for a few weeks before I'd be asked to lead classes, and they told the principal and English teacher that I was an experienced instructor prepared to do anything they'd like. When I understood that I was going to take a group of advanced English students out of the regular class and teach them on my own, the principal and English teacher understood that the children assigned to me would remain in regular English class but be taken out of really fun things like gym or theater to work with me. Basically, there was no place for me in the school or in the kid's schedules - the Danks weren't willing to fight for a place for me, because essentially, they don't care.

I saw that I was wasting my time and money. I rarely saw my students in my "internship," and the MA classes were a complete joke - poorly organized and aimed towards no practical purpose. The professors weren't overly concerned about we American/Canadian students. I decided to quit TASP. According to the initial contracts we signed, all monies paid to the Danks were nonrefundable. I lost my $8,000, but it was worth it.

So get this. The $8,000 does include health insurance for the year; about the least inclusive health insurance I'd ever seen, but insurance nonetheless. It turns out that the Danks take your money up front for a year's worth of health insurance, but they only make monthly payments. When I quit, they stopped these monthly payments but kept the rest of my insurance money. I wouldn't have known any of this, were it not that I got borderline bronchitis/pneumonia a couple of weeks after quitting. When I went to a doctor and got prescriptions, he told me I'd better hurry and fill them because I only had insurance coverage for two more days. News to me! The Danks didn't bother to tell me that I'd soon be uninsured!

Anyway, so, for each of us who quit during the first year, the Danks pocketed $8,000. From what I hear from my friends now in their second year, who have already paid their final (non-refundable) tuition, the Danks have suddenly begun to threaten expulsion at the slightest "infractions." I could go on in this vein for pages, but it's not good for my blood pressure.

If you want to teach English in Israel, find another way. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
saynototasp



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:59 pm    Post subject: I agree with antitasp Reply with quote

I second everything that Antitasp said especially the part about it being bad for our blood pressure.

I would also like to add that the people I've kept in touch with since escaping tasp hell in 2004 tell me that no one who stayed in the program for the full two years actually got the degree b/c the conditions of tasp made it impossible to complete the thesis. (They were supposed to conduct research/testing/surveys on thier nonexistent students.) They wasted twice as much money as antitasp and I did. Those that wanted more time to work on their thesis had to pay for a third year.

TASP is a scam. Don't do it!!!!!!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
antitasp



Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saynototasp, I also second and can completely relate to everything in your post(s). It sounds like you left just before I did - my year, 2004-5, was the first that TASP was associated with Tel Aviv U.

Normally I'd be shocked to hear about an entire class being forced to pay an extra year's tuition due to a fault in the program itself, but in the case of TASP I'm totally not shocked. How typical. The Ding-Dongs (the most G-rated of the nicknames we came up with for the Danks) kept us fairly isolated from the second-year students, and it's probably because they'd tell us about things like this. %$&#...blood pressure... Smile

Anyway, I live in Givataiim now, teach English for Berlitz in Tel Aviv and other English-related stuff on the side as well. If anyone wants to come to Israel to teach, don't come for your Masters or to make a fortune - but know that as a native English speaker, you will be able to find enough work to scrape by. This is a nice way to spend a couple of years.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gabby123



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's good the truth is coming out! I would say don't do TASP. I've heard this year not much has changed, and everything has gotten worse. (MOD EDIT) Dank will no longer tell the participants the names of the board members. There are NO CHECKS and BALANCES in the program. And they are still asking for money from me! It enver ends. If you want to teach in Israel then do it through a teaching seminar or Berlitz or Wallstreet Institute. There are many more reputable programs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tasprefugee



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 3:20 am    Post subject: Stay Away From TASP! Reply with quote

I'm so happy the truth about TASP is coming out, thanks to this forum. I also fled TASP after discovering what a scam it is. TASP reminds me of those novelties they used to sell on the back covers of comic books; X-Ray Vision Glasses, Smoke Bombs, or maybe like the Secert Decoder Ring in that movie, A Christmas Story (yes, I know, how goy of me!). Inflated claims and a sweet sales pitch are used to snag poor suckers into buying a dud.

One after another, I found that every claim made by the couple running TASP was either untrue, or barely true, and then only barely enough that the guy running TASP could safely cover his butt and claim, disingenuously, that we all knew what we were in for.

The Hebrew ulpan we were promised *before* the beginning of the school year never happened.

The subsidized housing we were offered (in either a merkaz klita - 'absorption centre' or student housing through TAU) was squalid and temporary. We were cut loose 2 or 3 months after arriving, expected to find "affordable" housing (almost impossible) despite the fact that our first paychecks (such as they were) were a long way off (more about "pay" later).

The loan situation, for those of us (most of us) relying on help with loans that TASP offered, was a total balagan (SNAFU). During my stint there, the US government actually began refusing to grant federally backed loans to those studying with TASP / University of Liverpool (with whom TASP was then affiliated) due to concerns about those programme's (both TASP's and the University of Liverpool's) legitimacy. Dank, the guy who runs TASP, lamented about how the US govt was actually threatening to send over folks from the Inspector General's office to audit TASP's books because of these concerns. In any case, this all meant that the Stafford loans many of us were relying on were no longer an option. Dank tried to steer us towards other loan options, but the amounts available were substantially less than what we were counting on.

The University of Liverpool "branch" that we attended in Tel Aviv was nothing more than the front for a diploma mill, set up in the basement of a mall. Pictures hastily mounted on carboard and thumbtacked to the walls, of smiling grads being handed diplomas could not alleviate the thoroughly bargain-basement ambiance created by the folding chairs, formica tables, and, well, the fact that the pictures in question were mounted on cardboard and thumbtacked to the wall! It had the look and feel of some fly-by-night operation.

The pay from our teaching jobs was simply *not* enough, despite TASP's claims otherwise, and other work was slim, again, despite what we were led to believe. The work situation was exacerbated by our shaky legal status there, yet again, something TASP had not been honest about.

You had some chance of *eventuallly* finding legal work as a TASPer if you wanted to make aliya (immigrate - assuming you could...or wanted to). Otherwise you were limited to catch-as-catch-can, illegal under the table work.

At the very first social event between the new-comers and those who were half finished, *every* one of the TASP veterans regailed us with horror stories about how awful TASP was. They had all obviously long-since given up any pretense of enjoying the programme or taking the "academic" work seriously, and were just trying to make the best of things, trying get their already-spent money's worth by at least getting something that looked good on paper (because that's all they felt their thesis work was worth). It was sad and embarrassing to see the couple running TASP, sitting there at that party, smiling weakly, as everyone there whispered about how terrible the whole thing was (and apparently still is).

I have to say, though, that when I was there, we did take part in teaching/classroom oriented workshops conducted by the MARPAD, the Ministry of Education's pedogogical training division. The complaints by other ex-TASPers here about a lack of classroom management training makes me wonder if this no longer takes place. In any case, those workshops were a waste of time. They were hardly innovative nor in-depth.

Too, I do have to say that I enjoyed my experience in the school I was assigned. I made friends with the teacher I worked under and found her to be intelligent and professional. It was almost spooky how much we had in common. The kids were wild, but I loved working with them.

I left after a few months due to lack of money. I had already paid $2,000 out of my own pocket to "secure a place in the programme". I could not pay the tuition because the Stafford loans we were originally relying on could no longer be secured by TASPers and the other loan options didn't leave enough left over, after tuition, to augment our meager wages. Dank knew that payment of my tuition was incumbent on my securing adequate loans, yet still hounded me (and any relative he could locate) for months after I left to pay the tuition for the full year's course, despite the fact that I had already paid the initial $2,000 (as well as *all* the other expenses - it's not like he was being put out) and despite leaving early. I felt that, by not demanding my money back, I was still letting him off generously. He didn't see it that way, though.

Due to his completely devious behaviour, I actually attempted to contact the Jewish Fedeation's offices in LA in order to lodge some kind of formal complaint. No one I spoke to there was at all responsive. I also considered contacting the Better Business Bureau. When I (and my relatives) finally stopped receiveing harassing phone calls, e-mails, and letters from TASP, I was already exhausted by the whole ordeal and finally decided to be done with it. Again, the truth seems to be coming out, though, as evidenced here. If anyone ever did want to proceed with more formal complaints with someone like the BBB, I would be happy to weigh in.

Despite all it faults, if anything good about TASP can be said at all, it is that it gave me an excuse to try out life in Israel, a place I loved (and still love) despite the violence, racism, neurotic behaviour and other hassles. All that can be had, though, without enduring TASP. Follow the advice of others here and seek out other programmes (*real* programmes) if living, working and / or studying in Israel is what you're after. TASP is a deal with the devil.

Anyone who wants to share or learn more (and, oh, there is sooo much more!) is free to contact me at:

kidshateschool@yahoo.com

Shalom / Salaam / Peace
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Belle81



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope that the people who did TASP are still checking this forum, because I was planning on starting the program this year and now I am having second thoughts. Does anyone know anyone who is still in the program now, or someone who lives here in Israel that I can speak with, with their permission of course?
Is it for sure that a teaching certificate is not given along with the degree? And if not, where do you get it and how, is there a course to do?
Is there anything good about the program, did it seem anything like what it was advertised to be, or was it entirely different?
Comments greatly appreciated.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tasprefugee



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll answer what I can:

First, lets' be clear. You do NOT get any teacher certification, license or credentials from TASP. What you get is a masters degree (and, depending on how TASP is doing things these days, perhaps you get some TESOL certification that might be honoured by a language school like Berlitz...the same kind of certification you can actually get through Berlitz in a matter of weeks). For the purposes of teaching English, or anything else for that matter, in Israeli public schools, or any other public schools for that matter, this is next to useless. If you decide you want teacher certification, the work you do in TASP will not count for much, if anything, in any teacher-training certification course you pursue. You will very likely have to re-do much, perhaps all, of the work you did in TASP, perhaps even going so far as to get another masters degree, depending on local licensing requirements.

The masters degree you get through TASP is probably adequate if you want to go on to PhD work, or if you want to teach at private language schools (like Berlitz). Again though, it is basically useless for those with designs on teaching primary or secondary education, public or private. You would be *much* better served getting proper credentials through a full-fledged education programme at a teaching college / university.

TASP will NOT suffice.

You see, TASP is NOT a legitimate, academic programme. There is no dean, chair, department, advisor, committee, ombudsman, or institutional infrastructure that *every* other *real* school has. TASP supposedly has a board, but apparently they are now secret and, in any case, they might as well be since students have no access to them, anyway.

The institutional infrastructure at Tel Aviv University is only responsible for the minor involvement that TAU has with TASP. They will not be available to TASP students to hear grievances about TASP or resolve problems between students and the guy that runs TASP. It's his show.

if you doubt any of this, simply ask the guy who runs TASP who the board is, what the grievance policy is, how problems are resolved, who oversees his activities, what the chain-of-command is, who he is accountable to, and if you can talk to them about these issues. If he thinks you're lazy, he'll give you a good song-and-dance which he'll probably hope will suffice, throw a few names at you and hope you don't go any further. If you *do* go further, and if he deigns to give you any names or real info at all, you'll find that those people simply refer you right back to the guy who runs TASP, and that they are quick to be rid of you. He's not really accountable to anyone, and that's the problem.

I don't know anyone still in TASP. Of my cohort, *all* the people I was in close contact with (half the cohort, more than half-a-dozen folks) left early due to the problems they had with TASP. The one exception was a woman I knew who stayed long enough to get her money's worth, and I think was able to leave early during the thesis portion of the programme, though I don't think she actually finished that.

The handfull of others I knew from later cohorts also left TASP early due to dissatisfaction.

Those folks I was not in close contact with, who *may* have stayed / finished TASP (I'm not sure) still expressed dissatisfaction with TASP in the brief conversations we did have while I was stiil there. If they did end up staying, I can't imagine it was easy for them, or that they did so without at least some (perhaps even lots) of misgivings.

I would definitely question any folks who have positive reviews of TASP. For instance, what *specifically* did they like and what, if anything, didn't they like?; Are they responding positively because they are telling you what they think you want to hear?; Are they responding positively about TASP because they are afraid of jeopardising their good references / referrals from TASP if they are honest about problems they might have had with the programme?; Do they acknowledge that others have had problems with TASP even if their own expereinces were better?; Despite their own expereinces, would they gladly recommend TASP to others? That kind of thing...

I know at least one of the people quoted on the TASP website was one of its harshest critics who took every opportunity to complain about it. I have no idea how they got her to say what she (supposedly) said in her testimony on the website. Too, I know one of the others quoted there was someone with Israeli citizenship who had lots of family and help in Israel. Those folks have much better luck since they don't have nearly the obstacles to face regarding money and work.

The guy who runs TASP also really plays favourites. If you're pretty, young, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, he *loves* to play big, old, nice daddy with you. Complain at all, though, and he'll cut you loose.

Again, there are so many probelms with TASP, that you would have to be very, very lucky indeed even to get through at all, much less do it happily.

Is that really what you want from your graduate work or your time in Israel?

Demand better and go elsewhere. TASP is not the quality you deserve. It's not quality at all.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3350
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tasprefugee wrote:
The masters degree you get through TASP is probably adequate if you want to go on to PhD work....

You see, TASP is NOT a legitimate, academic programme. There is no dean, chair, department, advisor, committee, ombudsman, or institutional infrastructure that *every* other *real* school has.

If it has no standards, how would a legitimate Ph.D. programme possibly recognise and accept a master's degree obtained through TASP?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tasprefugee



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether or not a TASP masters degree would be accepted by a PhD programme probably depends on the particular programme.

It should come as no surprise to folks that, just as there are bargain-basement, diploma mill masters programmes like TASP, there are equivalents for PhDs.

A more competitive, esteemed institution would probably have serious questions about anyone proffering a masters from TASP. Other, less choosy institutions and programmes would likely not care too much, content that an applicant at least has some experience doing research, collecting data, doing analysis, and writing a thesis. TASP does actually give you some practise doing that, albeit the bare minimum.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tasprefugee



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last note on the legitimacy of the TASP masters degree: It occurs to me that their masters degree is probably comparable to something you might get via a correspondence course (like the ones offered by the University of Liverpool - the ads for which pop up on sketchy websites all over the place - and with whom TASP used to be affiliated).

Again, bargain-baement stuff that'll meet the bare requirements but probably not something you'd put on your CV if you knew folks would be scrutinising your credentials closely.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TRUTHABOUTTASP



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:59 am    Post subject: SOUND INFO FROM A CURRENT STUDENT Reply with quote

As a current student entering my second year, I can say that many of these postings are simply speculation by people who have not been in the program, or reflect outdated or incomplete information posted by previous students. Some of the so-called "facts" posted are simply nonsense. For example, there is heavy criticism that TASP does not provide work visas. No overseas school program in Israel does this, and nowhere does TASP state that it provides this. If you write them and ask (which their website easily enables one to do), they will tell you it is not part of the deal. They do provide the paperwork to obtain a yearlong Student Visa, and all the students have one. The stipend is paid through TASP, not the school you work at, and is thus totally legal and does not qualify as some sort of illegal paycheck.

Example #2: One of the previous postings on this forum states that TAU is not accredited. TAU is the second largest university in Israel, and has wide acclaim in Israel, the US, and elsewhere. The MA in TESOL is fully recognized in the US. If you want the degree in order to teach elsewhere in the middle east, then yes, it is probably wiser to join an MA program outside of Israel. But this is because of the political situation here in the middle east, not because TAU or this degree is phony. Our teachers, though sometimes quirky, all have PhD's and are really bright. The MA is issued from TAU. The program is 10 years old, and before four years ago, the degree was actually issued from University of Liverpool. This is NOT the case anymore. All courses are in English; Hebrew (though not unhelpful), is not required for any teaching or coursework.

Example #3: Some have posted that it is never clear what the MA is in, and there is speculation it is in TESOL or Applied Linguistics. Self-proclaimed dropouts from the program say they never knew exactly what their degree was in. If so (which seems highly doubtful), then they are fools. Who joins a graduate program not knowing what the degree is in? The program website makes it perfectly clear the MA is in TESOL. There is indeed no teaching certification for Israeli schools provided through completion of the program, but this is easily determined through communication with the program directors. I know because I asked them months before I enrolled in the program. There are, however, teaching certification programs in Israel that are accelerated by already having an MA in TESOL.

TASP is not a perfect program, as probably no school program is. The internship may be difficult, as working as a regular certified teacher in an Israeli school is indeed difficult for them. More than not, the university courses are theoretical and those interested in more practical, pedagogical training should look at the course listings posted on the TASP website to see what they are really getting into. I would go a step further and ask more details of those courses from the program directors, as they can be easily contacted from the info on the website.

I am not saying TASP is perfect, but life in Tel Aviv is great, and I do feel the website (as much as it does need improvement and remodelling) more or less shows you what to expect. The students are currently in a process of negotiating changes to the website and some minor aspects of the program, but that being said, to me the program is quite do-able and for me will be worth it.

I would be happy to answer any questions or post more info as requested. You should communicate with and ask many questions of the program directors. If you don't get every question answered in one go, ask again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Israel All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC