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Gina



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 7:03 am    Post subject: HELP!! Reply with quote

Hi everybody. I just quit my job ( project manager/management assistant) to go traveling and to teach children.
I will be heading towards Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand around December and would really like some advise on which course to take. I am not in it for the big bucks and only want to teach children, not adults.
(I'm a 30 year old kid myself Laughing I am thinking of taking an on-line TEFL course. Is this a good idea and can anybody recommend one? The CELTYL and CELTA course are really expensive and I am wondering if I really need them. I don't have a uni degree.

A big thank's for any advise! Confused Smile
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Capergirl



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 1232
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Gawd Shocked ....You quit your job (which sounds like a good one) to go to a foreign country by yourself for the first time, to teach in a place where you will barely make enough $$$ to get by from month to month (all three of those countries fit into that category) and you have no degree, no teaching experience, and really, no qualifications whatsoever to do this? Just about anyone on this site will tell you that an ability to speak English does not an English teacher make. Think...really think about what you are considering getting into here. Confused

I'm sorry if I sound flippant, but the truth is that it doesn't sound as though you are too serious about teaching nor too prepared for it. There are other (easier) ways to travel and see the world if that's what your primary goal is...and it sure seems like that is the case. (Psych 101: putting the verb "traveling" before the verb "teaching" gives away your true motive) As for the TEFL course, if you are going to do it at all, go for the in-class course. They really don't take that long, most only take about 4 weeks to complete, and from the sounds of it you have a bit of time on your hands. At the very least, talk with people who have gone to those countries you are interested in and get some real-life testimonials before you make any decisions. Teaching EFL is not one big vacation. Razz

Good luck.
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C76



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 113
Location: somewhere between beauty and truth...in Toronto. ;)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 12:44 pm    Post subject: re Help!! Reply with quote

Lately I keep agreeing with the pros on this board. Dunno why. I'm a newbie, and thus s'posed to know nothin' 'bout teachin'. Wink

(I tend to ramble. I used to be in love with love. Now I'm in love with teaching. I apologize in advance.)

But I think Capergirl's got some great advice. Smile

There are people who will tell you to go and jump into ESL teaching unprepared. I would've been one of those people, yet one cool spring day, a little birdie told me to go take a TESL course. Shortly thereafter, the love affair began. Very Happy

Now then. Enough with the flowery bits...

I strongly suggest you seize any opportunity that you can to study with a legitimate training institution. Be sure to investigate 'em before you sign anything. In my search, I compared everything from an institution's costs, to class times, to recognition in the TESL community.

Take a LIVE TESL/TEFL/WHATCHAMACALLITTHATYOUNEEDTOTEACH course. One with live instructors (for your classes), and--if AT ALL POSSIBLE--live students (for your practicum). Not only will this probably help you get a job, in terms of giving employers a "piece of paper"...But quite frankly, I don't think anything can beat in-class experience, in terms of making yourself comfortable as a teacher. You'll be able to know what does and doesn't work with students, how to set up an appropriate lesson plan or two, and so on. I say the more teaching hours available to you, the better.

From the sound of things, you're interested in one of those courses where you study a lot of theory (Krashen, etc.) first, and then get sent off to teach. I'm suggeting a course that integrates theoretical and practical aspects. I find that the two areas complement each other.

(Also, consider your motives. I don't want to sound like a mommy: I have serious problems with this too, sometimes. True, you want to have a bit of an adventure. And the romance of life on the road is calling your name. But you also don't want to shortchange your students by being a "bad" teacher. I really think training will enhance your experience, and make it all worthwhile for your students.)

I've had past opportunities to apply for jobs without training. I used to think "Bah, I have a BA in English. What more do I need?" Yet when I think of how I've improved over time...After two months of schooling--and two certificates--I am sooooooo ready. Wink

Not that you couldn't get by without training. Confused For all I know, you could hit the ground running and be a wicked teacher without a lick of schooling. But for me, it's a confidence/competence thing.
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PanamaTeacher



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 278
Location: Panama

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gina: Listen to those ladies, please. I am glad money is not important, cause you will make none. Drive through the poorest area of your city and imagine that with your plan you will soon be LIVING like that. Wanna travel to exotic locations? Go to mexico for the weekend. Wanna teach poor kids? Volunteer to teach in an inner city school where you live. Want adventure? Try getting a degree, then a masters and become a success in your field. If you are desperate to throw your life into the dustbin at 30 ask yourself how you will feel at 40 when reality and wrinkles slap you across the face. I quit 10 jobs in 10 years and bounced back, but it is harder to bounce the older you get. Read (or re-read) Robert Frost "The Road Not Taken" and notice that taking the less-travelled road did not give the narrator fulfillment. Let ESL be the road you don't take. Were you imbibing strong spirits when you made your decision? Give me the full 411, so I can try to help you. You sound like a made for TV movie. Honestly you are not proceeding maturely, and above all a teacher should be mature.
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C76



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 113
Location: somewhere between beauty and truth...in Toronto. ;)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:47 pm    Post subject: help... Reply with quote

Ouch, PanamaTeacher!! Um, darlin'...You sound a little bitter. Shocked

And to Gina, I hope we didn't scare you off. But maybe we scared you straight...?

From the little I know of ESL teaching, I have gathered the following pearls of wisdom:

It can be hella interesting, and dead rewarding. (How's that for some odd adjectives?)

(Also, please keep in mind that when I say "rewarding", I'm not necessarily talking about ca$h.)

BUT

I take my decision to teach, and my search for a country to teach in, as seriously as a marriage proposal. Or a terminal disease. Shocked Cool
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PanamaTeacher



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 278
Location: Panama

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everybody. I just quit my job ( project manager/management assistant) and I plan to slit my wrists tonight. (I'm a 30 year old kid myself.) I am thinking of using razors but I wonder if anyone has tried some other sharp object. Is this a good idea and can anybody recommend one? Gillette razor blades are really expensive and I am wondering if I really need them. I don't have a uni degree.

A big thank's for any advise!



C76--That's how I interpret her post. I'm not being bitter, I'm trying to save a life.
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why study TEFL online? STudy a LANGUAGE, then you can say you know what learning a second tongue is all about, and that makes you a prequalified teacher!
I suggest studying Hebrew, Sanskrit or ancient Greek, and maybe Latin on top of it, and you will understand that Krashen et al. are but a nonsensical hobby!
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Linda L.



Joined: 03 Jul 2003
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey! Give a girl a break?

I was in her shoes two years ago but I was a high school drop out with only a GED to my name.

I have taught in China for two years and my employer wants me to sign for a third.

Go for it girl!!!

If I can do it, anyone can!!!
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C76



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 113
Location: somewhere between beauty and truth...in Toronto. ;)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oy vey.

I'm not trying to be mean, Linda.

I DO, however, want Gina to be aware of what she's doing. And very, very careful. Wink
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PanamaTeacher



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 278
Location: Panama

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda--I agree with you that if it is within your apparently limited abilities to do it, Gina will thrive. The difference is, amiga mia, that you had nothing to lose--you were at rock bottom (HS dropout, GED, runaway street kid, in recovery and/or therapy and probably in juvenile facilities [that's where I suspect you got your GED]). Gina on the other hand has a lot going for her. See the difference?
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chinagirl



Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 235
Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 5:14 pm    Post subject: good advice Reply with quote

Yes, it is possible to go and teach without a degree, but no serious school will want you. Sad I know some people talk about teaching in places w/out a degree...but their expectations and that of their employers are not very high.

If you really want to teach...definitely do a course and pay the money. You will find it worthwhile. I do think the CELTA might be the way to go - the one for kids, if you'd like to teach children. Before you go, I would suggest spending at last a few months volunteering in a local ESL classroom in an elementary school near you. I would also start reading voraciously about elementary school children and about second language acquisition.

If you really want to just travel, I would save up some money and just take a month-long backpacking trip. You can probably find non-teaching volunteer positions in SE Asia.

There are many qualified teachers out there, with degrees and certs, and you are not doing your students any favors by backpacking in and attempting to teach. Remember, these are poor countries and people are paying good money for your time.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Chinagirl
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khmerhit



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 1874
Location: Reverse Culture Shock Unit

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 6:10 pm    Post subject: Go Cambodia!!! Reply with quote

All due respect to the wonderful Capergirl et al, I think you should not waste any more time-- hop on a plane to Cambodia. You dont need any certs or quals or even a degree.

The children are terrific. They love women teachers. You can get help if needed from other teachers and there is a resource centre for ESL material run by the govt. It costs fifteen dollars to join, plus a 20 deposit for lending rights. If you like teaching and wish to get certs, you can take a useful month-long CELTA in Bangkok for rather less than it costs elsewhere. I know people who did that and when they returned to Phnom penh they got much better jobs, had a lot more confidence and their earnings shot up. PM me for more details. Cambodia is amazing and far less hassle than other Asian countries. Dont waste time worrying. Go. Smile [/i]
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Debalky



Joined: 28 May 2003
Posts: 79
Location: hell on earth

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't listen to all these doom and gloom posters. Do some research on the Countries you're interested in, then head on over. The degree and ESL CERT, have had ZERO impact on (my) teaching. No degree or Cert can prepare you to step into a classroom with 50 students who have little or no knowledge of English whatsoever. You have to rely on common sense and be able to adapt.
And so what if you're main reason is to travel? If you're stay is short it does not make you a bad teacher. I don't understand why some people on this forum discourage people like you. They make teaching ESL sound like brain surgery, it is not!!! If you were looking to teach in a University with more advanced students, maybe some grammar training would be a help, but your not so it's a non-issue.
So come on over. Have a good time. Travel as much as you damn well please!! I'm sure that you will be a fine teacher.
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PanamaTeacher



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 278
Location: Panama

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DeBalky--I agree with you all the way. It's just that Gina sounds a little desperate, and I think she should consider other options first. I jumped out there as an ESL teacher w/o thinking or preparation. Yeah, teaching 50 people how to talk requires more OJT (on job training) than book knowledge, but in the long run if this is going to be you until you retire it's better to be sure, then prepared.

I went from $3.50 an hour to a comfortable living because I study a lot in my free time--every day for the last 7 years. Don't tell me English is not hard--let's agree that not all teaching jobs are hard.

_________________________________________

Gina--have u disappeared? r we wasting time, or r u still there.
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Debalky



Joined: 28 May 2003
Posts: 79
Location: hell on earth

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey,
I looked at her post again and couldn't find any hint of desperation. Also, she never said she would do ESL until she retired. Here is a thought!!!!
*What if* she has great singing and dancing ability? That's what's great for pre-schoolers. Would someone like me (who really sucks at singing and dancing) be more suitable for the job just because of a degree or cert.
I think their is a big difference between teaching "kids", like she wants, and teaching University type classes. For the former, she has as much qualification as any of us.
PT, I do agree that there is a lot to think and be aware of, too much. Knowing all the problems and pitfall would probably discourage any propective Foreign teacher (eg. Chinese toilets). She will either come here, adapt and thrive. Or, freak-out and run home. In my view, it will be her character that decides which, not her so called "qualifications".
Respect
Debalky
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