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CELTA OR TEFL?
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lostintranslation100



Joined: 28 Aug 2009
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:47 am    Post subject: CELTA OR TEFL? Reply with quote

Hi there,
I'm 6 months through my contract in South Korea. I came to Korea with only a BA degree. I'm thinking about coming to Prague next Summer (From the research, sounds like August is the best bet?)

I was wondering about the CELTA and TEFL. I do not have either. Is it strongly recommended that I get either one? Which or both do you recommend? Sounds like CELTA is a good idea but expensive. Is it worth it? I am still a little clueless about where to begin, but I know that I really want to try out Prague. Any advice?

Thanks for any advice!

PS: Have you noticed how much more friendly the Czech board on Dave's ESL is compared to South Koreas? Very Happy
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More employers ask for the CELTA, is the bottom line.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9638
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will definitely need a CELTA or the generic equivalent of 120 hours on site, including supervised teaching practice with real students, to compete on the Prague job market. This is simply because the vast majority of teachers in the city have these quals, and anything less puts you at the bottom of the heap.

Ideally, get the cert in Prague in August. A training centre in the city can be a really useful bridge to your work in the Czech Rep - they will handle things like airport pickup and local orientation, arrange for your housing during the course, and can give you valuable contacts with reputable schools in the region.

Contracts are typically September - June, so the end of August to early September is the biggest hiring period.

Keep in mind that teaching in Europe (the CR is no exception) is not generally nearly so lucrative as teaching in Asia. Expect to have start - up costs in terms of flights (schools won't usually pay for your travel to the country) and accomodation (not free here!), and salaries are generally just enough to live ok, but not to save up or pay off debt.

The key difference is that Europe's got lots and lots of native speaker teachers around, and the need to attract more just isn't so great.

However, it's a fantastic place to be - so long as you don't need lots of money:)
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lostintranslation100



Joined: 28 Aug 2009
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey thanks for the info.

I'll have about 300 dollars to pay off each month in student loans. I won't be moving to Prague to get rich, but will that work? I'm cool with being a poor bohemian. Smile
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9638
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No - sorry, but the math won't work well.

You can plan on netting around 21,000 czk per month - possibly a bit more, but unlikely a lot more. This is around 1,200 usd. Housing can cost from 6,000 if you flat-share up to 12-14,000 monthly if you live alone.
This leaves you max about 12,000 if you keep housing to the bare minimum.

You need to send the equivalent of 7,000 czk (300 USD) home every month. It won't work - you will need this money to live on. You won't be cooly poor - you'll be hungry, I think.

Yeah, you can supplement your income with private lessons, but it takes some time to build up a client base, and they aren't totally reliable, either.
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lostintranslation100



Joined: 28 Aug 2009
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh ok, thanks for the information.
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ITTP



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 343
Location: Prague/Worldwide

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
No - sorry, but the math won't work well.
You need to send the equivalent of 7,000 czk (300 USD) home every month. It won't work - you will need this money to live on. You won't be cooly poor - you'll be hungry, I think.


Too right the math won't work.
300 USD currently comes to 5,160 CZK (not 7,000 CZK).

Whether you could save this really depends on the type of person you are.
If you are in Prague on a serious basis and are willing to work full-time at a school then you can possibly save 5,200 CZK per month.
It is doable.
Just.
It's not doable for everyone though - meaning that you need to commit yourself professionally to the job if you want to teach full-time and earn good local money.

The CZK - USD exchange rate wobbles up and down erratically, which is prob why the posters math was out (not the posters fault), and here is how the CZK has wobbled against the USD recently:
http://www.csob.cz/cz/Csob/Kurzovni-listky/Stranky/kurzovni-listek-detail.aspx?Currency=USD

Hezky den!/Lovely day!

Neville Smile

ITTP TEFL Prague
Narodni 21 - bang in the center of the city
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9638
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm happy to hear I won't be held personally responsible for the fluctuation in currency values. Here's the site I normally use for quick/approximate info.

http://www.xe.com/ucc/
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smithryansmith



Joined: 27 Dec 2008
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: CELTA OR TEFL? Reply with quote

lostintranslation100 wrote:
Hi there,
I'm 6 months through my contract in South Korea. I came to Korea with only a BA degree. I'm thinking about coming to Prague next Summer (From the research, sounds like August is the best bet?)

I was wondering about the CELTA and TEFL. I do not have either. Is it strongly recommended that I get either one? Which or both do you recommend? Sounds like CELTA is a good idea but expensive. Is it worth it? I am still a little clueless about where to begin, but I know that I really want to try out Prague. Any advice?

Thanks for any advice!

PS: Have you noticed how much more friendly the Czech board on Dave's ESL is compared to South Koreas? Very Happy



The only place in this part of the world that insists on CELTA is the British Council. But you cant work there without experience. and after youve got experience, your cert wont matter much.

no interviewer in his/her right mind would take a crap CELTA teacher over a good TEFL teacher. potential employees are much more likely to be evaluated on their skills than the type of cert they hold.

that said, CELTA is rarely questioned. but is it worth the double price? i cant say.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Re: CELTA OR TEFL? Reply with quote

smithryansmith wrote:
lostintranslation100 wrote:
Hi there,
I'm 6 months through my contract in South Korea. I came to Korea with only a BA degree. I'm thinking about coming to Prague next Summer (From the research, sounds like August is the best bet?)

I was wondering about the CELTA and TEFL. I do not have either. Is it strongly recommended that I get either one? Which or both do you recommend? Sounds like CELTA is a good idea but expensive. Is it worth it? I am still a little clueless about where to begin, but I know that I really want to try out Prague. Any advice?

Thanks for any advice!

PS: Have you noticed how much more friendly the Czech board on Dave's ESL is compared to South Koreas? Very Happy



The only place in this part of the world that insists on CELTA is the British Council. But you cant work there without experience. and after youve got experience, your cert wont matter much.

no interviewer in his/her right mind would take a crap CELTA teacher over a good TEFL teacher. potential employees are much more likely to be evaluated on their skills than the type of cert they hold.

that said, CELTA is rarely questioned. but is it worth the double price? i cant say.

I can't speak for this particular country, as I have no knowledge of Korea, but lots of TEFL schools internationally ask for CELTA as their preferred qualification (cf International House schools worldwide). As for the point about 'crap CELTA teachers' and 'good TEFL teachers', how do employers know the difference between them until they employ them? Also, I would question the taxonomy used here. Can one contrast 'TEFL' with 'CELTA'? CELTA is one particular TEFL qualification, so the former is a subset of the latter, not a separate logical entity.
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TinSardine



Joined: 13 Feb 2010
Posts: 19
Location: Prague

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CELTA and Trinity are widely recognised but it doesn't mean they are better than other TEFL programmes. Because they are internationally monitored there is a certain level of quality assurance on those courses so that no matter where you take it, you should walk away with the same knowledge/skill.

TEFL is fine but the best TEFL courses seem to use CELTA or Trinity standards anyway, i.e. four week full-time programme with at least 6 observed lessons and feedback.

If you want a hassle-free post-certificate life, I'd recommend CELTA and Trinity for the reasons mentioned above. If you are willing to accept the fact that every now and then (or always in the UK) you are turned down because "it's just not CELTA or Trinity", then do a TEFL course somewhere else. Having said that, there are a lot of well-paid jobs in Asia which merely ask for a weekend online i-to-i TEFL certificate.

Know what you want to do and then get the certificate that suits your goal. If your answer is "not sure", CELTA or Trinity might be a good idea just in case.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to a certain guaranteed standard, the CELTA and Trinity (in that order) are the two qualifications asked for specifically by most of those employers who express a preference. Rightly or wrongly, the horse's mouth should be looked into.
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barabbas



Joined: 22 Aug 2009
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Re: CELTA OR TEFL? Reply with quote

coledavis wrote:
I would question the taxonomy used here. Can one contrast 'TEFL' with 'CELTA'? CELTA is one particular TEFL qualification, so the former is a subset of the latter, not a separate logical entity.


Hear hear. It's like asking, 'Shall we have something alcoholic to drink or a whisky?'

I would say the CELTA is especially worth investing in if you don't intend to stay permanently in the CR. While a TEFL training college may have a high reputation in Prague, if you take the certificate to another country it will most likely mean nothing to an employer, while the CELTA is fairly well-known internationally.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9638
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say the CELTA is especially worth investing in if you don't intend to stay permanently in the CR. While a TEFL training college may have a high reputation in Prague, if you take the certificate to another country it will most likely mean nothing to an employer, while the CELTA is fairly well-known internationally.


My ITC cert was accepted in Western Europe (though I now have additional quals that are far more useful and important), and I think the generics are generally quite OK, so long as they are 120+ hours onsite and include the real teaching practice....

BUT I have to agree with barabbas' general point that if one hopes to teach in a range of countries, particularly outside of the Euro region, the name brand is desirable. Not necessarily fair, but for practical purposes...a potential employer will definitely recognise the cert.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite so. As a bit of a boy scout, I believe in fairness, but for the sake of the prospective teacher, I think it's best to look at the situation as it is.
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