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What ever happened to the best man for the job.
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tudodude



Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: What ever happened to the best man for the job. Reply with quote

Over the last 5 years I have seen more and more doors closed to those not degree qualified.
Is it fair???
Does a degree in Liberal Arts at age 22 with ZERO teaching experience mean you will be better than a 7 year pro who loves to teach and see students grow?
If it does I will pooh myself.
I am not sure it is fair, but I understand the direction and why the industry is going in that direction.
Discuss (this old cheastnut again) please.

Dizzy
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 843
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will find different opinions. Personally, I would expect my own instructor or my child's instructor to have at least some university and some form of teaching qualification. I don't think it is unreasonable for students or parents to expect the same from an ESL/EFL teacher.

I don't think anyone expects a 22 year old liberal arts graduate with zero teaching experience to be a better teacher than a 7 year pro, but they have to draw the line somewhere.

I have a university degree (with a TESL concentration) and 30 university credit TESL certificate. Personally, I found the most helpful course to actually be my French classes - where I could observe good teaching practices (aside from my own practicum).

I'm conflicted on this issue - I think that life experience is important, but I also think that a teacher should educate themselves formally as well. Not just the initial training, but continued training.
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tudodude



Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen some really good teachers forced to relocate because of this. Good mates too. I don't think it's fair. Not when I see what they got replaced with.
No way a degree in a completely non-language learning degree tops a good TEFL cert + a good few years of cutting teeth.
I don't know where I really stand, but I know it isn't fair.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 843
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, but I don't see it as any different from any other industry. There are plenty of professions that now require a university education.

For example, prior to teaching, I worked in law enforcement (as a civilian). Most new police officers in Canada now require a minimum of 2 years university and many have 4 year degrees. Does a degree in finance help you deal with a drunk and a knife? Heck no! Fair? Probably not. It isn't just ESL/EFL, it is the way of the world now.

My only suggestion is to go back to university. I did my degree part-time over 8 years due to lack of money and time. It took forever, but I finished. Online courses really help.

In my own experience, the best ESL teacher I ever observed was a guy from Saskatchewan who had a high school diploma. I met him in a TESL course because he had to go back and earn his BA in Adult Ed to keep his job.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8821
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really really depends. If you stay in country, then you should have contacts, connections, etc.

If you change countries, you might start over again.

Sad, but true, there are places that prefer the cheapest teacher, not the best.
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norwalkesl



Joined: 22 Oct 2009
Posts: 366
Location: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-China

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Employers will call the shots and if they have some paper bureaucratic requirement that HR must check off before the application/CV proceeds then it must be met.

That being said when I would review CV's and interview people I found a nearly pathetic level of all skills from people who had degrees or claimed to have one. Over two thousand emails, resumes and applications and I estimate at most 5% had even functional business skills such as basic politeness, proper letter and email formulation, grammar, spelling and resume presentation. Couple this with a notable character flaw of many recent graduates and 20-30 somethings; namely that they cannot take criticism and have self-esteem that is so high that they are unmanageable and unemployable, it is easy to see why we would only hire legal recent immigrants from Israel, Nicaragua and the Philippines.

To me a degree is NO guarantee the holder has basic knowledge, competence or skills of any manner what so ever. To be very frank here, I have encountered far too many people with degrees who are clueless moronic idiots with no clue about much of anything.

It does mean that they are "qualified" in the sense that those who hire require the piece of paper and that is the bottom line. Those with the gold make the rules and if the employer wants applicants to jump through a hoop and have a piece of paper, then that is what we must do.

Therefore in a year or two I will get my DELTA and possibly an MA after that even though I hold the aforementioned opinions.
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denise



Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 3419
Location: finally home-ish

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, a degree (especially one not related to languages or teaching) does not guarantee quality, but...

1) if it is a visa requirement, there's not much you can do about it. Except work illegally or lie on your CV.

2) Why doesn't the non-degree-holder have one? If I were hiring someone, I would value candidates who valued education enough to put themselves through it. There are people who come to the forum and basically trash the education system in their countries, claim that they learn better on their own, classroom learning stifles them, etc., etc., and then want jobs teaching IN CLASSROOMS. Uh, pass. And then there are those who, for whatever reason, just didn't have the time or the money to start or finish their education, but who have worked respectable jobs and are dedicated. Maybe... unless there are candidates with the same level and dedication AND a degree.

d
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norwalkesl



Joined: 22 Oct 2009
Posts: 366
Location: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-China

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

denise wrote:
1) if it is a visa requirement, there's not much you can do about it. Except work illegally or lie on your CV.


If they ask for a copy or your registrars info, lying on your CV will not suffice.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1888
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's credentialism. Jobs that used to be available without a degree now require them. Jobs that used to require a degree are now requiring a degree plus a post-grad cert or diploma.

If you see yourself as a pro, then you must see this as a career. And if you see this as a career then you must do what you have to in order to stay marketable in an ever-changing market- and therefore you need a degree. The majority of people who do masters degrees in TESOL or Applied Linguistics do so in order to increase their marketability, not really because they want to study that over anything else for the sake of it itself.

If someone started by taking just one or two units per trimester, never taking a break, then in that seven years they would have finished a degree (it may be a three year degree- but it's still a degree).
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denise



Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 3419
Location: finally home-ish

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

norwalkesl wrote:
denise wrote:
1) if it is a visa requirement, there's not much you can do about it. Except work illegally or lie on your CV.


If they ask for a copy or your registrars info, lying on your CV will not suffice.


Right... and I certainly wasn't condoning it!

d
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does one ever tire of the old "chicken or egg, nature or nurture, 'book learnin' versus experience, chocolate versus vanilla, number of angels on the head of a pin" argument?

In a perfect world....in the mean time, best to get the accredited relevant education, solid recognized experience and a realistic sense of the work place, its politics and dynamics. MMMM sounds like a plan.

Of course the ability to argue a point to its logical conclusion is also a valued educational exercise and skill ....... besides it can be fun as long as we do not expect an answer we can agree on.
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Justin Trullinger



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 3110
Location: Seoul, South Korea and Myanmar for a bit

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand the OP's frustration. And I'm certainly not saying that an unrelated degree makes you a better teacher.

I wonder, though, what message the degreeless teacher sends to students. Maybe "you all need to get educated- I have no such need."

Dedicating your life to educating others without educating yourself seems...inappropriate.

I have hired a number of teachers without degrees- provided that they had considerable alternative education.

But being a teacher simply without a decent level of education doesn't sit well with me.


Best,
Justin
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rusmeister



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 867
Location: Russia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Justin Trullinger wrote:
I understand the OP's frustration. And I'm certainly not saying that an unrelated degree makes you a better teacher.

I wonder, though, what message the degreeless teacher sends to students. Maybe "you all need to get educated- I have no such need."

Dedicating your life to educating others without educating yourself seems...inappropriate.

I have hired a number of teachers without degrees- provided that they had considerable alternative education.

But being a teacher simply without a decent level of education doesn't sit well with me.


Best,
Justin

My (rather Chestertonian) objection would be to the assumption that spending your life's time at a college "educates" you, while spending it working abroad (or anywhere at all) does not.

Now I do believe in the value of academic learning. I do not believe that obtaining a diploma or license is a guarantee of it. I completed my degrees by age 30, and my epiphany - where I really began learning, happened at age 38. I learned that first of all, my diplomas made me think I knew something, when in reality I didn't.

As G.K. Chesterton said, there ARE no 'uneducated people'. The fact that the state naturally wants to extend its power over the people under its control via what GBBB called "credentialism" is no guarantee that the so-called education will be any more valuable than what can be learned elsewhere.
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rusmeister



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 867
Location: Russia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdl wrote:

In a perfect world....in the mean time, best to get the accredited relevant education, solid recognized experience and a realistic sense of the work place, its politics and dynamics. MMMM sounds like a plan.


Here - on "the workplace" - I would echo John Taylor Gatto, who pointed out that in the US before the industrial revolution, most people were expected to create their OWN workplace. Talk about an abstract common "workplace" really refers to a corporate creation, where they want to keep - and control - everyone.
So yes, I am advocating non-conformity here.

jdl wrote:
Of course the ability to argue a point to its logical conclusion is also a valued educational exercise and skill ....... besides it can be fun as long as we do not expect an answer we can agree on.

The great illness of the modern world - that there is no truth to be arrived at, only personal opinions. What is the value of being able to argue if you cannot arrive at a truth?

Just trying to stimulate thought about language that we use and vital aspects of it that we usually do not think about...
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3823
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

santi84 wrote:
You will find different opinions. Personally, I would expect my own instructor or my child's instructor to have at least some university and some form of teaching qualification. I don't think it is unreasonable for students or parents to expect the same from an ESL/EFL teacher.

I don't think anyone expects a 22 year old liberal arts graduate with zero teaching experience to be a better teacher than a 7 year pro, but they have to draw the line somewhere.

I have a university degree (with a TESL concentration) and 30 university credit TESL certificate. Personally, I found the most helpful course to actually be my French classes - where I could observe good teaching practices (aside from my own practicum).

I'm conflicted on this issue - I think that life experience is important, but I also think that a teacher should educate themselves formally as well. Not just the initial training, but continued training.


Of course the question is why does that education have to be at a university?

I have read many books on education on my own, probably more than one would read in an education program.
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