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Newbie Help!

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Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:08 pm    Post subject: Newbie Help! Reply with quote

I am considering teaching English overseas (of course, otherwise, why would I be in this forum! Very Happy ).

I am a 35 year old single black female, living in Indiana.

I have a BA in Sociology and a MS in Sports Administration.

I am currently looking at i-to-i teaching internship in China for August.

I have not travelled internationally before (except for a few trips to London to visit a friend) and believe that a "guided" type teaching experience would be the best for me at first.

I know that I need to obtain the certification and am working on that.

I am basically looking for a little guidance as to if the i-to-i program is good and/or if there are other programs that are better.

I am not looking to leave the states until August.

Any advice/assistance would be greatly appreciated.
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For advice on work in China, I'd suggest you post there.

For info on i to i, look at a recent thread:
or try a search.

You have a generic, non-teaching related degree. Expect to get in only on the bottom rung. If Japan interests you, consider the JET programme, but you'll have to wait until Aug. 2011 (apply late this year).
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Joined: 21 Dec 2009
Posts: 47
Location: State of Jefferson

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is "i-to-i" teaching?
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Joined: 04 Feb 2010
Posts: 47
Location: Ecuador La Costa

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scrog_420 wrote:
What is "i-to-i" teaching?
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Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 1522

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, and welcome to Daves!

I can fully understand you wanting a 'guided experience', and I actually did the same when I first came to China, although I used another company. It was a similar package though in honesty...perhaps a fair bit cheaper, but without the 'salary' that i-i offer.

Generally, the opinion on the forums for this sort of trip is not very positive.

The i-i training, especially the online course which I presume is the one included in the package, is very substandard and isnt likely to be very useful.

1 - It isnt very comprehensive, and can be completed in far less time than than stated, and pays lip service to EFL training.

2 - It doesnt really meet the industry standard of 120 hours 'in-class' time with observed teaching practice of real students.

I know this, because I took an i-i course myself. Since then, I have had to go on and complete a recognised course at an additional expense of time and money to secure work in other places.

Another point is the cost, which excludes air fare, and the salary offered. 2000 rmb per month is waaaaaay below the accepted minimums, and you may find yourself working more hours than normal for this too. I didnt see any details about the hours you would be expected to work on the website? I would clarify this very early on if I were you. A lot of people have very negative opinions on this type of program, because i-i are basically charging you a lot of money which is pretty much all profit for them.

The schools are then getting a teacher, and paying them a figure that is probably less than half the going rate, and may also expect you to work double the hours of a normal teacher. It could end up being a bad deal for you. Especially if the location is a bad one too. Things like free board is pretty standard here in China by the way...its not a unique selling point for the i-i program.

I can see some positives for you though. Like I said, I actually first came to China on a program of this nature...but with hindsight, it didnt represent value for money. Almost any school in China would be happy to have the cheap labour that this program offers. The positives are that its cheap holiday/adventure for you...and there will be other people in the same boat as you. You could probably expect them all to be at least ten years younger than you though, and less qualified, and perhaps less responsible...that was my experience anyway!

The other point to consider is China is not always the friendliest place for foreigners...even more so for non-whites. Racism does exist here, and even if its not overtly racist, you do need to have a thick skin here. This does mean that finding a job from another more traditional route of writing emails to schools will be harder for you than a blue eyed blonde haired teacher with less qualifications than you. Harsh, but a true fact of life in many schools in China.

You may also want to do some research on other volunteer type programs in China...Programs that dont involve lining the pockets of companies like i-i. Im sure some must exist although I dont really have any links...although if you google buckland China you may find something. I think they used to do a volunteer gig in village schools near to my location in China. That type of program would mean cutting out the middle man (i-i) and enjoying the same kind of benefits (minus the tiny salary) plus the fact you might actually be helping people.

There are other volunteer programs in my town. Again, these have no middle man, and you are only required to attend 'English Corner' activities for an hour or so each night to get your free food and board. Once again, this requires no initial fee to a middle man.

I can see the attraction for you, and your ethnicicity could be an issue to consider, but I find to hard to sing the praises of the i-i program for the reasons listed above. If you just see it as an adventure holiday, its kinda OK...but many people think (rightly so perhaps) that this kind of program is bad news for our industry as it doesnt offer quality training, drives down salaries of other EFL teachers, and exploits the teacher too.
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Posts: 2068
Location: eslcafe

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is absolutely no need to go via i-to-i, especially to China.

Their promise of a job at 2000 rmb is worthless. Just about all China teaching jobs offer more than that, as well as free accomodation and are relatively easy to obtain. I understand your desire for a little hand-holding in your first foray into the world of EFL teaching but if you intend to get some training, and certification, under your belt before starting to TEFL then you have no need at all to avail yourself of the dubious 'help' offered by i-to-i.

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Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The three biggest are

as for i-to-i, I think it's more a business than a training course.
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