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Long-term ESL in Asia

 
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Nick6868



Joined: 10 Jan 2015
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:37 pm    Post subject: Long-term ESL in Asia Reply with quote

Hi,

I spent a year teaching in Korea in 2010, then returned to Europe to carry on with my previous career. However, I now considering leaving my job and returning to Asia - perhaps China, Vietnam or Korea again though on a more permanent, long-term basis (by that I mean getting married, family, settling down etc).

So for those of you longer term residents in Asia, especially any lifers, I was wondering how things like a career path have gone (am aware of larger organisations that could perhaps provide that)? Financially is it feasible to get a good pension together? What pitfalls or drawbacks have you encountered, if any? Anybody bought a place? Kids?!

Would be grateful for any general advice on doing this. I am not really motivated by money - it's about the culture and lifestyle, though was wondering about catering for retirement I suppose, whether over there or back in Europe. I am 38 and feel I ought to decide now whether or not to go, and get on with it.

Thanks!
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 1991
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are your credentials? To make a viable long-term career out of overseas TEFL work, both in terms of finances and quality working conditions, I'd strongly recommend completing an MA in TESOL if you haven't done so already.
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 171
Location: has served on a hiring committee

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:10 am    Post subject: Re: Long-term ESL in Asia Reply with quote

Nick6868 wrote:
Hi,

I spent a year teaching in Korea in 2010, then returned to Europe to carry on with my previous career. However, I now considering leaving my job and returning to Asia - perhaps China, Vietnam or Korea again though on a more permanent, long-term basis (by that I mean getting married, family, settling down etc).

So for those of you longer term residents in Asia, especially any lifers, I was wondering how things like a career path have gone (am aware of larger organisations that could perhaps provide that)? Financially is it feasible to get a good pension together? What pitfalls or drawbacks have you encountered, if any? Anybody bought a place? Kids?!

Would be grateful for any general advice on doing this. I am not really motivated by money - it's about the culture and lifestyle, though was wondering about catering for retirement I suppose, whether over there or back in Europe. I am 38 and feel I ought to decide now whether or not to go, and get on with it.

Thanks!


Plenty of organisations will be able to offer you a good career but, as the poster above says, you'll need to commit to further qualifications, be that an MA or a DELTA.

A large organisation such as the British Council would want you to do a DELTA ahead of an MA - the reason is that this proves you've had observed and assessed practical classroom experience which not all MAs can guarantee - but most, if not all, universities would prefer an MA and will pay better. Both are hard work and the Delta is accredited in England by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority at Level 7 on the UK National Qualifications Framework- as are master’s degrees in related subject areas.

Either of these qualifications will provide you with a path towards management, competitive western standard salaries and added benefits such as flights to and from your home country, 35-40 days holidays a year (as well as public holidays), health insurance, pension options and, in some cases, a contribution to housing. Other smaller but equally reputable companies will offer you the same.

The path you choose is up to you, but qualifications beyond CELTA level are essential, and experience of teaching IELTS and EAP would certainly add another feather to your cap (and put a few extra quid in your bank account) and interest the likes of IDP in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam where good money can be made either teaching IELTS or becoming an IELTS examiner (IDP and BC both offer these options).
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 471

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Came to Asia about 16 years ago.
I am married and have a child who is still in school (so yes, you can have and support a family in Asia doing EFL).

There is a career path for those who are qualified (beyond a simple BA and TEFL cert).

The path you prefer would determine the credentials needed:
- international schools - PGCE + QTS / or licensure.
- mainstream schools - B.Ed (post grad DipT/M.Ed) if you want to get beyond the classroom. A BA + CELTA will keep you in a classroom job for as long as you want to be there.
- University and lecture/conference circuit - MA/M.Ed eventually leading to PhD.
- Language academies - CELTA / DELTA and work into management.

While I hold a lot of wallpaper (academic credentials) I went down the mainstream school route and am now working as a school administrator. Salary and benefits are on par with a comparable job in the west.

As to retirement.... I bought 5 hectares and built a 120 sqm. house on a hill overlooking the Pacific - free and clear of any liens or mortgage.
I am debt free, the bank account is not too bad either, and I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with about 10 weeks of paid annual vacation time.

Bottom line:
Can you make a career and save for retirement in entry level TEFL jobs = NO.

Can you make a decent career in TEFL or education in general = YES.

.


Last edited by suphanburi on Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'd echo a lot of what has been said above. Not sure about this section though and would like to know what country you're talking about.

A large organisation such as the British Council would want you to do a DELTA ahead of an MA - the reason is that this proves you've had observed and assessed practical classroom experience which not all MAs can guarantee - but most, if not all, universities would prefer an MA and will pay better

In Korea, where I was, university salaries were generally lower than the BC but they offered longer vacations. Chinese universities by all accounts pay very little, while Japanese are almost impossible to get into. Don't know about any other Asian universities. I'm in management now with the BC and pulling in around 50 grand (UK) a year. Do you know which universities would pay more for non-tenure track positions? (I don't have a PHD)
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 171
Location: has served on a hiring committee

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bograt wrote:
Yeah, I'd echo a lot of what has been said above. Not sure about this section though and would like to know what country you're talking about.

A large organisation such as the British Council would want you to do a DELTA ahead of an MA - the reason is that this proves you've had observed and assessed practical classroom experience which not all MAs can guarantee - but most, if not all, universities would prefer an MA and will pay better

In Korea, where I was, university salaries were generally lower than the BC but they offered longer vacations. Chinese universities by all accounts pay very little, while Japanese are almost impossible to get into. Don't know about any other Asian universities. I'm in management now with the BC and pulling in around 50 grand (UK) a year. Do you know which universities would pay more for non-tenure track positions? (I don't have a PHD)


because of this were the three words missing from the end of that sentence (although I accept it's still not totally clear). I was comparing the merits of an MA to that of a DELTA if you were hoping to work for a uni in Asia. Almost all would prefer the MA to the DELTA (I don't think too many even know what it is) and your chances of more dough in this setting would be greatly increased with an MA.

Not comparing to the BC salary, which is almost always a good number and, although I've never worked in a uni, BC salaries seem to be at least the equal of most unis in SE Asia and around the level of a very good international school from management positions upwards.
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 417

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked in Japan for a couple of years at a language school, and later returned to the US and got an MS in TESOL and taught in a high school for 5 years. I'm now back in Japan working at a private high school which offered me tenure last year. I'm now building a house and expecting a child with my wife I met here.

The challenges I'll face is paying off a mortgage very much like I would if I continued to live in the US. It's an easy pace of life here, but there are not enough holidays in Japan as well. I also had planned to visit family back home each year, but the financial realities makes it more feasible to do that every 2 years.

So, you can do things just with the MA and some experience. I chose to work with school kids, but you might follow the other people's advise above to qualify for something more teritary. Getting a full time position at a university in Japan is very hard and requires publications. There are many terminal (3 year only) full-time university jobs which means you have to constantly apply for your next gig and pick up and move.

Sorry, I'm only giving you my take on Japan because that's all I know about, but there are many great places in South East Asian other than Japan of course.
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