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Maximo Nivel - Antigua
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McMurphy_RP



Joined: 02 May 2010
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:35 am    Post subject: Maximo Nivel - Antigua Reply with quote

I'm trying to decide on a TEFL/TESOL certification course. One of the places I'm looking at is Maximo Nivel in Antigua, Guatemala. Does anybody have any experience with either the specific location or with Maximo Nivel's certification courses in general?

Thanks!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8811
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MN's certs are just another cert. NOt CELTA; Trinity, or SIT. Doesn't mean they're bad. I have a generic cert as well, not from MN though. Some people like them, some don't. It's a legit course though and if you don't like them, it's only a month.
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McMurphy_RP



Joined: 02 May 2010
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much. Are CELTA, Trinity, and SIT considered more prestigious certifications? (I'm finding it hard to get a handle on which are more prestigious and which are just big. I've heard that some of the big ones, like TDFL International, are certificate mills.) And does the prestige of the certificate matter as much if I have an M.S. in Education and considerable teaching experience in the U.S.?
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8811
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

McMurphy_RP wrote:
Thanks very much. Are CELTA, Trinity, and SIT considered more prestigious certifications? (I'm finding it hard to get a handle on which are more prestigious and which are just big. I've heard that some of the big ones, like TDFL International, are certificate mills.) And does the prestige of the certificate matter as much if I have an M.S. in Education and considerable teaching experience in the U.S.?


CELTA's probably considered one of the best, if not the best. All three are very good.

You say you have teaching experience, you mean at primary and secondary schools? Do you want to teach at an intl school or teach EFL at an institute? If you want to do the latter, then the cert will help you. If you want to do the former, then don't get the cert.
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Insubordination



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 383
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to Antigua (You did ask about the location, right?). Small, stoney streets, a lot of over-priced cafes and everything you need for a safe, comfortable course. A good base. You can visit the lake at weekends.
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McMurphy_RP



Joined: 02 May 2010
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information. I figure I'll add a partial answer to my question in case it helps other people in the future.

Maximo Nivel got back to me promptly, answered my general questions as best they could from off-site, and sent me the telephone contact information I'd requested for the on-site person with whom I needed to speak. When I called, she was genuinely friendly, spent a tremendous amount of time on the phone with me, and answered my questions frankly. I plan to register for the program and I'll post again when I have something to say about it. My only concern going in is that there will be only one teacher for the course, which could be either great or a disaster, but that may be the case for most other courses as well - I don't know.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took Maximo's training in CR and worked for them afterward as a teacher, and then later in administration (from 2009 through 2010). When I took their TEFL training in CR, it was great. I can't attest for the trainer in Guatemala (yes, there is always one and that is standard for most courses I believe), but they'll follow the same training method used at Maximo's other locations. I've been to Antigua and Maximo's office there. The city is beautiful and the office there is very nice. Best of luck with the course and let us know how it goes!
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McMurphy_RP



Joined: 02 May 2010
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. So far I'm satisfied with the course. I'll definitely post my impressions when I've got a complete picture.
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McMurphy_RP



Joined: 02 May 2010
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject: Keep looking Reply with quote

Today something reminded me that I never posted a follow-up. Sorry - wanted to wait until I'd been teaching EFL for a little while, and then I forgot about it.

In the end, I wished I'd taken the course elsewhere. Maximo Nivel has an inflated sense of their importance to the universe and would benefit from reaching into their rectum and yanking out the stick. Although the single teacher for the course seemed to be a good guy, and was clearly bright, he has limited experience (I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing when he called his three years of teaching "a very long time") and didn't seem to realize that teaching people to teach EFL requires a different pedagogical set than teaching EFL.

We were rigidly presented with Maximo Nivel's dogmatic method of teaching English to non-native speakers. I would have preferred to have been presented with a less parochial view of TEFL philosophies and methodologies, which would have meant some variety of teachers representing a greater breadth of experience and perspective, or at least a teacher who had taught in different parts of the world or had trained in other methods. There was zero discussion about teaching students who speak no English whatsoever or students whose native language involves different written symbols and/or few cognates.

Maximo Nivel is all about Maximo Nivel. If you want to work for them, this is the perfect course for you. If you want a course that will give you a foundation but will also enable you to flexibly adapt to different locations and teaching situations, I'd look elsewhere.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear you had a disappointing experience. My course had a little more variability than just following Maximo's method, but it overall steered in Maximo's direction. It was the same when teaching for them, but even then we didn't always follow MN's methodology religiously. The company is very much about itself in terms of the course, since it hires a lot directly out of the course to account for normal teacher turnover and turnover from the office staff.

Your observations are helpful and hopefully others will use them in their search for a TEFL course. I assume you landed a job teaching somewhere in Guatemala. How is that going?
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McMurphy_RP



Joined: 02 May 2010
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm actually teaching in Japan. It's interesting.
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fladude



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antigua is a beautiful. At least you made it there and looked around. Its a lot safer than say Guatemala City, where I live. At the same time, I couldn't imagine trying to make a living with ESL in this country. You are lucky to have gotten to Japan. Good luck there!!!!
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ctillisc



Joined: 10 Dec 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took the September-October TEFL course in Antigua, Guatemala and had an amazing experience. Antigua is a beautiful city and Maximo Nivel itself was also very well maintained, built and colorful. The staff from head to toe was extremely helpful and caring for each client. I can´t say enough great things about the staff in Antigua, and the experience I had there for just a month.

As for TEFL, Phil was an awesome teacher and prepared our group extensively for the ¨real world¨of teaching. McMurphy, I´m not sure where your negativity stems from, but I felt as though Maximo was as efficient as a TEFL program could be within a month. The course material flows with information, Phil and Maximo are nothing but helpful for future jobs anywhere (resume workshop, lifetime job assistance), and classes are fun despite the abundance of implicit grammar review (definitely necessary).

Phil was able to create life out of some bland areas within TEFL through his great energy and personality. The hands on practical teaching week is also a great way to get your feet wet in front of actual students, something most TEFL courses don´t have.
I now work at Maximo in Peru, as I was recruited after my time in Antigua. So far my experience has been great in Cuzco, and I consider myself extremely lucky that I found Maximo Nivel while searching for TEFL courses via google.

All in all, I definitely recommend taking the TEFL course in Antigua!
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chelseagglass90



Joined: 08 Dec 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Antigua, Guatemala

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: my experiences Reply with quote

Maximo Nivel has been a part of my life now for almost two years. I came to Maximo Nivel in Antigua, Guatemala at the age of 19 first my first solo travel abroad experience. Since then I have grown leaps and bounds and had so many different and rich experiences, and for this I owe a lot to Maximo Nivel and their staff. I was a volunteer through them, a Spanish student, I worked for Guinness Travel as a tour guide who works with and has their office located inside of Maximo Nivel and most recently I completed my TEFL training through Maximo Nivel and will hopefully soon be working with them as a teacher when they start their English Language Program in Antigua, Guatemala next year.

Before taking my TEFL at Maximo Nivel I had done some volunteer ESL teaching in Guatemala, as well as California and Arizona in the US. I learned so much during TEFL that I can see a major difference in the quality of my teaching and the progress of my students. Maximo Nivel's TEFL course is intense and can be challenging but that is part of what makes it so effective. I was fortunate to have an awesome teacher, Phil Raymond as well amazing peers which helped to enrich the experience and allowed us to grow and learn from one another. Though TEFL was strict at times we had a lot of fun, and our teacher modeled to us how making things fun and entertaining help to facilitate learning. The observation classes proved to be very beneficial so we could see how the techniques were modeled. We only had the opportunity to observe Phil teach during out course but as the program in Antigua continues to expand I am sure it will allow for more diversity in the observations, which is the only single thing I would have changed in my TEFL experience. Not only did this TEFL course teach me about the methodology behind ESL it also gave us advice and information on the job world . Maximo was there to support me during all of my time with them, especially TEFL, and will continue to support me in whatever way they can whether I am here working with them in Antigua, or miles away working at a school in China. I know I can always count of the people there to live up to their guarantee of life time job support. Maximo Nivel is a great organization and provided me with great training and support. One can take their course their and learn a lot from it, and from their grow and evolve their own style of teaching that works best for them and their goals but is based on a solid, sound and proven methodology. good luck to everyone in the ESL field wherever it make take you Smile
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 796

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 brand new posters who've joined just to tell us how great 'Phil' and Maximo Nivel are. What an extraordinary coincidence.
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